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Parallax Insider News

Helping out with r00tz Asylum at DEFCON 21

  • By: Emily Kurze Published: 19 August, 2013 0 comments

At the beginning of August, Jessica and I made our second trip back to DEFCON. You may recall that last year Parallax manufactured 16,000 electronic badges for the conference. This year, we supported the r00tz Asylum (formerly known as DEFCON Kids) custom badges. r00tz Asylum is an organization geared towards teaching young hackers the technology skills to help them have a positive influence on the world around them.

Before the arrival of the younger attendees, Jessica and I pitched in, helping to hand-manufacture electronic badges for the kids. There was a pretty impressive assembly line of volunteers doing everything from solder-pasting boards, to hand placing hundreds of surface mount components all the way to cooking the boards on a hot plate. The night of board manufacturing was long but we did make some new friends and gained a newfound appreciation for our Pick and Place machine and reflow oven back in Rocklin.

The next day we assisted with some board re-work and also helped teach the r00tz kids to do through-hole soldering. This next generation of hardware hackers and security experts were pretty talented and picked up soldering in no time.

After helping out at r00tz we were able to check out some of the contests, vendors and even caught a talk or two. All in all a great week and we can’t wait for next year.