Security conferences have had such a massive impact on where I am today. The first conference I went to was Platypuscon, where I spent most of the day learning with hands on workshops. I was hooked and proceeded to go to as many as I could, assuming my wallet allowed it. I am now fortunate enough to give back.

After my keyboard workshop at TuskCon, I was heavily encouraged to submit a soldering workshop at BSides Melbourne (thanks Lukasz). During this weekend I was fortunate enough to collaborate with the amazing Josh Johnson to bring forward a workshop to learn soldering. With the amazing work Josh put in building and designing hardware behind the miniature macropad we were able to provide over 30 people a fun and safe project to practice soldering on. It was a ball.


The Workshop

Throughout the day attendees were able to build a 3 button + 1 encoder (volume knob) from a series of different parts. Unfortunately due to the nature of the build, the hardest parts to solder were at the start, but it slowly became easier after that. Starting with a blank PCB attendees soldered the following:

  • 1x reset button
  • 3x SMD RGB underglow LEDs
  • 4x diodes (either through hole or SMD)
  • 1x Sea-Picro
  • 3x switches
  • 1x rotary encoder



Overall, we had a range of different soldering experience with first-timers being the most common. Fortunately we had plenty of interest with very little time without all soldering stations being used. Thank you Josh for being a great team mate on this one, can’t wait for the next project! Thank you everyone who came to check it out, this was certainly a first for myself but it won’t be the last of my contributions to a conference. Finally, thank you BSides Melbourne organisers, I can’t imagine the pain was caused in 2020 but as I’m sure you’re aware, everyone is so incredibly grateful.