Dangerous Prototypes Open 7400 Logic Competition

Check out this contest from Dangerous Prototypes!

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The folks over at Dangerous Prototypes are hosting a cool contest called the Open Logic 7400 Competition. Entries are due by October 21st, 2011 so now is the time to get started! The rules are fairly straightforward - here they are:

  • Any electronic circuit can be entered, but judges will favor designs where discrete logic chips are a major component. All discrete logic families are acceptable, including 7400, 4000, etc.
  • Original entries will score you the most points. Please don’t copy existing designs from the internet.
  • Submit as many projects as you want, but please submit each separately.
  • Good documentation is a must. Use a video, pictures, schematics, etc to document the project and show it in action.
  • Project files must be released under an open source license. Closed source software or hardware is allowed, but the design of the logic portion should be fully disclosed and redistributable.
  • We want to show off your project, and other websites will too. You agree to allow any part of your submission to be republished here and at other media outlets.
  • All rules, categories and decisions are subject to change at any time. We’ll do our best to let you know about any changes and why they were made.
  • Entries must be received by October 21, 2011, 6AM GMT. Winners will be announced on this webpage by November 1, 2011.

Entries will be judged for:

  • Originality. A smart new design that inspires
  • Documentation. Schematics, theory, pictures and/or video
  • (Mis)use of 7400 logic. Show us what 7400 logic was (never) meant to do
  • Technical prowess
  • Build quality
  • Imagination and creativity

To enter your project, you can either post it on their forum, your own website, or some place like Instructables. When you're done, send them a link via their contact form.

This is a great competition with some awesome prizes (the grand prize is $100 cash, and a Dangerous Prototypes “Hack Pack” with a Bus Pirate, LCD adapter, probe cable, and jumper wires). Get your entries in now!

Comments 20 comments

  • Do we get bonus/style points for showing our Karnaugh maps? :}

    • I used to have a 74HCxx design that used a 32 bit K-map that ran a hydronic heating system. I had excel draw all the K-maps and I just had to interpret them. Lost of fun.

  • Can we use Minecraft redstone circuits? :p ... (Not serious.)

    • I double dare you! That looks like an awesome program. I just looked it up and it is amazing what it can do. I look forward to seeing your submission. It would be a cool way to illustrate how it works.

    • I dare someone to model their project in Minecraft. You get a +(star).

      • I have a design for a 8-bit (but expandable) switch-based password matcher, the graph paper design takes two pages in my engineering notebook...

      • Don't tempt me to make that 8-bit CPU in redstone...

  • Now where did I leave my copy of the "TTL Cookbook"?

  • So what could possibly be more dangerous than using TTL logic to control the shocks in your car while going 100mph+. ;)
    Here's a breadboard prototype I did of a closed loop manual controller for an adjustable Macpherson Strut that is used in a Mitsubishi 3000gt VR4.
    It uses 74xx TTL logic circuits and 1 SN754410 motor driver.
    2nd Vid actually shows it controlling the strut- if you listen closely at the beginning of the video you can hear the motors inside the strut.
    I abandonded this design approach and went a different path.

  • Better finish that TTL homebrew cpu

  • Arrrggg! I wish they had one of these for discrete transistor creations cuz that would inspire me to finish my 8-bit ALU and start working on the rest of the CPU

  • I wonder how many entries they'll actually receive of working prototypes? The last time I used that line of chips was in some lab about a decade ago, and even then they weren't very common and were relatively expensive for such basic logic units.

  • What exactly is discrete logic? Does this include 74HCxxx? Does this include the 555 timer?

    • They likely mean anything that's not a PLD or MPU, that is, packages of gates are your building blocks. This definitely includes any 4000 or 74 series family (LS, AC, HC, HCT, etc.) I think the 555 and other discrete linears would easily qualify as well. When I was learning electronics I had a lot of fun (and learned a lot) using these parts in conjunction with Forrest Mims' books. Good luck!

  • Well, I guess it is about time i finished my entry for the year 2000 CMU Mobot Race :P

  • May I suggest to people who are wanting to do this, but have never really used the 74xx chips before. Please read up on digital logic.
    I focused my study in college in digital design/logic, and I can tell you that it is a little more complex than you think. Especially, during optimization.
    I will be happy to help people understand digital logic concepts and techniques (if desired). Just let me know, who knows I might do a livestream on justin.tv. :)

  • $100 grand prize :S So it is for bragging rights?

  • Years ago I thought of building my own computer using 74181 chips in the ALU. It would still make for an interesting project, especially if I could score surplus old TTL cheap enough. There's not enough time between now and the contest close date to actually design and build something like that, but maybe by next year if they do it again.

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