Come one, come all, this is the megapost about the Hackaday Superconference. Join us in Pasadena on November 2-4 for the hardware conference you cannot miss. Get your ticket quickly as they will sell out!
These Are Your People
You get excited about cool hardware. We do too. This not the case at most conferences. Come to Supercon because these are your people. Experience the most excellent “Hacker Village” vibe, a siren song tempting you to skip the organized talks as you get sucked into fascinating conversations at every turn. Load up that hardware hack you’ve been putting off and come work on it in great company!
Look at this jaw-dropping slate of speakers ready to knock your socks off on everything relating to hardware creation. Each day last week we published announcements of the talks and those details are all up on the Superconference web page. What more is there to say but thank you to all these great people who are putting the finishing touches on their presentations!
Workshop Tickets Now On Sale
Supercon workshop tickets sell out right away. Due to popular demand (and a huge number of great proposals from presenters) we have added to the number of workshops this year. Click the titles below for details of each workshop. These go fast so get your workshop ticket before they’re gone!
An Introduction To Animatronics Featuring Tentacle Mechanisms
Joshua Vasquez is a nuts-and-bolts engineer with a passion for tinkering after hours. By day, he writes software that controls machines in a factory that makes DNA and RNA. By night, he tackles side projects and sometimes writes for Hackaday. In this workshop, he’ll show you how to build your very own tentacle mechanism and cable controller from the ground up. All the tools, instructions, and materials will be provided on-site for you to walk away with your own working creepy-crawly.
Building Wi-Fi Connected Devices With Arduino
Workshop by Don Coleman. This hands-on workshop will teach you how to build and program a Wi-Fi based IoT device using Arduino. Your sensor will send data to “the cloud” using MQTT. You will also use a web page to send commands back to your hardware. Some programming experience is helpful but not required. Each participant will receive a hardware development kit containing an Arduino micro-controller and the components required for the class. Participants must bring a laptop.
The Coolest Workshop
This workshop is given by Will Caruana. Attendees will participate in a number of hands-on experiments that require liquid nitrogen, from making ice cream to showing off the properties of a superconductor. We are going to monitor conductivity changing in electronics as well as demonstrating how materials change at extremely low temperatures.
We will learn about superconductors by experimenting with them! If you have something in mind to freeze this is your chance. Bring it and let’s see what happens!
Designing Expressive Modular Wearable Hardware
Workshop is by Angela Sheehan and Mary West, Makers creating products and projects from IoT and optoelectronics to wearable-tech. During the workshop, attendees will receive a guided introduction to customizing interactive wearables using Arduino and prototypes. Participants will creatively explore personalization through both code and hardware assembly to construct a unique piece of wearable tech to bring home. You will actively explore these ideas through customizing a wearable electronic project to augment your interactions with the world.
Full Stack Product Development with Autodesk Eagle and Fusion 360
This workshop is by Matt Berggren. In this session, we’ll take you end to end: from building a new schematic, simulating a circuit using EAGLE’s built-in SPICE simulator, laying out a PCB, generating mfg. files, and learning some tips & tricks for milling boards and making stencils. We’ll also take you through the link between electronics and mechanics using Fusion 360. Alongside EAGLE, we’ll build an enclosure and generate the mfg outputs for your mechanical design (CAM, 3D prints, etc). We’ll look at library management across electronics and mechanics, and bidirectional synchronization between both of these domains. This is more than an introduction, as Matt will also give you a few essential, oft-missed background details and tips with EAGLE that you might never have known otherwise.
Environmental Robotics Bioblitz!
Erin “RobotGrrl” Kennedy is a quirky and energetic inventor! She is the technical founder of Robot Missions, where she has developed low-cost shoreline cleanup robots. As part of this workshop, you will help use a robot to clean a nearby park of litter. The robot will use its arm to pick up any litter while logging air quality and imagery data mapped to GPS coordinates. In this workshop you will learn hands-on how the robot operates.
Introduction To Lora Sensor Networking
Workshop by Reinier van der Lee, winner of the Hackaday 2015 “Best Product” prize, and the founder of a Temecula-based precision irrigation company called Vinduino. This talk/workshop provides an introduction to LoRa network technology and provides guidance for beginners on how to build your first connected sensor.
Logic Noise: Breadboard Your Own Primitive Synthesizer
Workshop by Elliot Williams, Managing Editor of Hackaday. Starting with a bare breadboard and a pile of CMOS ICs, attendees will build up to something that can make “musical” noise as fast as possible. Elliot will be demoing some of his favorite circuits, with the goal of pulling together a “concert” before it’s all done. This is a very hands-on workshop, but it’s also very simple. It has been done before with people who’ve never plugged an IC into a breadboard before with amazing results.
Prototyping IoT Applications Using the AVR-IoT WG Development Board
This workshop is by Ricky Johnson. Attendees will learn to develop an IoT application using the new AVR-IoT WG Development Board. By the end of this class you will have a good understanding of how to develop an IoT node quickly and easily. This IoT node is equipped with an ambient light sensor and also a temperature sensor. You will learn how to configure your IoT node to the wireless network and transmit data to the Google cloud which can then be visualized in an online GUI. Attendees do not need to install any tools on their computers, as this entire workshop will use a configuration interface which is pre-installed on the AVR-IoT WG Development Board. Attendees will also be shown how to take their project to the next level through adding their own custom sensors and transmitting new data.
Small Scale CNC/Robotics Workshop (Build A CNC Badge!)
Join Barton Dring as he shares his two decades of knowledge on hacking DIY CNC machines. Learn valuable tips and tricks that scale upward as you utilize larger machines, then build your own wearable CNC drawing machine badge! Badge hardware is included with cost of workshop. The badge PCB will be pre-assembled to run the drawing machine, but will have a partially populated, modular, hackable, prototype area to create dozens of types of machines.
WTFpga, Introduction To Fpga
This workshop is by Piotr Esden-Tempski, co-owner of 1BitSquared. The purpose of this workshop is to jumpstart people new to FPGAs, getting them to the point where they can understand and make minor changes to Verilog designs, and see the results on hardware, all using freely available open-source tools. The scope is intentionally limited to make sure it’s doable in a short amount of time, so that attendees don’t need to make a huge time commitment to get a hands-on understanding of FPGAs, Verilog, Yosys, Nextpnr and Icestorm open-source FPGA toolchain.
Weird Synth Making
Erin Demastes uses repurposed technology and everyday objects to explore sonic phenomena related to acoustics, resonance, electricity, and magnetism. This workshop will delve into some basic square wave synth building but encourage experimentation and out-of-the-box design (literally). Attendees can use unusual enclosures or no enclosures at all for their final design. Sculptures, jewelry, and other types of tech-art fusion will be encouraged. Depending on the level of knowledge of the attendees, the workshop can go in-depth into schematic reading, component functions and usage, breadboard layout, and soldering. This workshop can be for beginning to intermediate level student or to people who want to design something unusual or be taught from an artistic perspective.
Wireless Based IoT ESP32 Sensor Design with New IoT Design Tools
This workshop is by Robert Nelson. Participants will build a low-cost Wi-Fi/BLE sensor based on the ESP32 platform combined with simple plug-and-play connections using Grove sensors. Learn to use a soon to be released IoT design environment to connect easily to the cloud and visualize your data in real time. The new tool has a graphical user interface that allows for easy drag-and-drop functionality. Participants will be able to send data to the cloud thru the development environment and visualize the data. Laptops are required; Windows, Mac or Linux. Cell Phone/Tablet; running Android or iOS with BLE and access to Google Play or Apple’s App Store is required. All materials to build the IoT sensor will be provided, no coding experience is needed.
Everyone through the door with a valid Superconference ticket will get one of these amazing badges! Shown here is a prototype, the production badges will have black solder mask instead of red. Brand new for Supercon is the hardware hacking add-on board that will come with all badges for easy addition of your custom circuits.
This is the newest revision of the Basic Badge. It has a full QWERTY keyboard, beautiful color screen, and a speaker with 3-voice audio. There’s an interpreter and editor so that you can write your own programs in the BASIC programming language and store sixteen programs of up to 16 kb in size. It runs CP/M so you can play Zork on it (loaded by default) or use a serial to USB to load your own programs. This is just the tip of the iceberg and the design (Voja Antonic: Hardware, Jaromir Sukuba: Software) was wildly popular at the Hackaday Belgrade conference in May. Head over to that project page and learn as much as you can to prepare for a week of badge hacking! More info coming soon.
We know you want to get your hands on one and we’ve had a lot of people ask if we will mail them one if they buy a ticket. Unfortunately, no. You need to show up at Supercon. We’re happy to receive donated chips from Microchip (this runs a PIC32) and a portion of the assembly cost was donated by Macrofab. All of are parts are on hand (30,000 switches!) and the production run is about to begin. If we somehow have overrun we will sell any extras on Tindie… but the way the tickets are going we can make no promises.
Well Fed and Well Watered
Amazing people, engaging talks, cool workshops, and jaw-dropping hardware badge… the only other thing you need is a full belly and we have that covered. The food at Supercon is delicious and plentiful, and it’s included in the price of admission. So are the drinks.
Friday we’ll have finger food and drinks for the evening kick-off party. Come early on Saturday and Sunday for breakfast. Lunch will be provided both days as well. Saturday is huge party with refreshments to celebrate the conclusion of the 2018 Hackaday Prize, and there’s even an unofficial after party on Sunday.
Supercon is an experience, a little piece of hacker’s paradise in the middle of Pasadena.
Party with Hackaday
Let’s face it, the entire weekend will feel like a party. But as the talks and workshops wrap up each day we’ll transform into true party mode. On both Friday and Saturday we will have live sets from Hackaday favorites like Rich Hogben and DJ Jackalope. Interactive hacks, demos, and games will be on hand. Badge hacking will of course continue, and we’re sure spontaneous hijinks will come to life (ask last year’s attendees about this in the comments below).
This is your conference. The Hackaday community is filled with incredible people and the atmosphere at Supercon celebrates that aspect of everyone who makes the pilgrimage to this, the Ultimate Hardware Conference. To miss this is to miss something truly unique and really special. We can’t wait to see you all in November!