Hacked Gadgets Forum

December 5, 2008

Name the Thing Contest – 70

at 11:12 pm. Filed under Contests

The prize this week is 20 of our popular LED mounting boards. These LED mounting adapter boards let you solder to a small circuit board instead of soldering directly to LED and resistor leads. This contest will run for one week (Dec 6 – Dec 11, 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 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 23, 2008 

The item to guess was a Ball Screw

The winner is Todd A.

Thanks to all who entered (there were 77 entries)


Below is a picture of the prize.

You will get 20 LED Mounting Adapter Boards, 20 LEDs of your choice and 20 Resistors.


Magnetic Levitation Light Bulb uses Wireless Energy Transfer

at 3:18 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Crazy Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Robin Massink from the Netherlands has built a cool Magnetic Levitation Light Bulb it uses Wireless Energy Transfer to power the bulb. It is always weird to see something being powered with no wires!

"I used this globe (http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/science/98b8/) for the levitating part. It consists of 2 permanent magnets, and 2 electromagnets, coupled with a hall sensor to keep a third magnet (inside the globe) floating. I mounted a ordinary 20W lightbulb on this magnet, after removing the plastic globe. The light bulb is connected in parallel with a 100nF capacitor, and a coil of about 40 turns of copper wire.(diameter is about 6 cm). The base has the same coil, with the 100nF capacitor in series connected. The base-coil receives a 50volt, 30kHz square wave signal, from a half H bridge(something like this: http://lh4.ggpht.com/otp.arun/SJkzTSR90lI/AAAAAAAAAh8/fqNPHXqXa8U/s400/hbri1.JPG), with the coil/capacitor connected where the motor is drawn. The current is about 0.5 amps. It works by driving the primary LC combination at resonance. A induction current is generated in the secondary coil because of the resulting magnetic field generated. The current is then directly fed into the light bulb."

iPhone Rotary Phone Docking Station

at 10:04 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks, Funny Hacks


I love the look of the old rotary phones. This hack turns your old phone into a cool iPhone docking station. With 16 Watts of speakers hidden in the device there is sure to be some cool sounds coming from this covert device.

"Rotary Dial 1940’s Phone fitted with an iPhone speaker dock. One speaker behind the dial (10w) on the front of the phone and two speakers in the handset (2x 3w). The IR sensor and controls are fitted to the side of the phone and docking port is hidden under the receiver when the hand set is off."

Thanks Michael.

Fisher & Paykel Smart Drive Washing Machine Wind Generator

at 5:47 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


I have seen a few articles about using these Fisher & Paykel Smart Drive washing machine motors as a starting point to make a wind generator. Once modified it looks to be a great inexpensive means to make electricity. Randy’s Workshop has some good documentation on how to modify these motors to be used as a generator.

"This Fisher & Paykel Smart Drive Permanent Magnet motor is comprised of a hub, stator, main shaft, two bearings and a bearing holder. The Stator is stationary and comprised of 42 wound coils. The ends of the windings are easily accessible for re-wiring. Since this doesn’t have brushes, when the hub is spun it actually becomes an alternator producing AC current."

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