Holiday Special 19

Enter Your Holiday Season Project for a Chance to Win Over $20,000 Worth of Prizes and Gifts to Give!

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Gift to Keep: Tektronix Oscilloscope and Application Bundle!Gift to Give: Tool Kit Bundle + $100 Shopping Cart!Gift to Keep: A Tool Kit Bundle + $100 Shopping Cart!Gift to Give: A $100 Shopping Cart!
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Enter Your Project for a Chance to Win:  Holiday Special 19 or tag your blog post HolidaySpecial19CH


We're doing a round up of 30 projects from previous Holiday Special project competition.  The third annual Holiday Special 19 is an open-ended holiday project competition that challenges you to make a project that reflects what the holidays mean to you. We're asking the community members to spread mirth and merry to the world through projects that use music, LED Displays, Nixie Pixels, Strobe Lights, Fog Machines, or anything else that puts you in a celebratory mood.  Your project can also be a "From Me to You" project, a thoughtful projects that's made with others in mind.  It can be inspired by gifts, food, or cards exchanged during the holidays. Or you could focus on electronic ways of sending the warmest wishes to friends and family - could be an electronic greetings card, a way to automatically email or use RF transmission to link up via video etc.  It can also be a fun project that's made in the holiday spirit such as a snow globe that will warn you of inclement weather conditions, voice-activated ornaments, jazzed up holiday cards, LED decorations - anything that means the holidays to you.  Your project can be related to Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Festivus for the rest of us related!  It can even be a Star Wars project, if you only believe in the Force.


The only thing that we ask is that your holiday project shows heart!  The project that shows the most heart wins a Tektronix Oscilloscope and Application bundle (~value of $18,500) plus a tool kit (~value of $325) to gift to another member for their project.  Three first place winners will receive a will receive a tool kit bundle (~value of $225) along with a $100 shopping cart as well as a $100 shopping cart to give to another member for their projects.  All Gift to Gives can be given to any member that submitted a project in either Holiday Special 19 or the RF (Radio Frequency) which will be happening at the same time.  Throughout the month we'll have holiday round ups of previous projects submitted during previous Holiday Special competitions!  You can use those as inspiration for submitting a Holiday project that is unique to you.  Also,  check out our Engineer and Maker's Wish List 2019 in the Members area and share your product Wishlist and find links to element14 presents product giveaways to collect more tools to help deck out your bench!


Your project will be judged based on the following criteria:


  • Follow the Steps - Did you show the steps it took you to complete the project (text, video, or images) and did you include documentation such as schematics?
  • Submit Video Proof - Did you post video proof of you project?
  • Stick to the Theme - How well did your project stick to the theme (any holiday project) of the competition?
  • Demonstrate Originality - Was your project your original?  Did you come up with a clever name for their project?


Visit Contest Details:  Project14 | Holiday Special 19: Over $20,000 Worth of Prizes and Gifts to Give!


Also, visit RF (Radio Frequency) where you can Win a Spectrum Analyzer for the Most Innovative RF Project!  As well as more cool products and shopping carts you can fill with more goodies:



The Grand Prize for RF (Radio Frequency)

3 First Place Winners for RF (Radio Frequency)

One Grand Prize Winner Wins Spectrum Analyzer plus a $200 Shopping Cart!

3 First Place Winners Win a Handheld Oscilloscope plus a $100 Shopping Cart!

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Enter Your Project for a Chance to Win:  RF (Radio Frequency) or tag your blog post RFradiofrequencyCH


Here is the first batch (Projects 1-6) of the Ghost of Past Holiday Past on Project14:



Get Inspired by Past Holiday Special Projects:



The Projects:


Project 1: Empty RGB XMAS Tree by  designer2k2


The holidays are a time for Doing-It-Yourself and making Small Things beautiful!


The LED rings are held by the copper wires that connect them, it is empty on the inside! The WS2812 RGB LED allows almost infinite colors and patterns to be created The code and a little guide can be found on Github


Empty RGB XMAS Tree



Project 2: LED fade in/out effect by kk99


The holidays are a time when simple also means special!


The basic idea was to create a simple LED fade in/out effect circuit. kk99 used a single dual op-amp NJM4556 which first stage is configured in comparator mode and the second stage is configured as integrator. Triangular wave from integrator output is used to drive four LEDs. NJM4556 op-amp is able to deliver around 70 mA. It is enough to drive four LEDs with current 10 mA for each. Frequency of circuit is set to around 0.5 Hz. In his post you can find a schematic and details on the circuit, as well as, amplitude and frequency calculations.


LED Fade In/Out Effect
"A simple but effective analog device for LED lighting effects." - Community Member Judge

"A simple but effective analog device for LED lighting effects." - Community Member Judge



"This was a nice simple circuit but which gave a really useful output. Could be used for system testing or in this case just flickering an LED nicely. Simple but effective and not a TTL gate in sight." - Community Member Judge

Also on Project14 by kk99


Project 3: Christmas tree made from WS2812 leds by kk99:


The holidays are a time for Christmas trees and LEDs or just an LED Christmas tree!


A small Christmas tree made from 15 WS2812B LEDs connected to attiny13 MCU. Tree is made from 5 stripes with 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 LEDs. LEDs are driven from single pinout PB4 of Attiny13 MCU.  MCU was put in cartridge from 35mm tape. As power supply I have used 5V from USB. Code is written in C.  There are five different effects for which you can modify brightness and delay.


Merry Boxes & LEDs





Project 4: JackBox by dubbie:


The holidays are a time for merry boxes & LEDs!


dubbie  has been looking forward to Christmas for some time and to making something electronicy with LEDs and Arduino. He loves a few LEDs and bits of tinsel. So he decided to have a go at the Merry Boxes and LEDS project. He started a while ago collecting bits to use anticipating a quick start, but Christmas preparations have intervened and he has only just been able to find some spare time. He's collected a few bits and a small wooden box and his intention is to make something relatively small that resides inside the box and then 'pops up'!  Having completed adding the sound he decided to improve the LED part a little bit. He took three of the LEDs white wooden snowflakes shapes and fixed them to the front and sides of the box. Rather than just these three LEDS on and off he decided to fade them on and off. To do this he just connected the three LEDs in parallel and then the positive (the anode) to the +5V from the Nano and the negative (the cathode) to the D5 output of the Nano. The LEDs will all come on when D5 is driven low. To create the fade on and off effect he used pulse width modulation implemented as next for loops, as illustrated in the code fragment below. He used a function just to make it tidier. The value input into the function controls the maximum brightness achieved by the LED, which also controls the frequency of the LED slowly pulsing.





Product NameQuantity
Arduino Nano1Buy NowBuy Now


Product Name


Also on Project14 from dubbie:


Project 5: Mini Singing Holiday Tree by carmelito :


The holidays are a time for music, merriment, and of course Mini Singing Holiday Trees! 


This is a great weekend project to undertake, to get you in the holiday spirit ! In all, it should be a few hours of 3D printing, and then an hour or so in soldering the circuit together, and uploading the python code to the Pi. As part of the build he is using a Raspberry Pi Zero W as the heart of the project, and a RGB led strip (APA102) to diffuse the LEDs through the 3D printed tree . In addition he is also using an I2S class D mono Amp breakout board by Adafruit based on MAX98357 chip and a small 8 ohms speaker, to play some Holiday songs.


Mini Singing Holiday Tree




Product Name
Raspberry Pi Zero W
APA102 RGB led strip
I2S class D mono Amp breakout board by Adafruit based on MAX98357 chip
8 ohms speaker


Also on Project14 by carmelito :


Project 6: Santa Incoming Chimney! [SIC] by robertwerner:


The holidays are a time for watching for Santa and not letting sleep get in the way!


ESP-Now device for warning of the approach of Santa!  This device has a Master which detects with PIR or a wire break to set a pin low--it is monitored when a TPL 5111 wakes the unit up.  The solar charger keeps the device charged with a battery mounted on the roof.  The receiver device (Slave) constantly monitors for the ESP-Now communication from the master and announces the arrival of St. Nick with a bright cascade of Led's.


Santa Incoming Chimney! [SIC]





Product Name
3.7 V Battery