Within arm's reach of me right now, there are three electric motors (two from cordless drills, one from an R/C car), 10 amps of H-bridges, 30 watts of solar panels, a probably broken wireless router, 10 silicon wafers (some with thermal oxide, some without), 25 ft of bungee cords, a bicycle brake level assembly, a four-inch diameter pneumatic cylinder, three hose-clamps, and a Stirling engine. The list gets longer and cooler if I'm permitted to include stuff out of arm's reach, especially stuff in the shop.
I know you're exactly the same way.
Why do we keep so much junk around? Because we know that someday we'll find a use for that thing, that at any minute inspiration will hit, tipping us over the edge to assemble all those leftovers into something magnificent.
Well, that tipping point was just reached. Collect up your junk, bolt it together, document the process on Instructables, and you could win a Canon EOS Digital Rebel SLR, a laser engraved Leatherman, or a subscription to Popular Science!
In addition, Instructables has teamed with Popular Science, and in honor of the launch of the PopSci group on Instructables and PopSci's own How 2.0 Blog, the winning Instructable and author will be briefly profiled in the How 2.0 section of an upcoming issue1.
Here are some great examples of "using it again!":
Pimped Out Megaphone Helmet
Kitchen PC with laptop twist
Build a Ski Helmet walkie-talkie ("ACS")
Monitorhead: re-personalising the pc
Recycled Copper Butterfly
Build a Nintendo NES PC
Geeky Circuit Board Earrings
The return of the dead flatbed scanner
Scanner Parts - Desk Lamp
Typewriter Computer Keyboard
The grand prize winner will receive a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT 8.0-Megapixel Digital SLR Camera (Model: Digital Rebel XT 18-55 Kit), be briefly profiled in the How 2.0 section of Popular Science magazine1, and receive a 1 year subscription to Popular Science magazine.
5 first prize winners will receive laser-etched Leatherman Juice S2 multi-tools, and 1 year subscriptions to Popular Science magazine.
10 authors will win Instructables stickers and patches. Yes, we now have stickers!
How to enter:
Any Instructable where a major component is reused or re-purposed, and is added to the PopSci group between now and the end of the day Sunday April 1st, 2007 is eligible. We're going to be pretty liberal with our definition of reused or re-purposed, but with a focus on things that are awesome. You know what I mean -- inspirational reuse; stuff that makes people say, "Cool!" Bonus points for fun stories of how you got the reused component, particularly if they involve dumpsters in areas where you're not supposed to be.
In the past, we've only used the rating of an Instructable to help break ties between our awesome judges. This time around, we're explicitly using the rating of an Instructable and its total number of pageviews as a primary input into our judging. In addition to rating and pageviews, we will continue to ask previously contest winners for their rankings, which will also be a primary input into our decision. So, make sure your project is not only great, but that lots of people are coming in to check it out. A well-worded title and great pictures will help.
All contest entries will be judged for merit. Judges will evaluate each Instructable for the following:
- completeness (photos and text for all important steps)
- clear, concise text description including a properly summarized introduction with the motivation for doing the project
- clear photographs (2+ megapixel preferred), use macro mode for close up shots
- use of photo-notes where appropriate
- list of parts and tools required (if appropriate)
- safety notes (if appropriate)
- technical merit
1. Check out "Cellphone Trick of the month" on page 78 of the March Popular Science Issue for the approximate size we have planned - essentially, a short paragraph writeup, a photo, and a link to the original Instructable. If the winning project is truly outstanding, we might be able to find some more space.