Build your own Contest and Prizes?!


Active Member
Most of us have some misc. x10 gear, or other parts (sensors, circuits, etc) laying around in a box collecting dust...

Was interested to see if the members here would be willing to donate one (or more) things for a member built contest.

Electron and I were discussing some of the issues that would have to be resolved... mainly shipping.

Two ways to deal with shipping... the winner's address is given to all those who are willing to donate. Well, there in itself is a problem... would the winner want everyone to have their address?

Another way may be to send Electron the gear and include a couple of bucks to cover his shipping bill. This, of course, is more expensive to the person donating.

Any other ideas on how this could be resolved?

Would you all be interested in donating some old gear (used or not)?

With regards to the actual contest... I was thinking about it being a bit of a challenge... not a simple "post in this thread" kinda of thing...

What kind of challenge would you like to make it? Best Haiku about HA? (just a quick example). Something fun that makes one take time to think and be creative would be ideal... dunno, what are some of your ideas?

Should we make it a winner takes all, or make it several smaller contests?

So what are your thoughts on this idea?

I'll definitely add to the 'pot'. This could be a lot of fun! If you see any reasons why not to do this, feel free to post those as well!
This takes the old saying "one man's junk is another man's treasure" to a whole new level ;-)

I'd be willing to donate some of my X10 appliance modules, motion detectors and other misc stuff and have some ideas to address the other issues on the table.

SHIPPING: We all ship to electron and then the winner pays to have it shipped from electron to him/herself. Consider this the "entry" fee. I'd be willing to do it just because I am assuming that other peoples junk is still better then mine (just hope Automated Outlet, Tech Home and other resellrs join in the fun ...hehehe). The nominal shipping charge shouldn't be an issue if everyone knows what they're getting into right from the start.

1) Winner is whoever presents the most "wacky" application for home automation. This can be by hardware, software, various technology (x10, zwave, etc) or any other use as long as it is AUTOMATED... with the exception maybe of manually initiating the command.
2) Electron takes a picture of all the submitted jumk in a pile and the winner is the one who correctly identifies the most products in the stash. This may give an edge to the person who submits the most shwag but I'd be ok with that... in fact it even makes a nice segue into idea #3...
3) Random drawing where each peron gets one entry for each piece of equipment they send in

Looking forward to this... sound like fun
I can probably donate something. How about a contest where you define a common HA situation and have people describe how they would/did solve it? Something basic like: Detect motion in a room, turn on a light, and then turn it off some delayed time after motion ends. The description of the solution should be detailed in describing both the hardware and the coding used. (Actual code samples are encouraged). Winner is not based on the nature of the solution so much as how well it is described.

There are lots of different HA platforms represented on this site and it might be cool to see all the different ways to skin the same cat.
remoteshoppe said:
3) Random drawing where each peron gets one entry for each piece of equipment they send in
This starts to sound a little like the jambalaya boxes that used to go around in the LEGO community. Somebody would start out with a box of random pieces that they didn't need or want any more. They'd send it to the first person on the list. That person would take out something they wanted and replace it with something they didn't. The box would then go to the next person in the list, and so on.

I think some of these went around for a few years before dying out - I don't know if any are still running.

I don't think this would work with some of the stuff we are probably talking about - too expensive to ship.
I'm all for it but would suggest a couple of give a aways instead of one larger.

This way more can enjoy it.

It's maybe possible to do 1 a month?

This should create a large interest.

Count me in....
1 a month is what I was thinking as well. We definitely have to work out some details, but the responses look pretty positive so far.
I wonder if Electron has built a large version of his mousetrap? I can see him switching it on quickly if I stopped by to pick up a prize.. ;)
Wonder what song E would play over the whole house audio? ;)

And before I forget...
Come X-mas time... what do you all think about a secret santa swap... that is, if we still have some old gear left over from the contests ;)
I'm thinking that there should be a few guide lines to who should be able to win. You should have to have more than 20 GOOD post on this board and you should have to be an Active member during the month of the contest.

For random drawing type contest I think the people who donate should get one extra entry for each item the donate. So instead of having one name in a hat you would have two names.

It should be made clear the this is a members contest and not a public contest so that only the members of cocoontech and not just a one time poster can win. Many of the prizes in the past have gone to people I never even knew existed. Some people could possibly setup fake accounts on cocoontech just to enter their name more than once for a better chance a wining.

I don't think the contest should be a month long since we could do real contest not just random drawings and have the contest shortend. If enough items are donated then we could have one or two a month on the same day each month so that its fair. Perhaps 8am every 1st of the month and it ends as soon as someone wins.

How about having a special registered member list for the contest. You can only win if you are a registered CONTEST member. Meaning not just any person with a cocoontech username can win. We can hand pick who is eligable. I personally would be willing to donate some x10 gear that ill never use but only if i know the members who are winning my stuff are giving back to the community in some way.

Contest sugestions

Who ever writes the best how-to explaining how to use the featured item will win the prize and their how-to will go into the how-to section. This will help build the community.

Math Brain Teasers... The first to post the correct answer wins... One catch though is that the winner must write a review of the prize item if applicable.
I think all these ideas a great. I especially like Smee's jambalaya, which is something that could be done outside of a contest. I may have few odd pieces I can throw to the cause. Nothing elaborate because I have nothing elaborate in my system, but toys nonetheless ;)

I was thinking about that too. I can see where some items would be available for all, while other contests would be for those that donated themselves...example: A cm17a and lamp module would be open to all (especially newbies), but If I donated some of those window blind controllers, I would like for them to be available to only those that donated or are active members of the board.

For the "Open" contests, asking for a detailed "How-to" would eliminate many newbies, as they haven't had a chance to play with some HA packages/gear yet..
For the "Closed" contests, well, make it a challenge, so that experienced members have a chance to show-off their skills.

Regarding Smee's "Jambalaya Box", I too like this idea, but I would also have to agree with him that the shipping cost may be a bit high... that and the fact that by the time the box got to the 10th person, it would be filled with Lamp Modules ;)

Another way to hold the contests... instead of having Electron host the gear and the contest... why not just have members do it themselves. That way they can set the guidelines and would be responsible for the shipping, etc. Of course the person holding the contest would need to be approved by the moderators first.
Everybody throws there name into a hat... one month, I hold a contest, next month goes to the next person on the list, etc. That way someone could hold as many contests as they want, whether big or small, and have control over who may enter and what the "challenge" is.

Just babbling,

Hehe, yea, lets have members hold the contest, then maybe the Cocoontech staff could enter a contest finally (we always miss out on the cool stuff) ;)
If everyone wants to ship the stuff here, I'd be willing to pay for the shipping out to the winner.

I probably have stuff to add to the pile as well.