AvnetExpress Contest
Pretty good odds at winning an iPad2.
UPDATE : The deadline for this contest has been extended to Sept 16, 2011

Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that I love entering the contests put on by distributors and electronics companies. I've won swag from Digikey twice, and a few other odds and ends over the past year. But today I came across an interesting one in my Twitter stream.

AvnetExpress, a major electronics component distributor, is running a contest called Avnet's Dog Days of Summer. In short, they have four categories; Solar, Transportation, Communication, and Entertainment. All you have to do is make a short video (30 to 90 seconds) showing off a project you've done using at least one part they sell. You don't actually have to buy them from Avnet, they (it) just has to be something they offer. You make your video and link it in a comment on their YouTube channel. They are awarding one iPad2 for each of the four categories. Cool enough I guess. I'd rather have a new scope, or a DMM, but an iPad would be a handy device for looking up datasheets at my bench.

I saw their posting of the contest when it first came out but kind of dismissed it because I've always thought of Avnet as a fairly high-brow, professionals only distributor. But I looked a little closer today and discovered a couple of things. First, the contest page actually SAYS that hobbiests are welcome to enter, and looking at the AvnetExpress website, I can see no requirement for a minimum order. Maybe this is another company reaching out to the hacker/maker consumer set. We can only hope.

But here's the thing... since all the entries are submitted to their YouTube channel you can see them. Well, you -could- see them IF THERE WERE ANY!! As of today (8/24/2011) there are precisely -zero- entries in their contest. It's been open for three weeks, and has a week to go. Dog days of summer is right! The summer heat wave, kids out of school, vacations, heck, here in Arizona even I don't spend all that much time in the shop. The thing is, it's pretty easy to come in first if there are very few people running in the race!

The only bummer (for some folks) is that the contest is limited to the US, Mexico, and Canada, but not Quebec (what the hell is up with Quebec???).

I went back to some of my old projects and looked up the parts on the Avnet sales site and they sell just about everything I've ever used! So, time to dust of some existing work, re-edit some existing video, and take a swing at it. If you have done any geeky content for the web you should too! Hell, everyone that entered the AmpHour 555 contest already has their entry done!!

Hmmmm ... I could probably sell a new iPad2 on Craigs List and get enough to to buy a cheap Rigol scope, and a reasonable Fluke DMM! 8-)



Return to the Hackers Bench

This page has instructions and plans for building a DIY weather station instrument called and anemometer. An anemometer is a weather station instrument used to measure the speed of the wind. Weather stations also usually include a thermometer, barometer, and maybe a hygrometer. This set of pages includes the plans, instructions, schematics, and photos need to build you own weather station.