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Mark Easley TI

Hardware Contest Sites

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Anyone big on entering projects into electronics contests?  Are there any popular sites that do a good job of holding regular competitions? Does anyone use instructables.com? What was your experience?

 

Higher level discussions: How can TI use contests to promote LaunchPad and other products?

 

Thanks ahead for your feedback!

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@@Mark Easley TI

 

In the past Circuit Cellar Ink has co-sponsered design contests with various semiconductor companies. If I remember correctly, the cash prizes were pretty significant and thereby motivating. Also due to Circuit Cellar's reputation, winning was great addition to the winner's resume.

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I've used Instructables - and I've even entered and won something in a competition. It wasn't an electronics project, although another of mine was MSP430-based. I found that the contests really helped me to focus on a project. A looming deadline meant it was less likely to get put on the back burner and left unfinished.

 

I'd say it's definitely worth trying to get a contest organised there. If all the Arduino users knew how much better the Launchpad was they'd all be moving over.

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The 43oh project competitions have always been fun and seeing the projects that other people did part of what got me into using the Launchpads and Chronos. So it's good to archive the entries somewhere like on a wiki where people can browse them. I would like to see more projects for Stellaris/Tiva but I suppose the user base is rather smaller. I'm sure a BeagleBone competition would be very popular.

 

I have also entered the Dangerous Prototypes 7400 competition. My entries were rather silly but the process was instructive. The winning projects were amazing -- like here, the community is very knowledgeable.

 

I browse Instructables from time to time but don't post there. I would rather document my projects on my own blog. Also the community while being obviously much larger is less cohesive so I don't think I would find the feedback as interesting. When I post projects on 43oh there is often really helpful and very expert feedback.

 

Entry deadlines do help motivate me to finish projects off and document them nicely. So much so, that I often enter more than one project. I always have several projects on the go and some of them would otherwise continue to slide.

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I enter contests, from time to time.

 

I have been an instructable user since 2007, have won a contest, and been featured twice. A member on instructables introduced me to the LaunchPad and invited me to join the forum here.

 

I agree completely with Fred in post number 3.

 

I will give some thought to the remainder of your post and send you a message later.

 

Anyone big on entering projects into electronics contests?  Are there any popular sites that do a good job of holding regular competitions? Does anyone use instructables.com? What was your experience?

 

Higher level discussions: How can TI use contests to promote LaunchPad and other products?

 

Thanks ahead for your feedback!

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I check instructables.com occasionally to get ideas and inspiration, didn't upload anything (yet).

 

I recently entered my very first contest, right here on 43oh. It really does motivate and help focus - provided that the participant feels the contest is more or less for his level.

 

I'm saying that because I'm actually running a contest right now, in my country's hobbyist-maker web community (which I co-organize). Participation so far is disappointing; I believe it's because it's a very young community and most members are currently at their first project or so, and don't feel confident enough to compete. Measures are being taken to address this problem.. but still.

 

Specifically about TI, well obviously the answer depends on the target users. For beginner hobbyists like those in my community, I think focusing on beginner-friendly tools and resources would go much further than contests. I know quite a few who bought Launchpads because of the appealing price, but actually don't know how to program or use them...

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