Hacked Gadgets Forum

September 24, 2008

Measuring Gas Consumption using a Camera Phone

at 5:25 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, What Were They Thinking


This project is all about Measuring Gas Consumption using a Camera Phone. Who knew you could use the built in camera from a phone to watch for fire! Every second a determination is made if fire is present, when it is a database on the phone is updated with the fire activity which will later be retrieved using Bluetooth to calculate gas usage.

"I wanted to measure the gas usage of my gas heating in real-time and come up with the idea to use a mobile phone with a camera for that. The plan was to have the camera of a mobile phone looking on the burner and recognize if the flame is there or not. That should work under the assumption, that the burning duration is directly related to the used gas volume. "

September 23, 2008

DIY Geiger Counter with USB Interface

at 5:11 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


You probably don’t need a Geiger Counter but wouldn’t it be fun to have one? This DIY Geiger Counter project will not only demonstrate how to build one, this circuit will also connect to a computer using USB to grab the data. Since this device used very high voltage the output to the USB is opto-isolated to protect the delicate low voltage computer circuitry.

"The Geiger-Muller tube is a simple device, it’s a tube filled with a gas with two electrodes. A high potential is applied betweens electrodes. When a ionizing particle arrived, it create a temporary conductive path between electrodes. The resulting current can be detected by an electronic amplifier. A Geiger counter is composed of a high voltage generator, a geiger tube, an amplifier and a monostable. The following schematic show clearly these 4 parts. In the second part of this article will show how to connect this counter to a USB microcontroler and a computer. "

Thanks Sylvain

September 22, 2008

Laser Burns Flash Paper through Water

at 5:26 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Insane Equipment


Didn’t think a laser could retain this much power after traveling through many inches of water. But it looks like this 150mW laser somehow managed to do it. The target is flash paper, not regular paper which may have a bit to do with it but it is impressive regardless! Anyone think this is not real or staged somehow?

September 21, 2008

High Voltage Discharge Experiments

at 5:04 am. Filed under Electronic Hacks


Gilbondfac has put together a good collection of interesting experiments. This one that demonstrates some great high voltage discharge results is fun to watch. I hope he was wearing eye glasses and a hard hat. 🙂

September 20, 2008

Robot Wheelchair goes where you ask

at 11:29 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Crazy Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Wheelchairs in the near future may be easier to use thanks to some MIT research. This Robot Wheelchair will respond to voice prompts by driving you where you want to go.

"MIT researchers are developing a new kind of autonomous wheelchair that can learn all about the locations in a given building, and then take its occupant to a given place in response to a verbal command. Just by saying "take me to the cafeteria" or "go to my room," the wheelchair user would be able to avoid the need for controlling every twist and turn of the route and could simply sit back and relax as the chair moves from one place to another based on a map stored in its memory."

Via: Digg



Name the Thing Contest – 60

at 12:05 am. Filed under Contests


This contest will run for one week (Sept 20 – Sept 25, 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 Curta Mechanical Calculator

The winner is Ken B.

Thanks to all who entered.


Below is a picture of the prize.


September 19, 2008

iRobot Arm Robot

at 5:07 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Have a look at this Robot that is built on an iRobot platform. Have a look at the number of sensors, this thing has lots of computing power since is uses the Propeller microcontroller from Parallax.

"This is an iRobot Create fitted with a Robot Arm I pulled from an old Radio Controlled vehicle. It uses a Propeller Protoboard and motor controllers and accelerometers from Parallax to control the Arm and monitor it’s position using the two accelerometers mounted on the arm. The Create is controlled by another Propeller and uses a CMUCam1 for Color Tracking to track the object. A Sharp GPD120 IR ragne sensor is used at the Claw to determine when the object is close enough to grab. The robot is tracking the color, driving up to it until it senses the object within it’s grasp, stops, grabs the object, and raises it up. Simple example of great possibilities. And this isn’t even in ideal lighting."

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