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TROOPERS conference badge

Electronic badges are all the rage at IT security conferences these days. I think DEFCON started it all with badges made by Joe Grand, but there have been many others, like the Sputnik RFID tags at 25C3, the expandable bunny badges at Easter Hegg, Munich, by lilafisch and friends, and Travis Goodspeed's badge for The Next Hope.

I created 210 interactive badges for the TROOPERS11 IT-sec conference in Heidelberg last month. They feature some ethereal vintage vacuum glassware - IN-16 nixie tubes made at the Reflector factory in Saratov in the former USSR in 1989. I purchased them new-old-stock from some handy guys in Lithuania.


I've just taken delivery of some special technology from the USSR, via
'friends' in Lithuania. Part of a special project for the TROOPERS 11
IT-sec conference in Heidelberg next week.

I'll be in Heidelberg until the 1st, then I'm heading to Berlin for a few days. Drop me a line if you fancy a bier.

Submitted by jeff on Mon, 03/21/2011 - 17:59. categories [ ]


I needed a kiln to fire moulds for lost wax casting. It will also come in handy for other projects - heat treatment of steel, baking electronic components, and any situation where something must be held at high temperature, or under precisely controlled conditions. I could only afford the crappiest of commercially available kilns - no temperature control(!), and pretty weedy looking insulation so I decided to build my own. The weakest point is the thermocouple, which is rated up to 1100C, but I don't think I fancy taking it much above 1000.

Sapphire Cocktail Ring

I made this sapphire ring as a Christmas present for Faye. It's minimalism is unusual for a cocktail ring, but I think its impracticality puts it squarely in that category!

Louder Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Pete brought me a challenge from Sarah's house - make their carbon monoxide alarm louder. A malfunctioning boiler and landlord means they suffer frequent CO problems. I suggested that Pete buy a personal attack alarm from the SUSU shop whilst I figured out how to get a signal out of the CO alarm.

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A few weeks back I was thinking of ways to fuse electronics with jewellery. The first one I came up with was an LED on diamond. You could have a classical diamond ring with an LED built in the bulk. Gold contacts could be evaporated on, and could merge in nicely with the rest of the ring! ...
Submitted by jeff on Sun, 03/09/2008 - 16:13. categories [ ]

3rd Year Project

Thought I'd make my 3rd year project writeup available. It is a switch-mode power supply with digital PID control implemented in a low power microcontroller. The aim is to achieve a higher performance, more flexible design than a traditional analogue supply without the high power consumption of a high-speed DSP.

It scored highly, so might be worth reading if you're a 3rd year Electronic at Southampton.

Z-Axis working

In the early hours of this morning the Z-axis was completed. A new, much higher torque NEMA-23 motor from Motion Control Products (part FL57STH76-2808B ) was added, along with a length of 10x3 trapezoidal leadscrew and nut from Marchant Dice . In addition an adjustable mounting was added to one end of one of the guide rails to allow them to be adjusted perfectly parallel. Here are the results of a pen pretending to isolation mill a circuit board layout. Video:

Submitted by jeff on Fri, 08/24/2007 - 11:41. categories [ ]

DIY X-ray Machine

The other day I thought "wouldn't it be cool if I could make an X-ray machine for reverse engineering PCBs, etc". So I looked around and found an ancient Scientific American article. It seems that all one needs to produce X-rays is an HV supply and an evacuated tube containing a cold electron-emitting cathode and some kind of target anode.

Submitted by jeff on Mon, 04/16/2007 - 17:31. categories [ ]