Hacked Gadgets Forum

January 26, 2008

Easy to build CNC Machine

at 5:11 am. Filed under DIY Hacks



Interested in building a CNC machine for little money? Have a look at the one that Tom McWire put together. There is some real creative use of common parts here!

Video after the jump.

"Here is a way to make a computer controlled milling machine. That puts the real power of a computer control machining into the hands of the average human. Small enough to set on the desk but scalable to any size. As inexpensive as possible without sacraficing accuracy (too much). All most all the parts can be purchased in local retail stores. And above all CHEAP you can be up and running for well under $200. With it you can do 2 Dimentional engraving and PC board etching and 3D milling and modeling in Foam, Wood, Plastic and other soft materials."


Name the Thing Contest – 36

at 2:27 am. Filed under Contests


The winner for the last contest will be announced soon.
The prize this week is a cable tester that will let you make sure your ethernet project cables are functioning properly.
This contest will run for this weekend only (January 26 – 27, 2008) . Ending time is based on central standard time. To enter, identify the item pictured above and give an example of what can be done with it. 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.


Added January 31, 2008

The item to guess was a speaker voice coil and spider suspension assembly

The winner is Fran F.

Thanks to all who entered.


Below are some pictures of the prize.



January 25, 2008

Milk and Legos = 3D scanner

at 11:17 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks


Good, fast and cheap. This is a real headslap idea once you see it. Just take some Lego, milk and a web cam to make a 3D scanner. Then use the software from Moviesandbox to input the image to your computer. I guess you might have to switch to chocolate milk for a light colored object. Of course the idea was borrowed from Michelangelo. Stanford University has a program to allow you to visualize Michelangelo’s work plus some other objects



LEGO NTX Assembly Line System

at 5:10 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Toy Hacks


There are few words about the LEGO NTX Assembly Line System that superbird28 has put together but after watching the video you can get a good sense of what it does and how it works. The mechanical timing is superb! If this thing were spray painted with silver paint I would think I was watching a machine that was ready for installation on a factory floor.

January 24, 2008

Simple IR Hack Derails Polish Trains

at 5:05 am. Filed under Electronic Hacks

 A 14 year old boy hacked the train system in Poland causing four trains to derail and numerous people to get injured. He apparently did this by converting a IR remote control to work with the train system. He had stolen the information needed to build the device along with some of the parts needed from the train storage yard. Of course this is horrible and the boy is completely at fault, but I think much blame lies with the developers of the system. Could you imagine if a modified remote control could change traffic lights to green in both directions. This should not have been possible to hack so easily. The train above is probably the style that was derailed.


"He had converted the television control into a device capable of controlling all the junctions on the line and wrote in the pages of a school exercise book where the best junctions were to move trams around and what signals to change.

He treated it like any other schoolboy might a giant train set, but it was lucky nobody was killed. Four trams were derailed, and others had to make emergency stops that left passengers hurt. He clearly did not think about the consequences of his actions."

 Thanks Chris


January 23, 2008

UV LED Controller using a PIC 16F628A Microcontroller

at 5:21 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


If you need an UV LED timer, or a timer for any other purpose you may be interested in the UV LED Controller that was constructed using a PIC 16F628A Microcontroller. There is a schematic and code available however the original project was not documented in English. Have a look at the Google translation that did a decent job of translating this one.

Here is what you need to build it.

"- The LC-Display
– 1×16 headers man and female — 1×16 headers male and female
– 4x drukknop
– 4x pushbutton
– 1x PIC16F628A met voetje, 18pins — 1x PIC16F628A with socket, 18pins
– 1x 10kO potmeter — 1x 10k O potentiometer
– 1x 100nF condensator — 1x 100nF capacitor
– 1x 220uF / 25V condensator — 1x 220uF / 25V capacitor
– 1x 7805 spanningsregulator — 1x 7805 voltage
– 1x BUZ11 — 1x BUZ11
– 1x Rode led — 1x Red LED
– 1x Connector — 1x Connector
– 5x SMD weerstanden — 5x SMD resistors "




January 22, 2008

Autonomous Sound Finding Robot

at 5:20 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Toy Hacks


Angela Israni, Hemanshu Chawda and Seth Spiel from Cornell University made this Autonomous Sound Finding Robot as their project for the ECE 476  Designing with Microcontrollers course. They have source code posted if you are interested in having a look. Total cost was $361 which included a $325 Acronome PPRK Robot .

Video after the jump.


" The PeanutBot robot consists of three microphone circuits, three servo motors, an MCU and a PC. The three microphones were used to triangulate the angle of the source relative to the robot. The audio source plays a continuous stream of pulses. Pulses were chosen over a continuous tone because, instead of detecting phase difference in the audio signal, our system detects the arrival time of the signal at a certain amplitude at each microphone. The robot is designed to be autonomous and is, therefore, not synchronized with the pulse generator. As a result, the time of flight of each impulse is not available and the robot is unable to quantify the distance to the source. Instead, the robot advances by a small predetermined distance and listens for the signal again. To find the sound source, the robot listens for the arrival of an impulse on any of the three microphones. Once an impulse has been detected at one of the microphones, the robot records the microphone data at 10 microsecond intervals for 10 milliseconds. Using this data, the arrival time of the impulse at e! ach microphone is calculated and the direction of the source is obtained. Once the angle of the source has been identified, the robot rotates and pursues the source for a short period, and then promptly resumes triangulation of the signal to repeat the process."




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