Introduction: How to Enter the September 2006 Instructables Magnet Challenge and Project Contest!

Picture of How to Enter the September 2006 Instructables Magnet Challenge and Project Contest!

It's time for another project contest! In addition to giving out awards and prizes for the best Instructables entered during September, we're also trying out a challenge: document a project that utilizes magnets.

Magnet Challenge
Document a project that uses magnets. Magnets are used in lots of places, so thinking up a project should be easy. Here are some example uses of magnets to get you started (post more in the comments!): motors, earrings, transformers, Rubik’s cubes, refrigerator magnets and lights, knife racks, voice coils and speakers, throwies, reed switches, traffic light triggers, magnetically levitating trains, art, ferrofluid, and bicycle speedometers.

The best five Instructables documenting projects with magnets will win ATC 1000 Helmets cams. We’ve been experimenting with helmet cams and think they can help make documentation easier and more fun. To enter, publish your project anytime during September and add it to the Magnet Challenge group.

September Project Contest
Wild Planet Toys gave us some Digital Spy Cameras that we'll also give away as part of the September Project Contest. The top 5 projects will win SpyCams and the next 10 projects will win the card readers.

The 10 best Instructables published during the month of September will win a [ SanDisk MobileMate SD Plus 5-in-1 Reader] plus a rare earth magnet (a 1/4'' x 1/4'' x1/2'' NdFeB from Amazing Magnets) and some epoxy to make a magnetic memory reader. We always seem to be losing our memory card adapters; I figured if they were magnetically attached to the fridge they might stick around longer.

We’ll also give 25 Honorable Mentions with Instructables patches to sew onto your jacket or bag. Check out the picture of the patch.

Results are posted in the news section. Congratulations to all the winners!

Step 1: Contest Overview

How do I enter the Magnet Challenge?
Any project that includes magnets posted publicly and entered in the Magnet Challenge group on the Instructables website during the month of September 2006 will be automatically entered in the Magnet Challenge. A project the uses magnets will be loosely defined as a project where magnetic force is instrumental or a key theme of the project. If you have questions about specific project ideas, post them as comments and we will respond publicly.

How do I enter the project contest?
Any project entered and posted publicly on the Instructables website during the month of September 2006 will be automatically entered in the project contest (projects already entered in are in). Users who wish to post a project and not be considered for the contest will be given the opportunity to decline any award they might win.

How to Win
All contest entries will be judged for merit. Projects will be evaluated for at least the following:

  • instruction quality, including:
    • completeness (photos and text for all important steps)
    • clear, concise text description
    • clear photographs (2+ megapixel preferred)
    • use of photo-notes where appropriate
    • list of parts and tools required (if appropriate)
    • safety notes (if appropriate)
    • usefulness
    • originality
    • technical merit

See: Tips for Project Authors

Projects not written in English will be considered at the discretion of the judges.

Magnet Challenge Prizes:
5 ATC 1000 Helmet Cameras

Project Contest Prizes:"
10 SanDisk MobileMate SD Plus 5-in-1 Readers
25 Instructables logo patches

May I submit multiple entries?
Yes. You may submit as many entries as you want. Each project posted to the Instructables website during September 2006 is a separate eligible entry in the contest. Entries may also be split into multiple Instructables Projects when appropriate.

Who is eligible for the contest?
The Contest is open anyone who is 18 years or older as of January 1, 2006, regardless of your place of residence. (see notes in contest rules for foreign entrants).

Not enough winners
In the unlikely event that not enough projects are entered into the Magnet Challenge or less than five projects are deemed to be of sufficient quality, the Magnet Challenge prizes will be awarded to outstanding Instructables entered during the month of September 2006.

Step 2: Official Rules

And the lawyers make us say...

Instructables Project Contest
Official Rules and Regulations

General Submission Rules
Projects must be entered using the Instructables web service. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. Decisions of Instructalbes (Contest Administrator) are final. All taxes including but not limited to national, federal, state and local are the responsibility of Contest Participants. No responsibility assumed for lost or misdirected entries. By virtue of participation, the Participant:

*represents and warrants:
1. that the Participant is not bound by any intellectual property agreement or any other agreement or obligation, with an employer or otherwise, that prohibits or limits in any way the Participant's right to participate and/or the Participant's right to submit material, or that may limit the Contest Administrator's rights in any way to such submission in the event the Entry is chosen as a winner.
2. that the Participant or Participants are over the age of eighteen (18).
3. that the Participants submission does not contain or incorporate the intellectual property and/or confidential information of any third party;

  • releases the Contest Administrator, affiliates, employees and agents from any form of action or claims of damages, costs or losses of any kind resulting from participation.

Who may enter
Any individual or group of individuals, age 18 and over as of the date of entry, may enter the Contest. Direct employees of the Contest Administrator, contest judges, or their affiliates, advertising, promotion, production agencies, members of their immediate families, or those with whom they are domiciled are not eligible. In addition, anyone living in a country, province, or state where the Contest is prohibited, taxed, or otherwise restricted under national, federal, provincial, state and local laws, rules, or regulations is ineligible. Participants who are residents of a country, state, or province that prohibits unregistered contests or requires the Contest Administrator to post a bond are ineligible. The Contest Administrator expressly disclaims any responsibility or liability for any Participant who enters when it is illegal for them to do so. By entering this Contest, Participants agree to waive any additional rights granted in regard to Contests by the country, state, or province in which they are domiciled. Foreign entrants are cautioned to review the laws in the country or province in which they reside to determine if they are prohibited from participating.

How to Enter
Each Project entered in the Contest must be the original work and sole and exclusive property of the person or team who submits it. Entries must be submitted using the Instructables website.

Participants may enter more than one Project.

All Entries must be made publicly visible on the Instructables website on or before 11:59 p.m. EST on September 30, 2006. The Contest Administrator assumes no responsibility for lost, late, or misdirected entries.

How to Win
All Contest entries will be judged by a panel of judges selected by the Contest Administrator on the following:

  • instruction quality
  • originality
  • usefulness
  • technical merit

Participants agree to abide by all decisions of the Contest Administrator and the judges, which shall be final and binding with respect to all issues relating to the Contest.

Winners will be notified via e-mail by the Contest Administrator using the e-mail address associated with their Instructables user account. Winners will be notified on or about October 15, 2006. Winners may choose whether to accept any award. The list of winners, identifying only Instructables username, will be posted on the Instructables website. If you are chosen as a winner, you will be asked to supply your name and mailing address and other details needed to transfer your prize to you. Failure to respond within 10 days will constitute a forfeiture of any award.

The following prizes will be awarded: 5 ATC 1000 Helmet Cams, 10 SanDiks MobileMate SD Plus 5-in-1 Readers, 25 Instructables Logo patches. The contest administrator will make every effort to award all prizes, however if insufficient projects are submitted, not all prizes will be awarded. Total cash value of all Contest prizes is $2,000. Foreign entrants may be responsible taxes and import fees on any prize they might win. We may substitute cash or a gift certificate at instead of a prize when shipping a prize is impractical.

To contact us:

Legal Considerations
The odds of winning depend on the number of acceptable entries received and the decision of the judges. The prizes will be awarded and mailed to the winners. The Administrator is solely responsible for the payment of all prizes. Upon delivery to the winner's address, the Administrator will be deemed to have awarded the prize to the winner with the winner assuming full responsibility for the prize. There will be no substitution for prizes other than as offered. Each winner, and not the Contest Administrator, is solely responsible for all other arrangements, costs and expenses associated with and receiving their prize, including without limitation, any taxes or other fees imposed by a government authority. All participants and winners agree that entering a project into the Instructables website constitutes agreement to the terms and conditions of the Entry rules. Winners will be notified by e-mail on or about October 15, 2006. The Contest Administrator's decision is final. If a winner fails to respond within 10 days of notification, an alternate winner will be selected. Prizes are not transferable.

Entries made on the Internet will be deemed made by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address submitted at the time of Entry. In the event of a dispute, potential winners may be required to provide proof that the potential winner is the authorized account holder of the e-mail address associated with the potentially winning Entry. By submitting an Entry, the Participant certifies that the Project entered in the Contest is their work, or that they have written legal permission from the property owner. Furthermore, they have read and understand the complete rules of the Contest and agree to abide by them.

By entering, Participants agree to release and hold harmless the Contest Administrator and their affiliates, subsidiaries, officers, directors, representatives, agents, and employees, from any and all liability whatsoever for any injuries, losses, or damages of any kind arising from or in connection with, either directly or indirectly, 1) the awarding, acceptance, receipt, possession, use, and/or misuse of any prize awarded herein; or 2) participation in the Contest or any prize related activities, including but not limited to traveling to or from any prize related activity. The Contest Administrator is not responsible for incorrect or inaccurate entry of information including, but not limited to, technical malfunctions, human error, lost/delayed data transmission, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, line failures of any telephone network, computer equipment, software or any combination thereof, Entry materials that have been tampered with, or e-mail or mail-in entries that are illegible, late, lost, damaged, postage due, or misdirected. The Contest Administrator is not responsible for any injury or damage to the Participant's or any other person's computer related to or resulting from participation or downloading any material in this Contest. Entries that have been tampered with or altered are void.

The Administrator reserves the right to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend this Contest if it becomes technically corrupted or if for any reason the Internet portion of the program is not capable of running as planned, including infections by computer viruses, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of the Contest Administrator that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest promotion.

This Contest shall be interpreted and governed by the substantive laws of the State of California and any applicable laws and regulations of the United States. The Participant agrees that any and all disputes which cannot be resolved between the parties, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, exclusively, before a court located in Santa Clara County, CA having competent jurisdiction, which Court shall apply the laws of the State of California without regard to any principles of conflicts of laws, and submission of said Entry constitutes acceptance of such laws. The Participant further agrees that no claims, judgments or awards shall exceed the amount of the Contest prize and under no circumstances shall include attorney's fees; nor shall any Participant be permitted to obtain awards for punitive, incidental, consequential or other similar damages or have any damage awards multiplied or increased for any reason.

Contest Administrator
Instructables, Inc is the contest sponsor and administrator.


pgdarth95 (author)2010-10-13

effing magnets, how do they work?

ewilhelm (author)2007-11-25

No, this contest occurred in 2006.

Derin (author)ewilhelm2009-06-28

2 year

FrenchCrawler (author)2006-10-13

Still waiting for the 15 to roll by..... It's killing me to wait :P

ewilhelm (author)FrenchCrawler2006-10-15

I'll have it done by tomorrow night!

ewilhelm (author)ewilhelm2006-10-15

Whoa! It's still the 14th where I am, so despite the date on my comment, I'll have it done by end of the day October 15th.

g0pher (author)ewilhelm2006-10-15

where will the results be posted?

ewilhelm (author)g0pher2006-10-15

also, you won! awesome!

FrenchCrawler (author)ewilhelm2006-10-16

So ummmmm, Who do we contact (email) to give our personal information to cause I've been checking my mail and I haven't seen any notification in there to reply to? Have they been sent out or are you still in the process (Should take a while from the amount of winners... I think)? Thanks :)

ewilhelm (author)FrenchCrawler2006-10-19

You haven't missed it. I'll get to it as soon as possible.

g0pher (author)FrenchCrawler2006-10-16

i asked this same question, congrats btw frenchy ;D

FrenchCrawler (author)g0pher2006-10-16

The real congrats goes to you... Excellent job, I knew you would win seeing as how simple yet useful your idea was ;)

FrenchCrawler (author)ewilhelm2006-10-15

Yay.... Actually everyone who entered magnetic projects technically won. Patches for everyone..... (Now to figure out the best way to show them off :) )

ewilhelm (author)g0pher2006-10-15

In the news section. I just posted them!

g0pher (author)ewilhelm2006-10-15

where will the results be posted?

trebuchet03 (author)2006-10-01

Well... its struck october on the east coast :P

What I think does not matter as far as the contest goes... but here's my opinion for magnetic projects (all excluding myself :p) ;)

Best Documentation
pronteon and the Magno-Sniffer
MrMunki and the Tic-Tac light

Best use of Materials (recycling etc.)
PeterTheUnGreat and the Magnetic Speed Sensor (plus he has a cool o-scope)

Most Novel Idea (aka originality)
VIRON and the Magnet Powered Telephone (I've never heard of doing that)

Best application of a commercial equivalent
g0pher and the Magnetic Stirrer

Most submissions
For sure: FrenchCrawler (circa 20)

I have no idea award (can't find a use - but interesting nonetheless)
fungus amungus and the waterfall of destiny
AlextheGreat and the brake tower

First Magnetic Project(s) I'm Likely to Build (aka - cool factor & usefulness for me)
Tic-Tac light (modified)
Magno-sniffer (applied as a gauss meter)
Magnetic Stirrer (to make a vortex generator for ambiance)

There's plenty more - I tried to include most of everyone but now it's time to close :p

Yay, I really do have too much free time on my hands.....but I'm going to try to focus on one major (hopefully winning) project for halloween cause it is my favorite holiday too.

Ok, so there's some small projects I'd also like to share... I hate it when my mind wanders...

zachninme (author)2006-09-29

Man, I wish I had a decent camera. If we make CAD drawings, would they get like 1/2 score on that section? Of course, GOOD ONES. And this is sorta a reference for next month.

ewilhelm (author)zachninme2006-09-29

If the pictures are clear and descriptive, it doesn't matter what their source. So, yes CAD drawings could be just fine.

g0pher (author)2006-09-27

So top 5 will win the helmet cam and the spy cam?

ewilhelm (author)g0pher2006-09-29

If you win the magnet challenge, it's your choice. For the September project contest, it's the spycams.

AlexTheGreat (author)2006-09-21

could someone win more than once, by having more than one winning instructable?

ewilhelm (author)AlexTheGreat2006-09-22

You can only win once, but should definitely enter as many projects as you can. Remember that the projects are judged on many different vectors including documentation quality, clarity of pictures, and so on...

alexanderelwood (author)2006-09-18

I have just noticed this challenge and i will accept and do my best.I have verry little time though.

robwen (author)2006-09-15

How about an electromagnetic remote control for braindead individuals, to make them move their limbs and "see god" (it's the real deal). Read more at these links:
Electromagnetic remote control can make people move their limbs:
We can use TMS to prevent people from seeing a visual stimulus or make it hard for them to speak", he says. They can also make people move their limbs without any voluntary control. Some of the first studies showed that applying TMS to the brain's temporal lobes, the regions just above the eyebrows, altered the mood of volunteers. When they stimulated the area above the right eyebrow, the volunteer experienced euphoric happiness. When they targeted the left temporal lobe, the subject lapsed into apathy and sadness.

BBC report (God on the Brain( - magnetically induced religious experiences:

Commercial device:

PetervG (author)2006-09-12

|M| A G N E T M |A| G N E T M A |G|N E T M A G |N| E T M A G N |E| T M A G N E |T|

g0pher (author)2006-09-11

I hope I can get my hands on that camera!! looks so... SECKSY

leevonk (author)2006-09-05

I have a large electromagnet that can lift 1,500 lbs, anyone want to buy it? It needs a 24 volts, 24 amp power supply. I made a power supply out of daisy chained PC power supplies, you can buy that too if you want.

AlexTheGreat (author)leevonk2006-09-06

how much are you selling it for

leevonk (author)AlexTheGreat2006-09-06

I bought it new for $100 off ebay. turned it on twice, didn't do what I wanted it to do (I wanted it to bend 0.003" diameter electrodes as I guided them through organic tissue but the electroded were too thin and weren't attracted much). I'll sell it for $75 plus shipping (depends on where you live, I live in brooklyn NY)

Outside dimensions – 5.125” x 6.375” on the face and 4” tall
Cord length – 6’
Lift strength at 24VDC – 1494 pounds
Lift strength at 12VDC – 93 pounds
Resistance – 1 ohm
Operating voltage – 120VAC or less
Mounting holes – (2) ½-13 tapped holes on 3.5” centers.
Approximate weight – 19 pounds


if you want it I'll give you my email

Tetranitrate (author)leevonk2006-09-08

I wonder if you could use that to erase all the tapes that are still left on the shelves in blockbuster, like in Fight club. Btw where are you in Brooklyn (Im in metrotech).

Gemologist (author)Tetranitrate2006-09-11

After watching the mythbusters episode on just such a thing, I can safetly say, yep, it'll work.... but why not go with a NdFeB magnet? those work great too, and they don't require wiring... ( I reccomend the $22 one) It should do ya just fine.

trebuchet03 (author)AlexTheGreat2006-09-06

hehe... make a copy of that MagLev Bed :P

AlexTheGreat (author)trebuchet032006-09-06

No thanks, I don't want my bed flipping over and crushing me while I sleep.

trebuchet03 (author)AlexTheGreat2006-09-06

yeah really :P 1.5K pounds is whole lotta force :/

trebuchet03 (author)2006-09-05

Magnets eh? I acecpt.

AlexTheGreat (author)trebuchet032006-09-09

I accept as well, and soon i will make two magnet oriented instructables. I'll give a hint on one of them, Lorenz force


Magnetic darts:

I always knew it would come in handy one day (besides keeping me amused)...

zachninme (author)2006-09-08

Why go for a super-complicated thing that uses a 100$ 1.4K lb. electromagnet, it would score incredibly low in something ;-)

K.J. (author)2006-09-06

Do Electro-Magnets count?

FrenchCrawler (author)2006-09-05

At last I can say I truly like my camera. Yay for the D'zign DZ-320 3.2 Megapixel Digital Camera (The secret is to quickly push the button and not hold it....... and take more pictures if the other ones screw up).

About This Instructable




Bio: Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through ... More »
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