Hacked Gadgets Forum

November 22, 2015

PCB vias made using Conductive Ink

at 11:46 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks


When you are making some prototype PCBs it is quite simple until you go double sided, now you need to potentially solder through hole components on both sides, stick small wires in each via and solder both sides or insert small rivets in the holes. DIYyouwhere is playing around with a method where they attach a brush to the drill so that they can electrically detect when the metal drill bit drills through the PCB and hits the bottom layer of the copper. As soon as it detects contact the bit is retracted. They now use a syringe of conductive ink to link the copper layers together by squirting some ink in each hole.


November 21, 2015

Name the Thing Contest – 288

at 10:59 pm. Filed under Contests



The prize this week is a HMC5883L Triple Axis Compass Magnetometer Sensor so you can add some directionality to your next project. This contest will run for one week (November 22 – Aug 27, 2015). Ending time is based on central standard time. To enter, identify the item above and what it can be used for.

Please do not give the answer in the comments.

Send an email to contest @ hackedgadgets.com with “Name the Thing Contest” as the subject, and the message body consisting of:

  • The name of the item in the above picture
  • An example of what the item pictured above can be used for

The winner will be chosen at random from all of the correct entries.

Below is a picture of the prize.




Underground Bunker in Backyard

at 12:55 am. Filed under What Were They Thinking


If you are running out of room in your house most people would build an addition, build a room in the basement, re-purpose the garage or move. Colin Furze is not following the normal thinking here. He dug up the backyard of the house tossed in a ton of concrete and steel to make an underground bunker which is hidden from view from pesky neighbors. Watch the video above to get the tour of the bunker. The links below will take you though the build process.

Ep 1 https://youtu.be/8UKNajCgpEs
Ep 2 https://youtu.be/z8yiuJ9yFic
Ep 3 https://youtu.be/p1t7r3SKT2o
Ep 4 https://youtu.be/pR493Pee6Xo

November 17, 2015

HacKeyboard – Hacked Mechanical Keyboard

at 11:46 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks

HacKeyboard - Hacked Mechanical Keyboard_3


So if you are looking for a neat keyboard mod I think you can take one or two of the ideas that you can see in the HacKeyboard and run with it. I really like the hidden USB storage drive which is mounted with a secret keyboard sequence. If the keyboard was just regular looking that would be very secure since who would think there was some secrets lurking inside this throw away peripheral. To jazz things up this version also has a key logger so you can see what secrets the users are hiding, there is also a USB hub for productivity and a light show to keep you entertained.




November 15, 2015

Internet Radio in an Antique Case

at 9:51 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks

Internet Radio in an Antique Case



You can see the case above that Tony Flynn built the Internet Radio project around. The outside may look old but the internals are sporting a powerful Raspberry Pi. It uses your local wifi to tune in internet tunes.

“The radio is configurable by anyone and no programming skills are required.  All the stations and settings are stored in a text based configuration file which is stored on a USB memory stick accessible at the back of the radio.  When the user wants to change the settings or add new stations they remove the USB stick and edit the text-file using a laptop and any text editor.”


November 14, 2015

Component Tester FISH 8840 Review

at 7:21 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks, Reviews



This is an inexpensive component tester called the FISH 8840 which you can find from many online eBay retailers for around $30. The interface is very simple, attach a device to be tested and press the test button. It turns off after about 20 seconds, pressing the off button puts it into sleep mode immediately. There is a ZIF socket that allows you to insert leaded devices and pads that allow you to press SMD devices directly onto the tester. Their are number 1 through 3 on the tester where you connect the device under test to and then the screen will display the recognized component with the lead numbers on a component schematic picture. There seems to be an issue with the capacitor testing mode with a range of values, I will discuss this with the seller to see what the resolution to this is. I have seen this tester work fine with capacitors so I think it is just something with this one. You can see the features and functions below.


“NEW Function:
1:Automatic detection of NPN and PNP transistors, n-channel and p-channel MOSFET, diode (including double diode), thyristor, transistor, resistor and capacitor and other components
2: Automatic test the pin of a component, and display on the LCD
3:Can detect the transistor, MOSFET protection diode amplification coefficient and the base to determine the emitter transistor forward biased voltage
4: Measure the gate and gate capacitance of the MOSFET threshold voltage
5:Use 12864 liquid crystal display with green backlight
Specifications: For you reference
1 two -button operation, automatic shutdown .
2,Only 20nA shutdown current.
3,Automatically detect NPN, PNP bipolar transistors , N -channel and P -channel MOS FET, JFET , diodes , two diodes, thyristors small power unidirectional and bidirectional thyristor.
4,Automatic identification components pin arrangement .
5,Measuring bipolar transistor current amplification factor and base – emitter threshold voltage.
6,Via the base – emitter threshold voltage and high current amplification factor to identify Darlington transistors.
7,Can detect bipolar transistors and MOS transistors protection diodes.
8,Measuring the gate MOS FET threshold voltage and the gate capacitance.
9,Can simultaneously measure two resistors and resistor symbol is displayed. Displayed on the right with a decimal value of 4 . Resistance symbol on both sides shows the pin number. So you can measure the potentiometer. If the potentiometer wiper is not transferred to an extreme position , we can distinguish the middle and both ends of the pin.
10,Resistance measurement resolution is 0.1 ohms , 50M ohms can be measured .
11,Can measure capacitanceCan measure capacitance of 30pF-100mF , resolution 1pF.
12.2uF more capacitors can simultaneously measure the equivalent series resistance ESR values. The two can be displayed with a decimal value , resolution 0.01 ohms.
13,Can be in the correct order and the diode symbol display two diodes , and gives the diode forward voltage.
14.LED is detected as a diode forward voltage higher . Combo of the LED is identified as two diodes.
15,Eeverse breakdown voltage is less than 4.5V Zener diode can be identified.
16,Can measure a single diode reverse capacitance. If the bipolar transistor connected to the base and collector or emitter of a pin , it can measure the collector or emitter junction reverse capacitance .
18 can be obtained with a single measurement rectifier bridge connection.
Notice: Before measuring capacitance , the capacitor must be discharged , otherwise very likely damage the meter .”




November 12, 2015

Teardown of an Arduino based Industrial PLC

at 9:05 pm. Filed under Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment, Teardown


Peter Oakes goes over a Arduino based Industrial PLC system called Industrial Shields. If you are an Arduino programmer and are looking to incorporate your design into something that is a bit more robust this might be for you. I was thinking the system would just use some of the standard Atmel chips that are common in Arduino systems and just use the IDE for programming but it actually incorporates the real Arduino boards. Of course there is not much protection on the normal Arduino boards since that would add a lot of expense and for a quick and dirty project would not normally be needed.

The system comes with a modular DIN rail system which allows for module replacement and addition flexibility. The parts that are used in the system is high quality and looks to be built very robustly. Looks like everything is opto isolated to prevent an external fault from taking out your entire control system. Much of the terminal blocks are pluggable which also aids in fast module replacements. Only thing that looks a bit janky is the wiring harness that can be seen at 41:30 which seems like it could have been better designed.

“The brand is “Industrial Shield” and they are from a company in Barcelona, Spain called “Boot and Work S.L.”
One of the really cool things about these PLCs is that they are based on Open Source Hardware in the form of an Arduino Leonardo or the Arduino MEGA2560… yes the real thing, no modifications aside from providing an industrial strength interfacing circuits around them, wrapped up in a nice industrial DIN rail mountable package including full 24V operation, 0-10V analog in and out as well as isolated relay outputs and OPTO isolated digital inputs and outputs”


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