SparkFun and Instructables Contest


What can you do with a microcontroller? Well, maybe we should ask what can't you do with a microcontroller? Microcontrollers are the key cog to most of the projects we do. Which is why we are announcing a new contest: The Instructables and SparkFun Microcontroller Contest!

We've teamed up with Instructables, home of thousands of awesome projects, to bring you this awesome contest that hinges on one thing and one thing alone - your creativity. The idea is simple: Create a new Instructable that involves a microcontroller (any microcontroller) and enter it into the contest. If your instructable is a winner, you'll have a shot to win prizes like $250 to SparkFun, a laser-etched Leatherman, and an Instructables "prize pack." For all the details and rules of the contest, go to the Microcontroller Contest homepage. The contest ends February 13th, so get programming!


Comments 34 comments

  • Instructables is anything but awesome.

  • ok cool

    • @Member121529: A lot of that is patently wrong. You can license your projects in just about any way you want, from All Rights Reserved to a bunch of Creative Commons licenses, GPL, Apache, Public Domain, etc.
      All you have to do to see all the images is sign up. It’s free. They don’t spam you.
      And it’s remarkably easy to get free a membership. Basically all you have to do is publish a quality how-to.
      (Full disclosure: I have around three years of free membership that I’ve racked up just from posting projects. If you sign up, Member121529, let me know and I’ll give you one of the spare 3 month memberships Ive earned. I don’t have anything official to do with the site, just hate seeing people spread malicious rumors.)

    • You do know the free membership allows you to view all pictures? The pro membership helps them pay the bills and gives extra options like advanced formatting and patches, nothing more. It costs a lot of time and money to run big servers, Ask any SparkFun IT member.
      I would love it to be donateware, but we can’t get everything we want in the world.

  • For those who think the Arduino costs too much, take a look at the LaunchPad from T.I. I just received mine along with some other parts, and it really is the full kit. They even include the USB cable itself in that price.
    I think it’s a bit weird that they include three surface-mount crystals, though. A simple through-hole one would have been better, as far as prototyping goes. Or not include any at all.
    What’s cool is that they do include both the male and female headers so you can make a Arduino-like shield.

    • And to boot, i am creating a system called EasyMSP. Which should allow beginners and advanced users alike to program easier, it’s almost like a HAL layer or something.

      • I already made a hardware expansion pack with a Nokia LCD, SST 1MB Flash and 32KB SRAM that plugs into the expansion headers. It’s a tested reality. I submitted it to SF about 2-3 months ago to distribute but they haven’t done anything with it. Interested in collaborating? I’m just trying to get the stuff out there for educational purposes, I open-source everything. The board is designed to be fabbed with a cheap laser printer at home.

  • I also submitted my Jeopardy like game, the plus is that it uses electricity not only to feed the electronics…
    http://www.instructables.com/id/QD-Poor-mans-Skinner-Sadist-Jeopardy-game
    It’s Flash based on more than one sense (OK, that was my last pun in this comment).
    Check the photos of Marcos 0.1 and you might recognize the big dome buttons available in the store.
    Vote, comment and rate.

  • I just added my entry! Let me know what you think =)
    http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Traveling-Geocache/
    If you enjoy it please comment, rate, and vote!
    Thanks,
    Will

  • Wow what a coincidence! My Atmega32L and my 8x8 two color screen just arrived :)
    I know what I’ll be doing for the next few days.

  • BTW love the picture, good enough for a poster.

  • Two weeks to finish the PropWatch… Lets see…
    * Prototype the Design
    * CAD the PCB
    * Transfer Toner, Drill, Etch, Tin, dye PCB.
    * Assemble it.
    * Program it.
    * Test it.
    * Program some more.
    Seems like a good challenge.

  • God, If I hear one more thing about the Arduino… Some one do something with a Pic or ATmega. If I wasn’t loaded up with school right now… bam, pow, right in the kisser.

    • Arduino This & Arduino that. Design like a man!
      Skipping the humor, i do agree that the Arduino is getting a little too much of the spotlight.

      • I’ve been a PIC guy forever, and I’m really glad the Arduino is sparking an open source movement. People that never thought twice about trying to code up something and learn electronics are doing it, thanks to the Arduino!

        • I have to give them that, it’s great for beginners to start. however most of the Arduino system is very copy and pasty, if you know what i mean. you need to write the code to learn the code. the good thing about the Arduino system is, users can “upgrade” their systems to AVRs, so they aren’t out of much money.

          • I second that. The only thing about it with me though, is that I already know a fair amount of c, but I have always had issues when it comes to a small change in framework of different sub-types or updates of programming languages (say from hopping from c to java. Pretty close to the same thing, but some formatting is off and I just get confused). The copy-pastey nature of arduino helps me get by. I know how the code works, and after I finish something I know exactly what the code does and how to do other stuff with it, however it’s just that until I do it myself in some means I always struggle.
            Oh but fyi, when I enter the contest it’s gonna be with the Atmega32L, NOT the Arduino. I feel the Arduino is good just for prototyping for the most part. I mean yes of course you can take the chip out of the board and yadda yadda, but there’s just nothing like taking a chip fresh, soldering to the board, getting your project setup on it (minding that you have worked it all out on paper so you know it would work..) and then breaking out your own interface cable to burn the bootloader and program. It just screams “I MADE IT!” not “It’s a bunch of stuff on a breadboard!”

  • Dang, I gotta finish my arduino music sequencer version 2!
    Version 1 was finished last year, but it’s been disassembled.

  • I find it a little strange that im waiting for my sparkfun order to come, and with that order i will (hopefully) be able to make a nice ‘ible for the sparkfun contest… :)

  • 2 weeks…..
    Thats short.
    Hoping to get my entry in ;)

  • woot! my Voxel shield is almost complete!

  • I saw that on Instructables a few days ago and already started coding and soldering! I am on the right track!

  • Cool, but I’m already putting all my effort into the 555contest.com
    Be there or be dead!

  • What about FPGAs? Could that be considered?

  • Kinda short fuse on this one (just two weeks) eh? So if you don’t have a project already built (or even an idea for one) you’re screwed. OTOH if you’ve just completed a project all you have to do is write up the instructable for it (the two weeks should be enough to start from scratch and figure out how to write an instructable).


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