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    Cheer Us Up

    Enter Your Electronics & Design Project for a chance to win a $200 shopping cart!

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    Congratulations to robogary for  WRONGCO Wake 'N Shower Travel Alarm Clock!  You are the winner of a $200 Shopping Cart and earn the Grand Prize Trophy Badge!


    Congratulations to  fmilburn for make robot friend. Benderntewinkel for Friendly Fartybot,  and michaelwylie  for The Leprechaun Trap!  You are the First Place winners of the $100 Shopping Cart and earn First Place Trophies!


    Here in the Chicago (remote) offices in the US its Memorial Day weekend and a few of us have taken this as an opportunity to reconnect with loved ones we have not seen in a long time.   I've taken tomorrow and Tuesday off (in addition to Monday being a holiday) for an extended vacation with family.  Speaking,  for just for myself, it will be pretty emotional.   I have not seen family in over a year, as I've waited until I've been fully vaccinated to make the trip to St. Louis, where most of my family lives, due to abundance of caution.  The Memorial Day weekend is a time we traditionally think of sacrifices in the pursuit of duty.   For the soldiers,  we honor their service and sacrifices in pursuit of duty to their country.   For us civilians,  we try to do our duty to family and friends. Sometimes that includes making sacrifices, such as "Facetime" Thanksgivings, so we could do our part for putting the pandemic behind us.   Unfortunately,  even as life slowly becomes more "normal", we are reminded by events in other parts of the world,  that this is still very much not the case.


    This contest came at about the right time.   Joy and laughter are something we can never take for granted.   We encourage all of our community members to take a look at the selection below.   Simply put, we hope that it puts a smile on your face.  


    Without further Ado here are your Cheer Us Up winners.......


    {tabbedtable} Tab LabelTab Content

    The Winners

    The Grand Prize



    WRONGCO Wake 'N Shower Travel Alarm Clock by robogary:


    robogary built a Rube Goldberg style alarm clock system, the entire system is powered from a 12V battery and a 100W inverter. There is a solar panel for recharge while the alarm clock radio is ON or Wake to Music, radio stations play as normal, with a light organ providing visual entertainment.



    the alarm setting gives a 10 second (or more) cold shower to the sleeper when the alarm goes off.

    The light organ is Arduino based and MSGEQ7 control .

    The light organ software is updated (from its orginal 2015 program) to detect the alarm audio signature and then turns on a relay to drive the sizable 11 gallons/minute aquarium pump.


    WRONGCO Wake 'N Shower Travel Alarm Clock

    "Not only was the project pulled together from all sort of strange and wonderful components - it worked well. The sales pitch was A1. On top of this the creator pulls in his family and friends to help in the video before getting a right good soaking himself - just to prove how well it worked." - Community Member Judge



    "Very funny! I laughed so hard. Keeping the fun apart, Gary Yohe, oh no, I meant WRONGCO has did a wonderful job in developing a very essential alarm clock that suits my needs. I am usually that person who snoozes the alarm and sleep extra time. The project is very thoughtfully done." - Community Member Judge

    "Wrongco Wake N Shower, Fun project well explained." - Community Member Judge

    "I laughed out loud.  Sounds like a winner to me.  Really love the title." - Community Member Judge


    First Place Winners:



    make robot friend. Bender  by fmilburn:


    Bender is a fan favorite on the animated series, Futurerama, who fulfills a comic, antihero-type role.  His character is pretty much a description of what you would guess from a name like "Bender."      fmilburn built him because he's been unable to get together with my technically minded friends and talk about interests and because of all the robots on television, the movies and comic books he is the most human like.  Bender was built in the year 2996 and designated Bending Unit 22, unit number 1,729, serial number 2716057.  The Unit Number 1,729 is significant in that it is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways.  But I digress.  His human like characteristics include extreme narcissism, over confidence in his abilities, and ill-tempered rudeness. This should be very useful for the times that fmilburn  misses the workplace. 



    make robot friend. Bender


    "A very funny robot design with some great little phrases to brighten the lowest of lockdown days for anyone. Plenty of code shared enabling others to follow and replicate this great project if they wish." - Community Member Judge



    "Good job by Frank Milburn on the 3D prints and build. We can keep Bender on our desks and have fun all day!" - Community Member Judge

    "Seriously, Don't Laugh, well explained project." - Community Member Judge

    "Incredible craftsmanship. And it's Bender - sarcastic, inappropriate, evil but still lovable.  Great choice of subject." - Community Member Judge



    Friendly Fartybot  by  ntewinkel:


    Once in a very long while, a project comes along that combines art and technology in a way that comes together exactly perfectly, innocently, beautifully.

    It inspires people around the world, frees us from our worries, cures what ails us, reduces our carbon footprint and frees up hard drive storage space.


    This is not that kind of project.



    Instead, like the robot Bender (are we sensing a reoccurring theme here?)  ntewinkel admits this project may become a bad influence on young impressionable individuals. You've been warned.  So hopefully you didn't view the videos before he had a chance to warn you and you did then it serves you right!


    Fartybot! The tricksy friendly naughty farty robot!  We all have one in our family, or at least in our circle of friends (and if you don't, it's probably you!) - that dirty tricky uncle who asks us politely to "pull my finger", and then you know what happens next if you fall for that trick!


    So, with the help of his dear artsy wife SuperArtGirl, they immortalized this concept into... a robot!


    Friendly Fartybot


    "I couldn't stop laughing at this one after watching the "Pull my finger" video. Absolutely daft but hit the Project14 requirement completely. Also deeper down there is a nice use of technology and a well presented robot design. Well worth the top spot IMO." - Community Member Judge



    "The eyes remind of Wall-E, but this is Farty! Boy oh boy, I am still laughing because of the sounds. A very cool project, nicely put together and well built." - Community Member Judge


    The Leprechaun Trap  by  michaelwylie:


    Finally,  while many of have been separated from our families for way too long during the past year,   its been a time that others have had an opportunity for families to connect in a way that will be looked back fondly on.   michaelwylie had such an opportunity with his son and the result was the final winner in our Cheer Us Up competition!


    This post was done on behalf of his son, who Is 7 years old. For a school project he was given the task of designing a Leprechaun trap, and the resulting contraption was entirely his design after he and his mother brainstormed about solutions to capturing a Leprechaun. His mom helped with the artwork and cutting only, butmichaelwylie  did not design or wire any of the contraption. After he finished, michaelwylie  suggested they post it to the Project14 ‘Cheer Us Up’ challenge and we'll all grateful that he agreed. The audio for the alarm came from an old greeting card that he took the innards out of and the rest of the supplies came from kits we bought for him.


    He drew the schematic for his project at his request and that gave him the opportunity to show him what the symbols were for the devices he used, and draw the schematics.


    The Leprechaun Trap

    A youngster with great imagination is just what we need in Element14 to continue projects into the future, and this little project is spot on for cheeriness - well done and keep experimenting with your ideas :-)  - Community Member Judge


    "The Leprechaun Trap, extra points for cuteness." - Community Member Judge

      "First to the fight AND nailed the "Cheer Us Up".  Who didn't love this project?" - Community Member Judge

    The Runners Up

    Runners Up:


    The following members received votes from the judges:



    Seriously, don't laugh, this was a geniune (and fruitful) learning exercise.  by BigG:


    Some competitions are harder to complete than others, and this one was one of the hardest.


    It was not that this challenge was technically more difficult than others,  for BigG it was more about trying to convince his better half that this was time well spent doing serious project work - laughing at ones own jokes doesn't help either .

    Who couldn't use a good laugh and plenty of them after the past year.   Sharing in the fun,  no doubt,  will be more than a few like-minded element14 members who will be similarly amused by his two whacky computer apps, which happened to be developed using Processing.


    At the very least he's been amused by the output of his learning by doing efforts.  Bonus points finding a creative use of some Wii Numchucks in a Pi Pico project!


    Seriously, don't laugh, this was a genuine (and fruitful) learning exercise

    "Cool toy.  Shorter titles PLEASE!  Great presentation and in the end... the monster still cometh." - Community Member Judge



    The Completely Useless Robot - But with Supercapacitors!  by dubbie:


    dubbie has always wanted to make a completely useless box or robot or something, but never actually got around to doing anything about it, so for the Project14 Cheer Us Up Competition he decided to have a go. He'd been playing around with a low cost 4 WD robot that uses chain drive to transfer the power from the dc motor to the four wheels and thinking about how he might use the chains on a mobile robot of his own. Then the Cheer Us Up Project14 competition was announced and he thought - "What would be more cheering that a chain driven mobile robot hanging from a clothes line that just moves forwards and backwards and doesn't do anything else? So he hacked about with the kit until he had a one wheel hanging mobile robot.


    He could have gone with some timers and relays and stuff to control the DC motor direction but decided 'who want's to do that' so stuffed in a Nano with a dual H bridge driver (he's only using one channel). He had just purchased some more strip board and some turned pin headers and sockets (for the Nano) so decided to make a soldered in version rather than the protoboard approach he usually uses. This could have been a mistake as despite this being a simple circuit he had endless problems with the assembly.


    Additionally, the 4WD robot kit does say at one point that the motor is suitable for solar power so it seemed to him that a robot hanging from a washing line that would move backwards and forwards forever! was useless and cheering - he could be mistaken about this.  We beg to differ.


    The Completely Useless Robot - But with Supercapacitors!

    "Dubbie is always good with robots. I have enjoyed all his robot projects over these years. A fun way to explore supercaps!" - Community Member Judge



    Smart Musical Greeting Card   by  harjinagi:


    harjinagi made a diy smart greeting card for the element14 community that consists of three unique features in just one card.  The first feature is based on  ISD1820, a small Voice Recorder and Playback module that can do the multi-segment recording application with the adjustment of the on-board resistor. Second feature consists of MPU-6050MPU-6050 for controlling 4 LEDs on the card. The gyroscope is programmed to detect the tilt in the card and then turn on the respective tilted LED and the third feature is based on a two clap servo control, whenever the user clap two times, sensor detects sound and makes the servo rotate at about an degree of 150.  This in turn, turns on an LED to make the user sure about the direction of the servo. When a similar sound is produced again, then, it brings the servo to its original place, turning the LED off.


    Smart Musical Greeting Card

    "Smart Musical Greeting Card, Great project very well explained." - Community Member Judge

    In the comments below:


    Be sure to Congratulate the Winners and Keep Being Awesome!