Free Day Documentary Webcam Call

Have a webcam (or want one) and going to participate in Free Day?

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Last week, we made a call for groups/businesses/individuals who wanted to be part of our Free Day Documentary. The response was great! People from all over the country and in places like the Marshall Islands and Spain expressed interest in having us come out to check out their projects and document their Free Day experience. Ultimately, we had to decide on just three locations. Those locations are as follows: Old Lyme, CT, Austin, TX, and Portsmouth, VA.

Are you near any of those places and might want us to swing by? Let us know! Email me at and we'll see if we can come by. Our schedule will likely be pretty tight, so we can't make any promises, but we'd certainly love to come by and check out what you're working on. Not near one of those locations - well, we've got an offer for you as well!

If you own a webcam, we'd love to have footage of your Free Day experience. Record your experience, show us around your workshop, talk about your latest project - whatever! Upload it and send us a link. Don't have a webcam? Well, we have one for you! We have 30 webcams we are going to be sending out to people around the world. Send me an email to with your name and your address. The only thing we ask is that you document your Free Day experience and send us the footage (via a link to YouTube or Vimeo). We'd also love to hear about your latest project, meet your dog, and just generally get an introduction to who you are. Remember, we only have 30 of these cameras, so they are going to go quickly and it will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Cheers!

Comments 18 comments

  • Jamster / about 12 years ago / 3

    I'm near Portsmouth!!! just in Britan rather than VA....damn it...

  • Wylly / about 12 years ago / 1

    I'll set up my alarm too for this. It's a pity no camera was sent to Spain, it would have been pretty cool :)

    I'm already planning my purchase for that day!!

  • FlippinJax / about 12 years ago / 1

    Can't wait for free day! If I get $100, I'm going to spend it on RepRap electronics. I can almost get everything I need from SparkFun. I definitely want to use the VCNL4000 Infrared Emitter Breakout instead of a physical switch for the endstops. Just wish you had a shield that is as good or better than the RAMPS 1.4. A complete SparkFun RepRap electronics solution would be awesome!

  • Robdrech / about 12 years ago / 1

    That's awesome... I'm in Bristol, CT which is within an hour or so... I would love to hang but I got to be near a pc to win my free day stuff... :/

  • Free Day; an awesome concept and a powerful tool. Nate was a genius for bring it to us. For many years it was a reward for loyal customers and a stimulus for newbies to learn more about electronics and software. Not to mention the load testing that it provided for the Sparkfun software and it's server farm. And the contributions to worthy charities that it generated were awesome. Too bad that in 2012 it has apparently become little more than a marketing ploy. Has Sparkfun IT given up on ever being able to meet the user load that they could muster with a challenging Free Day? I really hope we're not seeing the dismal end to what was an excellent program.

    • Given up? I'd say definitively not!

      Last year's event saw the introduction of a lot of complication. Free Day 2011 couldn't be described easily in a paragraph, let alone a sentence, unlike the original event.

      This year it's a return to the original Free Day's glorious simplicity that is regarded so highly by many. $100 per winner - no varying amounts. A level playing field mechanism for anyone to show up and try for the prize. Cleaner, simpler, and easier.

      By drawing out Free Day for seven hours we give more opportunities to people with more hops to get to our datacenter as well as sustaining Free Day level load on the servers for over three times the length of last year's event. Also, the incorporation of a geiger counter proxied to the webserver to signal wins using the randomness of nature has pushed IT, with the help of our engineers, to find a very novel use for existing SparkFun hardware. A write-up of the stack behind the scenes will follow the event.

      So have we given up? Not even slightly. As Director of IT for SparkFun Electronics I think this will be our finest Free Day yet.

      • To be honest, we (the people) can't complain. $100 is a LOT for free! At least SFE cares about us enough to give the money to us and not spend it elsewhere.

      • CapnCaveman / about 12 years ago / 1

        Hmm, so you are saying that our chances will go up if we can synchronize our server requests with an X-ray cannon aimed at SF HQ... If I may be so humble, I would suggest coming to work in a lead apron that day (or at least a tinfoil hat?).

    • Robdrech / about 12 years ago / 1

      I liked the quiz concept too... I thought it was a great way to gauge the amount of money... Plus there was the "I spent a lot year and can get some money for free" option

    • roybean / about 12 years ago / 1

      I'm gonna have to be a bad guy and agree with rsp. Last year was a real mess, with the servers shutting down and thousands people unable to even get a chance after 2 hours of banging the url. I didn't see much sympathy from sparkfun either.

  • sparkfun in Old Lyme?! That's almost next door! May I ask what organization/workshop you're visiting in Old Lyme?

  • Bin Wang / about 12 years ago / 1

    What is a free day?everything free?

  • Iron man / about 12 years ago / 1

    I home you do a Christmas product video on Friday. wait how could you forget?!?! Well i home you add in a prank or two. You are still doing a video on Friday right?

    P.S. can't wait until free day!!!!!

  • healthyfatboy / about 12 years ago * / 1

    Sent! So, I'll have to figure out what to do on camera now while I wait for the page to load throughout the day. Hmmm...hopefully it doesn't end up like this.

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