Why a contest relating just to electronic work benches?
I've been working on electronics since I was a kid. My first workbench was in my closet. My Mom was a little upset that I had moved
all my clothes out but my Dad told her I needed a place to work on all the electronic junk that was following me home and that it was a good learning process. They were good
sports about it and got me a couple of dressers and a cabinet for my clothes. The closet was very small but I had my first shop! My bench was just a small end table but
it was something I could organize my tools on and have a small space to work. Finally I didn't have to pick up everything each time someone wanted to use the space I had been using for something silly like dinner.
At first I was great at taking things apart to figure out how they worked but not real good at getting them working and back together.
With a place to work, a few tools, and a some practice, that changed. Ever since I've been lucky enough to have space for a workbench for my electronics puttering.
It's always been a good place to work on all kinds of electronic projects, do equipment repairs, restore old equipment for my collections, and get away from everything else when I need to.
I have a small advertising budget for my web sites and decided this winter I'd take
some of it (actually most of it this time around) and run a contest.
I collect mostly old test equipment and
soldering tools so what better theme for a contest and prizes than things relating to
workbenches. The contest is geared for anyone that likes to work on electronics at home including engineers, hobbyists, and experimenters.
Most of us could always use new tools or test equipment. Besides, who among us doesn't like seeing what
others have put together for their home electronics shop, work bench, test equipment, and tools.
This and future contests will be centered around the home electronics shop and workbench with categories that may include soldering,
tools, test equipment, bench construction, innovative ideas, home built equipment, and creative uses of space.
Entering and Prizes
Entering should be fairly easy for most and will only require mailing or emailing a photo, a brief description, and agreeing to the rules and terms of the contest.
Unfortunately the official contest is only open to residents of the U.S. and Canada. This is due to several factors including
shipping costs, customs issues, liability, and manufacturer's warranties outside the U.S.
I plan on running a couple of these a year with each having multiple categories for prizes to allow most everyone to enter.
I will make an effort to have quality prizes that everyone can actually use and would want for their home shop whether they
work on antique radios, Hi-Fi equipment, game consoles, digital circuits, or whatever. All prizes are new and in the original packaging.
It would really suck if someone waited a long time only to find out something was left out at the factory so I reserve the right to inspect the contents to make sure everything is there and as advertised especially if shipping a prize to Canada.
Why the name "Up Your Bench"?
A couple of people have asked me about the contest name "Up Your Bench" and what it means.
"Your Bench" of course refers to your workbench.
It's the "Up" that confuses some. "Up" has several connotations. It could mean Upgrade,
Upload photos, or even clean it Up before you take pictures. Maybe it's an
extension of "Up Yours"... When it comes down to it, I just thought "Up" would be short for upgrade and make it a catchy phrase that would be easy to remember. Time will tell.
This is the first of what I hope to be many shop/workbench related contests so please spread the word as my
advertising budget is now shot. Feel free to post a link to the main contest page in any electronic related on-line forums that will allow it. I've posted it in a few that I'm a member of. Since this is the first contest
there might be a few bumps but feel free to email me comments and suggestions for future contests.
I hope you decide to enter and everyone enjoys this first contest.