This year is gearing up to be a great year for the CHV! New venue, new concepts, new ideas, and of course a new badge.
We have really outdone ourselves this year. My goal of creating a badge that is not only visually appealing, but is useful after the show is over, is in full force again. This year's badge is bigger (both literally and functionally). More interfaces, more horsepower (thank you NXP!), and more things to see. Lots more things to see - like an insane number of RGB and discrete LEDs packed as tight as we could get them using standard 4-layer design constraints.
One of my main goals this year is to avoid you waiting in line. We will have no less than 3 sales lines. All badges will be pre-boxed with instructions, lanyards, batteries, etc. Just grab a box and go. Easy and quick so you can get on with your DefCon activities. There will be no per-day sales allocations. We will sell until they are gone.
The badges will be $60 this year. This includes Nevada sales tax (which we do pay, by the way). You will be able to purchase one badge at $60, and each subsequent badge will be $80 in the same transaction. My goal with this pricing structure is to try and make sure that everyone who wants one can get one. But keep in mind that if you buy two, you are only spending an extra $10 per badge.
We will not be able to take credit cards, but the instruction sheet that comes with the badge will double as a receipt for those of you that need one.
I am working hard this year to bring PAWN back by popular request. This will make it easy to customize your badge to do what you need it to. Download the SDK (which will be available here), grab a micro-usb cable, and go for it. No need for JTAG/SWD adapters, installing IDE's, etc. (unless you want to do this of course - I will make a native SDK available).
Like in previous years, the SDK will contain all of the tools you need to script or roll-your-own code. Full schematics and assembly drawings will be in there.
A note about quality and buying with confidence -
All badges will leave my facility fully tested. We had a couple of QA issues slip though last year. Not this year.
All badges are manufactured by us in Fort Wayne, Indiana, using PCB's manufactured locally by Miltec in Cedarville, IN. Specialized Solutions pick and places, assembles, tests, boxes, delivers (the road trip is worth it), and sells the badges. They are completely under our control, and I get very frustrated when we have QA problems because I have nobody but us to blame.
Our machines will be getting a full workout starting next week, so stay tuned for videos, pictures, and other posts that will give you a glimpse into what goes into being the second-highest-selling electronic badge at DefCon (the first highest is DefCon by the way...)
Thank you so much for being a supporter over the last three years. For those of you that have watched the badge evolution, you know that year after year the badge continually advances. This year is no exception. I know you will be pleased.
See you soon!