Hacked Gadgets Forum

December 24, 2008

Recycled PCB Ornament Ideas

at 12:39 pm. Filed under Computer Hacks, Funny Hacks


If you want everyone to know that you are a true geek then you need to purchase (or make) some of these cool Recycled PCB Ornaments. They look good and help the environment! Not sure why there are no components on the boards though unless they get the blanks from a circuit board manufacturing facility but I think one with components would look more interesting anyway.

"Decorate your Christmas tree with these funky and good looking hanging Christmas decorations made from recycled circuit boards and recycled CDs, that would otherwise have been thrown away."

December 23, 2008

Tiny Car

at 7:12 am. Filed under What Were They Thinking


These tiny cars were built back in the mid 60s but with gas prices rising I am thinking that in the next 10 years we will see lots of cars similar to this emerge. The styling of the modern versions will be different and they will come with improved safety and signaling capability but the purpose will be the same. I for one am looking forward to having a one or two seat sporty car with excellent fuel mileage.


December 22, 2008

Grow Plants with no Soil using LEDs and Nutrient Mists

at 5:08 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets


I am looking forward to the day that we can grow fresh vegetables in a small machine that takes a bit of room in the kitchen. By looking at this technology by Gabriela Mombach it may not be far fetched.

"By designer Gabriela Mombach, the Broto Domestic Greenhouse grows plants through aeroponics (in which nutrient mists replace soil) while constantly measuring pH, temperature, nutrients, and humidity. A row of LEDs support photosynthesis while keeping the pot’s handle cool to the touch."

December 21, 2008

V8 Engine Snowblower

at 12:03 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking


When building something is there any reason to go half way? We don’t think so and that must have been the thought when the V8 Snowblower was being created! Actually the machine was built when the creator had a spare V8 engine with no immediate use. There are lots of very well though of features such as the handlebars that have engine coolant running through them to keep the operators hands warm, the radiator that blows warm air onto the legs of the operator and the pipes that take the exhaust above the operators head. It may look crazy but in some ways it is quite practical. 🙂

"Perhaps as a point of interest, some folks have asked ‘why?’… We like to think of this unit as the answer to the question no one else asked! If you live in a northern climate that receives copious amounts of snow, you just may be a little more sympathetic to the justification of this project. Like the old adage states, "Necessity is the mother of all invention." Do you own a snow blower? if you do, let me ask you this. Ever have it freeze up? Won’t start even with the electric starter cranking for so long it begins to act like an external glow plug? If, you were lucky enough to get the one lung motor to fire, did the drive belts slip and burn? Ever wish that mass produced machine had a little more strength to push and blow the snow a little farther?(Say nothing about choking on rising exhaust fumes) Did you ever have cold hands and legs while holding this thing for the time it takes to complete your task? We did too. Fortunately we can answer a full hearted ‘No’ to the last 5 questions… "


December 20, 2008

How to Build a Huge Christmas Lighting Display

at 5:24 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking

If you are thinking about putting on a big light show this year and time and money are not a problem then you should have a look at the Holden Lighting Display! Other than the expensive controllers it does sound like the builder does have a knack for finding good after season deals on many of his light strands.

Behind the scene look at How to Build a Huge Christmas Lighting Display.

"For my arches I started with 1" PVC pipe that was 20′ long. I took an old "Tater Twister" appliance (you can find many on ebay) that I had sitting around and hooked it up to the PVC pipe so that it would turn around and I could easily put on Christmas lights. Click Here to see a close up of the attachment I made that hooks between the tater twister and PVC pipe. It is made by taking a piece of metal and bending it into a U shape and then making the same shape hole as the drive shaft on the tater twister. I am using 9 channels/sections for my arches and each section has 200 mini lights. I made my own extension cords using SPT2 wire and ran the cords parallel with the PVC pipe and allowed the Christmas lights to cover them. I started in the middle of the PVC pipe and worked my way towards the ends. I ended up with about 7 inches of bare PVC pipe on each end and cut off 4 inches on each side so the total length is now 19’4"."

Guess what this isn’t contest – 4

at 1:31 am. Filed under Contests

No emails this time, we are going to do another Guess what this isn’t contest. We had lots of fun on the last one! Simply reply in the comments what this device isn’t and let us know what you would pick from ThinkGeek. 🙂 Make it funny, crazy, weird… Just use your imagination. You can enter more than once if you come up with more than one thought. With a short vote the best comment will win the prize. The prize this week is a Gift Certificate to ThinkGeek for $50.00. This contest will run from December 20, 2008 – December 26, 2008 . Ending time is based on central standard time.

Have a look at my first comment for an example entry.


Added January 6, 2009

In case you are curious this is where the image came from.

The winner is Matrix  for comment 30.

Thanks to all who entered, these were so much fun to read!

This is the winning comment:

"Now, you blighters have it all wrong seeing as I am the one who built the first of these. What you have there is your classic third generation interstellar gate (not to be confused with your chrono-gate or “time machine” as some others have implied) It has a few fundamental changes from my model 1 gate, but despite the various improvements, the operation remains the same.

To begin, the user engages the motor to the right (my original used steam, but this obviously uses some form of brushed electrical system) which, by spinning the flux bar (shown here to be nearly vertical in orientation) begins to induce a strong electro-gravitational distortion… a “space warp” if you will. The user then fine-tunes his “space warp” using the levers on the left of the device to select his specific destination in 3 dimensional space. After setting, all that remains to be done is for the user to walk calmly and briskly through the gate to his destination.

I notice some improvements over my original design here, in that the model 3 up there has a rather large pair of temporal stabilizers (seen as the two larger protrusions on the left and right of the flux bar). That, coupled with the smaller aetheric condensors (seen here as the two smaller devices set to the far left and far right, beyond the temporal stabilizers) serve to ensure the user does not 1) accidentally cross time-lines and end up in some other universe and 2) prevents an accumulation of aetheric and gravitational particles (graviolis). Too large a concentration of gravioli can cause, at times, a massive implosion of the local time-space surrounding the device. Needless to say, being reduced to a singularity can really throw the wrench in otherwise grandiose plans for interstellar vacationing."


Below is a picture of what I would buy with a $50 gift certificate at  ThinkGeek. 🙂

December 19, 2008

Parallax BS2 Controlled Christmas Lights

at 5:23 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Lboucher wanted a snazzy Christmas light show this year so he pulled out his Parallax BS2 microcontroller and got to work.

"I have always wanted to copy those crazy uTube videos of christmas light to music. Well i finally looked into it and found that everyone is generally using Light O Rama. Which is cool, but cost dam near 800 bucks for 32 channels. So i thought i would build it all myself. So i grabbed my BS2 from my Boe Bot, bought 20 1AMP PC board relays off of ebay for 15 bucks. I made my own relay boards, threw together a very dirty housing for them with 16 outlets, put up all my lights, laid out alot of extension cord and wrote a gui in Visual C++ to controll the lights over serial. At first i tried just programming the BS2, quickly found that to be very limiting, not really surprising. Overall it is working out very well."

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