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  • saxdr
    replied
    Re: HHV review

    Kudos to all the folks who helped run the HHV. I had a blast! I hope someone put the 2.4 GHz phones I brought to some good use. They were all functional before I came to the con . . . Alas, they gave their circuit boards so that badges could get hacked and a new generation of hackers could begin their rise to solder sultanhood. :P

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  • charliex
    replied
    Re: HHV review

    *Yes some of the soldering irons sucked, yes they were all donated/loaned. We do this on a zero budget. If you would like to see better gear next year, please help us out by bringing some better gear to use/lend.
    So since I mentioned it, I scored 3 Weller WM120's for next year (and the following hopefully). They're a (baby blue) minature/superfine 12W 800F tip ( so a bit hotter than the usual 600F i like) but they work great.

    Its hard to do a lot of damage with them because they're so small, he says confidently....

    If i score any metcal's, i'm keeping them ;)

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  • A
    replied
    Re: HHV review

    Big thanks to everyone involved, both officially and those that jumped in to help.

    A few points:

    *Yes some of the soldering irons sucked, yes they were all donated/loaned. We do this on a zero budget. If you would like to see better gear next year, please help us out by bringing some better gear to use/lend.
    *The power was sub-optimal. Defcon didn't get the usual supply of power strips they usually do due to various and sundry events. Shouldn't be the case next year.
    *Layout of the room/Cramped room/Not enough tables. We were lucky enough to get a double skybox this year, easy to forget that we were in half the space last year. Near zero chance we will get more space while Defcon is at the Riv, but we can try to get the tables in a better configuration for next year. Ideas?
    *Tables linen. Next year first order of business is to remove the table cloths, fold them, and put them in a nice stack. Last order of business: put them back on the tables.

    Once again, this year the HHV was awesome, everything went well (thanks volunteers!) and I think that everyone had a great time. Keep posting if you have ideas, or drop me a PM if you think of something post thread lock and we will see what we can do for next year.

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  • nivin
    replied
    Re: HHV review

    I also want to echo how fantastic HHV was this year. I think everyone there was willing to share bits and tools, which was pretty damn cool. I don't know if it is possible, but the black linens on the table seemed to just get destroyed, while the tables underneath look like they are meant to be a workspace. Is it necessary to have the linens on them? I saw a few moments when someones project was moved by the person on the other side accidentally pulling the linen. If it saves Defcon money, leave them off the main workstations, and maybe just keep them on the tables near the first door for the tutoring folks? Of course it could be the Riv's policy so ignore me if that's the case. :)

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  • krux
    replied
    Re: HHV review

    I didn't get to spent as much time in the HHV as I would have liked, but the time I was in there I was pretty impressed with the setup. A vast improvement over last year.

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  • afterburn188
    replied
    Re: HHV review

    Originally posted by martinbogo View Post
    The hardware hacking village was _great_ this year. Suggestions? Perhaps a simple cubby hole setup to store stuff (plastic bins) between days. We'll definitely need more space. Table space was at a premium this time around.

    Oh, and the U shape was non-optimal. I think two or three rows of tables would be preferable to get maximum use of the room.
    The U shape was setup that way when we showed up on Friday morning. It's the same as it was the previous year. While maybe we could have fit two more tables to extend the U, I felt like this years setup was much nicer than last years and worked great. The open area was great for those who wanted to gather and talk and extension of the tables would be greatly shrink this. It also gave the desk furthest from the LPV room to have people crowd around (especially during any number of Smitty's much appreciated rants/lectures/musings). As for all the requests for irons with better tips, I personally think people should be a bit more grateful for what was brought. Many of the irons were volunteers and visitors own personal irons. I rarely heard anyone walking up and thanking the volunteers for using their nice irons which they opted to hold behind the desk, or even for the ones on the tables. A few people actually bought irons just to throw out on the table. If you want more irons then by all means please bring more out

    Okay obligatory thanking post:

    I would like to thank Hackajar and Vegas 2.0 for their gracious assistance in storing the left overs from this year. Even at the last minute the arrangement was made to make it possible for the supplies to carry over. Big thanks to MBI and all the others who donated the spare parts!

    I would like to thank LosT, Russ, Grifter, etc who secured the HHV all the space it got. Having double the room was simply amazing. It made the village seem less like a sweat shop and more like a workshop.

    I would like to thank A for his great organizational skills in pulling all the volunteers together and keeping the village running.

    I would like to thank Kampf and Phorkus for being great goons and donating their time. Kampf - you kept things amusing even during the down times. What ever happened to the giant cap from the camera flash? Thanks for organizing and taking care of all the impromptu talks! Phorkus thanks for facilitating the Paypal stripping demo, it was truly something unique and unexpected to see! You made sure that the village stayed alive and kicking.

    Big thanks goes to Bombnav and Ryan for bringing all the supplies and tools they did. Thanks to LosT who donated the started boards. Between the three contribution I watched happily as many a youngster came up and soldered for the first time. There was a very young kid who came up to Ryan on the first day with his dad after purchasing the kit that was for sale and asked for help getting started. His dad was a software guy so the group got the two of them started. We saw the two of them every single day and each day the kids just absorbed more and more. It was things like that which made volunteering worth every moment.

    Finally a huge thanks to SugarDaddy, TieShort and his BlackBoxs, Smitty and his uber uber badge, Bombnav and his SMT soldering wife, VoltageSpike and his Radio Shack kits, and to Ryan and his endless supply of random things. Without all of you the time spent at the HHV would not have been as good. Many great memories, happy to see familiar faces and great to make new friends. You all made my con experience a great one and I look forward to working with you all again next year.

    Please people, if you see any of these people, buy them a beer! They really went out of their way to make sure your experience was one to remember.
    Last edited by afterburn188; August 5, 2009, 19:24. Reason: edit

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  • martinbogo
    replied
    Re: HHV review

    I definitely think I'll be bringing the metcal, hot rework station, and a toaster oven modified to do SMT work for DC18. Especially if I have the opportunity to work on the DC18 badge (which would naturally mean bowing out of the hacking competition)...

    The hardware hacking village was _great_ this year. Suggestions? Perhaps a simple cubby hole setup to store stuff (plastic bins) between days. We'll definitely need more space. Table space was at a premium this time around.

    Oh, and the U shape was non-optimal. I think two or three rows of tables would be preferable to get maximum use of the room.

    -Dr Volts

    Leave a comment:


  • kampf
    replied
    Re: HHV review

    I spent a lot more time there than I was scheduled to, but it was time well spent. The layout was far better than last year, when I helped with some of the setup. More tables would be nice, but the standing room was also very important at times, especially when Phorkus was assisting with the PayPal stripdown and with Smitty's omnibadge demonstrations.

    I was impressed by all of the volunteers including but not limited to, bombnav, afterburn188, Ryan, Smitty, and all others who I didn't get to speak too much.

    Thanks to A and Phorkus for helping with the management of getting doors opened, closed, water, trash, projectors.

    Thanks to Major Malfunction, DCFlux, and every other presenter who gave of their time and skill to enlighten us all.

    Sorry to those who were soldering when the lights went out :)

    Also thanks to scorche, afterburn188, and anyone else who donated hardware for use by HHV attendees.

    Thanks also to Russ for, first, getting HHV established, then getting us more space.

    Thanks also to DT, Charel, Teresa, Grifter, Joe Grand, LosT, and all others who had a hand in the concept, execution, and realization of the HHV for DC17.

    Leave a comment:


  • bombnav
    replied
    Re: HHV review

    I had as much fun helping assemble those kits. BTW you were only 1 of 2 that I saw doing the full SMT. Good Job on that. I have some ideas for next year now I just need to find a bag of cash to get it rolling. Lighting is def an issue esp with the talks and SMT. I will keep on the lookout for some lights througout the year as well as some irons. But the ghetto style we use is almost part of the fun, true hacked up stuff with what you have on hand. Heck we almost need a sponsor but with that comes issues that could take away from the spirt of the HHV.

    LosT the SMT practice key chain was fantastic. Hopefully we can get that again next year as I think I must have help over 50 people or more do up one of those little gems.





    Originally posted by codefodder View Post
    I would definitely have to say that things were done very well in the HHV. I spent many more hours there than I planned, partly due to kit assembly issues and partly due to enjoying what I was doing despite those issues. Since I brought none of my own tools and still ended up with a fully-functioning Propeller kit, I must say everyone did a great job of stocking things and helping get the new people going. A big thanks to bombnav (and Mrs.) and TieShort for getting me from start to finish through all the hiccups.

    The only things that could be improved are the hardest to do: more irons with sharper tips, more space to work, better lighting at those spaces, and a longer weekend. I will definitely be bringing my own toolbox for next year so I can work after hours in my room. I didn't even get to badge hacking this year since I really wanted my kit working before I left such a great collection of talented, helpful people.

    Not that it really belongs here, but in case anyone else ends up stuck on a non-functioning Propeller kit, here are the errata in those kit instructions that seemed to trap people:
    • The second IC (the smaller one above the main chip) is shown upside down in the image; just align the one-pin marks and you will be fine.
    • The crystal isn't shown as a step until after it magically shows up on the board. I am fairly certain you want it on there and mine works great with it in place.
    • The USB header is attached upside down on the board in one of the pics. I doubted my SMT soldering abilities and redid them all to through-hole (and it still wasn't working) when bombnav told me about that little gem.

    Leave a comment:


  • codefodder
    replied
    Re: HHV review

    I would definitely have to say that things were done very well in the HHV. I spent many more hours there than I planned, partly due to kit assembly issues and partly due to enjoying what I was doing despite those issues. Since I brought none of my own tools and still ended up with a fully-functioning Propeller kit, I must say everyone did a great job of stocking things and helping get the new people going. A big thanks to bombnav (and Mrs.) and TieShort for getting me from start to finish through all the hiccups.

    The only things that could be improved are the hardest to do: more irons with sharper tips, more space to work, better lighting at those spaces, and a longer weekend. I will definitely be bringing my own toolbox for next year so I can work after hours in my room. I didn't even get to badge hacking this year since I really wanted my kit working before I left such a great collection of talented, helpful people.

    Not that it really belongs here, but in case anyone else ends up stuck on a non-functioning Propeller kit, here are the errata in those kit instructions that seemed to trap people:
    • The second IC (the smaller one above the main chip) is shown upside down in the image; just align the one-pin marks and you will be fine.
    • The crystal isn't shown as a step until after it magically shows up on the board. I am fairly certain you want it on there and mine works great with it in place.
    • The USB header is attached upside down on the board in one of the pics. I doubted my SMT soldering abilities and redid them all to through-hole (and it still wasn't working) when bombnav told me about that little gem.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dcept905
    replied
    Re: HHV review

    Had an awesome time in the HHV! I had a bit of a rough time soldering SMD 0402 components hung over w/ the soldering irons in there, but I'm bringing my own next year to solve that. The only thing that bothered me about the room is that nearly every time I'd get up to ask advice, grab a part real quick or w/e somebody would swoop in on the seat and start working on something right on top of my project... not a big deal, one of us always ended up moving, it was just a bit of a pain when trying to rush and cram as much as you can in the day before 6 rolls around. Everybody in there was really helpful, especially "Freescale Guy." I'll be back in there (and much more prepared) next year for sure! :D

    Cheers!

    Leave a comment:


  • TieShort
    replied
    Re: HHV review

    As one who saw the work put in, I want to first put in a great shout out to BombNav, and Ms BombNav who put in a whole days of soldering. They really put a ton of work in, and deserve a ton of recognition and appreciation for the work they did.

    A chance to sit down in LPV would be greatly appreciated, as I got to pop my head, and not a really chance to put my hands on anything.

    I am working up some ideas for next year, hopefully they will address a few of these points. Thanks for the input.

    Leave a comment:


  • charliex
    replied
    Re: HHV review

    Thats a great idea, a lot of us were sitting talking about the LPV too, i'd be up for it.

    I figured the time constraints were just that, very long days for the volunteers and scheduling.

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  • afterburn188
    replied
    Re: HHV review

    Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
    great, great job all around. i had kicked around a proposal one afternoon with the people next door and perhaps they'll find it appealing... setting aside one hour on just one day when the villages get totally closed, and in this time the core team from HHV can come to LPV to have private lessons, then we all wander over to the other box and reverse the process. it's a shame to be next to you for 60+ hours and never really getting the chance to learn some of what you have to offer.
    I for one would really like that idea. I honestly have not had a chance to do anything more than a quick peak in at the LPV. The only time I've gotten LP time was at Shmoocon (which the help there was pretty kick ass) so to me, I'd love the idea of getting some time in at the LPV. Then maybe when the LPV guys come over to the HHV we can start working on the designs for that "sonic lock-imaging" device some of us joked about over the weekend

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  • Deviant Ollam
    replied
    Re: HHV review

    Originally posted by charliex View Post
    also if entirely possible, later than 6/6:30 closing, i realise this is probably just out of the org's hands.
    it is out of the hands of people if there is a party in their skybox in the evening. and even if there isn't, i must say that hours any longer than what we saw this year are absolute murder on the village staff. at least that's how it is on our side of the wall... spending 90% of your time answering the same half dozen questions over and over and over and over can kill people pretty dead after about eight solid hours. while the most visual of the team members in all villages are likely doing more varied things, the support staff (who deserve so much praise and love) are almost dead on their feet when 6 PM rolls around.

    at that time you then shift into clean up mode (never before have i consistently seen the skyboxes open every morning on time, looking picture perfect, and with all gear back in proper positions.) so at least a full hour after the "official" close of a skybox the staff is still in there, doing grunt work and being interrupted every 60 seconds by con attendees sticking their heads in asking "how do i mod my Tivo" or "so what's with all this lockpicking type stuff... is that really possible like on the tee vee shows?"

    then after that they have to find a way to throw a meal into their face, shower, and maybe get to sit in their room quietly to collect their head for 15 to 30 minutes before getting dressed and meeting people for party planning.

    we've been doing things for a few years now in the LP Village and still don't have it perfect yet when it comes to organizing staff, schedules, gear, etc... i have no idea how the Hardware Hack people can pull off what they do so well... they have electricity and toxic fumes to contend with on top of everything else.

    great, great job all around. i had kicked around a proposal one afternoon with the people next door and perhaps they'll find it appealing... setting aside one hour on just one day when the villages get totally closed, and in this time the core team from HHV can come to LPV to have private lessons, then we all wander over to the other box and reverse the process. it's a shame to be next to you for 60+ hours and never really getting the chance to learn some of what you have to offer.

    Leave a comment:

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