Holiday Special 19

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

Back to The Project14 homepage

Project14 Home
Monthly Themes
Monthly Theme Poll


The Grand Prize

3 First Place Winners

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!
Buy KitBuy KitBuy KitBuy KitBuy KitBuy Kit


Enter Your Project for a Chance to Win:  Holiday Special 19 or tag your blog post HolidaySpecial19CH


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


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?


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!

Buy NowBuy NowBuy NowBuy Now


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


Here is the second batch (Projects 7-12) of the Ghost of Past Holiday Past on Project14:



Get Inspired by Past Holiday Special Projects:



The Projects:


Project 7: ESP8266 Magic Star Mirror with Alexa by jquest :


The holidays are a time to share wonder and delight with family!


This jquest ’s eldest daughter loves all things space and is constantly looking skyward at night wondering what planet she can see.  One night he taught her about constellations and she became obsessed with Scorpio so he made a small little display stand for her using some scrap outdoor solar LEDs. This quickly escalated to whether he could build something that had all 12 zodiac signs...and Orion...and the Little Dipper...and Alexa...and EVERYTHING!


Thus, the Magic Star Mirror was born.


ESP8266 Magic Star Mirror with Alexa



Project 8: The Christmas Joy Spreading Machine by balearicdynamics:


The holidays are a time for spreading joy to all around you!


This machine represents balearicdynamics ’s virtual Best Wishes for the holidays to all the community members.  The design idea was to make a complete scenario representing - inside a box  - a metaphor of the most popular Christmas symbols. Maybe it is a bit dystopian but it moves, lights and reacts to music. The other not easy aspect of the building was just to use the cardboard as the primary material. The central moving parts have been inspired by the incredible quantity of DIY Marble Machines you can find on YouTube (just put the two terms for searching videos and you remain speechless).


The Christmas Joy Spreading Machine

"As always, the quality of Enrico’s work is superb. This cleverly build machine truly brings fun and joy to the spectators, and also shows that any build material is good when used with ingenuity." - Community Member Judge



"Beautiful project, it left me almost speechless! I can't imagine a more fun project to make and also watch in action, at Christmas time." - Community Member Judge


Also on Project14 from balearicdynamics :


Project 9: Flashy LED Picture Frame by tonydbeck:


Holidays are a time to be fascinated by LED displays and the effects that they produce!


tonydbeck has always been fascinated by LED displays and the effects that can be produced.  Over the last few years multi colour programmable LED's such as Neopixels, WS2812B LEDs etc seem to have become very popular and with the ever increasing amount of cheap development kits on the market it has become a lot more reachable for a hobbyist to create some pretty cool projects with LED's!  So tonydbeck  decided to build an LED matrix picture frame with an mbed LPC1768 board and 10m of WS2812B LED strip.  he programmed the LPC1768 board to use Art-Net so that he can send data to the matrix from my laptop using Madrix or Glediator software.  Although this is not the most creative LED project, I am still pretty pleased with it!


Flashy LED Picture Frame





Project 10: Connected Christmas Tree 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


Also on Project14 from ntewinkel :


Project 11: 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




Also on Project14 by 14rhb:


Project 12: Sparky the Power Chick Levitates - Happy New Year by dougw


The holidays are a time for levity and remembering where you came from!


We first met Sparky the Power Chick during the first competition we launched Techno Toys.


Nothing like a cute new-born chick to welcome a new year...


Last year, Sparky the Power Chick returned to experiment with magnetic levitation!  Later the same year dougw was back with another project during the Electromagnetism competition.


Sparky the Power Chick Levitates - Happy New Year



Also on Project14 by dougw