The element14 Community is jumping into this holiday season with a fantastically fun looking challenge. The theme is Merry Boxes & LEDs and they’re encouraging you to come up with some kind of light display that really knocks their socks (or stockings) off! Show them how you can build something that is simply unavailable to purchase, or priced out of your reach, and be sure to give it a memorable name, they were very explicit about that!

This project is your baby! Part of the fun of bringing something new into the world is coming up with a name.

Here is an example of the kinds of things they’re looking for.

You can find the challenge details and information here, but we know you’re really interested in the prizes.

The Grand Prize

The grand prize will earn you an awesome Rhode & Schwartz RTB2004 oscilloscope.

3 Runners Up

Three “first place” runners up will receive a decked out Maker’s Bundle plus $100 spend in the store.

To enter, you’ve got to document your build so that others can follow along. This means take great pictures, write out instructions and even produce a video showing it off. You’ve got till the end of the month so you’d better get cracking!


element14’s Gift Guide and Holiday Deals

Of course, not everyone is the competitive type, and a challenge might just stress you out. If you’re that way, or simply thinking about the maker in your life, you should also check out element14’s gift guide and Holiday Deals!


I’ve gone through and picked a few items that I personally know are pretty awesome and I’d recommend:

Polymold

I absolutely love this stuff. It comes in little pellets that you drop into hot water and they become moldable. You can shape them, let them cool, then you have a hard plastic result. I’ve used it to make all kinds of handles and additions to game controllers.


 

DCA75 – Component Analyzer

The ultimate tool for testing and identifying those random bits that appear around your workbench. Capable of identifying pinouts and testing tons of items such as JFET, transistors, regulators, diodes and more.


Retro boombox

I’ll admit, I threw away all my cassette tapes years ago, so I probably wouldn’t use the cassette to MP3 conversion on this but there’s no denying that having a retro boombox blasting tunes in the shop would rock!


Just go check it out. They’ve done a great job finding cool things and offering steep discounts. They even have some helpful collections such as workbench focused gifts, or gifts under $30.