7400 Competition: An ‘open source’ open source competition

The open 7400 logic competition is a collaborative, crowd sourced, open source competition. We started with a few prizes, but we crowd sourced our way to 20 sponsors and $1000s of dollars of swag. Judging guidelines, categories, and artwork were contributed by the community. Rules and materials are all open source, use then to get a head start on your own competition.

Without entrants, readers, judges, and sponsors, this contest would not have grown at such an accelerated rate. The competition is the product of a whole open hardware community. If you’re reading this post, you’re a contributor too! Thank you for participating.

Some things we learned:

  • Don’t be afraid to make a mistake, you can always learn from it.
  • Keep every email, contact, name, and url of everything associated with the contest. Misplace something, you’ll regret it.
  • Don’t be afraid to solicit for some sponsors in the beginning, more will follow. Start-ups and big names like to get their name out there and show support for open hardware creativity. Don’t forget to follow up. Everyone’s busy, and some things get lost in the to-do pile.
  • Most entries were submitted in a deadline rush during the last 48 hours. Make sure to have plenty of time available to run and judge the contest. Have a #2 who can help with organization and posts, you may get fatigued.

A special thanks to Sven for the 7400 competition artwork.

An extra special thanks goes to SQKYbeaver for conceiving and organizing the competition, it would never have gotten off the ground without him.

Join the Conversation


  1. Thanks for holding this contest guys! I learnt a lot about discrete logic chips and digital logic in general! More importantly it actually got me working on a project, documenting and releasing it. Even though my submission was very rough (“Drum Machine”) and no doubt dominated by a much superior and similar Entry, I feel very accomplished in that I learnt a lot and know how to improve my projects (namely nicer prototyping and more time :P).

    Good job guys!

  2. Too bad the contest had too little time to submit an entry. I got very busy at work (including a week of field trip) and couldn’t put together my project. But anyway, it’s good to see so much weight around open hardware!

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