Every year, we make “badges” for RVASEC, a computer security conference held in Richmond in the spring. It has become popular for computer conferences to have something far more elaborate than “Hello, My name is…” stickers to identify attendees. Electronic devices with blinky lights are needed. We make them for RVASec. The badges have the conference schedule, and some games and surprises that vary each year.

We design the circuit, we write the code to run the computer, we design the boards, we solder the tiny parts on the boards, we design and make tiny D-pads and laser cut acrylic logo pieces. It is a big project, and it covers a range of skills and skill levels.

Placing tiny parts at a “pick and place” session
Our first badges, back in 2020, were much simpler.
Today we use all surface mount parts, to avoid drilling holes.

Then we arrive early to distribute the badges, and spend the day helping people with them.