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    In 2018, Project14 celebrated its first birthday, ran monthly competitions for all 12 months, and had 2 special events.   The year was packed with energy to say the least. It would be impossible to do justice in a short little end of year review to all the many great projects, cool videos, and an energy that felt fresh and alive.  Having got started at a (3-8 people) start up,  I can truly say that this program, reminds me of my start up days.  At times its seemed time consuming, what with a new competition every month, but most of the time, time flies because its really something fun to be a part of. Although this is a program,  and not a business, it's got the same vibe as small business.  Its a small team of people working really, really hard because they believe in what they're doing.  The reward is watching all these amazing projects,  the creativity involved, and seeing the energy and passion you have for electronics & design projects.   It really does make you believe you can change the world for the better.

     

    There's been so many highlights this year.   Open ArduinoRobots with Wheels , Solar Power Devices , and Test Instrumentation were some of the more popular competitions,  but they all were really amazing.  I think of how the year got started with  shabaz doing an EE-CARD: A Portable Electronics Project Kit for the theme he came up with,  Portable Electronics Kit.   The The Arduino Starter Kit Upgraded Case by  gam3t3ch was also a another classic.  Later in the same competition,  the-dubster didn't let the deadline stop him and built another favorite,  My late (and incomplete) entry for the Portable Electronics Kit - The Pi-IDE (Pie-Eyed).  There's also The Making of R2D2 - The Force on Wheels and Long Shower = Candle Power  by  sjmill01, Unreal. Resistance is Futile and The Dancing Birds by  balearicdynamics ,  many awesome  Open Arduino  projects from mcb1 such as 300g BOT and A more Intelligent Idiot LightSolar Bubble Blaster and LS Cubed: Little Sister Security System  by fmilburnBabbages Baggage and Jumbo Servo by Workshopshed , Social Plant Survival Kit by  mbozdal , Arduino Powered MSE-6 (Mouse Droid) and PWHBot by  jomoenginer , CupRobot and Weather Cloud Clock  by carmelito , The micro:bit Quartet and A Simple Arduino Music Box by jc2048 , IoT Magical Wand by  dixonselvanRemote (Water) Temperature Monitoring and Celebrating Arduino with a Torch Relay! by ntewinkelSelf-adjusting clock with e-display and  Simple electronic musical instrument by kk99Exploding Kittens Soundboard by fvan , "No lies" IR Thermometer by koudelad , RoboBobLet and  TinyDVM by dubbieTube Amp on a PCB and Cyber Chicklet by dougw, Arduino in Test Instrumentation and micro:bit as Pass / Fail indicator by jancumps, Simple Solar BOT by snidhiWalky the Biped Robot by genebren, and the list goes on and on...   So that we can pay tribute to as many of these projects as possible, we've included a section of this post on some of the most attention grabbing projects of the year, as well as, a plaza of champions to honor all the trophy winners this year.

     

    Go check them out and feel free to comment any projects that were favorites of yours.  This list is not comprehensive by far.

     

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    Giving Rise to Tradition

    Giving Rise to Tradition

    On Valentine's Day, The Holiday Special Winners announced their Gift to Gives to Show their Love for other member's Projects!
    Arduino Day, the Worldwide Celebration of Arduino's Birthday, was on May 12th!  Project14 decided to celebrate its birthday with a competition in Arduino's honor.
    Project14 celebrated its first birthday! The program launched on April 14th, 2017!
    Of course the Winners Announcement was set to coincide with the release of the first Star Wars movie on May 25th, 1977!

     

    In 2018 we built on tradition while starting some new ones....

     

    Inaugural Gifts to Give on Valentine's Day

     

    Project14 | Winners Announcement: Get in the Lovin' Mood with Gifts to Give!

     

    In the spirit of Valentine's Day and to help get you in the lovin' mood we announced the recipients of Project14 | The Holiday Special Winners: A Christmas Miracle! Gifts to Give in honor of Valentine's Day 2018.

     

    The 3 first place winners jomoenginer , ntewinkel , and  dwinhold announced their picks for a $100 Shopping Cart!

     

    Inaugural Birthday Special

     

    Project14 | The Birthday Special: Arduino Projects for Arduino Day!

     

    This special event celebrated the First birthday of Project14 by encouraging the community to participate in Arduino related projects in advance of Arduino Day, a Worldwide Birthday Celebration for Arduino, on May 12th.  It was also a celebration of the power of ideas.  The theme for this special event was an open ended project theme around Arduino with a Grand Prize for the most innovative use of Arduino.

     

    Project14 was an idea that was born out of a conversation in the Top Members section and here are a few takeaways:

    • even professional engineers enjoy simple electronics projects and having fun
    • many experts expressed a strong desire to mentor and teach others
    • there was a desire for a lower barrier of entry competition that would encourage more participation
    • such a program would have broad appeal to experts, novices, and everyone in between.

     

     

    The type of projects that would belong in such a program were the type of projects already being posted on the community but not in any organized fashion. Launching a program that is not sponsored required a novel approach but also allowed more freedom in how it would be implemented. As much as possible, we sought feedback from the members and made incremental improvement to try and make a by members, for members program a reality on the community.

     

    Because projects are done around general themes, as opposed to a specific challenge, its inclusive to novices, experts, and everyone in between. Community members are involved with the judging and guidelines were basic (come up with a clever name, list the steps, stick to the theme, submit video proof). As this was a program that was as much about ideas as it was projects, we built competitions around ideas the community members came up with, and used voting to decide what the next competition would be

     

    Inaugural Star Wars Day Poll

     

    Project14 | Star Wars Day: What Path Did You Follow on May the Fourth?

     

    Annual Holiday Special

     

    Project14 | Holiday Special: Spread Mirth and Merry Through Music and LED Displays!

     

    This holiday season,  Project14 is holding its second annual holiday special project competition.  We asked you what you wanted this to be in Project14 | Holiday Special Poll: What Projects are You Interested in Doing? and it was a two way tie between Merry Boxes & LED Displays and Holiday for a Cause.  You're free to pursue any of the ideas discussed and enter your project into the contest.  The official theme is Merry Boxes & LEDs .  We're asking the community members to spread mirth and merry through electronics projects that bring joy to the heart through music or really cool LED displays!

     

    In addition to an Oscilloscope grand prize for the project that brings the most joy to the heart, an Oscilloscope targeted toward educational (Ben loved carrying it from the shop to work from home), you will receive a Home Lab Tool Kit as a Gift to Give for another member's project..  Three first place winners will receive a maker tool kit bundle 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 any Project14 contest happening around the holiday special including: Merry Boxes & LEDs, Wearable Tech, Back to Analog , or the upcoming A Question of Scale competition.  Don't worry, we'll give you an opportunity to Meet the Projects to help you pick a member should you win.  Also,  check out our Deck Your Bench with an Engineer and Maker's Wish List to check out some more cool stuff that would great on your bench!

     

    On Valentine's Day, we'll show the world how much heart the community has with a Gifts to Give Winners Announcement!  We know that not all of you celebrate Christmas,  so we want to make sure everyone is included with the holiday special. If there is a holiday project other than a Christmas Project that you want to celebrate feel free to enter that into the holiday contest.

    Attention Grabbing Projects

     

    Attention Grabbing Projects

     

    Here are the top 10 projects in terms of visits.   Not all the projects won which just goes to show you that winning ain't everything....

     

    The Arduino Starter Kit Upgraded Case by gam3t3ch

     

    gam3t3ch needed a new case/organizer for the Arduino Starter Kit that he got for Non-Electrical to Electrial issue: Battery booster pack repair as part of Project14 | Winners Announcement: DIY Simple Electronic Repairs!   What better way then to enter another Project14 using what he got previously?

     

    The case that's included with the Arduino Starter Kit is flimsy and a case such as the one gam3t3ch made is not only a sturdy, attractive upgrade from what's include. It also doesn't cost much to have something this awesome!

    He made the case out of scrap piece of 2x6 cedar that he had laying around.  The dimension of the completed case are  11x6x4 inches.  He spent a total of $14 Canadian on this project for the hardware. Now he is organized and portable and able to continue my projects anywhere he needs to be.  It's also great as a storage container for his projects.

     

     

     

     

    (Semi)Automated Plant Irrigation System by  urkraft

     

     

     

     

     

    This extremely popular project, is an automated system for watering urkraft 's olive tree.  The main components for this are a soil moisture sensor, a 10 gallon bucket of water with a water level sensor, an Adafruit Feather HUZZAH ESP8266 microcontroller, and a peristalic water pump.

     

     

    The two sensors are connected to inputs of the feather, and the water pump is controlled by an output signal from the feather. There are two built in LED’s on the feather:

    • Red: used to indicate that the soil is dry enough to warrant watering
    • Blue: Used to indicate that the bucket is empty (requires a refill of water)

    There are three criteria which all have to be met in order to turn on the pump (and water the plant):

    1. There must be water in the bucket
    2. The lack of moisture in the soil must be greater than a specified threshold value
    3. A specified minimum amount of time must have elapsed since the pump was last turned off while watering.

    Any one of the following criteria will cause the pump to be turned off:

    • No water left in the bucket
    • The moisture level of the soil is higher than a specified threshold value (this criteria also triggers starting of the timer which keeps track of the amount of time that has elapsed since the pump was turned off).

     

    Simple Solar Bot by snidhi

     

    Simple Power Bot was conceived as a simple solar powered robot capable of harnessing energy from solar panels. Part of this project involved learning more about how an Arduino handled power consumption and whether it could get the voltage and current that it needed from solar power boards. What's really impressive, is the fact that this was snidhi 's first attempt working with solar energy, an undertaking that she was very enthusiastic about.  If everything goes according to plan, the Simple Solar Bot would be able to self sustain its energy requirements and be smart enough to go into sleep mode to consume less energy when there was no activity.  Adjustments were necessary throughout the process to nail down the right motors to use for the mechanical design.  This project involves an Arduino NaNo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Converting an existing effect pedal to operate a second effects unit using a resistive strip sensor. by ipfreely

     

    ipfreely's project literally rocked!  It used levers and linkages to move a sensor which in turn moves a guitar effect parameter which then makes a room start shaking as you rock out.  It moved a sound parameter and shook the room when played through a 100 watt stack.  His video proof demostrates a Tesla coil and RJM Tone Saver with isolated output.

     

    "ipfreely's guitar amp looked really cool, great video ...it did get (one of) my top scores for the fun aspect." - Community Member Judge

     

     

     

    Cool LED Displays: Boost That LED! by jc2048

     

     

    jc2048's projects are always great so it's no surprise that  Cool LED Displays: Boost That LED! made this list as well.  It's also one of the most popular Arduino Projects on the community. This involved a simple bit of experimenting with an Arduino.  Rather than just light an LED, jc2048 decided to make it a little bit of a challenge and see if he could light a series string of seven LEDs. The red LEDs he used have a forward voltage of around 2V, so that means he needed something like 13V or 14V to get them illuminated. H could have just used a bench supply to provide the LED voltage but that's not much fun and wouldn't have made a very interesting blog so he generated the voltage from the Arduino's 5V with a very simple and crude boost converter.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Walky the Biped Robot by genebren

     

    Walky the Biped Robot, the first element14 project from genebren , was 16 years making, and the unanimous favorite of our community member judges.  The project began as a way of paying it forward with the precious time he had with his son.  In those days, he spent a fair amount of his time building projects in the hope of getting his son interested in engineering  This earlier incarnation of Walky the Biped robot did not have the most graceful set of legs.  Its body was cut or machined out of scraps of plexiglass and glued together.  Metal control rods, with swivel ball joints transferred the servos movement to the feet and legs. The control board consisted of an ATtiny12 processor, a resistor, and a capacitor.  Having lost any code and the schematic, he started out by tracing out the old controller, built on perf-board, and generated a schematic:

     

    The old robot having long been disassembled.   genebren made plans to resurrect Walky and make it a platform for future experiments, leading to fully autonomous operation. His initial goal was to give the robot awareness to manage edge and object detection, while accepting control from a R/C controller.

     

    The 1940 Laws of Robotics (by Isaac Asimov and John W. Campbell)

    First Law:          A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

    Second Law:     A robot must obey orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

    Third Law:         A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Continuous Servo Bot by carmelito


    For the past couple of months carmelito had been working on a servo mechinism for his Design Challenges project, Bluetooth Maze - Final Build .  The Beaglebone Black Wireless was the brains of the project and used to run the servo mechanism.  Part of his build involved 3D printed parts that he designed using Autodesk's Fustion 360. This time, for his Continuous Servo Bot he decided to use an Arduino Nano as the brains of his bot.  It's powered using 2 cell Lipo battery.  The nano can be replaced with an Arduino MKR1000.  He leaves code to help you if you plan on replicating this build.

     

    "Interesting approach and a good idea on the base of the project. In my opinion, a better software approach can do the difference but I appreciated the detail of the project. '" - Community Member Judge

     

     

     

     

    Desktop Christmas Tree by jofas

     

    The Grand Prize for last year's Holiday project mentioned this  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.  He also had a good response for his Gift to Give:

     

    Desktop Christmas Tree  by jofas

     

     

    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.

     

     

    Hello My Name is...In Lights! (with instructional video and all required files!) by makethingstoday

     

    Have you wanted to stand apart from the crowd at party or event? Tired of boring name tags that make you feel the same as as everyone else? Well, makethingstoday has a simple project, that's guaranteed to get the attention you deserve.  With a  Hello My Name is...In Light name tag, you'll make yourself instantly memorable and be forever known as that person with the LED name tag that looked so cool.   He's provided a link to the 3D printed parts is provided https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2687490 and given you clear instruction on how you make one yourself using a small arduino, 3 LED lights, paperclips, and a couple of batteries. Its just a really great name tag, that will also come in handy if you are in a room that is not well lit.  Who knows?   Getting people to notice you is very important in attracting new clients, getting a promotion, and possibly meeting the love of your life who would have otherwise not noticed you!

     

     

     

    The Plaza of Champions

     

    The Plaza of Champions

     

    Before we honor all the 2018 Plaza of Champions we thought we'd throw in just one more Star Wars reference....

     

     

    Without further adieu here is your plaza of champions....

     

    Portable Electronics Kit
    The Magic Tool Kit by dougwPERMA-PROTO by fmilburnBabbages Baggage by Workshopshed
    Portable Electronics Kit TrophyPortable Electronics Kit TrophyPortable Electronics Kit Trophy

     

    Mixing Electronics & Water
    (Semi)Automated Plant Irrigation System by urkraftLong Shower = Candle Power by sjmill01Social Plant Survival Kit by mbozdal
    Mixing Electronics & Water TrophyMixing Electronics & Water TrophyMixing Electronics & Water  Trophy

     

    Gifts to Give for Valentine's Day
    Project Elf House- Complete  by  beaglesBrightH2O light! by juliorMini LED Christmas Tree by carmelitoDIY LED Ferris Wheel by dixonselvan
    The Heart TrophyThe Heart TrophyThe Heart TrophyThe Heart Trophy
    Robots with Wheels
    Robots with Wheels - CupRobot  by  carmelitoThe Making of R2D2 - The Force on Wheels by sjmill01RoboBobLet by dubbie
    Robots with Wheels TrophyRobots with Wheels TrophyRobots with Wheels  Trophy
    Open Arduino
    Arduino Powered MSE-6 (Mouse Droid) by jomoenginerLS Cubed: Little Sister Security System by fmilburnUnreal. Resistance is Futile by balearicdynamicsCelebrating Arduino with a Torch Relay! by  ntewinkel
    Open Arduino Trophy & CupOpen Arduino TrophyOpen Arduino TrophyOpen Arduino Trophy & Cup
    Simple Music Maker
    A Simple Arduino Music Box by jc2048Simple electronic musical instrument by kk99Dum-De-Dum, the Cardboard Drum!  by balearicdynamics
    Simple Music Maker TrophySimple Music Maker TrophySimple Music Maker  Trophy

     

    Smart Alarm Clock
    Self-adjusting clock with e-display by kk99Object Sensing Clock by guycarver
    Smart Alarm Clock TrophySmart Alarm Clock Trophy
    Movers and Shakers
    Walky the Biped Robot by genebrenContinuous Servo Bot - using Arduino Nano by carmelitoJumbo Servo by Workshopshed
    Movers and Shakers TrophyMovers and Shakers  TrophyMovers and Shakers  Trophy
    Solar Power Devices
    Solar Bubble Blaster by fmilburnSimple Solar BOT by snidhiSolar SPEC by ralphjyby  oliverschalles
    Solar Power Devices Trophy & CupSolar Power Devices TrophySolar Power Devices TrophySolar Power Devices Trophy
    Clustered MCUs
    The Dancing Birds by  balearicdynamicsIoT Magical Wand by dixonselvantinyMonster AIO Robot by mahmood.hassanOctopod: Smart Home IOT Project by sakshambhutani
    Clustered MCUs Trophy & CupClustered MCUs TrophyClustered MCUs Trophy Clustered MCUs Trophy
    Test Instrumentation
    "No lies" IR Thermometer by koudeladIoT Magical Wand by dixonselvantinyMonster AIO Robot by mahmood.hassanTinyDVM by dubbie
    Test Instrumentation Trophy & CupTest Instrumentation TrophyTest Instrumentation TrophyTest Instrumentation Trophy
    Back to Analog
    Tube Amp on a PCB by dougwPulse Hunter by sunnyiutCVBoard: new way to play with modular synths by costantinorizzuti
    Back to Analog  Trophy & CupBack to Analog TrophyBack to Analog Trophy

     

    There's more winners to be picked!   Submit your project blog in  A Question of Scale , Merry Boxes & LEDs , andWearable Tech !