DEF CON 24 Cigar Mic Spectrum Analyzer

About a month before this year’s DEF CON, I stumbled upon AND!XOR’s DEFCON 24 Bender Badge on Inspired by their work, and their mention of wanting people to hack their badge, I set out to create an add-on. I ended up making a PCB cigar for Bender, equipped with a microphone and preamp. I wrote new firmware to repurpose the badge as a spectrum analyzer (20-20kHz) in order to have the badge react to music and speech. It was an exciting journey that included reversing the size of the badge from pictures, finishing proving out of the concept after hardware was set to fab, and creating my hack without having the badge to test on.

short gif of the cigar mic in action

I wrote up a much more detailed explanation of how I did it all in this IDEO Lab’s Post. Files for the hack (PCB files, BOM, and firmware) are up on github. Below is a video of cigar mic in action with the bender badge running new firmware, and some pictures from the process.

Initial circuit prototype initial circuit prototype

Testing PCB prototype (after files were already sent for fabrication) testing PCB prototype

Testing the final PCB before receiving the badge testing final cigar mic

Final PCB cigar mic final PCB cigar mic

Written on November 30, 2016