SoOnCon 2013 Badge

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SoOnCon is the Southern Ontario Makers & Hackerspace Conference. Attendees are provided with an electronic hackable badge. It took place November 1st and 2nd in 2013 at THEMUSEUM in Kitchener, and was hosted by kwartzlab.

The badge was designed and built in three weeks. Boards were made locally by Priority Circuits and the assembly was done at kwartzlab.

The initial badge firmware was written by James Bastow, Bernie Rohde, and Matthew Bells.


  • Atmel ATmega32U4 microcontroller, programmed with the Arduino Leonardo bootloader
  • Texas Instruments TPS61071 boost converter
  • Eight WS2812 RGB LEDs
  • Three buttons
  • Microphone amplifier circuit (designed by Bernie Rhode)
  • USB Micro-B connector
  • Two AA batteries
  • Arduino-compatible shield header




  • Microphone amplifier noise: The WS2812 introduce significant noise when brightness is turned up.
    • Fix: A VCC R-C filter with 22R and 220u fixes this issue.
  • USB noise: A small amount of 1kHz noise is present on A0
    • Fix: Increase noise margin in code, or disconnect USB.
  • Button issue: some buttons work intermittently due to excessive solder during assembly.
    • Fix: Remove excess solder and clean joints with a stiff brush.
  • ISP header: MISO and SCK are swapped (pins 1 & 3 on J3)
    • Fix: Fly-wire traces, or create programming cable adapter.

See Also