How we did the first revision

A project log for 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.

BenchoffBenchoff 08/05/2017 at 01:270 Comments

Alright, this project log is probably about two weeks too late, but here we go: this is how the Blinky Tindie Badge went from an idea to 300 kitted badges in a mere ten days. Most of this log is taken from my (Benchoff)'s Hackaday Post, but this is a slightly more in-depth look at how the board was done.

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Around the beginning of July, we had everything lined up for Tindie and to make an appearance at Def Con. This meant we needed a custom hardware badge. Two ideas came to mind: an 'I Can Solder' badge like what Partfusion is selling on Tindie and a CSS PCB lapel pin I found a few days before. The obvious solution was to combine the two. The badge PCB would be shaped like a Tindie head, the eyes would blink, and everything would be powered by a 1220-sized battery (bigger ones are too big).

The lit review

This Tindie badge is designed to look like the head of our robotic dog, and there are a few examples of really, really great PCB art using only copper, soldermask, and silk. Here's a Benchoff nickel, and here's some amazing art. These are great applications of using different PCB layers as colors, but there's a problem: they're using OSH Park purple, and the Tindie dog is blue. Not a problem: every Chinese board house can do blue:

An initial render of what I imagined it would look like, side by side with a standard blue soldermask PCB:

Not bad, and everything turned out great. we ordered 300 boards and kitted them up before the con. They were a great success.


I'm not quite happy with the badge in its current state. I neglected to use a bare copper/hasl layer. This will be fixed in the next revision. We already have the budget to make 1000 more of these, so I'll do a few experiments, see what works best, and that will be revision 2. Updates coming in a week or so.