Holiday Special 20

Enter Your Holiday Project for a chance to win a tool kit bundle, shopping cart, and gifts to give to other members!

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The Project with the Most Heart Wins a Tool Kit Bundle, a $400 Shopping Cart, and a $100 Shopping Cart to Gift to Another Member! 


Let Us Know Your Holiday Season Project Ideas in the Comments Below!



The Grand Prize:

3 First Place Winners:

Gift to Keep: Multicomp Tool Kit (~$500 value) plus a $400 Shopping Cart!Gift to Give: A $100 Shopping Cart!Gift to Keep: Tool Kit Bundle + $100 Shopping Cart!Gift to Give: A $100 Shopping Cart!
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Enter Your Holiday Special 20 Project for a Chance to Win: Submit an EntrySubmit an Entry or tag your blog post HolidaySpecial20ch!


Contest Details:  Project14 | Holiday Special 20: Win Tool Kit Bundles, Shopping Carts, and Gifts to Give Others!



Here is the first batch (Projects 1-10) of Holiday Projects to Forget 2020 on Project14:



Get Inspired by Past Holiday Special Projects:




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Project 31: Connected Christmas Trees

Project 31: Connected Christmas Trees by ntewinkel:


Sometimes there's a lot more things to do than "some assembly" required would suggest during the holidays!


ntewinkel  picked up some LED Christmas tree kits with "some assembly required"...  The kit comes with 3 values for the LEDs: 330 ohm, 1k, and 2k. So I tried a few ways to balance out the brightness. Turns out the yellow is fine with 1k. The red seems correct with the 330 ohm resistor that was originally assigned to the green ones. But the 2k resistor in the kit is not enough for the green LEDs - he ended up bumping up to a 10k in the test above, and that looks much more balanced.


In what became known as the saga of motion sensors constantly sensing motion, ntewinkel  finally decided to swap out to using pushbuttons, but those also still continuously acted like the buttons were being pressed. He thought he might have burnt out a GPIO pin or something, the way it was behaving. Given that the motion sensors take 5v input, he did end up hooking up the button to 5v (not sure if he pressed one or not!), and then realized YIKES! the button needs to go to 3.3v for the GPIO to handle it.  So he tried hooking things up the same way I had it programmed on the Witty Wi-Fi - using the same GPIO as the Witty uses for the button and for the LEDs. That led him to wonder about the Wemos documentation that mentions pull-ups and pull-downs. He was thinking that meant the same as on the other Arduinos where you can, in code, specify input_pullup and pulldown.  HOWEVER, after looking at the schematics he saw that's not the case for the Wemos! On the Wemos they are actual physical external resistors, not programmable.


Connected Christmas Tree

"Connected Xmas Tree, excellent description, circuit, software and video." - Community Member Judge

"The project turned out really nice and all the steps were logged along the way" - Community Member Judge


Project 32: LED Firework Suite

Project 32: LED Firework Suite - the details by 14rhb :


The holidays are a time for festive lights and dazzling those who have meant so much to you throughout the year!


This started as nothing new, 14rhb  made and added to them over the last few years although he had to do some repairs and re-programming this year. The video starts with his LED fireworks. He made these using individual WS2811 RGB LEDs and soldered each together. They are mounted to arms (old fiberglass tent poles) and each arm is paralleled up. The effect is free running, controlled by a PIC16F1509 microcontroller and incorporates some randomness of delay and which pattern is selected. He actually wrote all that code in assembly language before he decided to move to the Microchip XC8 compiler. The rate of change after initial 'explosion' slows to create an effect of the particles being ejected and they also dim slightly in intensity as they move out. Note to anyone wanting to copy this: it is very tedious work, cutting those sections of wire, tinning them, soldering each in the jig. And in an unheated shed during winter it was very cold.


14rhb  added a few other effects to follow on from LED Fireworks - Festive Lights 2018 including an Arduino Uno powered effect with the initial streak as the rocket goes up. It’s his way of saying happy new year to everyone on Element14 (members and staff), and thanks for a great year of reading all your interesting and informative articles!


Following on from LED Fireworks - Festive Lights 2018  and LED Fireworks - Happy New Year this member made a variety of LED firework units and each is detailed in later sections; some units were started two years ago but have been modified and upgraded for this year. His submission is therefore a suite of projects rather than a single project.


LED Firework Suite

"What a fantastic project. The fireworks look so realistic, and they make an ideal display for the holidays celebrations. Hat off to Rod’s craftmanship for creating such a head-turner piece of tech-art!" - Community Member Judge



"It really does look like fireworks. Great job!" - Community Member Judge



Project 33: 2D xmas tree pcb art (components INSIDE the pcb)

Project 33: 2D xmas tree pcb art (components INSIDE the pcb) by designer2k2


Frohe Weihnachten!  Sometimes even the smallest things have the biggest heart!


Last year, designer2k2  gifted the community by showing us a 10x10 pcb tree. The overall height was only 1.6mm and all the components were inside the PCB.


The pcb itself is using pcb art technique to give the shape of a tree covered in snow and some snowflakes and ball ornaments.


He won the Heart Trophy when he was gifted a $100 shopping cart from another member!



2D xmas tree pcb art (components INSIDE the PCB)


The assembly video is in German so use caption for English:




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Project 34: Holiday Lights and Music Festival With Love and Cheer

Project 34: Holiday Lights and Music Festival With Love and Cheer by ipv1


The holidays are about creating memories by doing projects as a family!


Christmas is a very special time of the year for ipv1 and his family. Every year, their family creates memories by celebrating the holidays with a project they make together. Last year, after moving across the continent, his project was done on a budget. He started by procuring items from the dollar store and with a handful of components that he brought with him, they set out to build a mini Christmas festival. Their project consists of 2 parts which are intended to serve two different purposes. The first part is designed with the Raspberry Pi at the centre and Texas Instruments BLE lights as the end devices along with a sense hat for good measure. Python based web app allows for the control of colours for the budget tree as well as the jolly snowman. The second part employs two BBC:Micro bits talking to each other wirelessly and are allow for the control of a string of lights and a musical house.


Holiday Lights and Music Festival With Love and Cheer


Project 35: Mini LED Christmas Tree

Project 35: Mini LED Christmas Tree  by carmelito

The holidays when there's always a little time for a quick holiday projects and a learning circuit!


This quick project will get you in the festive mood. carmelito shows you how to make yourself a simple Mini LED Christmas Tree for your study table/computer desk.  So fire up the 3D printer and grab some LEDs.  He also suggests that you check out The Learning Circuit 02: Series & Parallel Circuits if you want to learn about parallel circuits!


Mini LED Christmas Tree

The beauty of this project lies in its simplicity. - Community Member Judge


Project 36:  Albero di(Gi) Natale

Project 36: Albero di(Gi) Natale by costantinorizzuti


Buone Feste!  The holidays are a great time to make something beautiful with an Arduino!


Albero di(Gi) Natale is the first project that costantinorizzuti made using Arduino. "Albero di Natale" means Christmas Tree in Italian. So the name has been created by the combination between "Albero digitale" and "Albero di Natale" and can be written down in both forms: Albero digi(Na)tale or Albero di(Gi) Natale. It is a small object (27cm x 23cm x 32cm): a sculpture, made of recycled materials (CD, copper and plastic pipes, electric cables, wood), equipped with LEDs controlled by Arduino. It is aimed at evoking the shape of a strange "exotic" tree decorated by Christmas decorations. It is a work in progress started in the fall of 2012 that currently has reached its final stage for the visual aspect. Arduino controls the lighting and the power off of the LEDs through a program that, in order to generate perceptually a periodic sequences, uses prime numbers for the computation of pulse lights intervals.


Albero di(Gi) Natale

"Very beautiful project, it makes one want to explore it from all angles! Impressive project based on that all-time classical component, the red LED! and Arduino." - Community Member Judge




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Project 37: Probably the best possible Christmas lights

Project 37: Probably the best possible Christmas lights by czmusg3jh56fh0jw&maa


The holiday's are a time for building displays that rival your neighbor's in raw nerdiness!


During Christmas 2016 czmusg3jh56fh0jw&maa  stared in awe at his neighbor's fabulous Christmas light display. They had moving trains, characters, music, it was amazing. There was an ice cream van. The next year, he resolved to build a display to rival theirs. Not in volume, watts, quality, charm or creativity, but in raw nerdiness. In November of 2017, unreasonably late, he ordered 80 metres of 30 led/meter WS2812B RGB LED tape. When it arrived he took a week off work and started soldering, wiring and writing code like a madman. He recorded progressive video logs as the deadline rushed closer. He shared videos detailing how the controllers talk to the LEDs, which protocols he used, and lots of other detail.


Probably the best possible Christmas lights


Project 38: Automatic christmas bell ringers.

Project 17: Automatic christmas bell ringers.  by danielw:


The holidays are a time for automating bell ringers using an Arduino!


After rummaging through many boxes of what his family unilaterally called 'junk', danielw  concluded that he needed to order some RC servos.  He could have bought a servo controller but he already had a couple of Arduino pro mini boards, so deciding to use one of them, he set to hacking. The project is based on his laptop running a Python program that interprets the musical sequence and outputs the commands over the same FT232 USB COM port as is used for programming the Arduino.  The Arduino receives the commands and moves the servos as required.


Automatic christmas bell ringers.

"I'm a sucker for Lego - clever and sounds great." - Community Member Judge

"Very lovely project, I like that it uses Lego, so kids can help in the assembly of the snowmen! It's really awesome, if I can find those bells then I want to build it too!" - Community Member Judge

"I found this to be a creative, fun and novel entry with a traditional Christmas theme. A clever build combining Lego and electronics that also involved family members." - Community Member Judge



"Fantastic project, involving Lego, bells, servos and lots of fun. If this project doesn't lift your Christmas spirit, nothing will!" - Community Member Judge

Project 39: Christmas Magic aka Advent Calendar on stereoids

Project 18: Christmas Magic aka Advent Calendar on steroids  by archiela


The holidays are a time for Advent Calendars and hiding chocolate behind each door!


This project is best described as a take/dream on Advent Calendar. We all know how these things typically work and we all have enjoyed them in our childhood. For those that don't know it is a way of tracking how many days are left util Christmas while eating getting to eat chocolate or cookies. Basically calendar starts on December 1st and goes until December 24th and there is chocolate hidden behind each door. You are supposed to open the door on each day  and get your chocolate - what an amazing way of waiting for Christmas. However, you are not supposed to open any future days! He always loved these things and one day while on a 5 hour driving trip with his wife, for whatever reason they started having this idea of building their own smart, fun advent calendar. They jotted all the ideas and requirements they wanted this to have and the project was born from the idea.


Christmas Magic aka Advent Calendar on stereoids

"This project ticked all boxes and is something I would like to build myself." - Community Member Judge

"This really embodied the concept of Merry Boxes and LEDs with a fun family build. The build was well explained and demonstrated in a fun video. I liked that it was built to be reusable year after year. To be honest, I was very close to giving the Grand prize to this project." - Community Member Judge

"This project offers a different take on the classic advent calendars. The quality of the build and the execution led to a great finished product, which would make the countdown to Christmas magical for any child (or adult!)." - Community Member Judge



"Wow - superbly executed project, it brought many smiles watching the videos of it in action." - Community Member Judge

"Xmas Magic, good description, great video." - Community Member Judge

Project 40:  Desktop Christmas Tree

Project 19: Desktop Christmas Tree  by jofas

The holidays are a time for adding much needed holiday cheer to your workspace!


jofas  will have a chance to remake his project with better features and we hope that he shares it with the rest of the community when he does.  His project was a small plastic Christmas tree that can sit on your desk to bring holiday cheer to your workspace. The lights have a "twinkle" effect to make your holidays even more magical.


Desktop Christmas Tree

"With a 3D printer, I would like to remake my project but with better features. You can see in my post (at the bottom) that I have an idea for how to make it better. Unfortunately, I had to use Shapeways to print this version and it was expensive! I have other project ideas that involve simple enclosures and I would rather print them at home than pay for every piece.


I am not sure yet what I would do with the STEAM kit. The best option seems to be to donate it to a local school but I would have to do some research to determine which school near me could use this. I know some schools have robotics clubs, they would probably benefit the most from receiving the STEAM kit.


I hope everyone has a wonderful 2018." - jofas



"This project was well documented, feely very much like a tutorial.  I reaaly liked the proof video, it almost made me fell like it was still Christmas." - Community Member Judge

"I liked the idea of a 3D Christmas tree, including a custom printed base and the tree itself. Simple, but elegant build also showed effort to create a custom made PCB and everything else to make it a "ready to be manufactured" product. I believe Joey spent many hours of learning with this project." - Community Member Judge

"Code and schematics available. Looks really great." - Community Member Judge