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POLL: Should we hold another competition ?

Discussion in 'Competitions' started by 3v0, Sep 21, 2008.

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Should we hold another competition ?

Poll closed Sep 28, 2008.
  1. Yes

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. No

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
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  1. jpanhalt

    jpanhalt Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    I just voted yes. Heck, there's nothing else to do. They economy is going down the toilet.

    Some suggestions:

    1) A puzzle. For example, what is the smallest number of 1K resistors (exactly 1K) you can assemble to attain a certain value ±1%. That concept can be expanded to include any number of passive components.

    2) Almost any routing problem

    3) Design an op-amp circuit with specific characteristics starting with a given op-amp.

    4) Minimal code steps to do XZY with a PIC 16Fxxx

    Overall, keep it fun, quick, and no big prizes.

    John
     
  2. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    How Important are Prizes ?

    If we follow John's suggestion how important are prizes ?
     
  3. ericgibbs

    ericgibbs Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    hi 3v0,
    Hope this maybe of use to you.

    Did a listing of forum members 'active helpers', going over recent posts, there are about 50 ish.

    Of the last contestants, 4 of the 5 enteries where by active helpers.

    So I would say thats about a 10% of the active helpers.

    From this very rough analysis I would say there is not much point in holding another competition based on the previous criteria.:(
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2008
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. jpanhalt

    jpanhalt Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Well, you know what they say about statistics. :D

    I think what 3V0 seems to be asking is whether the poor participation was possibly due to the nature of that contest.

    Just look at how some questions get comments by (it seems) almost all of the "active helpers;" whereas, others have very few responses. I suspect the same would hold true for contests.

    John
     
  6. jpanhalt

    jpanhalt Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    Here's an additional thought. Look at how many entries Bill (blueroomelectronics) had with his "1-day contest." I don't think the comments were motivated in the least by the prize. I'll wager it was the challenge to be first and best for most people. And, the contest was only for one day.

    So, my point is that a contest can be viewed as not much more than a regular question. The major difference is that the question is more carefully presented (we hope), and there is a guaranteed resolution. That is, feedback on the outcome.

    There has never been a problem in getting active participation in such "contests" on this forum.

    John
     
  7. 3v0

    3v0 Coop Build Coordinator Forum Supporter

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    Observations & Ideas

    The poll closes tomorrow.

    Observations & Ideas

    The majority wants a contest but interest is weak. In part because the first contest has generated a bad attitude.

    Picking the right subject in a group a diverse as ours is never going to be easy. I doubt there is a single subject that would allow everyone, maybe even a majority, to enter.

    If it is reasonable to expect 5 people or less to enter any given contest we need to scale back the contest period and the prizes. It does not make sense to round up $100's in prizes with so few people.

    Maybe it makes sense to run more frequent smaller contest. Maybe two a month. Small or no prizes. Maybe we could get Electromaster to up the PM limit for the winners. :)

    In the case where prizes are other then money I would like to create a prize pool for the winners to pick from. I am not thinking anything big here maybe PCBs, hand tools, whatever we can get donated or scrounge.

    A concern I have with non monetary prizes is shipping. At times it could cost more the the prizes. I need to think about that.

    It could be that we could make this work if we grow into it. Start with something as simple as brain teasers or electronic puzzles.

    I would like to hold another competition but only if there is a reasonable probability of success. I define success as it meeting a set of expectations which is dependant on the contest.

    3v0
     
  8. jpanhalt

    jpanhalt Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    How about putting the question of prizes to the forum members?

    Product prizes could lead to lots of complications and unanticipated costs, as you suggest. So, I would ask whether material prizes (products or money) enhance the competition, have a neutral effect, or detract from participation. It seems clear that any material prize will effectively limit the frequency of contests.

    I would also ask a question about whether and what form of non-material prize would be desired.

    John
     
  9. shokjok

    shokjok Member

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    I favor another contest, though I entered my bike trailer taillight controller after the closing date. I designed and built it in 1987 and still works to this day.
    Why not have a similar contest - the simplest circuit with up to ten components, without fear of intellectual property infringement, or a circuit built off a PCB supported only by its wire leads? There are other contests and calls for toys on the Web - should we compete with them?
     
  10. Boncuk

    Boncuk New Member

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    I guess I come up much too late in this discussion.

    I was winner of the non-MCU contest last year, but ashamingly I must also admit I was the only participant in that discipline.

    There are so many useful hints for members of this forum and I sometimes wonder why just a few members participate in competitions.

    Maybe the "stick of advertising" has to be stirred clearly visible to all - which wasn't the case with the last competition. (One had to know which forum subdivision to enter before proceeding. Many of the forum members don't have English language as their native language, which makes it more difficult to navigate through the site). The same applied to me being newbie on the site until I found the right pathts. (I'm German).

    Therefor I think it would be useful for this great community to set up a schedule about when and where to post an oncoming competition with the help (including me) to make it right for everybody to read and react posting the oncoming event clearly in the site home top line and explain how to get there.

    BTW, because I didn't receive a reply from Electomaster after my offer to support the forum, here now bublic to all being concerned with the forum: Money transfer is extremeley difficult from Thailand to any place in the world for foreigners, and that's why I offered to pay support via snail-mail in a normal envelope hiding the cash by carbon paper. However I never received a reply to that suggestion.

    I guess asking for support is not a question of "HOW". Am I wrong?

    Boncuk
     
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