Re-created instructions for DEF CON Jack kit; now beginner friendly.

by mediumrehr

02 August 2018

Many a trinkets have been popping up at DEF CON. However over the last few years a constant figure has been the DEF CON Jack kit. This neat little kit is available directly from the DEF CON Swag booth. It is in the shape of the iconic smiley face and crossbones, with RGB LED eyes that change color based on ambient temperature.

While it is advertised as a 1 out of 5 difficulty, we stand firm that this is not the case. Especially with the sparse instructions. The focal point, the LEDs, use a very tight pitch (space between the pins) which makes it incredibly difficult to solder for most beginners. In addition, the included instructions do not call out part orientation; something that a true beginner may not realize.

Because of these facts, we have recreated the paper manual, added our own details for beginners, and will have copies on hand at DEF CON for people to reference. We focused specifically on the LEDs, since those are the most difficult for a beginner. In our manual is a handful of suggestions and processes to clear out bridged pins.