Hacked Gadgets Forum

November 30, 2006

Dual Control RC Car

at 6:05 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks, Toy Hacks

The Dual Control R/C Car is what you get when you take an R/C car and stuff it full of electronics. I bet it was fun to build. 🙂

“The purpose of this project was to take a traditional remote controlled car and create our own control mechanisms. To control the car, we used a dual-axis accelerometer and LEDs (light emitting diodes) configured as photo-detectors. The control mechanism was selected using a single pole dual throw (spdt) switch was wired in a single pole single throw (spst) configuration. The two-axis accelerometer was used as a tilt sensor that detected how far the chip was angled from its neutral, flat position. An analog voltage was produced for both the x- and y-axes that corresponded to how far the accelerometer was tilted, and in what direction.

A custom LED array was also used to control the car. Though LEDs are traditionally thought of as light producing elements, they also produce a voltage corresponding to how much light they receive – brighter environments produce a greater voltage across the LED. We took advantage of this fact by causing the decrease in voltage by blocking light from entering one of the four LEDs (forward, reverse, left and right) to cause the car to move in the appropriate direction (See accelerometer & led sensor array unit).

To implement a safer car, an infrared distance sensor was used to continually scan the area in front of the car. The sensor produced an analog output voltage proportional to how close an object was. When an object was detected, the car momentarily reverses to avoid a collision. ”


November 29, 2006

Top 5 Crazy Watches from Tokyoflash

at 6:12 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Top 5 and Top 10

Check out Tokyoflash for a cool line up crazy watches. Here are my top 5 selections from their huge selection.

5. The Worlds Smallest LED Wristwatch
“At only 8mm thin and 40 grams, the Retsu is just 1/3 of the weight of most other LED watches. The Vertical display runs in line with the edge of the strap forming a smooth transition from one end to the other. Amazingly simple to read, the lights race up to the digit then trail off leaving one light reconfirming the number. This is repeated for each digit to tell the time. So straight forward it’s surprising no one has ever thought of it before.”


Audio Controlled Christmas Lights

at 5:22 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Here is a simple circuit to control 110VAC things such as Christmas Lights with low voltage audio. Be careful, high voltage AC can kill you.

“The basic Idea was to have Christmas lights flash with the music. In my design I use an ordinary amplified computer speaker, a diode bridge, and a ‘CRYDOM’ SSR (Solid State Relay). In order to increase the time that the lights were on as well as protect the SSR I used a Diode Bridge to rectify the signal from the amplifier circuit.”

November 28, 2006

Zune Battery and Hard Drive Hack

at 7:05 am. Filed under Electronic Hacks

The Zune doesn’t appeal to me very much however it is nice to see that for the people that bought one it will be easy to “upgrade”. I just wonder how long it will take to “fix” the Wifi functionality.

“This Repair Guide or Tear Down is designed to help you replace & repair parts inside your Zune and will help you replace parts needed to restore functionality to any Zune. This disassembly guide is a great reference for replacing: Zune batteries, Zune LCD screens, Zune Hard drives, Zune casings & much more.

We have found that the Zune battery is the same as the iPod Video 60/80GB battery. We can start upgrades for existing Zune customers now. We have also found that the new ZIF (zero insertion force) drives from Toshiba will work in the Zune players. You will be able to upgrade your 30GB Zune to a 40GB, 60GB & 80GB right away. ”


Computer Aquariums

at 5:45 am. Filed under Computer Hacks, Funny Hacks

Here is a cool collection of computer aquariums, most of them are what is known as a Macquarium (made from a Macintosh).
Links 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,9 ,10, 11

“A Macquarium is an aquarium made from the shell of an Apple Macintosh computer. The term was coined by computer writer Andy Ihnatko as a joke (a jibe at the outdatedness of the Macintosh 512K) but Macquaria have actually been built both by Ihnatko, himself, and by many of his fans and some are even commercially available.”


November 27, 2006

PIC based Serial Controlled RGB LED PWM Driver

at 5:24 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


If you want to play around with some LEDs, why not hook them up to some brains (a PIC chip) and have some fun. Pete provides all the details you will need to create your own Serial Controlled RGB LED PWM Driver. The provided firmware will run on the following PIC chips: 12F629, 12F675 and 12F683.

“If you want to build your own multiple RGB LED display that you can control from either a PC or a dedicated controller then this project will let you do just that.

The project on this page came about when while I was developing a more complex intelligent driver. During that work I put together a simple Red/Green/Blue Pulse Width Modulation LED driver that has a serial interface. The RGB values to control the LED brightness are sent to the PWM driver over this serial interface.

With both the original and revised versions of the RGB PWM driver there was one big shortcoming when you want to have several drivers working together. Even when they’re running the same sequence, the small differences in the frequency of the internal RC oscillator cause some to run the sequence slightly faster, others slower. The result, well sometimes it’s quite effective, but mostly it just looks awful.

With the controller / driver presented here it is possible to connect multiple drivers to the same serial cable, all attached units then appear to operate synchronously since they’re all receiving the same control data. The PCB for the RGB PWM Driver has been designed so that it can be used with both the serial control firmware on this page, or the standalone firmware here

The serial data can be sent from the serial COM port of a PC or using a small dedicated controller that I’ve put together. The Controller code is based on the standalone RGB driver code described elsewhere on this website. The controller uses the same format for the sequence data as the standalone RGB driver so any SequenceData.inc files you have for the standalone driver can be used with the Serial RGB Controller.”


November 26, 2006

Laptop Battery Fire

at 5:52 am. Filed under Computer Hacks, Insane Equipment


PC Pit Stop has made a standard laptop battery catch on fire. The fire is quite a bit larger than I would have expected.

“We intentionally created conditions in which the Li-ON battery pack would explode inside a generic portable. The results are dramatic. There are numerous conditions where these fires can occur in real life. Faulty battery packs (driving the recalls), faulty protection circuits inside the PC, exposure to excessive heat, and blunt force are some of the major ways that this could happen to you.”

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