OK, the story goes: at DEF CON 26, a bunch of people in the Whiskey Pirates room were talking while at that stage of weird stage tired... you know, where you say and do dumb things. At some point, someone threw something and yelled SPACE FORCE so that was a thing now. Object throwing (mostly at BK) and SPACE FORCE persisted for some long amount of time.
I thought that we needed to take it a step further, and so created Space Force One, the Elite American Space Ship (slash paper airplane).
The rest is what you made of it at DEF CON 27. =)
After getting the design done, while sleep deprived and working on 3 unrelated PCB projects, I sent out the order.
There were several things fixed on all designs I sent out that day. All the others came back OK ... but Space Force still had a fault in the design. Turns out I did not actually fix one of the mistakes and was blowing up the battery protection circuit. =( (fun fact: there are 7 blue badges out there that are reworked versions of this PCB)
I had to re-order PCBs. Sadly, the second run was worse quality than the first. I took the best boards and used them to fabricate Space Force.
By the time I got good boards I had already spent a shitload of time fighting with my pick and place. This fighting happened with the GAT Nametag and Internet of Batteries projects. By the time I began placing Space Force, I had most of the quirks worked out. The machine still cries at me sometimes but it's not so bad now.
Many parts had to be hand placed or soldered. These included: the first 40 or so DW01 and FS8205A, the first 40 or so TP4056, all OLEDs, all accelerometers (my machine hates the tape), all USB (reel too big), EN and IO0 buttons (had to be modified), on/off switch, ESP32 module, IR TX/RX, and battery holder.
At peak I was getting 7-8 badges done per hour to the 60% done mark. This means everything was done except for the OLED, IR RX/TX, LEDs, jumper wire and battery.
As I was only one person running between the pick n place, desk, and oven, some boards were ... overcooked. Oops. They work fine though and look like the rest... mostly... :)
Only suffered maybe a dozen lacerations and a couple dozen burns, including one second degree burn.
To gauge interest, I opened reservations via a Google form on twitter. Pickup by people actually reserving was very low, less than 10%. Not sure I'll do this again.
I made this badge to sell to raise funds for WP projects: that is, to buy the tools and parts necessary to keep making badges. I was asking what people thought the badge and what WP doing what we do was worth, and this was a bit of a mistake. Some people said things like $10, and when I explained that that is less than BoM and what it was for they were generally disinterested. Most were happy to help out.
I think most people who wanted one were able to get one during con. There will be some for sale soon for those who still want one. Most people spent $100.
I am thinking of bringing a bunch to Supercon 2019...should I?
SPACE FORCE 2020.
(I hope. No promises. As usual.)
Design review (what happened, and mistakes I made)
This is a very boring read of each subsystem in Space Force.
As is usual with my designs, I cost optimized as much as possible, favoring lower parts cost over reduced labor. I also had a tight design deadline which led to some decisions. Had I had more time, I would have done some things differently....