Welcome to the fourth round of voting in the first-ever Gadget Freak of the Year contest from Design News and Allied Electronics! We are continuing to narrow the field, leading up to our final showdown in the coming weeks. Who will it be?
Choose your favorite of the four Gadget Freak products below. Will it be the inline clock with incandescent display? How about a tool that finds the right hydraulic force? Or do you just love the super-rugged computer-controlled Tyco car? Perhaps the inexpensive, dimmable LED desk lamp is your favorite?
The third round of voting was close. It came after the first two rounds, which had runaway winners. We think this fourth round will be another close one.
Here's how it works: Every two weeks, we will present four Gadget Freak projects that ran in Design News over the past year. They are all great, so you have a tough task. You have to choose the best one.
In two weeks, we will present four more projects. After six periods of voting, which will end on Nov. 25, we'll take the winners from each of voting periods and present them in a final showdown. The winner will become Gadget Freak of the Year and will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the Pacific Design and Manufacturing show in Anaheim, Calif. in February to show off the gadget at the Design News booth.
Allied Electronics, a longtime sponsor of Gadget Freak, is celebrating its 85th anniversary. The company had this to say about our inaugural contest:
As a sponsor of the Design News Gadget Freak of the Year Contest, Allied salutes the creators and innovators who, like Allied, continue to push the boundaries of technology to make the world a better place through innovation. You’re the pioneers who will develop the next great life-changing 'thing,' and we’re proud to stand behind you every step of the way.
Now, watch the videos below, and then cast your vote.
Gadget Freak Case #233: Inline Clock With Incandescent Display
Gadget Freak Case #232: Finding the Right Hydraulic Force
Gadget Freak Case #231: Super Rugged Computer-Controlled Tyco Car
Gadget Freak Case #230: The Inexpensive Dimmable LED Desk Lamp
As 1800ES points out, light output can vary a lot in non-incandescent lamps (although I've also noticed dimming in those bulbs right before they stop working). I wonder if he's referring to CFLs and their habit of going from lower to higher output after they're switched on?
I agree with you about the dimmable light, Ann. And it looks like it stands a good chance of winning this round of Gadget Feeak voting. We'll know in a few days when we shift to the fifth round. If Andy wins with his dimmable lamp, that will be two for him, since he won the first round.
Ya, the devices that provide light these days are so varied, dimmers should be on all of them. You can't just grab a 75 watt bulb and know what you'll get. Next, let's work on a uniform and easily located volume control ...... the old knob was NICE!
My LED desk lamp is both practical and functional. I built 4 of them, which I use everyday. The dimming greatly enhances the utility of the lamps. I know of no commercially available LED desk lamps that are dimmable.
It's easy to find these projects in their full presentation. On the home page, look at the Gadget Freak posting and you'll see the word "all" at the top. Click this will get you to the full list of complete Gadgewt Freaks.
I hope the readers know that complete build instructions and parts lists are available elsewhere online. Obviously, the regulars will know that. I believe that how easy a gadget is to build might play a role in how attractive a particular project is.
This Gadget Freak Review looks at a keyless Bluetooth padlock that works with your smartphone, along with a system that tracks your sleep behavior and wakes you at the perfect time in your sleep cycle to avoid morning grogginess.
This solar charge controller, which is placed between a solar panel and a battery, regulates the voltage and current coming from your solar panel. It is used to maintain proper charging voltage on the batteries.
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