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 or unstable 3.3v supply, if it doesn't work check your batteries. 

This idea came from TwinkleTwinkie describing a predicament in which he had 3000 UV leds that he couldn’t use and while the actual wavelength I needed wasn’t what he had, I did manage to produce a frighteningly accurate Flavin detector with some other UV bulbs.

Operating at 390nm, this device can illuminate things a normal blacklight cannot. In total darkness this device is capable of detecting bodily fluids from 2’ - 3’. It will make your bathroom look like a crime scene. The perfect device for paranoid people staying in hotel rooms.

The bulbs are too expensive to justify making very many of these so I’ve decided to make it a bare board project that you can build on your own.

Each board will come with a SAO header and a dram of invisible ink. Please be careful as these are not normal leds and can seriously destroy your vision if you look into the light.


Saliva - yellow/light green

Semen - Light Blue

Blood - Black / dark brown

Bacteria - Bright Yellow

Urine - light yellow(barely visible)

You can also use this device to erase read only chips, where a window is present.

Due to the high cost of the parts for these badge I will be selling/giving these out as bare board kits. The differences:

“Whoopsie!! Edition” (Blue) - This version is missing the mask cuts on the front of the board(As such it will be given out as a freebie. As a result the green leds that illuminate the artwork won’t show. This means the only thing you need to build this is:

4 - UV3TZ-390-30 (*Note the 3T size, although you can ignore this.)

1 - OS102011MA1QN1 switch (or you can just jump it)

1 - R22 size 0805. (R2)

Regular Edition (Purple) -

Everything about this is prefect. Note that the edges are rounded a bit more and the change in parts:

4 - UV5TZ-390-30 (*Note the 5T size, although you can ignore this.)

1 - OS102011MA1QN1 switch (or you can just jump it)

1 - 22 Ohm resistor size 0805. (R2)

2 - kingbrite 3010 green sideview LEDs or comparable.

1 - 22 Ohm resistor(this might be too much, adjust accordingly) . (R1)

5. Justin Bailey

This is a piece of fan art inspired by a type of video game alien.

This was my first deep dive into side view LEDs and I didn’t hold back. I felt as long as I could make the three red lights in the front happen that any amount of acceptable green light would be awesome. I did a prototype run and adjusted the mask per suggestions I received. The final result was lackluster. It was the first time that I had a working product that wasn’t up to my standards.

I decided to revisit the parts. I believe the kingbrights had a low mcd rating for the green. I popped in some front facing LED’s from another manufacturer and it made the difference, day saved.

6. The Taco Drone Sao

**This motor will not work if you have a weak or unstable 3.3v supply, if it doesn't work check your batteries.  Or spin the blades, they might need a push.

Last year we had a Drone badge, why not a Drone Shitty Add-On?

This unique design drew direct inspiration and sought to celebrate the taco drone delivery service offered by @securelyfitz at last years Toorcamp 2018. The idea was easy enough and I was able to lower the mA to put out just enough power to act as a fan but not cause bodily harm. At any rate, I also included a bumper.

7. (Redacted) - Not Pictured

Available only as a trade or for friends. Not for Sale.

8. (Redacted) - Not Pictured

Available only through charity auctions or charitable acts of giving.     


The first two Shitty Add-Ons this year featured the same schematic as Mr. Robopoly and I decided to really break it up for the remaining designs.

There was a lot of firsts for me this year.

None of these were easy to make. Each one was a challenge in design. The Taco Drone probably required the most work out of all of them. Once you had painted them and hand set and tested the blades and motor to make sure they did what I wanted, I had to fix the bumpers and this was more work than I had prepared myself for.

Their organic shape didn’t lend to building a jig of any sort so I was hand soldering them in place too.

The hot glue was fun until it wasn’t. I remember spending an evening doing hot glue and not even getting halfway through. It’s a great effect but it comes at the expense of time. The hot glue can also cause the solder joints to come loose if you are not careful, so then I had to check every Sao after if gets glued. I always test everything twice but with the hot glue I’m now testing 3 times.

I think one of the smart things I did this year was to limit myself to certain components and footprints. It made choosing and searching for products easier and not a hassle when it came time to do my net lists and build the boards.

That’s all I can think of at the moment.

At the time of this writing my Saos are mostly built save for some parts that have been held up by shipping.