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    The Holiday Special

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    Congratulations to jofas  for Desktop Christmas Treentewinkel  for The Clausometer Christmas Spirit Meterjomoenginer for FLiP Connected X-Mas Ornament  , and dwinhold  for  Infinity Living Christmas Wreath .


    You are the winners of the  The Holiday Special  project competition from  Project14!



    The Holiday Special theme was to build whatever projects that mean the holidays to you.  As all the projects featured here are great Christmas projects so its fair to say the holidays mean Christmas to most of community members, so let's go with it!


    It was also the first Project14 project competition to offer a Grand Prize, a 3D Printer, along with a STEAM Kit of equal value to gift to an institution of your choice. Also, 3 first place winners were awarded the usual $100 Shopping Cart but this time they will be given the opportunity to gift an additional $100 Shopping Cart to gift to another member that submitted a project for Project14.


    Some of the top projects during the competition was a really awesome Flip-Connected Christmas Ornament by  jomoenginer, a Desktop Christmas Tree by jofas , and a Clausometer by  ntewinkel. It's inspired by the Christmas movie classic, Elf:



    The gift to give fit the spirit of the holidays and felt like a fitting way to spread joy as we close the winter solstice, and bring warmth to an otherwise cold time of the year, especially in Chicago, especially this year. Here in Chicago we had 12 straight days of record cold to start the year, not to mention recording the coldest day on record for New Years Eve.  (I was in St. Louis and it didn't feel much different)


    So, with that being said, there's no one better than Chicago's very own Bill Murray to remind us what the giving season is all about:



    Without further ado, here are your winners....


    Grand Prize


    Competition for the grand prize was especially tight as there were more deserving entries than there were awards to give.


    Desktop Christmas Tree by jofas


    Desktop Christmas Tree


    Fantastic variation on the LED Xmas Trees - Community Member Judge

    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




    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 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.


    This isn't the first time jofas posted a cool project on the community.  He did what I thought was one of the most interesting Upcycle It projects with his upcycled Hermes 3000 typewriter:

    Introduction to the Hermes 3000


    [Upcycle It] Hermes 3000 - Post #2


    [Upcycle It] Hermes 3000 - Post #3


    [Upcycle It] Hermes 3000 - Post #4


    [Upcycle It] Hermes 3000 - Post #5


    Although, we never got to see the complete project, he put a lot of effort into this and did a good job of providing documentation which is a definite plus.  We hope to see what new ideas and projects that jofas works on next and how he gets along with his new 3D Printer. If he'd like to, he could also let us know how what happened with that really awesome Hermes 3000 project he worked on.  :-)


    First Place Winners


    This competition was extremely tight at the top and there's a good case to be made that any one of the first place winners could have been a grand prize winner.


    As First Place Winners, ntewinkel  jomoenginer , and dwinhold win a $100 Shopping Cart to any of our stores and can gift a shopping cart to anyone that's submitted a Project14 project this year.


    We will be contacting them with details!


    As you can see by judges comments, and the submissions themselves, you could make a strong case for any of these as the Grand Prize winner, but there is no question that they are deserving First Place Winners:


    The Clausometer by ntewinkel


    The Clausometer Christmas Spirit Meter


    A great implementation of a theme using some old fashioned bodgering. - Community Member Judge


    Looks really nice, very original and in the holiday spirit, and full code and schematic described. - Community Member Judge



    Code available, schematic described (which pins to connect where). Well documented, and looks really great. - Community Member Judge




    For The Holiday Special,  ntewinkel decided to make a Clausometer, as seen in the movie Elf.  In that movie, Santa's sleigh had trouble flying due to a lack of Christmas spirit. The sleigh was equipped with a Clausometer that indicated the level of Christmas spirit around.  This version of The Clausometer uses twitter to gauge holiday spirit, and really is brilliant and worth checking this out.   This, like the following project, was especially well received.  His wife helped him with the graphics and it uses a Raspberrry Pi to move the needle!



    Flip Connected X-Mas Ornament by jomoenginer


    FLiP Connected X-Mas Ornament


    FLiP Connected X-Mas Ornament part II


    FLiP Connected X-Mas Ornament part III - complete


    Brilliant project! ...My pick for the 3D printer and STEAM is Flip-Connected. - Community Member Judge





    If I get the honor to win the 3-D Printer, I would put it to good use to create the much needed enclosures my projects are begging me to create, as well as fix some items around the house such as the broken knob on the toaster.


    The Sam's STEAM Kit I would donate to a local school in my area that does not have the means to purchase such items for their students.



    This is a Bluetooth connected Ornament that uses a Parallax FLiP board, WS2812B RGB LED Module and a Velleman HC-05 to control the color displayed in the Ornament.  The Ornament was cerated using a Clear DIY Plastic Hanging Ornament, paint, mini X-mas tree and Styrofoam for the fake snow.  The Parallax FLiP is a DIP form factor board which has a Parallax Propeller processor and was coded using their SimpleIDE in C. 


    Communication from the FLiP with the HC-05 was performed using the fdserial library from Parallax. Remote connection is from a Raspberry Pi using BlueZ and rfcomm to create a virtual serial interface to the HC-05 and Python was used to send command line commands to control the WS2812B through the HC-05.  A Parallax Serial LCD is used just for debug purposes to ensure the commands made it to the FLiP.


    Infinity Living Christmas Wreath by dwinhold


    Infinity Living Christmas Wreath


    Unique idea for a Christmas artifact. ...the result is beautiful. - Community Member Judge



    If I win the grand prize I would keep the 3d printer and use it to make small toys for kids to enjoy. The SAM's STEAM KIT will be given to my sons school for their computer science class. This is a way to help many students with a single (incredible) gift.


    Whom ever wins this challenge, the donation of the gifts is truly the spirit of the holidays!!


    Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays everyone!!


    The Infinity Living Christmas Wreath was done as a family project. Dale made this with his kids. They wanted to make something unique and what they came up with was awesome!


    To create the wreath they used 144 RGB LED light string, an Arduino, a Raspberry Pi, Screen, speakers, 2 pieces of one way mirror and a 12 volt transformer.  The LED strip was placed between the one way mirrors. The Arduino is used to control the LED pattern and the transformer is used to power the LED's. Meanwhile, the Raspberry Pi and screen is used to display the burning log behind the mirror with speakers for fire crackling sound.


    See what I mean,  this was a very difficult competition to judge!


    The following projects also received votes and deserve recognition:


    Honorable Mention


    Project Elf House by beagles


    Project Elf House- Complete


    Fantastic solution and very simple implementation. - Community Member Judge


    Looks really nice, and the circuit was available. - Community Member Judge



    The idea for the elf house was hatched during a discussion amongst friends of  beagles .  He was tasked with producing a Christmas decoration using a toilet roll tube.  beagles was asked if he could add a single white LED to their project. The project being a little elf house. He did better than that...


    Mini LED Christmas Tree by carmelito


    Mini LED Christmas Tree


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




    It's fitting that the final project comes down to carmelito  whose had a remarkable year on the community.  First, he took home the Grand Prize for the Upcycle It Challenge when he upcycled a mirrored clock into a truly functional household IoT Hub:


    Upcycle It Winners Announcement


    and he's also taken home two first place finishes for Project14 projects:


    Tilt Solar Light


    Automated Tea Dunker


    carmelito did this for the Cool LED Display competition but it fit both themes and still has a chance to win a shopping cart to give one of the first place winners.  This was a quick project to get the community in the festive mood.   It goes over how to  make a simple Mini LED Christmas Tree for your study table/computer desk. It's beauty is in its simplicity.


    In Closing


    Every project on here is a winning project and we sincerely hope you take the time to check out the blogs.  We boast the best online community for engineers in the galaxy!


    One of the strengths of this community is its diversity, we've got great minds from all over the world that have come together with a shared love of design, engineering, and electronics. Big prizes are a way to attract new people to participate in projects but its never been what this program is about.  We've got  Design Challenges and as other members have pointed out, the bigger prizes are a reward for the effort required.


    This program is about you, you're all different and unique, and the projects you do are as original as you.


    Many of our members played a role in influential role in shaping this program.  A special thank you to members such as  mcb1DAB , dougw , shabaz , balearicdynamics , Workshopshed , and many other members who provided support and wisdom throughout the year.


    Speaking for myself, this has been a learning process, and I can't think of better learning environment than here in the community, with the cumulative brain power and creativity of our members, the potential for learning is infinite!