What can you do with a gift card & a little ingenuity?

This is post 2 of 7 in the SXSW 2011 series

As I mentioned before, Dorkbot is all about people doing strange things with electricity. That, my Internet friends, is right up RadioShack’s alley.


So The Shack decided to get in the mix and offered up two $200 gift cards to two extraordinary individuals with the challenge of seeing what they could make. While they weren’t limited to procuring the needed components at their neighborhood RadioShack, they did their best to find as much of what they needed there. Their completed projects will be unveiled at Ignite/Dorkbot  SXSW2021: Vision of the Future on March 11 and featured in all their glory right here in a future post.


So who are these guys and what are they building?


The Maker: Mickey Delp


Like a lot of tinkerers you may know, Delp has had an interest in building things since he was a kid. From dismantling toys to see what made them work to building science fair projects, his early life was filled with learning and exploring the technical side of things.


“One of my fondest childhood memories is of my grandmother teaching me how to solder when I was seven years old. She had worked in a radio factory during WWII, sort of a Rosie the Riveter. That skill has served me well for many years,” says Delp.


Delp also has a long history with RadioShack.


“I used to go into RadioShack and just drool over all the cool parts on the racks. They got all of my allowance money. The other way that RadioShack featured heavily in my electronics education was the books they sold. The series of books by Forest M. Mims III were a huge influence. They contain a massive amount of information in those little hand-drawn schematics. I still refer to them to this day. Many other electronics hobbyists and professionals have told me the same thing. I really love that RadioShack has recently started selling Mims’ “Getting Started in Electronics” again. Lots of people ask me how they can learn about electronics and I tell them to get that book.”


The Project: Complete Analog Synthesizer


Delp estimates that it will take 40 hours from start to finish to complete his creation. Roughly 90% of his parts will come from RadioShack, including the resistors, capacitors, transistors, diodes, switches, potentiometers and knobs. Check out a sneak peak pic above.



The Maker: Craig Newswanger


Newswanger is a man of varied interests whose hobbies and technical pursuits include optics, electronics, photography, holography, astronomy, computer music and graphics, mechanics and the history of science.


When asked how he learned to do all this, Newswanger said, “Most of my training has been by doing. I always try to incrementally and continually add on to my skills and understanding. I read a lot and I’ve also taken a lot of things apart over the years to figure out how products were made. My father and I did this a lot. I took apart lots of my toys when I was a kid. Sometimes I got them back together and working.”


And for the up-and-coming tech hobbyists out there, Newswanger offered this advice, “Don’t be discouraged when something does not work the first time. You will be even more satisfied with the result when you finally get the thing working. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I love it when people ask for help. That is part of the payoff of building something interesting. When someone asks for your help, give it. Share your knowledge.”



The Project: Pinball-Style Artillery Game with Magnetic Ball Cannon


This project is a massive undertaking. Newswanger projects that he’ll spend over 100 hours on it before it’s ready for Dorkbot and about 30% of the components were found at The Shack.




Are you going to be at SXSWi?  Make sure you stop by the Ignite/Dorkbot event. If you are one of the first 200 people to sign up on their Facebook event page, you’ll get free admission. UPDATE: The 200 free admission slots have filled up, but it is free to all that have a SXSW badge.  The public is also encouraged to attend.  Will we see you there?


Follow The Shack on Twitter, spot us on Instagram and follow our blog for all things #SXSWi.

This is post 2 of 7 in the SXSW 2011 series


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  • Dustin the DorkbotATX Overlord

    We’ve filled our 200 free spots on the Dorkbot guest list, but if you’re a SXSW badge holder you can still get in free! The public is also welcome and encouraged to attend. Register for the event here: http://ignitesxsw.eventbrite.com/.

    See you there!

  • SarahBarnes

    Hey Dustin! Thanks for the update. We’ve changed the info on the above post. See you guys soon!

  • Все проститутки Одессы

    Великолепные проститутки Одессы, такие же прекрасные как черное море и морской закат. Насладитесь их компанией.