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SoOnCon 2013: Epilogue

BYE6jR-IUAAlkURHey folks, SoOnCon 2013 has now come and gone! The conference was a huge success and saw 94(!) attendees between the Kwartzlab BBQ and the main event. Nothing had caught fire (aside from what was intended to be alight), and even the resulting surprise police appearance at the BBQ was smooth sailing. Lots of great talks and workshops happened both days, and badge hacking ran strong throughout.


  • 94 tickets sold
  • 23 talks & workshops
  • 68 burgers and frankfurters consumed
  • 62 bottles of beer drained
  • 66 wireless AP associations
  • 90 combined hours of badge assembly
  • 1 police visit

I want to thank all the speakers, workshop organizers, volunteers and badge assembly crew for your awesome contributions, without you SoOnCon 2013 would not exist. Huge thanks goes to Marcel O’Gorman from the Critical Media Lab for sponsoring our venue at THEMUSEUM this year.

Last but not least, a big thank you goes to everyone who attended the 5th year of the Southern Ontario Makers & Hackerspaces Conference, the largest one yet!

Conference Badges

We’ll be doing a small run of conference badges to make up for the shortage on Saturday. If you did not get an electronic event badge (or you gave yours to another attendee), please contact us and we’ll make sure you receive one. We’ll continue updating the Badge Hacking Workshop page with relevant information as it comes in. The code for the badge is available on github here:


We’ll add more links as we get them:

Well, that’s it for another SoOnCon! I hope you see you at the next one, coming to a hackerspace near you. Cheers!

SoOnCon Badge Hacking Workshop

What: Workshop – All Day When: 9:30am Where: Hacker’s Haven Materials Cost: None

An all-day badge hacking workshop will be taking place in the Common Area. Attendees can freely work on their badge, electronics equipment will be available to use. There will be volunteers on hand to help attendees hack and program their badges.

UPDATE: James Bastow, the primary designer of the SoOnCon badge has even more info on his personal wiki. Information on that site may be newer than this one.


  • ATmega32U4 (Arduino Leonardo compatible)
  • Includes header pins for standard Arduino shields
  • 8x individually-controlled Superbright RGB LEDs (WorldSemi¬†WS2812)!
  • Reset & two extra buttons

Schematic & PCB

Here is the Final Schematic as well as the PCB Layout for the Badge!

Badge Code

Most badges picked up at the BBQ are not programmed with the latest code, which includes functions for the optional sound circuit. The latest code is available on our github repo here: (Download as a ZIP)

Sound Circuit Parts List

This is the parts list for the optional sound circuit. Symbols correspond with those screen printed on the SoOnCon badge:

QTY        Symbol        Part Description
1	MIC1	CMA-4544PF-W
1	R2	43K or 47K RESISTOR
2	C1, C2	10 uF polarized capacitor
2	Q1, Q2	2N7000 FET


Hardware Issues

Button issues: There were a number of reported issues relating to the three buttons either not working, staying on or working intermittently. This is caused by some overzealous soldering of the buttons, where excess solder would bridge the button pads and the ground plane surrounding them. If you have these issues, remove excess solder from the button pads and make sure they’re not bridging with anything. You will need to remove or bend the AA battery pack to get access to the button solder joints.

ICSP Header: Pins 1 and 3 of the ICSP header were reversed on the PCB. If you are trying to load code via ICSP, you will need to build an adapter that reverses these pins.

Battery Charging Warning: azend on Twitter has noted that if you hook up a 5v power supply, any dead AA batteries that are attached will start to charge. That said, the badge itself operates at 3v.

Bernie Rohde - SoOnCon Badge Sound Workshop

What: Workshop – 45 Minutes When: 11:15am Where: Hackers Haven Materials Cost: None

The SoOnCon 2013 Badge has an optional sound circuit to add a microphone for control via sound. Bernie Rohde heads up this workshop to get people started with adding the circuit onto their badge and programming it accordingly.

The Badge Sound Circuit Kit is available for free to all SoOnCon attendees.

Maker Kids Panel

What: Talk – 60 Minutes When: 9:30am Where: Classroom 3

The Maker Kids Panel is a roundtable discussion about getting kids involved in DIY/Making. There will be various topics discussed. The panel consists of representatives from Maker Kids in Toronto, HelloWorldCamp in Kitchener, Cambridge Public Library, THEMUSEUM, Kitchener Public Library and other local community organizers.