• My DEF CON 26 Talk Notes

    08/11/2018 at 19:35 0 comments

    Getting To Blinky 4.0


    This is where I recommend everyone start for learning KiCAD.  It's an entirely step-by-step tutorial that  gives you the foundational knowledge required for using KiCAD.

    Keep in mind this Tutorial was written for KiCAD 4.0 and KiCAD 5.0 is a little different.  I would recommend installing KiCAD 4.0, following Chris's tutorials, do a couple of simple projects for fun, then upgrade to KiCAD 5.0.   Chris is working on an updated 5.0 series but if you want to start now that is what I would recommend.

    svg2shenzhen Inkscape Extension

    This is the plugin that I talked extensively about and use a great deal for my projects.


    How I make Shitty Add-ons

    This is the stream I did in June on how to make SAOs.  

    PCB Color Reference Spreadsheet

    This applies only to PCBWay, and is only meant to give you a rough idea of what to expect.


  • Dealing with a Massive Shitty Add-on Failure

    06/06/2018 at 19:41 5 comments

    I fucked up.  I fucked up 250 Shitty Add-on boards.   Those 250 boards and the 300 I ordered to replace them, replacement parts, and solder reworking station cost me more than half my overall Badge Life expenses this year.  To give you an idea of how much that is, I'm currently measuring those expenses in the thousands.   I am not Kickstarting any of my projects, I am not crowdfunding them and I am not sponsored in any way, that money comes directly out of my pocket and it's a cost I have to swallow.

    I fucked up, and I'm here to share with you how I fucked up so that you can learn from my mistakes, of which there are many.


    So let's get this out of the way.  I am not an Electrical Engineer, nor am I a Software Developer.  I don't have a job that has anything remotely involved in designing PCBs and the only time I use a soldering iron or work with electrical schematics is at home.  The only kind of electrical circuit I know how to design off hand is a super basic LED Circuit.  Everything I know I have learned from Websites, YouTube Videos, and wisdom shared by friends who know far more than I do.  The sum total of all of this is that I am a n00b!

    I got into PCB Design, or specifically PCB Art, because I love PCB Art and I spent the majority of the beginning of 2018 learning KiCad (Benchoff wouldn't get off my balls about Fritzing) and learning how to manipulate it to spit out boards it was never intended to produce.

    This is all a recipe for disaster.

    What I Made

    With the introduction of the Shitty Add-on Connector I decided to abandon previously planned projects for DC26 and focus on making Shitty Add-ons (SAOs) for Indie Badges.  I already had one project that was nearing completion (The Freeman) so I completed it and started on my path to making SAOs that were Shitty in name only.    My first project was "Krusty the It".

    Krusty the It

    Krusty the It got a massive response on twitter.  In a very short order I went from next to no followers to dozens of followers.  Twitter has played a big part in my motivation to participate in Badge Life, there are few communities that are as great as the Twitter Badge Life community is.  The response was so immense that I decided to order another 100 boards to supplement the original 50.  This gave me the opportunity to make some minor tweaks and to order another SAO and save money on shipping.

    The design of my  SAOs are only made up of 4-5 Components.  The original design was 2x LEDs, 1x Resistor, and 1x SAO Connector.   When I found that the resistor dimmed the LEDs too much I removed it in the first board revision that I sent to the fab.   This would prove to be one of many fuck ups.

    After I got my boards back from PCBWay I immediately soldered one together and shared it with the world at large on twitter.   This would be the introduction of "Fat Pika".  A kind friendly alternative to "Krusty the It" after getting feedback that many people loved Krusty  but it would scare the shit out of their kids.

    Fat Pika & Krusty the It

    After getting Fat Pika in I moved forward with assembly of "Krusty the It".   I personally soldered all of the boards over a weekend and shared my results with testing and prepping them to be packed for DEF CON.  I was very excited and thrilled to be more than 1/2 way done with my SAO assembly efforts....

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