Hacked Gadgets Forum

February 29, 2008

Name the Thing Contest – 41

at 11:57 pm. Filed under Contests


Congratulations to the last contest winner.
The prize this week is a tool to help you take apart your next mod project..
This contest will run till mid next week (March 1 – 5, 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 March 14, 2008 

The item to guess was a Power over Ethernet adapter

The winner is Markus F.

Thanks to all who entered.


Below is a picture of the prize.


Wii Remote Window Curtain Control

at 5:16 am. Filed under Computer Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Game Hacks, What Were They Thinking


The Wiimote has again proven to be a great resource for the creative hacker! If you are lucky enough to have some motorized blinds you might want to have a look at this Wii Remote Window Curtain Control project.


Video after the jump.


"The curtain control system is an existing system from Goelst and is called "G-Rail 6200". Normally it is controlled by infrared or wallswitches. However, it can also be controlled with a CAN bus. I used this CAN bus to interface with an old PC."



February 28, 2008

LED Hula Hoop

at 5:22 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks, Toy Hacks



Jeffkobi shows us a simple way to make a popular toy much cooler. Seems like the hula hoop is not as popular as it once was but what if the ones in the store were LED Hula Hoops? I think they would be selling like hot cakes!

"Some friends wanted a lighted hula hoop for burningman, and when they turned out to be about $200 each, I decided to make one. All the parts cost about $15 . . . total time to make the hoop was about 3 hours, but that included time for figuring things out. You could probably make one in less than 2 hours with this instructable and soldering skills . . .


  • 12′ – polyethylene tubing
  • 1x tubing connector
  • 6x LED’s (or more if you like)
  • 6x 69ohm resistors (calculate for your LED’s)
  • 6x LED holders
  • 14’x2 copper wire
  • 1x mini switch
  • 1x AAA battery holder (2xbatteries, 3Volts)
  • assorted heat shrink
  • random paperclips"


February 27, 2008

Hamster Powered Generator

at 5:22 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks, Funny Hacks, What Were They Thinking


Everyone is looking for alternate energy sources these days. I think this is one that is almost always left untapped. 🙂 Just think of all the wasted power when the pet hamster is doing his thing with the hamster wheel. You can now do something to harness all that wasted energy, build yourself a Hamster Powered Generator!

"The first criteria we needed to design the alternator was an estimate of the Revolutions Per Minute (RPM) a rodent can generate on the wheel. The lower the RPMs, the more difficult it is to design a good alternator for it. Analise took a stopwatch to the local pet store and recorded how many times the wheel went around in 10-second intervals, then multiplied these figures by 6 to get RPMs. She found that most rodents can make between 40 and 60 rpm on the exercise wheel. That gave us a starting point for the alternator design.

Our first thought was to use a DC hobby motor to generate the electricity, so we could charge up some NiCad batteries to run a light. However, we immediately ran into the same problems as when we built toy wind turbines using hobby motors — at the required low RPMs, most hobby motors cannot get the voltage high enough to start charging batteries. And you often can’t tell what a hobby motor is rated at, there is not usually a specs plate on it. So you might have a 500 RPM motor, or a 10,000 RPM motor! The rated RPMs of the motor determine at what RPM it can make a certain voltage. None of the DC hobby motors we had available could make even 1.2 volts (the voltage of a single AA NiCad) at 40-60 rpm. So we scrapped the idea of using a DC motor as a generator. Plus, the required diode (to keep the battery from just spinning the motor) would drop the voltage by at least another 0.7 volts. It would be possible, but complicated (and bad practice) to use gearing or a belt and pulley system to raise the RPMs — the friction losses in the gearing system would be major, and design would be complicated. Rodents like to chew, and a rubber belt would be fair game. Plus it’s much more fun to build your own alternator than to use a pre-made hobby motor!"


February 26, 2008

Amaizing RC Demonstration Videos

at 5:16 am. Filed under Insane Equipment, Toy Hacks, What Were They Thinking


Some of these videos look a bit suspicious… Any fakes amongst them? I could see how the RC car that is tethered to the center pole could achieve some tremendous speed but I wonder if the video was simply sped up?




February 25, 2008

DARPA Revolutionizing Prosthetics 2009

at 5:15 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Crazy Hacks

DARPA is working hard to advance prosthetics  technology, the result will be a limb that is easier to control and have improved run time compared to current devices.

"The four-year Revolutionizing Prosthetics 2009 program will create a neurally controlled artificial limb that will restore full motor and sensory capability to upper extremity amputee patients. This revolutionary prosthesis will be controlled, feel, look and perform like the native limb. At the end of the fouryear program, the resulting prosthesis will be ready for human clinical trials. The goal of this program is to produce a prosthetic that will be able to function as well as a normal human arm. Key to this is a prosthetic that has: sensors for the ability to sense the position of the arm and hand relative to other parts of the body, touch, temperature and vibration; power that will allow at least 24 hours of normal use; mechanical components that will provide strength and environmental tolerance (heat, cold, water, humidity, dust, etc.; and durability to last at least 10 years with normal use. The intent is that the amputee will be able to tolerate the prosthesis without any problems for 18 hours/day of use. This revolutionary mechanical arm will have the properties of a biological limb."


February 24, 2008

Gummi Bear Burns in Potassium Chlorate

at 5:11 am. Filed under Crazy Hacks, Funny Hacks


Take some Potassium Chlorate, a Gummy Bear and add some heat. What do you get? A fun Burning Gummy Bear Reaction!

"Fill the test tube to a depth of about one inch with potassium chlorate. Clamp the test tube in place at an approximately 45° angle. Set up the ringstand-clamp-test tube assembly behind a safety shield in front of the class. Connect the burner so that the test tube can be heated easily.

Light the burner and heat the test tube at the bottom until the solid melts (mp is around 350° C). Stand behind the safety shield and carefully drop one gummi bear into the test tube using tongs or forceps. A violent flame-shooting reaction ensues and lasts for about one minute. You class will remember it for years!"




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