About this years Shitty Add-Ons.

I make these for a number of reasons, mostly to learn and expand my skill set. This year I pushed myself to do things that were out of my comfort zone, namely pursuing more power hungry Saos that presented some design challenges.

Last years “Mr. Robopoly” was a crowd favorite and I wanted to challenge myself to make things that do more(or less) than just ‘blink’.

I do small run orders of things that I’d like to see in the real world. I sell them to recoup expenses and help fund the next projects.

For DC27 I had a lot of ideas that required a lot of money that I did not really have. I changed some stuff up and hunted websites until I found a decent price point to make the majority of my ideas happen and here’s a rundown of what made it through to production.

I wanted to set a few standards for myself to make things consistent and easy. I settled on a kingbright LED footprint for my side view leds. Kingbrights are expensive but their footprint is compatible with most 1206 leds and they have double pads for support in the middle.

I got in on a group order for Sao headers and bought hundreds of values of resistors and leds from China before I began, knowing that I committed to 0805 resistors and capacitors and 1206 leds.

I got into the idea of jamming as many colors onto a board as possible, this idea takes up both space on the front and back of the board. This makes it extra work to route traces and limits what can go on the back - artwise. 

I also updated all headers to 2x3 for stability purposes, I only utilize the power and and on my schematics.

Once thing I did do differently is I on really intricate designs I started using the front copper mask as a ground plane. This is something I’d avoided in the past for various reasons.

I ordered my parts the same day I ordered my boards. This helped with keeping everything separate and usually the parts would arrive on the same day if not within a day or so of each other.

Another thing about this years SAOs, I made two that I will not be charging money for that can only be obtained certain ways and are limited to less than 50 each. This is my way of having a special giveaway aspect similar to the Queercon model but not. 

1. Dumpster Fire:

This was actually going to be a joke badge that I made after I finished the TV3Y3 Badge. I decided to do the design first before I started my Saos and in the process I discovered that it would be pretty tough to do what I wanted and it would be an awkward size - but It worked great as a Shitty Add-On. I really wanted a flame flicker chip but they don’t exist as side view LEDs and the regular SMDs did not have an appropriate price point or profile to make it worth the hassle.

Luckily TwinkleTwinkie was experimenting with hot glue to channel light and I found a similar effect could give a flame look. This board features Matte Green Solder Mask with White Ink and exposed Gold Immersion finish.

2. “All out of Gum”

This Shitty Add-On is a tribute to Roddy Piper and a nod to one of the more relevant films of our time “They Live”. This is the only reverse gulf-wing LED Sao I will make this year. Last year I used it heavily but quickly switched for the preferred control of the sideview LEDs.

3. Def Con Air

There’s a lot to unpack in this one.

First, it’s the 20th anniversary of the Matrix.

Also, The pun.

Con air is one of the best Nic Cage films and something I watch while Making saos, the imagery also lends itself well to Defcon - featuring the iconic smashing of the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” Sign.

I think the phrase “def con air” could also apply to when one finds themselves on a plane full of hackers on or to Defcon.

This badge was also designed to fit last years Defcon badge.

4. Shitty Semen Detector

**These UV lights will not work if you have a weak...

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