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    Holiday Special 20

    Enter Your Holiday Project for a chance to win a tool kit bundle, shopping cart, and gifts to give to other members!

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    Congratulations to robogary  for Victoria's secret: A nervous Elf can lose his head. You win a Multicomp Tool Kit and a $400 Shopping Cart plus $100 Shopping Cart to Gift to Another Member for their project!


    Congratulations to fmilburn  for  The Christmas ForestFred27  for A Lego Christmas game, and  ralphjy for A QT Py Christmas!  You are the First Place winners of a Tool Kit Bundle and a $100 Shopping Cart plus a $100 Shopping Cart to Gift to Another Member for their project!




    The Grand Prize:

    3 First Place Winners:

    Gift to Keep: Multicomp Tool Kit (~$500 value) plus a $400 Shopping Cart!Gift to Give: A $100 Shopping Cart!Gift to Keep: Tool Kit Bundle + $100 Shopping Cart!Gift to Give: A $100 Shopping Cart!
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    The fourth annual Holiday Special 20 was an open-ended holiday project competition that challenged you to make a project that reflects what the holidays mean to you.  It came on the heals of what was universally a sobering year.  If nothing else, this holiday season forced us to appreciate the traditions we take for granted,  and to re-evaluate the things we consider important. While, many traveled to see family,  many could only rely on technology to help bridge the gulf between family and friends.  In different ways we tried to bring some sense of normality to the holiday season.


    For the most part,  this contest remained the same as the previous year.  The prizes were a little different but it was essentially the same as the year before.  Like last year, we asked 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 into a celebratory mood.  If the past year put you in a reflective mood, your project could be a thoughtful project with others in mind, such as a project inspired by gifts, food, or cards exchanged during the holidays.  Or you could have focused on electronic ways of sending the warmest wishes to friends and family, such as an electronic greetings card, a way to automatically email or use RF transmission to link up via video etc.  It could also be a fun project, made in the holiday spirit such as a snow globe to warn you of inclement weather conditions, voice-activated ornaments, jazzed up holiday cards, LED decorations - or anything that represented what the holidays mean to you.  We have a diverse community and we honor and respect all beliefs and traditions.  Your project could be related to Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Festivus for the rest of us!  It could even be a Star Wars project, if you only believe in the Force.  We're happy to report that Baby Yoda made an appearance during this year's holiday special!  All we asked from you was that your holiday project shad heart!


    As we do every year,  winners were decided by members of our community.


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



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    The Winners

    The Grand Prize


    Victoria's secret: A nervous Elf can lose his head  by robogary:


    Nothing is more fun and jovial than a happy Christmas Elf sitting on a gift, waving to you...except watching him lose his head when you catch him being naughty.  Naughty Elves like to peek inside very personal Christmas gifts. The naughty elves are also really sneaky. Once someone gets in his viewing range, he kicks his legs, waves his hand, and acts totally innocent and nonchalant. Actually, the Elf is sweating bullets on the inside, butterflies in his belly, behaving jittery and nervous. If you see thru his innocent act and shout at him to behave or startle him, he loses his head and it goes flying. It's actually pretty funny to see an elf lose composure.  So the story of the naughty animatronic elf goes.....


    Victoria's secret:  A nervous Elf can lose his head

    "A cute and fun project built with some off the shelf components as well as some creative additions. Well done." - Community Member Judge




    "This project has a fun Christmas theme and back story. Well explained with the code required to remake fairly easily. Lots of sensors   that trigger the animatronic Elf's movements. Fun video to watch!." - Community Member Judge

    "Hilarious application of motors and a solenoid." - Community Member Judge

    "My justification for the grand prize project vote, Victoria's Secret, is that Gary's project is funny, definitely Christmassy, and I loved the mass of breadboarding. All was documented." - Community Member Judge


    First Place Winners



    The Christmas Forest  by  fmilburn :


    Once upon a time there was a girl who wanted a Christmas Tree for her doll house.  So she asked her grandfather if he would help.  They found stickers to use for decorations and tiny fairy lights to make it glow. Stickers And the grandfather designed a Christmas tree in Fusion 360 and printed it in red and green PLA on his Anycubic I3 Mega 3D printer. Christmas Tree The girl slotted the tree together and stuck it into the base.  And then she decorated it with stickers and wrapped the lights around the tree. Making a Tree But the girl had brothers and a sister and there was only one tree.  So the next week they built more, one for each sibling.  But the lights didn't blink. So the grandfather who liked to tinker with electronics measured the current necessary to light a string of fairy lights and found it to be about 6 mA with Vf approximately 2.6V.  And they needed a microcontroller so the grandfather rummaged through his stuff and found a ESP8266 that would do the trick.  Then he soldered a current limiting 150 ohm resistor between each string of lights and four pins on the microcontroller.


    The Christmas Forest


    "What is Christmas without trees? How about a forest? This project has the forest with LED lights. Really nice story and having the   children involved makes it even more enjoyable. Easy to follow instructions makes this project my most favorite!!" - Community Member Judge



    "I love the simple elegance of this project.  A festive and fun holiday project." - Community Member Judge

    "The Christmas Forest is elegantly effective for what it is, very much Christmas oriented, and it looks like a nice project to do with kids." - Community Member Judge



    A Lego Christmas game  by Fred27:


    If there's one thing Fred27 's kids associate with Christmas, it's Lego!  More so than turkey, mince pies or a tree - it's often all about Lego. They tend to get at least some Lego as a present and they're currently still enjoying playing Lego Star Wars Xbox games from last Christmas. At the moment, some of his focus is on getting to grips with the Unity and Unreal game engines. Fred27 has been involved around the edges at work and he's also been playing around with VR for the same reasons.  It's always good to find a project that can push you in the right direction when learning new stuff, so he thought long and hard about whether he could combine Christmas, Lego, game development and of course some electronics. How about adding VR and electronics? He decided that the electronics side should involve bringing the game play out to the real world. When something happens in the game he wants something to happen in the real world. Turn the Christmas lights on in the game and turn the Christmas lights on in the room. That sort of thing. It seemed a reasonable goal.


    A Lego Christmas Game

    "What you won't do for the ones you love at Christmas. What a wonderful gift for the kids. Very well explained making it easy to follow.   Nice photos showing the game play and fun the kids will have." - Community Member Judge



    "  Really liked that the game interacted with the real world as part of the final win sequence." - Community Member Judge

    " What a fun and creative game.  Taking an interest in video games engines and turning it into a festive and fun game for children is a Holiday miracle." - Community Member Judge



    A QT Py Christmas  by ralphjy:


    ralphjy  wasn't going to do a Holiday project but there hasn't been a lot of joy and there has been a lot of stress this year, so he thought that it would be good to do something simple and colorful to lift everyone's spirits.


    He recently got an Adafruit QT Py and a NeoPixel LED ring that he thought he could use to make a simple lighted Christmas ornament.  He's going to add a 128x64 OLED display and use the capacitive sensing built into the SAMD21 to select different color patterns for the NeoPixel ring.  He was able to accomplish much of what he had planned, but failed to get the Christmas music to play from the external flash memory on the QT Py.


    A QT Py Christmas


    "Love the project vision.  Still, cute ornament and it plays music.  Brilliant." - Community Member Judge



    "A great 3D prints and capacitive touch make this a very interesting and versatile project.  A simple, but interesting platform for bringing Holiday joy." - Community Member Judge

    "Interesting combined sound, light and message display project that is ideal for special occasions." - Community Member Judge

    The Runners Up

    Runners Up:


    The following projects received votes.



    Musical Card With Gyro Control LED's by harjinagi:


    harjinagi  made a greeting card especially for Holiday Special 20 which consisted of an MPU-6050MPU-6050 for controlling 3 LEDs on the card. The gyroscope is programmed to detect the tilt in the card and then turn on the respective tilted LED and ISD1820 a small Voice Recorder and Playback module that can do the multi-segment recording.application with the adjustment of the on-board resistor.


    Musical Card With Gyro Control LED's

    "The Musical Card is Christmas oriented, and is well documented so that people can learn how to use gyroscope sensors for interactivity. The construction needs some improvement, but there is plenty of scope to personalize such projects." - Community Member Judge


    "I like the way this brings people together for the holiday season. It's a fun project that everyone can take part in. This shows the meaning of the holiday season." - Community Member Judge

    "Slightly unusual circuit - but there's no arguing with results!" - Community Member Judge



    Reach Out And Touch The World by dougw :


    Greeting cards are a simple symbolic way to convey a world of feelings to someone you can't be with. They are even more important and powerful in the social distancing era.  dougw

    figured it is worth putting a little extra effort into creating the ultimate multi-media greeting card. This ultimate greeting card has a flame to bring warm wishes and remind us of sitting around the fireside with friends. It has a dazzling light show to lift our spirits and delight us. It has a little Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and Rossini to augment the mood and evoke fond memories.

    And it has a fascinating machine to bring intriguing animation to the classic static greeting card and remind us that technology can be fun.


    Reach Out and Touch the World




    "I really like this Christmas project. Very colourful lights, POV   show and a Sterling engine, among my most favorite things. Nicely explained in the blog. Really great idea   with the final project outcome the same!!" - Community Member Judge           





    Holiday Special 20: The Learning Stone by jkutzsch:


    You knew something with Baby Yoda had to show up somewhere in this announcement?   Didn't you?  


    Around the various Holidays jkutzsch enjoys creating little projects that match the theme of that specific Holiday, Spooky around Halloween, Spring/Life around Easter, Hearts/Candy/Love around Valentines, Star Wars around May 4th, Winter/Christmas around Christmas, etc...  For this project he tried to imagine something that wasn't limited to a season or a specific Holiday but more along the lines of Giving with the potential to continue giving throughout the year and into the future.


    With his daugher, Makenna by his side for every episode of Mandalorian, like the rest us they have fallen in love with the little character formerly known as The Child, AKA Baby Yoda, now Grogu.  In fact, his daughter's biggest desire for a Christmas present was a Baby Yoda, not an ugly one, but a cute one!


    So of course now he was now intrigued in regards of how to tie this together into a Gift for his Daughter and a Project for E14.  Thank you sharing your awesome holiday project with us  jkutzsch !    I think I can speak on behalf the entire community and say this past season of the Mandalorian was epic!!!


    The Learning Stone

    "The Learning Stone involved younglings getting involved with projects at Xmas, recycling older hardware, and The Mandalorian. It's great." - Community Member Judge


    What's Happening Now


    There's always stuff going on in the community and the best ideas always come from you.  Suggest your idea in the Monthly Poll,  and vote on the themes you want to do projects on. Your projects can explore either A-D or D-A techniques, or improve them in terms of increasing speed, resolution, linearity, reduction of noise or filtering of the analog signal in the Data Conversion competition.



    Data Conversion
    Project14 | Data Conversion: From ADCs to DACs, Explore A-D or D-A Techniques!

    Data Conversion Project14 | Poll to Decide the March 21' Competition!




    Thank you for continued support of Project14 !


    2020 has been a tough year and looking forward to bouncing back with another great year of projects in 2021!


    In the comments below:


    Be sure to Congratulate the Winners and Keep Being Awesome!