The 555 gives life to the CarolinaCon badge

For the electronic badge aficionado, the past two years have been something of a famine. While the pandemic may not be over yet, we will learn to live with it in 2022, and there is the prospect of a flood of new badges even if not all events are personal yet. The first to reach us is the Carolinacon Online 2 badge, a fairly simple affair that we’re obviously very happy with because it contains the only chip guaranteed to get you through the semiconductor shortage, an NE555 timer. It’s got it all, a blinking LED, and that’s it, because with the best will in the world, a 555 isn’t a powerhouse on its own. It fits as a memento and way to support the event, but it’s fair to say this isn’t an electronic masterpiece.

Carolinacon Online 2 launches on Friday, April 29 and includes a schedule of conversations and a set of merch including the badge. When you think of past Carolinacon badges, this event has always taken the simple yet effective route. For example, the version they produced in 2021 had a hidden message behind the screen printing, revealed through clever placement of LEDs controlled by an ATtiny microcontroller.

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