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DIY Charity Raffle - Twisted Pear Ventus (built by me)

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This is Zachary's Amp.




And this is Zachary (with his dad Kristopher).


Zachary was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) on March 23, 2007. This is a relatively rare form of cancer, affecting around 4000 Americans each year. Zachary and his family have been battling this disease for almost 4 years and it has taken a physical, mental and financial toll on the family. So how do I fit into this equation? I've known Zach's dad for something like 8 to 10 years, he works for one of my former company's biggest clients and while working together on a few projects we discovered that we shared a lot of common interests. We ended up being members at the same gym and often played hoops together. I'd love to tell you that we're the best of friends but that just isn't the case. But I digress... About 4 months ago Zach had a bone marrow transplant since chemo had been unsuccessful at ridding him of this disease (he went into remission once but relapsed about 3 months later). As of today things are going pretty well, he's finally back home and the prognosis is as good as it can be.

Now as most of you know I've spent the better part of my DIY time over the last 6+ years donating my time to people who need help fixing stuff, building stuff to be raffled at meets and doing just about anything else that seemed like it was worth doing. About 6 months ago it occurred to me that I'd probably been missing a big opportunity to do something really meaningful, namely give some value to that time I was spending in my basement. So I hatched a plan to finish something up and raffle it off. That brings us to today.

So what's up for raffle?

The TWP Ventus that I've been muddling around with for 8 months now, shown above. It's setup in single-ended mode (SE inputs and outputs) and at unity gain with three switched inputs and a loop out off of the third input. Twisted Pear agreed to let me raffle it off (it was sent to me as a review sample kit) and I'm donating all of the remaining parts (chassis, knobs, wire, power cord, etc) along with the final shipping costs to send it to the winner. The amp is cap-coupled (not a part of the original design) because I wasn't comfortable with the amount the outputs tended to drift. It never went above 20mV but I wanted whomever ends up with this to be able to use it worry free and not have to make adjustments. It also doesn't have a perfectly black background, chalk up another amp that isn't particularly fond of being in the same chassis as an Avel trafo. I've dialed it down to the point where you really have to be listening for it in a silent room. Otherwise it sounds pretty darn good to my ears. The parts cost for this is probably in the $300 range, give or take, with about $150 of that coming out of my pocket.

How's the raffle work?

Tickets are $10, you may purchase as many as you like. To purchase tickets you simply send me a PM with the desired quantity and I'll respond with my paypal ID and your ticket #'s. At the close of the raffle I'll run a random # generator and inform the winner. I'm hoping that everyone feels comfortable sending the money as a gift so that we don't lose 3% off the top. The raffle will run for one week (+/-) depending on how things go. I'm going to list it at HF and hopefully I can raise some serious dough.

What happens to the $$

My plan is simple. Zach's family has no idea I'm doing this and I have no intention of telling them until it's over and I have the $$. At that time I'll take Zach's dad (Kristopher) out for a beer and give him the $$ and explain how the donation came to be. I'll take a picture and post it. I hope I'm trustworthy enough that this isn't cause for alarm. 100% of the raffle $$ will go to Zach's family.

So that's it, I hope to have lots of PM's to sift through over the next week and would like to say thanks in advance.

Your humble circular-hole-cutter tech.


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Given the success so far (which is to say, incredible) I'm going to close the raffle on Saturday September 25th. I would appreciate it if all payments could be made before that but I understand that these things can take a little time. I'm going to do the drawing on Sunday September 26th around 9pm EST. I'll post the results shortly thereafter and notify the winner/colin via PM.

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Hold on there, I'm in Colin or no. PM me please, I hope to break the Colinwinseverything cycle.

On a side note, having lost four close and dear relatives to cancer, I can relate to the toll it takes on a family.

We've been fortunate and most of our family members who developed cancer have had successful cures, with good lives post treatment! (my brother, my grandfather, my wife's mom). My uncle however spent a few painful months dying of prostate cancer, and I spent several months in my pediatric residency working with children with cancer and leukemia at Texas Children's Hospital. It was heartbreaking most of the time. So I got in on this raffle on the first day it started to help out, even though I'm sure Collin will win.

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The raffle is now closed. I ended up selling 207 tickets, 90% of which have been paid in full so along with a few non-raffle donations it means that we raised north of $2000 for the family. I'm simply at a lack for words to say thanks enough.

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I'm simply at a lack for words to say thanks enough.

I can only imagine what Zachary and Kristopher will feel.:)

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." I have always taken this to mean "giving up" or "giving away" a part of self.

I can't wait to hear how the "take him out for a beer" part goes.

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"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." I have always taken this to mean "giving up" or "giving away" a part of self.

Amen to this.

I mean it. I don't care about the tickets. I'd be happy to donate anyways. Nate, feel free to drop me a line anytime you want when you get a chance. :)

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