Hacked Gadgets Forum

September 30, 2008

Off Grid Generator uses Diesel and old Cooking Oil

at 5:49 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, What Were They Thinking


Garygadget15 has a great idea that puts an old motor to use providing power by consuming waste cooling oil.

"I have built a "off the Grid" home generator using a 1950’s Coventry Victor one cylinder diesel generator, I can run this on diesel or a diesel and used cooking oil mixture and have it attached to a large battery via a 40amp car alternator which supplies my garden lighting and via an inverter for 600 watts of home power and lighting. The waste heat is used to keep my garage warm as well."


September 29, 2008

LEGO V8 Engine

at 6:03 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Toy Hacks


This LEGO V8 Engine looks very impressive but that’s what I would expect for 4 months of work. Is there anything that you can’t make with LEGO?


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September 27, 2008

DIY Firework Ignition System

at 9:17 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Want to impress some people at your next big event? You could make your own fireworks controller and put on a big show for them! This looks like a fun but potentially dangerous project…

"At the heart of my firework ignition system is an SX48 running at 50 MHz. I was able to make full use of the SX’s 36 IO pins. Thirty lines are dedicated to the 30 channels. Two lines connect to a MAX233 chip for serial port control. Another line is connected to a 7805 (TO-92) which monitors the state of the arming key. The remaining 3 lines are used to communicate with the PIC A/D converter via an SPI interface. The system was built with cost as an important factor. At $10 the SX48 Proto board was an easy choice with its incorporated 5V regulator, led and all the difficult surface mount soldering already done for me. I also designed 2 pc boards using the freeware version of Cadsoft’s Eagle. The interface board connects the SX48 Proto board and contains the MAX233 chip, A/D converter and 30 LEDs to represent the state of each of the 30 channels. The driver board contains the transistor circuits for 10 channels. There are 3 driver boards in the system. Once the boards were designed I printed the design onto glossy magazine paper. I then transferred the toner from the paper to the 1 oz copper clad boards using an iron and etched the boards using ferric chloride. I drilled out the through holes and vias on my drill press and mounted all the components."


September 26, 2008

Name the Thing Contest – 61

at 10:45 pm. Filed under Contests

 The prize this week is a prank pen. It will shock all who attempt to use it. 🙂

This contest will run for one week (Sept 27 – Oct 2, 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 October 3, 2008 

The item to guess was a Merlin

The winner is James L.

Thanks to all who entered.


Below is a picture of the prize.

Air Bag blows up Fridge

at 5:41 am. Filed under Electronic Hacks, Funny Hacks


I think next time I go to the junk yard I will have to see how much an old air bag is worth. These things really pack a punch. If you watch the video from Daves Farm keep watching past the first air bag test, the second one is amazing.

Thanks Stagueve

September 25, 2008

Spykee Meccano Robot

at 5:59 am. Filed under Computer Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Toy Hacks


I remember my Meccano set that I played with when I was growing up. Lots of nuts, bolts and pieces of metal. This Spykee robot represents the new face of Meccano that I could only wish was available when I was a kid. I can just imagine the creative hacks that we will see in the near future! Thanks to Sven for the system overview.


  • Spy robot. Spykee can be controlled within your home network using a WiFi connection. Just install some software on your PC or Mac and you can remotely send commands to Spykee. The video and sound from Spykee’s webcam are transmitted to your computer.
  • Telepresence. Because Spykee has a WiFi connection it can easily connect to the Internet. This opens up many new possibilities for the robot, such as remotely controlling your robot from any place in the world via Internet.
  • Digital music player. Spykee has a 2W loudspeaker. So just send MP3 music to Spykee and you can enjoy your music.
  • VOIP phone. Use the Spykee robot together with Skype, MSN or GoogleTalk to talk with your friends! Because Spykee is mobile, you can now talk with your friend from any place in your house.
  • Video surveillance. Spykee can be programmed to send you an email whenever it sees things that are suspicious. Your robot will now guard your room!
  • Infrared auto-park recharging. Mobile robots have a limited time to operate due to their batteries. Spykee is a smart robot that will automatically recharge itself when its batteries are low.
  • Processor. Details about the specific processor that Spykee uses and possibilities for further hardware extensions is currently not know. If anyone has some info then please post it on the forum.
  • WiFi. Spykee is WiFi enabled. According to its specifications the robot should work within a distance of 100m under optimal conditions.
  • 2DC motors. Spykee has two motors that can be independently controlled so that it can drive forward, backwards, turn left and turn right.
  • Camera The camera has a resolution of 320×200 pixels and under optimal conditions it has a framerate of 15fps.
  • IR auto-parking recharge system. Spykee comes with a docking station to automatically recharge its batteries.
  • Lights and optical fibres Not only can Spykee make sound, it also has lights to cheer up your room!


Thanks Robert.



September 24, 2008

Message Pump – USB to LCD Display Adapter

at 11:08 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


The Message Pump project from Spikenzie Labs provides you with some surface mount soldering enjoyment and a resulting device that will allow you to display messages from your computer. Lots of computers don’t have a serial port these days so the USB connection is very handy. It is available in many forms including bare board or a kit with all the required parts.


"The Message Pump A.K.A. the USB to LCD Backpack is a device that allows you to connect a LCD display directly to your computer. It uses a PIC micro-controller, to drive the LCD and a FTDI USB to serial chip to connect to your computer. Most of the parts on the Message Pump are surface mount. If you are good or OK at soldering though hole parts then building the Message Pump will should be a problem. You may just have to change your technique a bit. Look around the web and you will find lots of tutorials on how to do surface mount (SMT) soldering. The most popular part used in this project is the FTDI USB chip. People are afraid of it because it has a small pin pitch (spacing). The version used here is the SSOP-28 package. Yes, this tight spacing does make it a bit more difficult to solder but if you have not tried, I think you’d be surprised, it’s not that hard."

Via: Make



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