Joe grand origin story

Circuit Break Podcast #73

Joe Grand: The Origin Story

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June 23, 2017, Episode #73

Guest Joe Grand aka "Kingpin" discusses the beginnings of DEF CON electronic badges.
  • Joe Grand
    • Also known as Kingpin
    • Computer engineer, hardware hacker, product designer, teacher, advisor, runner, daddy, honorary doctor, TV host, member of legendary hacker group L0pht Heavy Industries
    • Proprietor of Grand Idea Studio.
    • Our first guest to have a Wikipedia page
    • Has been creating, exploring, and manipulating electronic systems since the 1980s.
  • Parker and Joe met each other at the unofficial propeller expo in Sacramento. This what right around the time MacroFab was starting in 2013.
    • Joe “flew” Ken’s brand new quadcopter
    • IRC channel #tymkrs on afternet
  • Joe first discovered the hacker world at 7 years old in 1982.
  • First online name was “black ninja” then went to fbi agent, astro zombie, autovon, the youth, before settling on Kingpin.
  • Joe’s first hardware hack he remembers was the Ring Busy Device – you can still use the phone, but if someone called, it would give a busy signal. Built with circuit board from Radio Shack kit. Came with switch so he could turn it on and off.
  • DEF CON badges – what’s the history?
    • Joe is friends with the Jeff Moss aka Dark Tangent for a long time through bulletin board systems
      • Joe had been giving talks for DEF CON for a long time and was approached by Jeff to make an electronics badge
    • Before e-badges they had Laser cut , acrylic badge, liquid filled badge
    • First electronic badge ran on a PIC10f202
    • Badge hacking contest – 20 people hacked the first time
    • DEF CON 14-18 were years that Joe tried to challenge and one up himself
    • DEF CON 14 Badge
    • DEF CON 15 Badge
    • DEF CON 16 Badge
    • DEF CON 17 Badge
    • DEF CON 18 Badge
  • Tooth tunes hack
  • The MacroFab Meetup in Houston is next week!
Figure 1: Joe Grand showing off some MacroFab swag in what looks like his electronics lab!

Figure 1: Joe Grand showing off some MacroFab swag in what looks like his electronics lab!

About the Hosts

Parker dillmann
  Parker Dillmann

Parker is an Electrical Engineer with backgrounds in Embedded System Design and Digital Signal Processing. He got his start in 2005 by hacking Nintendo consoles into portable gaming units. The following year he designed and produced an Atari 2600 video mod to allow the Atari to display a crisp, RF fuzz free picture on newer TVs. Over a thousand Atari video mods where produced by Parker from 2006 to 2011 and the mod is still made by other enthusiasts in the Atari community.

In 2006, Parker enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin as a Petroleum Engineer. After realizing electronics was his passion he switched majors in 2007 to Electrical and Computer Engineering. Following his previous background in making the Atari 2600 video mod, Parker decided to take more board layout classes and circuit design classes. Other areas of study include robotics, microcontroller theory and design, FPGA development with VHDL and Verilog, and image and signal processing with DSPs. In 2010, Parker won a Ti sponsored Launchpad programming and design contest that was held by the IEEE CS chapter at the University. Parker graduated with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Spring of 2012.

In the Summer of 2012, Parker was hired on as an Electrical Engineer at Dynamic Perception to design and prototype new electronic products. Here, Parker learned about full product development cycles and honed his board layout skills. Seeing the difficulties in managing operations and FCC/CE compliance testing, Parker thought there had to be a better way for small electronic companies to get their product out in customer's hands.

Parker also runs the blog, longhornengineer.com, where he posts his personal projects, technical guides, and appnotes about board layout design and components.

Stephen Kraig
  Stephen Kraig

Stephen Kraig began his electronics career by building musical oriented circuits in 2003. Stephen is an avid guitar player and, in his down time, manufactures audio electronics including guitar amplifiers, pedals, and pro audio gear. Stephen graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University.

Special-thanks-to-whixr-over-at-Tymkrs-for-the-intro-and-outro!

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