The DEFCON 20 Badge was designed and manufactured for the largest continuously running hacker and computer security convention in the world www.defcon.org. This year's DEFCON is a four-day technical session held at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, founded and run by Jeff Moss (DarkTangent). Ryan Clarke (LostboY) designed this year’s badge as a core part of the hacking contest. Jon Williams authored the core code objects. Parallax manufactured 16,500 units in our Rocklin, California facility through June and July.
The badge is based around the Propeller P8X32A 32-bit multicore processor. The badge features an infrared LED and receiver for badge-to-badge communication, a bank of eight LEDs for visual feedback and a USB circuit for data access and programming. Each attendee receives two PS2 adapters and a VGA connector so they can stop by DEFCON’s Hardware Hacking Village to turn their badge into a small computer system. Three AAA batteries can power the badge for the entire convention.
The badge types were produced in eight color schemes for different types of attendees: ARTIST, CONTEST, GOON, HUMAN, PRESS, VENDOR, UBER, and SPEAKER. The HUMAN badge was produced in 21 different shapes, for 21 unique badge styles. Yes, it was a complex design process.
At the DEFCON opening ceremony attendees will receive key information about how the badge is used to solve the challenge. We really don’t know much about the Badge Challenge, but it’s really clear that people need to mingle to unlock some cryptology clues. Take a walk around, connect your badge to Parallax Serial Terminal at 57,600 BPS to see who’ve you encountered. Everybody has access to the Propeller objects used in the top-level firmware. They're available for download below.
Getting Started with the DEF CON 20 Badge
(Specific links to resources to follow today and tomorrow)
So you’ve picked up a DEF CON 20 Badge and you’d like to start programming it for another purpose. These forums are among the most valuable of all of our resources. Take a look and download some of these before you get started.
- Propeller Tool (Windows) – includes many example codes
- Learn.parallax.com and the Propeller BOE – two useful tools to get you started
- Simple IDE - Open-source Alternative Propeller Tool (Windows, Linux, Mac) - our future programming interface for Propellers
- Badge Schematic (to follow after contest is finished)
- Propeller Source Code Objects for DEF CON 20 Badge (excludes the top Spin file)
- Top Propeller Spin File (to be posted at end of DEF CON 20)
- DEF CON 20 Badge LED Example
- DEF CON 20 Badge VGA and PS2 Example (shown below)