Hacked Gadgets Forum

January 27, 2007

PIC16F88 Delorme Tripmate GPS Logger

at 4:22 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Using an old serial GPS the guys as Semifluid have made a home made GPS data logger on the cheap. As usual schematics and directions are on the site.

“This project focused on creating a simple serial data logger for the Delorme Tripmate (also known as the GPSTripmate). The Tripmate is an older GPS receiver that can be purchased on eBay for <$20. I happen to have one that my family used a couple of years ago and it is still in great shape. It has been sitting in the back of my car for the past four years, so I finally decided to put it to good use. The plan was to create a GPS data logger that would record the position of the unit and allow me to read back the latitude and longitude after acquiring the data. My ultimate goal will be to use a small backpack to record my runs (once the weather warms up). This was a fun experiment because not only did I need to interface the PIC16F88 to the Tripmate, but I also needed to parse the output and implement an efficient storage solution. Read on to find out more information about the project, see the schematic and soure code I wrote, and find out how the data was visualized."

January 26, 2007

Audio/Video Cabinet Fan Controller

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

John Carter made a nice AV fan controller for an audio/video cabinet. There is code and a diagram of the design on John’s site. This project uses the PIC AXE microcontroller, if you want to play with some of these chips I hear that Peter Anderson is a great resource with cheap shipping.

“This is a fan controller for an audio/video cabinet. It uses a PICAXE 08M and a DS18B20 temperature sensor. The fan is turned on at 30 degrees C (~86 F) and off at 28 degrees C (~82 F). The green LED is the activity indicator and also serves as a “ballpark” temperature indicator. All off-board connections are made via screw terminals. The left terminal block for the fan, the bottom block for power, the right terminal block for the DS18B20.”

January 25, 2007

Harbor Freight UV Led Flashlight MOD

at 1:50 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Looking for a UV LED project? Tool Using Animal takes an ordinary flashlight and turns it into a cool UV flashlight!

“Danger Will Robinson, This is a UV mod for my beloved harbor freight flashlight So here comes the disclaimers. UV is dangerous, it’ll give you cancer, cataracts, and steal your check book, if you build this, You Will Die!! Although probably your death will not be related to this instructable. But seriously DO NOT shine this into anyone’s eyes.”

Via: Make

Internet Controlled Security Robot

at 5:46 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Computer Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Toy Hacks

Once the full scale version of this car is made all it will need is a paint ball gun to keep the bad guys away!

“Build a security robot that can be controlled and viewed over the internet. The planned final version will be a kids 48” electric car with a network camera attached.

1/4 Scale Trial Version:

I opted to try this out with a $20 RC car from Wal-Mart first, before I invest $200 in a kids car.


Linksys WRT54G Router – Used as the wireless connection from Bestbuy
Comfiletech: Industrial Micro Controller/PLC “Cubloc”- http://www.comfiletech.com/index.asp
Maxport: Ethernet to RS232 converter with web server. From http://www.comfiletech.com/index.asp
Kowasaki RC car from Wal-Mart
Camera: None yet. I intend to use an Axis 206, when I can find one cheap on ebay”

Via: ZedoMax and Make

January 24, 2007

Build a Six-Axis 3D Controller

at 5:09 am. Filed under Computer Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks

Not a simple project, but it goes to show what can be created with old computer parts that most people toss in the garbage.

“The basic principle of Three Blind Mice is to run three threads round three rollers from old mechanical mice. By using the mouse reports to calculate the length of the extended thread this allows the position where all the threads join to be calculated. First job was to interface the mice to a PC. I am using old Microsoft Itellimice. The “z” axis on these mice which measures the position of the wheel is very low resolution and not suitable for this application. So, you need two mice to get the three axis of measurement required.

It turns out that Windows makes it rather hard to extract input from individual mice if you have several connected to your PC. It is also rather tricky to override the normal mouse behaviour of moving the Windows cursor. Therefore rather than connect the mice directly to a PC I decided to interface the mice to an AVR microcontroller. The AVR then has a serial interface to the host PC.

The PS/2 mouse interface is a bit of pain to work with, but with a bit of effort I was able to get things connected.”

January 23, 2007

Grape Plasma using a Microwave

at 5:25 am. Filed under Crazy Hacks


Combine a microwave, a grape and some science, shake well and have fun! Hacked Gadget reader Bladel sent in a few links to some videos they made of a similar experiment. They placed a candle under a glass in the microwave for some similar action.

“Take a seedless grape and slice it lengthwise, making sure (this part is important) not to cut all the way through, so you leave a little bit of skin connecting the two halves. Put it face-up in a microwave, and blam: fireworks!

So what the heck is going on in there? Grapes are chock-full of electrolyte, an ion-rich liquid (a.k.a. “grape juice”) that conducts electricity. Each grape-half serves as a reservoir of electrolyte, connected together by a thin, weakly conducting path (the skin). Microwaves cause the stray ions in the grape to travel back and forth very quickly between the two halves. As they do this, the current dumps excess energy into the skin bridge, which heats up to a high temperature and eventually bursts into flame. At this point, the traveling electrons arc through the flame and across the gap, ionizing the air to a plasma (which itself can conduct electricity) and creating the bright flashes you see.”

January 22, 2007

Xbox 360 Tilt Controller

at 5:47 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Digg, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Game Hacks


It takes lots of work to mod the Xbox 360 to act like a Wiimote. 🙂 This Xbox 360 Tilt Controller reminds me of the this project. Great job! I look forward to the next hack…

“After wanting to play around with an accelerometer for a long time, I finally thought of an idea that would warrant me purchasing one, modifying an Xbox 360 controller to make one of the analog sticks controlled by the tilting motion of the Xbox controller.

The accelerometer works by outputting varying voltages for varying accelerations. I will use a 3-axis accelerometer so it will output 3 varying voltages. I will use an analog-to-digital converter to get the signals into a micro controller. The micro controller will do the processing that determines how the controller is tilted. It will then be output as an analog voltage to the controller in place of the on board potentiometers that are controlled by the analog stick.

Analog sticks work by adjusting two potentiometers (pots). After I took the controller all apart and experimented I found the potentiometers had an upper voltage of 1.61 volts and a lower voltage of 0 volts. On the up/down pot all the way up is 1.61 volts and all the way down is 0 volts. On the left/right pot all the way right is 0 volts and all the way left is 1.61 volts.”

Via: Engadget and Digg


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