BSidesDFW HHV Soldering Challenge

The Soldering Challenge is an individual timed event that can be attempted at any time during the conference.

Contestants will have 8 minutes to solder together as many of the 16 components as possible on the provided PCB. Points will be awarded for each component successfully soldered and shown to be working and the end of the time limit.

The contestants with the three highest point scores will win prizes. In the case of tie scores Quality will serve as the tie breaker.

Prizes will be awarded at the closing ceremonies.

There are a total of 60 contest kits available on a first come first served basis.


PRIZES: Over $300 in Prizes to be distributed to the top three finishing points

  • The 1st Place Winner will get a Trophy and choice of one of prize kits below
  • The 2nd Place Winner will get choice of one of remaining prize kits below
  • The 3rd Place Winner will get the remaining prize kit below

Prize Kit A - IoT Hacker Prize

  • Book - The IoT Hacker's Handbook: A Practical Guide to Hacking the Internet of Things
  • Bus Pirate v3.6 - Universal Serial Interface
  • Logic Analyzer with 12 Test Hooks, USB Cable, 24MHz 8 Channel UART IIC SPI Debugger
  • NASA Logo Vintage Metal Lunch Box

Prize Kit B - Pi Pen Tester Prize

  • Book - Security Testing with Raspberry Pi
  • Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Kit with Pi, Case, Memory Card, HDMI Cable, and Heat Sinks
  • Raspberry Pi Zero W Starter Kit with Pi, Case, Power Supply, and HDMI Cable
  • Star Trek Vintage Metal Lunch Box

Prize Kit C - Arduino Hacker Prize

  • Book - Getting Started with Arduino
  • Book - Programming Arduino: Getting Started with Sketches 2nd ed.
  • Arduino UNO Project Basic Starter Kit with UNO R3 and Tutorial
  • Arduino Game Kits for Tetris and Snake with Sensor Modules and Tutorial
  • Star Wars Vintage Metal Lunch Box


These rules must be followed to avoid disqualification

  1. Each contestant may only attempt the soldering challenge one time. Once all the available contest kits are taken the contest will be closed to new contestants.
  2. No coaching or other assistance may be given. However, mocking, trash talking, and other distractions are welcome (within reason).
  3. Each contestant will be given a contest kit which includes a Printed Circuit Board and components.
    • The contest kit contains the following items that are required to be used (and cannot be substituted):
    • 1x Contest PCB - Circuit Board with component labels and point values printed on it
    • 1x Battery Holder 3xAAA (Note: Batteries not provided until submitted for judge scoring)
    • 3x Tactile Switches THT 4-pin
    • 5x 560 Ohm Resistors THT 2-pin Radial
    • 1x 330 Ohm Resistor SMD 1206
    • 1x 330 Ohm Resistor SMD 0805
    • 1x LED 5mm THT 2-pin
    • 1x LED 3mm THT 2-pin
    • 1x LED RGB 5mm THT 4-pin
    • 1x LED SMD 1206
    • 1x LED SMD 0805
  4. Each contestant will have no more than 8 minutes to solder as many components as possible to the PCB.
    • The contestant will be provided their contest kit at their assigned work station and time will start as soon as the kit is opened.
    • All unpackaging and other assembly tasks will be included in the 8 minutes time limit.
  5. The contestant will be provided with all the tools required and may not use their own tools.
    • Tools provided include a soldering iron, solder, helping hands, wire cutters, and tweezers.
    • Attempts to use other tools not provided for the challenge will result in disqualification.
  6. The contestant must work at the designated soldering area in the HHV under the supervision of a judge with a stop watch.
    • Attempts to avoid judge oversight will result in disqualification.
  7. Since this contest is about speed and not longevity we will not be judging the quality of the solder joints.
    • However components must be solidly attached to the PCB to where a light tug on a component will not dislodge or break the solder joint.
  8. All of the required components must have all leads make contact with and be soldered to the PCB to qualify for the component point value.
  9. All passive components (e.g. resistors, buttons) will only be awarded a score if their active component (e.g. LED) works properly when power is applied during judge scoring.
  10. When a contestant has completed or has been told to stop by the judge timing them, they will hand over their PCB for scoring.
    • The judge will apply power to the circuit and test and score the components.
    • After scoring the PCB will be provided back to the contestant to keep as a souvenir.
  11. Components that qualify for a score will be scored with the following point values:
    • J1 - 10 points
    • R1 - 5 points
    • R2 - 5 points
    • R3 - 15 points
    • R4 - 20 points
    • R5 - 5 points
    • R6 - 5 points
    • R7 - 5 points
    • S1 - 5 points
    • S2 - 5 points
    • S3 - 5 points
    • D1 - 10 points
    • D2 - 10 points
    • D3 - 30 points
    • D4 - 40 points
    • D5 - 25 points
    • 200 Points Available
  12. If a contestant completes the challenge before the 8 minute time is up it is their responsibility to notify the judge to stop the timer.
    • Each 1 second below the time limit counts as 1 extra point.
  13. In the event of a tie, judges will compare the quality of the solder joints to award additional points to break the tie.
    • Photos will be taken of the PCBs during scoring to allow for a tie breaker comparison to take place without the contestants being present.
  14. Contestants will need to provide their name or handle (to be written on the PCB during scoring)
    • This is used for recording of their score which will be ranked and publicly visible in the HHV.
    • The winners will be announced at the contest awards ceremony.
  15. Contestants must be present at the awards ceremony to take possession of any prize they may have won.
    • A contestant who will not be available can make arraignments with the HHV for an alternate to pick up their prize.
    • If a contestant or alternate is not available then the prize will be awarded to the next best recorded score holder who is available