[Owasp-cape-town] B-Sides Cape Town 2015 Badge design

Philip Goosen philipgoosen0 at gmail.com
Tue Jun 30 19:04:53 UTC 2015

Hi everyone, there have been discussions about the badges for this 
year's badge for B-Sides Cape Town. Since B-Sides is a conference by the 
community for the community, we should have a public discussion about it.

At the current moment there is no badge, so the community's input is 
needed to get it going.
The general idea from what has been said so far is that the badge should 
be affordable and that it should be useful beyond just the conference.

It might help if someone can come up with a design specification for the 
Looking at other conferences, the basic components of a badge is:

  * Screen
  * Micro-controller
  * Radio
  * Input/Output (Push buttons/LEDs)
  * USB interface (Serial and Programming)
  * Battery

Due to budget constraints, some of these should be omitted. We can 
remove the battery and just power the device via USB. The screen can 
also be removed if we just use the LEDs and USB serial communication for 
output. The radio can also be removed and be replace by a infrared 
transceiver, or with a link cable. (Remember the Nintendo Game Boy?)
If we really have to remove most of the components we are left with a 
micro-controller and a USB interface.
Basically the badge should have a computing and communication medium.

One suggestion has be put forward so far, using a digispark clone (A 
8-bit Atmel AVR controller), which is an arduino compatible board. The 
suggestion fits the bare bones requirement.

*Advantages of the digispark clone*:

  * Cheap (Only ~$2 from Chinese markets)
  * Arduino compatible
  * Can do USB keyboard emulation (Such as the USB-RubberDucky)
  * Assembled and tested (Some Chinese sellers can sometimes lie about

While this works, we should also explore some alternatives, it seems a 
bit limited.
Can we really consider this a badge of a conference? I guess we could 
find a seller who could silkscreen the sponsors and B-Sides logo on the 

Now this is the part you get involved, make a suggestion of what the 
badge should be.
The community can put in some effort and design a custom badge. Keep in 
mind the budget constraints.
I'm looking forward to see what the community can conjure up.

I'll start by making my suggestion which I'm willing to design it if the 
community likes it.
My suggestion is that we design a badge also using a board from the 
Chinese market. There is this chip called the ESP8266 (A 32-bit 
Tensillica LX3 controller), you can buy a module that has the chip and 
some other components to with it (These modules are named ESP-XX, such 
as ESP-01 or ESP-12).  A board such as the ESP-12 has castellated pads 
so it will be soldered to a circuit board as a if it was  a single 
component, it just needs to be powered and optionally with a 
USB-->Serial chip for flashing new firmware.

*Advantages of the ESP8266 board:

  * Cheap (Modules such as the ESP-12 cost only ~$2.5 from chinese markets)
  * Arduino compatible
  * Integrated WiFi radio (Can connect to an AP, become an AP or even
    both at the same time.)
  * Can also run interpreters (MicroPython and eLua compatible)

The interpreter environments should be welcoming to non-electronics 
people. The eLua interpreter (NodeMCU) has a filesystem, it gives it 
that "operating system feel" as you can launch scripts and make files. 
This setup will be able to be an access point, an interpreter and web 
server at the same time! (It's quite a fast controller) We could even 
just have the ESP module and a power source if you only run scripts, you 
would be able to update them via the WiFi. Otherwise we could add a low 
cost USB-->Serial converter chip (Such as the CH340, which costs ~$0.3)

Making a badge will have it's challenges and risks, it needs to be 
assembled and the community might be needed to assemble a few board. Is 
there anyone here with a reflow soldering oven?

All these decisions will be affected by what the community is able to do 
and what budget there is for badges. Lets just get the discussion going. 
It might even be a good idea to not have a badge at all, and use all the 
money to ensure the event goes well.
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