Hacked Gadgets Forum

April 15, 2014

Re:Load Pro – Active DC Load

at 8:59 am. Filed under Electronic Hacks

 ReLoad Pro - Active DC Load 


The Re:Load Pro is an Active DC Load Kickstarter. It is almost at the goal so it looks like they will be made. If you have a need to load test power supplies and various other pieces of gear this might be just the thing for you. The price seems very good and the unit looks fantastic with that snazzy display.

 ”The Re:load Pro’s features include:

  • Dissipate 25 watts continuously, or more for short periods. Even more with the forthcoming fan kit (see below!)
  • Handle up to 6 amps or 60 volts. Works right down to 0V, too!
  • Easy to use and intuitive user-interface.
  • Current adjustable with milliamp precision over the whole range.
  • Protection against overcurrent, overvoltage, overtemperature, ESD, and reverse polarity.
  • Power supplied over USB from either a computer or a USB charger.
  • Fully isolated USB interface. Your computer is isolated from any direct interaction with dangerous voltages and currents.
  • Fully controllable over USB, with monitoring functionality. You can use your computer to program in a profile!
  • Configurable display, showing voltage, current, power, resistance, and total energy dissipated.
  • Open Source, with a USB bootloader, so you don’t need expensive development tools if you want to make your own modifications. Firmware updates will be easy to install, too!”



ReLoad Pro - Active DC Load_2

April 13, 2014

Name the Thing Contest – 250

at 10:25 am. Filed under Contests



The prize this week is an Arduino Pro Mini. This contest will run for one week (April 13 – 18, 2014). Ending time is based on central standard time. To enter, identify the item above and what it can be used for. Please note the image above is a side view of the thing.

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.


Arduino Solar Charge Controller

at 10:10 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Arduino Solar Charge Controller


deba168 from India designed and built this Arduino Solar Charge Controller to provide electrical power in areas where the grid can’t always provide power when needed. Code and schematics are provided so you can get some inspiration from the design.

 ”At first the charge controller will check the solar panel voltage and compare it with battery voltage ,If it is greater then the Arduino will starts sending pulse width modulation(PWM) signals to the mosfet(Q1) in order to charge the battery .When the solar panel voltage was below the battery voltage ,this pwm signals will not send by Arduino .

Then next the micro controller will check the battery voltage ,if the battery voltage was below 6.96 v volts then the battery will be charged in boost mode ,that mean the battery will be charged with maximum amperage ,this boost mode of charging will be done by sending pulse width modulation signals with 95% duty cycle .

when the battery voltage reaches above 6.96V the charging mode will turn as absorption mode from boost mode ,this was done by changing the duty cycle from 95 % to 10%.This absorption mode will keep the battery fully charged.

A pulse will be send to the load mosfet(Q2) to enable the load during night ,if the battery was too low and reaches to 6.2v volts then in order to prevent deep discharge of the battery ,the load will disconnected.”


April 10, 2014

Corn Cob LED Reuse

at 2:02 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks

Corn Cob LED Reuse


If you have been looking at screw in LED lights you have no doubt seen the Corn Cob LED style. It it simply a ton of though hole LEDs mounted around the perimeter of a bulb housing. That is all fine and good and at a quick glance you probably can only think of it as a bulb replacement. Martin Raynsford did some out of the box thinking and took one apart to revile the 8 miniature LED panels that are mounted to the housing to create the bulb like lighting effect. Very often distributed light is what you want as opposed to a central light source, with the LED panels now removed installation of them in some ideal lighting locations was now quite easy.

April 9, 2014

DIY Linear Actuator Design

at 5:48 am. Filed under DIY Hacks


 Rolandvanroy is building a six degree of freedom motion platform for a flight simulator. The to move the user large powerful Linear Actuators are needed. Purchasing these actuators would increase the price of the simulator significantly, making a DIY version is a big undertaking bit it looks like a great design that should work well for a long time.


April 7, 2014

USB SD Card that looks like a Apple II Floppy Drive

at 3:53 pm. Filed under Funny Hacks

USB SD Card that looks like a Apple II Floppy Drive


If you don’t look at the scale of the things around it you might think this drive was ripped out of some vintage gear. It is actually a fully functional USB SD card reader that looks just like an Apple II Floppy Drive.

“A typical USB SD card reader is boring. Why not show your retro affiliation with a Disk II styled reader? Modeled after the iconic Apple II floppy drive from 1978, the shell is 3D printed SLA, painted beige to match the original.”

USB SD Card that looks like a Apple II Floppy Drive_2


April 5, 2014

PCBs made using a Laser Cutter

at 4:50 am. Filed under DIY Hacks

PCBs made using a Laser Cutter_3


If you have a laser cutter and need a double sided PCB made the same day you can give this method a try. You first paint the PCB on both sides with spray paint to act as a etching resist. The laser machine is then used to blast away the pain to expose the copper in the areas that you need to etch, a quick flip will let you do the same in the reverse. After a quick etch and removing the paint you are left with a double sided board. A quick run through a drill press will let you complete the component lead holes and via holes. Of course this design favors SMD parts since you will have less holes to manually drill.

I have tried this technique in the past for a simply board but after some issues getting the front and rear to align properly I simply made the board out of perf board. I think the key to success is the jug that clamps the board in the perfect position each time. The laser cut adjustment spring is a great idea.


PCBs made using a Laser Cutter_2

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