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Jury-rig it contest... Answered

Either the requirements for the contest failed to be made clear, or the entries were assessed and chosen on a different set of requirements. It seems to me that a lot of the entries were on the fine line of professional engineering, not a fast solution to an everyday problem. Paracord fishing lure? Of course. Frankenstein laser engraver? Not very 'McGyver-ish,' more 'Einstein-ish.'

Sour grapes? Maybe, as I had en entry. But I still say that the automatic TIG feeder was 'engineered' not 'McGyvered'.

Maybe the contest itself should have won.

5 Replies

caitlinsdad (author)2013-05-10

You got to look at it this way. MacGyvering something is really a broad concept. Sometimes you have access to more "junk" or you happen to have more experience or skills which helps you solve the problem. Yeah, some things are not ordinary everyday situations, the solutions may be Rube Goldberg contraptions and possibly even the problem MacGyver'ed but the real goal is to make you think. Have fun and try again in another contest even if you did not get a prize.

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chokapi (author)caitlinsdad2013-05-10

"...the use (or mis-use) of ordinary objects to solve difficult problems fast."

My entry fixed my crampon when one of them blew up on me. THAT's McGyvering, and in the spirit of the contest. Along the same lines as the fishing lure. I'm hungry and I'm near a body of water. Immediate solution? Make a lure.

Again, I just don't see how the deliberate collection and construction of disparate electronics parts to make a laser engraver is either the solution of a 'difficult' problem, or 'fast.' (No offense laser engraver guy.)

Just because something is impressive doesn't mean it should win a prize. If we talk to the spirit of the contest, I feel the engraver and a couple of other things were more DIY than 'McGyverism.' McGyverism gets you out of a sticky spot. It doesn't heat your hot tub. (No offense, hot tub guy.)

So, I suggest that when you guys describe a contest, either be vague and accept everything, or be specific and stick to the criteria.

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liquidhandwash (author)chokapi2013-05-11

I know what you mean, and I think others do to, this is I comment I got on my entry
justinbethea says: Apr 19, 2013. 1:41 PMReply
Nice to see a Macgyver theme in a Macgyver contest. You've got my vote, and I've got a new outgoing message for my voicemail.

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caitlinsdad (author)chokapi2013-05-10

I am not a staffer but commenting based on my experience as a perpetual contest doer... You win a few, you lose a few... It's hard to come up with a contest that pleases all the lawyers, the diverse range of makers here, the international community as a whole, etc. Sometimes it looks random on who the winners are. Judging and moderation of entries may seem random to you and me, although it is fairly done by committee. It's a contest run by a business to attract more viewers. I believe everything is on the up and up although we see things as popularity contests based on viewcount or who has the most impressive show of technology. There will always be a gray area as it adapts to please a sponsor or tries to open it up to attract more participants to the site. Sure, I am competing against the guy with the laser cutter and 3D printer but I can still do awesome and it doesn't bother me. I'm just trying to get the point across, that is the DIY spirit. It's OK to get out your rant and move on.

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randofo (author)2013-05-10

Half of the finalists are selected by user votes and the other half are selected by editorial staff. In the case of this contest, that second half of finalists were selected by myself and Mikeasaurus.

With your project, it appeared to us that you had taken something that broken and performed a relatively standard repair. It did not seem like you had taken a collection of oddball items and solved some sort of a new problem. That is why yours was not selected as a finalist.

The finalists for this contest were ultimately judged by 12 people comprising a roughly even mix of site employees and previous contest winners. Each person ranked every finalist in a range from 1 to 9 (9 being the highest). After all of the ratings were in, the laser cutter happened to have the highest consensus amongst all 12 people; from a wide range of maker backgrounds.

I am sorry that you are not happy with how this contest sorted itself out, but we do our part to try to make it as fair as possible.

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