Hacked Gadgets Forum

November 30, 2008

GPS Data Logger using an SD Card

at 5:04 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


If you are looking for GPS project ideas here is one that interfaces a serial GPS module to a PIC microcontroller and saves the data directly to a SD memory card. Schematics and code are available.

"The data from the GPS is logged every second with the raw NMEA sentences being written to the SD card. The data written to the card is the GSA, GGA, RMC and GSV sentences which by excluding the carriage returns this should never exceed 512 bytes per second. The data contains:

  • GGA – 78 bytes – time, fix, lat, long, altitude, horizontal dilution of precision.
  • GSA – 69 bytes – fix (none, 2D, 3D), satellites used, dilution of precision.
  • RMC – 78 bytes – time, lat, long, speed, course, date.
  • GSV – 74 bytes – satellite information (4 messages).

The total active power consumption is about 40mA to 45mA when active which in theory should give 48 hours on rechargeable batteries with 2000mAh capacity. In practice I have measured a time of 40 hours."



November 29, 2008

Video Camera Rocket Mount

at 2:24 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks


If you ever wanted to mount a camera onto a model rocket this article makes for a good read. A custom mold was made to securely hold the camera in place.
Project page.

"So here is the awkward part. The camera must be TURNED ON when I install it in the rocket. It doesn’t need to be recording, that can be controlled with the poking stick. But it must be turned on when inserted because once in the rocket, there is no way to access the power button. It’s not a real big deal, but it does take a little time, and at a time when time is precious. I get the rocket all ready to go, altimeters, parachutes, ejection charges, motor, all installed. Then go check in with the RSO, get them to call in for a waiver, go to the launch pad and install the camera. That means turning it on, wedging it into the lower plug, pressing in the upper plug, positioning the nose cone section, and screwing in all those little screws. It takes 2 minutes, not counting time spent looking for dropped screws – I’ve learned to take a few extras, and a magnet. Then when the ignitor is installed, and the rocket is up on the rail, I would stand on a tippy little stool, poke the RECORD button, and strain to see if it were actually recording. My fear is that I would "bounce" the button, stopping the recording. More recently, I’ve started the camera recording with the rail horizontal, where it is much easier to work on and to see. I can even cover the camera section and my head with a towel to reduce the glare, see if it is recording or not, and get the guys at the flight line to laugh at me. Then it is raised to firing position."

Name the Thing Contest – 69

at 12:37 am. Filed under Contests

The prize this week will steady you camera when you are taking pictures of your next project.  This contest will run for one week (Nov 29 – Dec 4, 2008) . Ending time is based on central standard time. To enter, identify the item pictured above including make and model and give an example of what can be done with it.

Please do not give the answer in the comments below. 

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 December 10, 2008 

The item to guess was a E-MAG ELECTRONIC IGNITION

The winner is Ryan S.

Thanks to all who entered (there were 7 entries)


Below is a picture of the prize.


November 28, 2008


at 7:13 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks


Details are slim on this very cool POV that uses a whopping 96 LEDs. The tiny LEDs are able to make a very nice image, it looks like the images may be stored in the banks of chips that can be seen on the board. Timing appears to be done using an LED, it might be a infrared LED since it would be visible to the video camera. There are a few glitches where it looks like it isn’t in scync but that might just be the camera that is recording it… Hats off to the creator, it’s very impressive!

November 27, 2008

Suzuk-E – Suzuki Electric Bike Hack

at 5:55 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment


I can’t wait to see some video of this electric bike conversion in action. TheWorkshop.ca has taken an old Suzuki dirt bike and hacked in a powerful electric motor. This isn’t a simple rip and bolt project that we have seen others perform, there was lots of machining and fabrication needed to get it to this stage. An open source motor controller was used which earns it a big bonus as far as DIY goes. 🙂  I think it will prove to be quite a fast machine.

Added video that is now available (thanks Frank).

Project page.

"The battery, controller, motor and PC are finally all wired properly and I can slam the juice to the motor and rip through all 6 gears up & down without a clutch by just easing the throttle between transitions. There are some concerns about the over-all slop in the total drive-train (motor shaft to rear wheel), and the horrendous volume of the sound screaming off this set-up that will hopefully be addressed in the next installment. Similarly the next steps are to install a speedometer onto the rear wheel, a tach onto the motor shaft and see how close the spread sheet above is to the measured No-Load reality."


November 26, 2008

Breathing Xenon produces a Deep Voice

at 5:52 am. Filed under Funny Hacks, What Were They Thinking


Looks like there is another gas to play around with, we have seen that breathing helium and sulfur hexafluoride has some crazy vocal effects. But now we have an example of breathing xenon gas to change your voice! This was done by the guys over at the Benwl’s Channel who look to be having way too much fun.  🙂

"Xenon’s anesthetic effect is 1.5 times more potent than N2O. Please do not breath Xenon without proper medical supervision and supplemental oxygen.

The anesthetic effect of inert gas xenon (Xe) was discovered more than 50 years ago. The main causes limiting its clinical application are high price, low availability (in nature the gas is present in scarce amounts), and absence of preclinical trials sufficient for norm-setting documents and further solutions allowing clinical trials of Xe."


November 25, 2008

Indestructible Binary Alarm Clock

at 11:34 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks, Funny Hacks, What Were They Thinking


If my fire alarm bell alarm clock clashes with your industrial decor have a look at this Indestructible Binary Alarm Clock. This clock will force you to get up and walk out the door before it shuts off!

"When I was laying awake again I started thinking about building the ultimate alarm clock. After some tinkering I decided that it should have these features:

  • It should use an actual alarm bell because that’s cool.
  • It should display its time in binary format because that’s cool and allows me to recycle several parts of my binary clock, which was still incompleted and was only collecting dust.
  • It should be impossible for me to turn the alarm clock off (using any non-destructive ways) before it’s absolutely sure that I won’t go back to bed again.
  • It should have the possibility to go into a “dark mode” in which all the lights are switched off so it doesn’t annoy me when I’m trying to fall asleep."


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