24-hr Microchip Technology giveaway sigma – GO!

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The giveaway frenzy continues. Note that the prize bundle has changed slightly this time. Now it consists of one Microchip Technology PIC10F Cap Touch Demo Board and one MCP1252 Charge Pump Backlight Demo Board.

Beginning at noon PDT today, and closing at noon PDT tomorrow, we will be accepting comments, below, describing the Halloween-y use (or uses) to which you would put said bundle.

For this giveaway, the prompt is: “How would you use the prize bundle in a Hack-‘o-lantern?”

The winner will be announced tomorrow afternoon at the bottom of the comment thread. Be sure to include a valid e-mail address.

Make: Halloween Contest 2009

Microchip Technology Inc. and MAKE have teamed up to present to you the Make: Halloween Contest 2009! Show us your embedded microcontroller Halloween projects and you could be chosen as a winner.

17 thoughts on “24-hr Microchip Technology giveaway sigma – GO!

  1. Nate says:

    I’d mount the cap sensor in the bottom of an open candy dish. If someone reaches too deep, it would trigger the LEDs inside of a nearby jack.

    Of course, the jack o’ lantern would be lit with a traditional grin and candle…but a more sinister face would be revealed via LEDs, and accompanying sound effects (hidden face would be done by scraping out the shapes on the inside, and thinning a bit of the outer skin, and covering the back so only the LEDs would light up that area).

  2. Steve says:

    use the captive board combined with a stainless steel self-serve candy container to trigger light levels on leds attached to jack o’ latterns around my front porch…

    the more contact with the candy container, the brighter the lights …

  3. Adam Z says:

    In my haunted house, I would have the cap touch board in a door handle, so that when someone tried to open the door it would trigger the backlight board.
    The backlight board would be mounted behind a portrait hanging on the door, and it would light up when someone tried to open the door.

  4. Bryant says:

    Touch sensor on doorbell housing connected to MCU.
    One touch (ring) turns on pumpkin 1.
    Next touch turns on pumpkin 2.
    Next touch turns on pumpkin 3.
    Next touch turns on random pumpkin lighting.
    Next touch activates dance music synchronized with pumpkin lighting.

  5. Dwayne says:

    I want to make a jack o’lantern that looks at you when you walk up to it.

  6. David says:

    Carve the pumpkin so it looks like a normal pumpkin with an “asleep” face. Thin out the skin behind the eyes to make a backlit angry eye.

    Place a candy bowl in front of the pumpkin and use the proximity sensing to sense when someone reaches for the candy and light up the eyes.

  7. murray says:

    I would make the leds blink to music by attaching it to an arduino, and I would use the cap touch board to trigger the music and lights when someone touched the door or came within a certain distance. Sort of like: http://www.instructables.com/id/Music-Synchronized-LED-Pumpkin/.

  8. Devcoder says:

    when someone got close to the jack-o-lantern candy bowl, the lights would start to pulse under the eyes

  9. Helvetica says:

    Carve an Apple logo as the face of the pumpkin. Place the LED board inside as a light source, and program the PIC10 to generate a smooth PWM sine wave like the sleep mode on a Mac. Use the cap sense board to detect when someone touches or is close to the pumpkin (we’ll call it the ‘Reality Distortion Field’) and have it wake up to fully lit or perhaps a simulated candle flicker. When they step away, it returns to the throbbing PWM sleep state. Don a black turtleneck and jeans and hand out insanely great caramel apples.

  10. Shadyman says:

    I’d mount the backlight behind the face, and mount the sensor board near the top, under a thin patch of hollowed out pumpkin rind… So after I answer the door, I could talk to the pumpkin:

    “Who’s a good pumpkin? You are! You’re a good pumpkin!”,

    and pet the pumpkin, and have it activate the playback of a voice recorder with prerecorded purr, and have it flash the backlight on and off.

  11. Everett says:

    I would use the backlight board to light the jack-o-lantern. Using the cap touch board, a discrete touch pad can be installed on the back of the pumpkin. Enabling touch and hold in the cap touch demo software, and adding some pwm code to the backlight board, the two would be linked so that one could touch and hold the pumpking to sweep brightness up and down. Taps would turn it on and off, and holds would gradually vary the brightness until the user let go, custom-setting the brightness. Further developments could include other modes such as blinking patterns.

  12. Mike says:

    Put the touch sensor in proximity mode and wire the LED board to a stuffed black cat. The eyes of the cat would glow at random patterns and play a screeching noise when someone gets close.

  13. Peter says:

    arranged LED’s would light up/get brighter through the capacitive and pump chips as people reach further into candy bowl/jack-o-lantern.

  14. J Simulcik says:

    I would use initial contact with the cap touch sensor turn the lights in the pumpkin from off to low, lighting a standard carved scary face. Most trick or treaters and parents will assume that it’s a simple switch-closed circuit. Longer contact will increase the intensity of the light through the pump chip and trigger a shaker motor and a fog pump, resulting in a very agitated looking hack-o-lantern.

  15. kdistel says:

    Place a carved pumkin on a scarecrow-like body. Place the LED board in the pumkin to allow it to light up. Have the body leaning towards your front door and attached to a pulley driven by a motor. When someone rings the doorbell (has the cap touch sensor rigged to it) the pulley gives some slack so the body lunges (safely) towards the victim. The pumpkin head lights up, a laughing sound can be played, and the body’s abdomen opens up with candy inside. Have the system reset after a few seconds. The concept can be expanded.

  16. Sean Michael Ragan says:

    Thanks for your entries! The winner will be announced here shortly! One more bundle coming up on Thursday!

  17. Sean Michael Ragan says:

    …to Nate, whose comment was selected as the winner. Stay tuned for another bundle like this one tomorrow!

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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