Bio photo

Dan Nixon

Code Monkey, Electronics Engineer, Mad Scientist.

Dilbert interactive badges

By Dan Nixon on 2016-07-09

A while ago after the organisers of EMF announced that they may not be able to manufacture the Tilda Mk.π I started designing my own badge for the sake of still having a cool badge for the event.

The board is based on the ESP8266 WiFi radio in the ESP12 (or ESP12-E) module and has a 2.2" colour display, basic D-pad + A/B buttons for input and a row of NeoPIxels (because why not). There is also headers to add other stuff on the UART, i2c bus or remaining pins on the shift register.

There is a simple application framework and loader that allows switching between several "apps" that can run on the badge in a UI kind of similar to the Tilda Mk.e, however apps are restricted to running in the foreground.

The badge does draw a fair bit of power when using all the features (particularly WiFi and NeoPixels) so may not even last all day on a ~800mAh battery (which I plan on running it on at EMF), but all in all I'm quite happy with it considering the design was thrown together in a few days and not all of it was even tested before the boards were ordered.

I had a small (8 board) batch ordered for a few people that showed interest in them and spend a couple of days assembling the fine SMD components, all that was left to do was add the ESP12 module, display and NeoPixels.

Code, CAD files and documentation can all be found here:

Board design

Board design

The board design in Eagle.

First look video

A "short" look at the badge and firmware