Tindie Blinky LED Badge

There's some through hole & surface mount soldering to be done, but when you're finished you've got a sparkly eyed Tindie head lapel pin.

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We needed a badge, so Brian & Jasmine sorted it out in two weeks just in time for DEF CON. Likely we'll take them to other events too! Big thanks to Brandon for putting together in the instructions & Kaylee for kitting everything up in time :). These are not for sale on Tindie, but if you need an 'I can solder badge' check out:

UPDATE: V3 includes an on/off switch!

Read Brian Benchoff's post on Hackaday about how this all started when we wanted a badge for DEFCON 25 in under two weeks. Once we got back we realized that it could be made better with a switch and cheaper with BOM cost optimization and the badge iterations.

The KISS Tindie panel

x-zip-compressed - 516.70 kB - 01/31/2018 at 18:12


poacher that hides behind trees

postscript - 1.67 MB - 09/28/2017 at 18:50


An exploitable Tindie head

postscript - 1.59 MB - 09/28/2017 at 18:44


View all 6 components

View all 12 project logs

  • 1
    Check you have everything

    Included in the kit

    • Tindie Badge PCB
    • Switch (not shown in photos)
    • 2 LEDs
    • Battery
    • Battery holder
    • Pin
    • Pin backing

    You will also need

    • Soldering Iron
    • Tweezers
    • Safety glasses
    • Wire cutters
    • Solder
    • Flux
  • 2
    Attach the Switch

    Use tweezers to hold the switch as it will get HOT!

    1. The switch goes on the left-hand side of the back of the badge. The switch lever points outwards.
    2. “Tin” the three little pads and the three pins on the switch.
    3. Place the switch on the pad and melt the solder on the pad and pins together.
  • 3
    Attach the Pin to the back of the Badge PCB

    Use tweezers to hold the pin as it will get HOT!

    Wear safety glasses while soldering and cutting wires. 

    1. "Tin" the pad at the top of the PCB by applying solder
    2. Apply solder to the bottom of the pin
    3. Place the pin on the pad and melt the solder on the pad and pin together.

View all 7 instructions

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Pops wrote 11/04/2020 at 15:04 point

Can you post the gerbers for just one badge and not the panel?

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jiva wrote 09/26/2018 at 02:54 point

Would you be willing to share the Eagle files for this project?

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Simon Merrett wrote 04/29/2018 at 13:33 point

@Benchoff @Jasmine Brackett  I just became the proud owner of two of these badges at Maker Faire UK. Want to assemble them with my children but just wondering if the PCB is lead-free HASL. Please could you enlighten so I know how much handwashing to enforce and whether I'll coat the assembled boards in clear nail varnish. Thanks 

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Simon Merrett wrote 10/07/2017 at 06:57 point

@Benchoff great article on BoM cost optimisation on the blog - many people will find that exposition of your thought process helpful and transferable. 

Next post, *please* talk to us about kitting efficiently. Some people have made custom parts counters, others just go for it by hand. Perhaps a set of scales is in the middle for multiples of a single part. What's your work flow and could it be done better for a small but time saving investment? Kitting has much of the same challenges as assembly and fulfillment in general so for those who are looking to scale a project up this could be invaluable. 


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Benchoff wrote 10/07/2017 at 15:10 point

Yeah, a device to slice cut tape into individual components is next up on the build list.

There's a long queue for that build list...

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Simon Merrett wrote 10/07/2017 at 19:53 point

Which means you kitted hundreds of badges without an automatic tape slicer and didn't go mad. There's surely a few tips for the new player there! 

Even how you package it up, workflow for bagging/boxing. The marginal time gains are as important as the pennies on the BoM when it's just you and couple of friends counting out the parts. 

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Elliot Williams wrote 08/02/2017 at 09:47 point

Resistors, polarity markings for the LEDs, and HASL/silver for the dog's rivets.  

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Ted Yapo wrote 08/02/2017 at 12:42 point

Do flashing LEDs need resistors?  I would think they would build a current limiter in the flasher.

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Benchoff wrote 08/02/2017 at 15:24 point

This is my thought as well. Between the internal resistance of the battery and the blinky circuitry, it's not needed. Also, it would look like crap.

And the LEDs have polarity markings ;)

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Crypton78 wrote 08/02/2017 at 00:42 point


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Frank Buss wrote 08/01/2017 at 07:19 point

Pretty PCB, but imagine what you could do with an additional small microcontroller and maybe a photodiode like the BPW34 as the nose.

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davedarko wrote 08/01/2017 at 07:23 point

Probably too much stuff for two weeks from design to product though, but a good idea for a revision.

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Frank Buss wrote 08/01/2017 at 16:10 point

Too much stuff? My blinking LED was done in a few hours, including writing the firmware:
But the instructions look like targeted to beginners (I never wear safety glasses while soldering :-) ) and would be more complicated to solder a SMD microcontroller and maybe even flash it (but you can buy them pre-programmed for a few cents more).

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davedarko wrote 08/02/2017 at 11:52 point

I meant for badge as in many many many badges for cons etc. :) but that probably has been done before as well :D

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