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It has become a kind of tradition to make or hack badges for and at Maker Fairs, meetups and conferences. And the Mini Maker Faire 2017 in Aarhus was no different. For the second year in a row, one of the organizers had made some custom PCB badges. Last year I got mine at the Fair, but this year I and some others got ours a week earlier, so we had time to prepare something a bit more elaborate to add to it.
I had some ideas about what I wanted to do with it.
It definitely needed some bling and buttons. I wanted to animate the white lightning symbols on the badge, so I found some old seven segment displays that had a nice red glow. I also wanted to be able to change my name, or just substitute it with something completely different, so I found a miniature OLED display that, after a adding some extra holes to the board, fitted perfectly. There was also space for two buttons on the front as well, so I had some inputs.
I thought that it could be fun to be able to have the badge run in several different modes, so I could change my name on the name tag, change between some different animations and maybe even a counter for how many people I had said hi to :3 I ended up having only a day to build it, so the main focus was getting the hardware to work, which I just barely managed to. I ended up with a bug or two, but then it’s nice to be at an event where it’s all about making and fixing stuff, and quite a few brought their tools.
Below, the badge is shown before and after my modifications.
One day I will revisit it, and improve on the software, so that it’s not just flashing lightning bolts and displaying my name. The badge needs some more fancy features 🙂