Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Workshop 2

Hi folks,

Workshop 2 will be in Clark A201 starting at 7pm tonight (Wednesday November, 28).  Make sure you bring a fully charged laptop and your kit.

We will have breadboards for sale and will be handing out the servos that are a part of your kit.  If you haven't picked up your kit yet, we will have that available for you.

The mini-project for this workshop is the Pirate Security System.  We will go over analog to digital voltage converters, voltage division, and serial connections as well as the serial monitor.

We will also talk about the first Mini Design Competition (MiniDC) that takes place over Winter Break.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

First Workshop

The first workshop will be Wednesday, November 14th at 7pm in Engr 100.

Please bring a fully charged laptop if you have one.  You will need to install the software and drivers found here:

The agenda for the workshop:
  • General business
  • Get everyone their kits
  • Talk about the Arduino and its capabilities
  • Go over current limiting and diode circuits
  • Go over noiseless button circuits
  • Go over Arduino programming basics
  • Make our first mini project!!!!
It will take approximately an hour and a half, so get there a few minutes early so we can start on time.  If you have a test, class, or other conflict, we will be recording the workshop and putting it online on our resources page under the "Workshops!" tab.  You can find the resources page by clicking on the link on the left hand banner.

The next workshop will be Wednesday, November 28th at 7pm.  The room is TBA.

See you there!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Kits and Registration Deadlines

The deadline to register AND order a kit is Friday, November 9th at 10pm Mountain Time.

You will need a kit for the competition. If you have not paid for a kit before the deadline, you will not get one and will have to buy all of the parts yourself (see the link in the update below).  As we are selling the kits at less than it costs to purchase them, it will be more expensive to buy everything yourself.  The kits through us are $35 and can be ordered via Etsy below.

Link to register:

Link to order kit:

UPDATE:  For people that will be registering late and want to take advantage of the workshops or want an extra kit, you will need to order the parts included in this link

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Informational Meetings

Hi folks! We are going to have two different informational meetings, Monday, October 29th and Tuesday, October 29th, both at 7 in Engr E203.  Both days will have the same information, so you don't need to attend both sessions.

We will talk about the competition, the workshops, the rules, how the competition is judged, and a variety of other things. We will also be registering teams that haven't registered yet and voting on your budget. We are preordering kits this year, so we will be selling those as well.

For your convenience, here are links for the last couple posts in one place and event links for the info nights.

Registration link:

Order kit:

Info meetings:


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Kits! Get your kits!

To participate in the Open Design Competition, you will need a kit.  The kit contains everything you need for the workshops and to get you started on your team's project.  Make sure your team is registered before ordering a kit.

In the kit you'll find:
- An Arduino      (a microcontroller, like a mini-computer)
- A servo motor      (robots anyone?)
- A DC motor      (go go Speed Racer!)
- LED's     (a must)
- A temperature sensor      (bring on the heat!)
- Resistors     (not so futile)
- Diodes     (make the world go direction)
- Transistors    (yeah, we go there)
- A USB cable and other goodies

The kit costs $35.  You can order it using the link below.  After registration closes, we will order the kits and they will be ready for pick up during the first workshop.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Registration Link

Hi folks!  Register here!

What am I registering for?
Only the best competition in the world.  You can make ANYTHING that you want.  Anything.  It could be a popcorn maker that chases people around and shoots popcorn at them, some nifty testing instrument, a movie prop, or anything else you can think of.

Why should I register to compete?  Well, several reasons:
1) We have workshops to teach you everything you'll need from the ground up.
2) I looks awesome on your resume and in interviews.
3) You meet a lot of people.
4) Cash prizes*
5) Class credit**

How is this competition judged? 
In simple words, like a dog show.  Take a few minutes and look at the other epic tabs  ;)

Who can register?
Anyone, from any major, of any year, with any expertise.  If you don't have a lot (or any) experience in electronics, we will teach you everything you need to know.  The one requirement is that you are a student during the Spring 2013 semester.

Now, some of you are wondering about the "*" and the "**".  *At the moment, we are in the process of getting this year's sponsors.  Cash and other prizes are based upon donations from companies and inspired individuals (if you know someone, let us know!).  **At the moment, we have arranged for ECE majors to receive credit towards your graduation.  We are working with other departments to do the same. You must finish a project and submit it to receive credit.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

3rd Annual Open Design Competition Kick Off!


Hello folks!  We are getting ready for the kick off of the 3rd Annual CSU-IEEE Open Design Competition!

The rough timeline for the start of the competition is:
October 29th and 30th - Informational Meetings (time and places to come soon)
November 9th - Registration Due
November 14th - Kick off meeting with kits and the first workshop

For up-to-date times and places, please like our page on facebook (CLICK ME!) or check back to this site often.  We will keep both up to date.

As far as perks go, this year we have a lot, so come to the info meeting and learn about 'em!

See you there!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Design Competition Entries

Hi folks,

This year has been a busy year for a lot of folks, and we've had a few teams drop out.  While we have enough people to do a final competition event, we don't have enough people to award cash prizes as it might appear as a conflict of interest and get me in hot water.  Instead, we will have trophies and pizza (although, you'll get pizza whether you win or not, lol).

If you plan on attending, I will need a really simple report of your project by Sunday, April 1st as a PDF.  It needs to include your BOM with total costs, a bibliography if you used anyone's code/schematics/mechanical designs, your code, and a description of your project and how it works.  It doesn't need to be anything overly extensive or fancy.  Email it to me at

The competition date is being decided by a few folks that have kept up on their emails.  It will likely be between April 4th and April 11th.

I need to stress that you do not need a fully functioning prototype to participate.  The way the competition is judged takes functionality only as a small consideration.  Please come and show off your ideas, the snags you hit, and eat some pizza with us.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I need an email at before the end of the week if your team still plans on entering the final competition.  As to be expected, we've had a couple teams drop out because they've gotten too busy, but I don't know how many folks are left.  If we don't have enough entries, we may need to cancel the competition.

Thank you,

Monday, March 5, 2012

Upcoming workshops and competition info

Hi folks,

Our next workshop is Tuesday, March 6th at 7.  Darrel will be talking about how to use your Arduino as an oscilloscope and other nifty things that may be useful to you. From what I understand, Darrel will be introducing you guys to Processing, which is a visual programming language and interfaces very easily with Arduino.

We will have another workshop next week that will be a chance to get any help you need on your code, schematics, or troubleshooting. If you get stuck with anything, you are welcome to email either of us for help.

The final competition will be the second or third week of April. I need to talk to some of our sponsors and judges to see what exact date works the best.

We will need a PDF with a brief description of your project, how it works, your code, electrical schematics, mechanical plans (if applicable), bill of materials (with costs of components), and a list of any code or schematics from other people (similar to a Works Cited page in a research paper) by April 1st. It doesn't need to be anything lengthy or extreme, just enough to show what you did. While Darrel and I don't need anything fancy, it's great to have something to show the judges what you designed and created. It may be worth it to print out nice, color copies for the judges.

EVEN IF YOUR PROJECT IS NOT FINISHED OR WORKING 100%, YOU SHOULD COMPETE ANYWAYS. Only a small portion of the competition is based off of a functioning prototype. If you have a neat idea and something breaks or just doesn't want to work, you could still win one of the 5 prizes :)

Anyways, hope to see you folks there!