• Pirate Puzzle

The Pirate Puzzle RGBPP Badge Addon 

An fun but optional part of the Pirate Puzzle at DC31 

Pirates didn't have a suite at DEF CON 31 this year. Instead, they have a puzzle.

To go along with the puzzle is the Pirate Puzzle badge.


  • Is not actually a puzzle itself (...yet), but can be used as part of the Pirate Puzzle
  • Gives you a big glowing PP at night, by default a rainbow PP
  • People can plug wires into different parts of your PP and it may change colors
  • Has a big black 28-pin DIP ... microcontroller
  • There are 8 bits of white data that shoot out after someone touches your PP wires
  • Really fancy trace work on the top layer (and it's only a 2 layer board)

For more information. see https://dc31.whiskeypirates.com

When firmware updates are available, they will be at the linked website.
Firmware updates require a TTL UART.
If you don't have one, a USB TTL UART adapter is cheap and easy to get.

Here's the schematic.

Additional notes:

  • The PP is meant to be an addon, not a badge. Yeah, it has holes for a lanyard, but that's really meant for hanging it on a wall after con.
  • RGBLED will only work on very fresh AAA cells. For longer life, use a lithium primary (1.5V or 3V OK) or recharable lithium AAA cell.
  • For a brighter PP, solder the addon connector and place your PP as an addon to another badge.
  • Note: due to a firmware bug, version 2 and earlier units LEDs may turn off when plugging in your PP to other badges.
  • The Whiskey Pirates 2023 badge solder kit is a simplified version of the Pirate Puzzle.

Purchase includes fully assembled Pirate Puzzle (except the addon connector, you can solder that yourself).

Please note: the power switch is a weak point in the design.
If wearing as a badge, be careful as impacts can break the switch.
If hanging on a wall or for casual presentation, the switch should be reliable.

Circuit, layout and design by true

Assembly by true and rCON

Code by true

Sales of Pirate Puzzle at DC31, and on this site, help fund the Pirate Puzzle,
including the free handout of Whiskey Pirates DC31 badges.

Pirate Puzzle

  • Brand: trueControl
  • Product Code: tc-dc31-pp
  • Availability: 4
  • $60.00

Tags: true, badge, pirate, puzzle, dc31