My first infosec con was the first ShmooCon, in 2005. Then I went to Black Hat and DEFCON. Then ShmooCon again. Then Vegas again. And before long, I had a whole lot of badges cluttering up drawers.

Probably a code violation. (Circuit breakers are behind these doors).

Probably a code violation. (Circuit breakers are behind these doors).

In 2010 I won, as part of the ShmooCon crypto contest, a stuffed moose head for the wall (“But not a real moose head, that’s cruel 🎶”). So I started hanging the badges from that, and it followed me from office to office for a while. By the time I moved into a home office, I had far too many badges to hang from the moose and so I moved them to nails on top of my circuit breaker doors. Which is probably a violation of several building and safety codes. So back in May of 2014, I decided to correct the situation.

Next to the breakers, and above my desk, was a large empty wall. Which seemed like a great place to display the badges. After some thought, I decided that I could hang the badges from thin rods, like curtain rods. I briefly considered leaving the lanyards attached, but that didn’t look like it’d really be too great, and though I didn’t want to hide the lanyards completely, I also didn’t want them to clutter the display.

What I decided to do was to hang the badges directly from rods, attaching them loosely with cable ties, and to hang the lanyards from the posts which support the rods. That way they’re still there, and …kind of… visible if you look for them, but not making it hard to see the badges themselves.

Post dimensions.

Post dimensions.

The rods themselves are simple wooden dowels, 34” in diameter, spray painted with several coats of black paint. The posts which support the rods are 1” dowels, cut it into 3” lengths. Using my router table and a 34” roundover bit, I cut a semicircular notch in the side of the post, centered about 12” from the end. The position of the notch was selected specifically so that ShmooBalls could rest between the rod and wall. Finally, the posts are attached to the wall using double-ended screws, straight into wall studs. The rods just sit in the notch on the posts with no fasteners, which makes it easy to pull the rods down and slide badges around as I need to compress the space more.

Posts, with notch routed out and double-ended screw for mounting.

Posts, with notch routed out and double-ended screw for mounting.

I haven’t been to as many cons the last couple of years (only one con this calendar year, sadly) so at least it’s not filling up as quickly as it was before. I think I can also put a couple of short bars to the right, over the circuit breakers, and even on the adjacent wall to the left if need be. I made a couple extra sets of posts, so I will have a ready-made template handy when I need to make more. The bottom rod has “extra” badges (some were gifts, some mementos from cons I’ve solved puzzles from “remotely”, etc). This will probably be the first collection to move up and to the right, when the time comes. I might also separate out the speaker badges to a different rod, but I think I prefer them mixed in with everything else.

The current display (plus the Moose Head on the left)

The current display (plus the Moose Head on the left)