Astronaut Or Not — Voter Lottery Tomorrow!


Fair warning, if you haven’t voted on Astronaut or Not you may come up short tomorrow. [Brian] will once again draw a random hacker number at 10am EDT (GMT -4).

If that hacker has voted in this round (we’re still in the first round of voting) they will win this fabulous oscilloscope. If they haven’t voted… no fancy scope for you!

We’re hoping to close this round of voting early next week at which time we’ll award prizes to the projects that received the most votes and start another round with a different theme.

29 thoughts on “Astronaut Or Not — Voter Lottery Tomorrow!

  1. This voting system was ill-thought. I was struggling to give away votes, and many times I thought neither project was worthy, and sometimes I thought both were. Unless the backend is very well thought out (i.e. all votes are strictly counted as “X better than Y” and not “1 point for X” then I don’t expect these votes to be useful at all.

    Why not give an actual “hot or not” style 0-9 voting system per project? Way more accurate.

        1. A rating system can be pretty subjective though. Say my very good rating is a 7 (as a perfect 10 should be theoretically impossible), others might say 5 is good with everything being reasonably ‘good’ and some might say good is simply 10.
          With a digital scoring system like this, if a project is ‘meh’ then as many people should go against it as for it and if a project is truly very good more often people will click it. Probability should make things come out in the end without having to wade through normalising everyones scores.

          1. I find that too, too many people willing to give too higher scores.
            (I’m thinking TV shows now)

            voting system out of ten means that if something is OK, nothing wrong with it, about what you think you should expect. -that’s should be 5/10!

            if there is a problem less, something above and beyond expectations then more.

            most people seem to think now that middle of the road/average things are a 7/10

    1. It averages out and does not have the mentioned bias of a subjective rating scale.
      What you count is (won/lost). E.g. something has won against 20 and lost against 10 20/10 = rating of 2.0
      Won 20, lost 50 = rating 0.4

      1. Well, that would be true…
        Except there are 167 projects currently tagged as prize entries.

        I used my 20? (can’t recall) votes and saw the same projects appearing several times.
        i.e of the 40 individual project that I would have expected to see, I actually only say around 20 – 30 unique projects. (I’m sure I saw one project 5 times, and a few more were definitely appearing 2 or three times)

        What this means is that there may be a situation where a project that almost everyone can agree should win gets a single down vote, and thus 99% of the vote. but a project only paired once gets a 100% win vote ratio.
        you can’t ignore the single vote since it’s already established that not all projects are equally represented in the voting stakes, -by virtue of the fact that not only the empirical evidence that project do appear twice, but there is plenty of conversation about “neither project deserved my vote so I’ll just refresh” -but since not everyone figured this out, some truly bad project HAVE received votes, if only by virtue of the fact that they are 166th worst project!

        project A = won 50 lost 10 = 5.
        project B won 6 lost 1 = 6 where it’s single loss is against project A.

        What we have here is a situation where project B is under-represented in the Judging receives less votes overall, is judged to be worse than project A the one time it’s matches against it, but still beats it!

        I suspect that a fairer system would be to enable 1 – 10 ratings for all projects (exploitable with multiple accounts)
        or a bubble sort system where votes float entries to the top or bottom. -but ensure that displays are not random, but carefully paired! and the position in the stack is random.

        1. First: as long as all projects get a good amount of votes we’ll be fine. The prize for voters will definitely help here.
          Second: if the random function should slightly be biased and some project appear more often it still does not matter, as long as the pairs stay mixed enough and the bias is not too bad. I however doubt there is one, maybe you just where unlucky.
          For the likelihood of doubles, I’m not good at probabilities…

  2. THP kinda depresses me, honestly. I wanted so badly to get involved, and I just don’t have the funds to do anything (somewhat literally). One of my lifelong dreams has been to get into space. One or two orbits, with a view of Earth and of space, is all I ask.

    Such is apparently not to be, at least at this point in time.

    I was so excited when it was announced, and then I just about cried when I realized I couldn’t be a part because of a prior commitment that sucks up what little money I have for this sort of thing.

    I’ll have a THP-entry-worthy project (I think) starting next year, and it’ll probably take me most of the year to do it, in fits and bursts, buying stuff for it as I can afford to. Of course I’ll be way too late for THP.

    :( :( :( :(

    …I know this probably comes across as a ‘woe is me’ sort of post, but it’s honestly how I feel. I hope you folks can understand.

    1. It’s hack a day! Build stuff out of bits you get for free, pull apart e-waste you think will have the components you need!
      If you can’t do your original project idea this way, try another one!

    2. The other thing is you don’t have to have your project completed by the end of thp. Just post your idea, get a few bits started, get people excited and you are in for a chance! (Anyone please correct me if I am wrong!)

      1. I honestly couldn’t say.

        Look at it this way.

        when the comp first started it was think up a cool project idea, requirements were that it’s open source AND hosted on that you tagged it with the prize entry to that they could find it, and made a short video for youtube to talk about it.

        Hackaday featured a project saying that they’d like to start groundwork for a series of semi autonomous robots capable of building a bio dome 20 miles wide over a city – recognising that it’d be the first steps of a likely 200 year project.

        Then the latest update a few days ago is, entry closes October the 4th, and working prototypes need to be documented by October!

        in short, I couldn’t say, because the rules and requirements seem to keep changing.

        1. I’m glad it is not just me. I was looking for the t&c’s, and couldn’t find anything. I’m assuming that when they say ‘space’ they mean like when went to space by visiting a space centre. Or perhaps going in one of those zero gravity planes. I can’t find that information either. It’s all a bit Houdini if you ask me. I want to believe, but there just isn’t enough information.

          1. The official contest rules definitely say that it’s a flight to space on a carrier agreed upon by both parties or $200,000 alternate prize if you are a minor or otherwise not in physical condition for space flight.

      2. Right now what I have is an incomplete set of plans on paper, and no money. The concept is a sci-fi “starship control console” that borrows its aesthetics quite heavily both from 60s Star Trek and from Doctor Who. (It fulfills the “connected” requirement IMO because it uses multiple microcontrollers which will communicate with each other via a sort-of-custom bus and protocol.)

        What I need is a tremendous pile of toggle switches and LEDs (with holders), and a few other things to go with them, not to mention materials for the frame and shell/outside (wood, foam core board, Krylon, and clear coat — don’t cringe, I’m an artist –among other things– and this WILL look nice when I’m done).

        I plan on making most of the switches and LEDs the same, so that I can buy in quantity and keep costs down. I’m also thinking that I’ll have to tail my own LEDs. A 5mm red LED by itself is a $0.10-$0.15 part on Mouser IIRC, whereas the same thing as panel mount with tail is more like $1+. (Those are single quantity prices, but I think they make the point, since even at quantity the panel mount LED isn’t going down *that* far…)

        Even at that, the LEDs will probably run me quite a bill… not to mention that toggles are frighteningly expensive (up there with panel mount LEDs). Add in a few other switches, a sound module, a couple motors including two steppers (don’t ask, I’m not revealing *all* of my secrets!), some Radio Shark project boxes, and something hefty and 5v to power it all (well, OK, I’ll need token 12v for the steppers, probably) and we’re looking at a small fortune in terms of costs, particularly for me.

        I have $50 disposable income per month, and that is a very firm amount — I really can’t go over that even a few pennies without significant budgetary issues. Which means that I’ll be combining multiple months of money to make each purchase, or begging my folks to put their dough together at Christmas to buy me what I need (not likely). However, I have another project that I’m working on (a Christmas present for my father — don’t ask, I send him articles from here occasionally so if he goes digging he might see) that is going to suck up all my money through October. I’m really not comfortable postponing any of the purchases for that — knowing myself, it’ll get lost as the starship console takes off, and that would be very bad. That said, I’ll do some thinking and see if I can pull off doing both at once. If I can, I’ll enter, but it’s highly unlikely.

        …oh, and I’ll almost certainly have to buy a tripod, since my cheap camcorder (DXG, from Kohls a few years ago on sale/clearance) doesn’t have one, other than those stupid mini adjustable eBay ones…

        1. You can definately salvage most of that stuff. Wood from old furniture, switches and LEDs from old electronics. If you need lots of the same LED Ebay was definately the cheapest place for LEDs last time I bought 600 of them though maybe aliexpress is cheaper now.
          The only things you may need to buy is something to control it all (there’s some really cheap ARM boards with masses of GPIO) and the paint.

          1. I have the microcontrollers, not sure where I’ll get the wire to connect everything… hmm… I wonder if I can get a few dozen meters of ethernet cable from my friend at the local tech shop? (He’s the owner, and IIRC has Cat5 coming out his ears, just about.)

            Got the wood, but it’s gotta be mitred for this frame, at weird angles — meaning adjustable mitre box. (Oh joy.) There’s one on eBay that I’m lusting over for about $5 more than I have right now. My father has pledged the foamcore board for the outside but I don’t know when he’ll be able to grab it.

            …I’m friends with eBay, so I can go there for LEDs quite happily. What about DPDT toggles? Cheapest place for those, in large quantities? If I put myself to it I can probably finish the plans tonight, at which point I’ll know what I need…

            Can probably scavenge the steppers (lord only knows how many old printers this house has in it!) and a gearmotor from another project that’s probably never happening. The sides will have inset lit areas, and I’m planning on doing that with expanded steel mesh over that plastic stuff they cover fluorescent lights with in office buildings (is there a proper term for that junk?), backlit with a couple of Sparkfun’s super bright 10mm LEDs. I’ll also be getting the sound module from there (a WAV Trigger board).

            Newegg still sells AT power supplies for like 386 boxes. I’ve been thinking about buying one of those (I have a 386 box but I’m not wrecking it!) for this, as a moderately cheap but workable power supply solution. It’s an Athena Power model, not the best by far, but it’ll do… $24 incl shipping. Not bad considering it’s rated 30a @ 5v and 10a @ 12v — 5v rail probably won’t see over half load, and the 12v rail won’t see more than a fraction of its maximum, either.

            The only really tricky thing is a paperwork sort of thing — I’ve been getting email advice from someone who specifically has said he’s not interested in contests, so I’m not sure how to handle that — I guess I can point-blank ask him if he’s interested in making an exception for this, and if he says no then I can write something up on the project page to explain. I hope that flies…

            I’m going to push myself a little today, see if I can finish the plans. Once I have the plans, I know what I need to buy.

          2. @Travis Kneale — I don’t see quantity discounts there but I’ll give them an email in a bit.

            My attitude about Facebook is very simple and very consistent: If I want to experience Facebook, I’ll put my face in a book ;)

            @ Liam Jackson — I’ll join hackaday[dot]io and put up a project page once I have enough to get started, i.e. at least some of the parts are on order. My camcorder’s acting up, though — it bootloops — I’m hoping it’s just that the batteries are old (it takes four AAAs). If not, I may have to commit the mortal sin of taking video with a still camera… ugh…

  3. So y’all are picking a random user, out of 14000…and only if that random person has voted does anyone get the oscilloscope?

    Sounds like you aren’t too keen on giving it away…

    1. We’re giving away a scope anyway. If we don’t randomly pick someone (from the set of all people on Projects), we’ll just randomly pick someone (from the set of people who voted). Either way, someone who voted is getting a scope.

      Last time I checked, we have about a 70% chance of this “pick a random person on Projects” working.

  4. Apparently you have to be a “member” to vote whatever that means. I can’t tell because neither of the buttons for “I’m a member” or “sign up” works (probably because I have javascript and flash mostly disabled). So, pain to use. Ah well, too bad, not worth trying to debug why the web site doesn’t work.

    1. … those buttons are just redirects, apparently. No idea why they don’t work, but it’s possible to just type the relevant URL. Someone please fix those buttons please; why they need any fancy features at all is beyond me.

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