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#swag-badge for LCA2021: Communications and resources

Today (2020-10-04), we are publicly announcing the LCA2021 #swag-badge project (more details below) and beginning the process of opening up our hardware and software development processes. The next couple of weeks will be more of a spectator sport as we put in place mechanisms for technical collaboration and contributions. We warmly welcome you to join in, get an early start on LCA2021 and enjoy the ride ! We'll be listening for questions and feedback sent to Twitter @swagbadge

Note: Whilst this project is supported by LCA2021, the OHMC team are not an official part of the LCA2021 organizing committee. Of course, we'll be in close communication with them. Also, this project will be covered by a Code Of Conduct (perhaps with some hardware hacking caveats). The OHMC team supports and encourages inclusion and diversity in hardware / software hacking, please help us do better !

LCA2021 swag badge 3D render 2020-09-30 Recent 3D render 2020-09-30

LCA2021 #swag-badge announcement backstory story

Everything about 2020 has been turned upside-down and inside-out πŸ™ƒ Feels like the last normal (and awesome) thing that happened was LCA2020. Wow ... that was a good time πŸŽ‰

The Open Hardware Mini-Conference (OHMC) team was keenly looking forward to LCA2021. We have very fond memories of the Arduino MiniConf in 2013. We did a road-trip from Melbourne, the LCA2013 venue at the ANU was excellent and we were looking forward to visiting Canberra again. Sadly, LCA2021 was postponed 😒, but then went virtual πŸ€– ... and then a surprising thing happened ... the LCA2021 organizing team reached out to us and asked if we'd like to consider a special project 😲

Melbourne was deep in CoVid-19 isolation πŸ€’ and the opportunity to start a new hardware project for our friends at LCA was just the shot-in-the-arm that we needed πŸ’‰ The LCA2021 organizing committee asked us to prepare a proposal for a conference hardware badge that could be manufactured and sent to a limited number (200) of LCA2021 attendees as part of the swag in time for the conference. So we did. They accepted ! And so the #swag-badge was conceived !!

We've been thinking about an LCA badge (well, more than just thinking !) for years, perhaps going back to LCA2012 in Ballarat (another one of our favorites) and the LeoStick swag.

Now, since it costs nothing to make additional copies of software ... the number of badges was bumped up to 300 πŸ€–πŸ€–πŸ€– ... (we anticipate some late nights assembling, flashing, packing and posting) πŸ™„ Not wanting anyone to miss out on the fun, Alec came up with the idea of the #dag-badge (a simple BoM) that anyone can order for themselves immediately and join in the fun, leading up to LCA2021 and beyond πŸš€ The #dag-badge will be particularly important for anyone wishing to play along and contribute to the hardware (see SAO) or the firmware, before we ship the actual #swag-badge.

Unfortunately, the traditional LCA Open Hardware Mini-Conference morning workshop assembly madness won't be happening this time, but maybe we can still switch it up and figure out a way to involve everyone and perhaps encourage both hardware and software collaboration and contributions. Something different from what we've always done before (which was hacking frantically in our respective caves until the morning of the OHMC). We're thinking something along the lines of ...

  • Develop the #swag-badge hardware in the open ... we'll detail the journey, the highs 🎒 and lows 🀯 of delivering a hardware project
  • Develop the #swag-badge software in the open ... encouraging collaboration and contributions πŸ§ͺπŸ’₯
  • Provide several SAO connectors (power, I2C and a couple of GPIO pins) ... so that you can create and share your own custom hardware add-ons to the #swag-badge
  • Provide a simple "store" where people can upload and download simple application examples to share with others

LCA2021 swag badge mechanical layout 2020-09-30 Mechanical layout 2020-09-30

LCA2021 #swag-badge announcement details

The first 300 people who register for the on-line LCA2021 conference will receive an LCA2021 Swag Badge (specially developed and tailored for the conference).

  • Note 0: This is just our current understanding of how the LCA2021 #swag-badge will be made available ... and is subject to change by LCA2021 organizing committee
  • Note 1: The #swag-badge will be only available to Australian participants, due to the cost and delay of shipping internationally
  • Note 2: If you are outside of Australia or miss out on a #swag-badge, then you might want to seriously consider acquiring a #dag-badge (details soon)
  • Note 2.5: Sorry New Zealand, Australia πŸ‘ just isn't cool enough yet to be considered as part of New Zealand πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘
  • Note 3: No ... LCA2021 registration isn't open yet ... but, we love your enthusiasm πŸ˜‚
  • Note 4: LCA2021 mini-conferences haven't been decided yet and we haven't received notification that there will be an OHMC2021

No ordinary badge, this one is full of extensible, open hardware, ready to be loaded up with whatever software and custom hardware add-ons takes your fancy !

The Open Hardware Mini-Conference team are putting together a badge that will be:

  • Approachable for newcomers, e.g runs Python and doesn't require any special IDE (for embedded device development)
  • Custom-designed, super slick PCB
  • Powered by an ESP32 which gives you Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Not one, but two delightful OLED screens
  • ... which double as pressable buttons
  • Ready for development with the latest microPython
  • Supported by an open-sourced embedded network framework, the Aiko Engine for microPython
  • With a number of SAO connection points so you can extend and add on your own hardware components

We aim to post the #swag-badges prior to Christmas so you'll have your badge before on-line LCA2021 even begins, and a stunning memento of your participation in the conference in 2021.

But wait, there's more ! In the true spirit of LCA, we want the capabilities of the badge to be truly open. We'll be following up with more information about how you can join in with other swaggerbadgers to build out ideas for doing wonderful, magnificent, incredible... stuff ... <your idea here> ... with the SAO connectors.

Follow along and join in with the OHMC team as we prepare, plan, design and build your badges. We'll be posting regular updates here on this Wiki.

LCA2021 swag badge very first 3D render 2020-09-02 Very first 3D render 2020-09-02 LCA2021 swag badge PCB 2020-09-30 Recent PCB 2020-09-30 LCA2021 swag badge 3D render 2020-10-01 Recent 3D render 2020-10-01