Get out the graph paper get started on the new discrete logic contest

Here’s another chance to ply your hacking skills for cash and prizes. Dangerous Prototypes has just announced the Open 7400 Logic Competition. First prize is $100 and a bunch of hacking goodies. But even better is that since it was announced, more sponsors have stepped up to increase the kitty, and the number of entries that will get prizes.

The parameters for entry are wide open. You can design anything you want, with emphasis on originality. Make sure you take plenty of pictures and document the project along the way. Their judging will take into consideration the amount of detail posted about the project (hence the ‘Open’ in the contest title).

Need some ideas to get you started? We enjoyed the useless machine that used a 7400 NAND gate. You could always build a time piece of some sort like this no-microcontroller clock. Perhaps hardware control like this stepper motor driver is more to your liking?

[Thanks Moderboy]

Comments

  1. sneakypoo says:

    Anyone else found it funny how it says “emphasis on originality” and the tips for projects is about as generic as you can get? :P

  2. xorpunk says:

    Not much you can do with gates that isn’t irrelevant in practicality these days..

    Waits for some never-has-beens-or-gonna-bes to correct him with pas-tense medial accomplishments in typical HaD comment fashion..

    Some ideas:
    -Dual logic RF logger using a gate for sensing
    -USB->controller>ALU with libusb interface

    • UltraMagnus says:

      I am sure you could build something vaguely useful with the higher end 7400 and 4000 series chips, with the being 8-channel analog mulitplexers, dynamic memory controllers, SRAMs, lookahead carry generators, voltage controlled oscillators and lots of other eclectic things. Of course, most of these are out of production, and almost anything you do could be done 100 times easier on a microcontroller, but where is the fun in that…

      • Alex says:

        Complex combinational logic with sub-microsecond propagation time is easy to achieve with dedicated devices, and hard to reproduce with a microcontroller, but 7400 series logic is probably not the best approach either… CPLDs (or depending on the application, FPGAs) are so cheap and accessible now, it would be foolish not to go that route in a production design.

        But I think all that misses the point, and xorpunk probably knows that. Some people just like to be grouchy and contrarian.

  3. anyone says:

    can i use a fpga and just show the code? ill draw a gate diagram too if you need it.

  4. Me says:

    They’re … their … hm.

  5. steaky says:

    Am I the only one thinking to design something in Verilog (or VHDL) to get the logic all sorted – then build it

  6. asheets says:

    I once built an RF modulator out of one of those. I may have to dig my notes out and see how I did it…

  7. lwatcdr says:

    Extra points if it is wire wrapped.

  8. J. Peterson says:

    I nominate this remake of the Apollo Guidance Computer. It’s worth looking at the first PDF on the page to see a very impressive build.

  9. aEx155 says:

    It seems like the people with enough knowledge and skill to come up with something “original” aren’t interested in $100 and some electronics goodies

    Unfortunately I’m neither creative or skillful at designing circuits.

    But +1 for the person who plans their circuit with redstone.

  10. RedskinsJBS says:

    I feel like people should just submit projects that they already have sitting on their shelves. 10 minutes work for a possible $100?

    Now if I could only find those photos of the modular bargraph display I built a while ago. Just a few components totaling probably $3 per 20 segment graph and they each would plug into their neighbors with some 90 degree headers.

    Cheap, easy to solder, and got me an A in an electronics course in school.

  11. jwrm22 says:

    Many idea’s not much time… Only 2 months to design, build, publish..

  12. bootnecklad says:

    I think I’d best get started then!

  13. Paul Potter says:

    Wonder if somebody will build an entire computer?

  14. Josh says:

    Any extra points for an accompanying linear power supply?

    Seriously, I’ve got a huge pile of 7400 series ICs that I might try to see about using for this. They’re practically free so there could be a bit of profit from this. However, I can’t seem to come up with an idea.

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