Hacked Gadgets Forum

October 27, 2008

Twittering Teddy Bear using Arduino Microcontroller

at 11:51 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Crazy Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, What Were They Thinking


This creative hack allows you to modify a teddy bear to read all of your tweets coming from Twitter.

"Guru Alison and I performed some, uh, innovative 2.0 surgery on an old childhood friend. The result: a real-time Twittering, talking, live-streaming social media phenomenon. I worked with my team at the Drexel Music and Entertainment Technology Lab to develop Teddy’s text-to-speech software.

* Animatronic Teddy Bear
* USB Bluetooth Adapter
* Programmable Circuit Board
* Programmable source code
* USB Cable
* Bluetooth music adapter
* An H Bridge Integrated Circuit Chip
* 5V Voltage Regulator
* LM386 OP AMP
* Mono Mini Jack Socket
* Mini to Mini Jack Cable
* DC 6V Power adapter
* Power adapter Socket
* 4 AA batteries
* Text-to-speech software
* Twitter Account
* Internet Connection (FiOS recommended)
* Common Screwdriver
* Needle Nose Pliers
* Wire Strippers & Cutters
* Bread Board
* Solid Core Wire
* Led, Capacitor & Resistors
* Soldering Gun & Solder (Optional)"



Simulated LED Flame Flicker using an Arduino

at 5:40 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


This Simulated LED Flame Flicker project is just the thing that is needed for all of those pumpkins that will be put out this year. It can run sufficiently long on a battery and will not burn anyone. The code is not up yet but should be posted soon.

"The code accepts an arbitrary number of LED outputs, with a minimum brightness for the general glow. A peak brightness and traversal time are generated randomly, and the timed traversal smoothly walks across the outputs. The peak falls off, so the effect is of a smooth motion of the peak across the LEDs, to an arbitrary position along the line of outputs (as a float, rather than always peaking at a specific light). When arranged in a circle, it feels like the light is moving around the group, which casts moving shadows, and gives a flickering effect that’s much more convincing that a single light variably changing brightness."


October 26, 2008

DIY Laser Harp

at 5:29 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Toy Hacks


Laser Harps look like lots of fun even though I probably wouldn’t be able to play a tune on one. I can just imagine putting some Easter eggs in there though! If you get the correct pre-programmed sequence it will play something amazing automatically. There will be more information about this build shortly over at cibomahto.com.


October 25, 2008

Home Made CO2 Laser Build

at 5:17 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment


Building a CO2 laser is not for the faint of heart but that is exactly what Tekwiz from British Columbia is building. It is still in the construction phase but is sure to be a fun (dangerous) toy when it is done! Check out the warning label in the bottom right area. 🙂

See more pictures of the build here.



October 24, 2008

Name the Thing Contest – 65

at 10:47 pm. Filed under Contests

We have a contest sponsor this week, thanks to USB Fever for the 4 port USB charger prize. I could have used this device when I was on vacation this year, I ended up charging devices via the laptop at night. This contest will run for one week (Oct 25 – Oct 30, 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 31 2008 

The item to guess was a Water Cooled Heat Sink

The winner is Matthieu C.

Thanks to all who entered (there were 84 entries)


Below is a picture of the prize.


Computer cooled using a Mineral Oil filled Fish Tank

at 5:57 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Computer Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Crazy Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Funny Hacks, Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking


Puget Systems built a few versions of a Computer cooled using a Mineral Oil filled Fish Tank. They have run it in various forms for about a year and a half so far! I would have thought that this system would have lasted long enough to marvel at the feat but die a short time later. This project proves my prediction wrong. I don’t think I would recommend it to anyone even if it can be pulled off since I would hate to try to explain to the warranted depot why the board is sticky and smells like oil. 🙂

"We built this system because with all the oil cooled projects out there, no one built a system that looked good and functioned well! After seeing all the other projects, we had a lot of ideas of how we could do it better and more easily. Many projects used vegetable oil, which would go rancid after a short time. The mineral oil does not have this problem, and is completely clear. We also wanted to use an appropriate enclosure — the Toms Hardware system used a clear acrylic case, and they had to painstakingly seal each rear connector to keep the oil from leaking. We wanted to put the ports on top to solve that problem the simple way. Other people have built systems in aquariums before, but they were always oversized and square. When we found the Eclipse System 6 Aquarium, we were excited to see an aquarium that was absolutely perfect in size — you couldn’t go any smaller. In addition, we had questions about performance and long term effects. Our initial tests, which we go over below, answer the questions about cooling performance. At the bottom of the page, we’ve posted subsequent follow ups after a few months and even a year, to let you know how a system like this performs in the long term."





October 23, 2008

Harmonic Distortion Meter – Using a PIC 18F2550

at 5:36 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks


If you want to check to see what the power is really like that is feeding you high end audio system have a look at this Harmonic Distortion Meter project. It will allow you to have a closer look at the quality of your power.

Read more here.

"The 3rd harmonic distortion meter has been designed for measuring the quality of AC supply. The meter is built with a PIC18F2550 project board and the full wave rectifier front-end circuit. The AC power line, 220VAC is measured through the step down isolation transformer. The input signal to the 10-bit ADC is full wave rectified. The software performs DFT calculation finding the amplitude of the fundamental frequency and the 3rd harmonic. The distortion is computed by the ratio of the amplitude of the 3rd harmonic to the fundamental frequency."


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