Hacked Gadgets Forum

May 31, 2009

Drawdio – Make Music from anything

at 5:21 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Crazy Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Funny Hacks


If you’re into cool electronics and audio, have a look at Drawdio. It allows you to play music from anything and everything.

Via: Make and Adafruit

"Imagine you could draw musical instruments on normal paper with any pencil (cheap circuit thumb-tacked on) and then play them with your finger. The Drawdio circuit-craft lets you MacGuyver your everyday objects into musical instruments: paintbrushes, macaroni, trees, grandpa, even the kitchen sink…"

May 30, 2009

Giant Crane that looks like a Toy

at 6:01 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking


At first glance this giant crane looks like it has been constructed using LEGO blocks but a closer look at the specs indicates that each arm can lift 100kg! This is no toy. Someone needs to hook up a Wiimote to it though. 🙂

Via: The Raw Feed

"Tadano says Robotops is the first four-legged, two-armed crane available. Information from Tadano says Robotops has 29 joints on the hands, arms, legs, shoulders and hips, and is equipped with three CCD video cameras for monitoring the crane’s movements. Each hand is capable of lifting 100kg."

Name the Thing Contest – 89

at 2:44 am. Filed under Contests

The prizes this week is for all of the weekend network warriors who want to be able to troubleshoot cable issues in their sleep. This contest will run for one week (May 30 – June 4, 2009) . 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.

Below is a picture of the the prize product.


Added June 24, 2009

The item to guess was an Speaker Voice Coil

The winner is JD R. (There were 182 entries)




May 29, 2009

iShoes – Electric Shoes

at 4:09 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Crazy Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment


If you like the idea of cruising around but find Segways to be a bit big and the Wheelman to be a bit loud have a look at these iShoes. As long as there are no exploding battery recalls I think they would be tons of fun.

Via: Zedomax (http://zedomax.com/blog/2009/05/21/shoes-that-do-the-walking-for-you/) and Gizmodiva

How do the iShoes work?

You simply strap them onto your shoes, and with the handheld control be able to travel at speeds up to 13.5mph.

How would someone benefit from using the iShoes?

The iShoes are benificial because they move you at speed faster than walking. A 20 minute walk, is 5 a minute ride on the iShoes.

How are they controlled?

You simply push the handheld button to accelerate, and ease up to engage the electronic brake.

How far can they go?

The iShoes can go 2-3 miles or 30 minutes of casual riding on a single charge.

What do they run on?

They run on rechargable Lithium batteries.

How much time does it take to charge?

It takes 2 hours to fully charge your iShoes.

Do I have to fully discharge the batteries before recharging?

No, Lithium batteries last longer if they are charged midway.

Is it hard to ride the iShoes?

There is a certain amount of skill required to ride the iShoes. Most people are comfortable going full speed after a day or two of practice.

Should users wear a helmet?

We highly recommend wearing a helmet if riding above 5 mph.

Do the iShoes work in wet conditions?

No, the iShoes are designed to be used only in dry envoronments.

How do they Turn?

A basic method of turning is slowing to a stop, turning and continuing. Experienced riders make turns with a skiing style,

placing one leg forward and steering with it.

Can the iShoes go up hills?

Yes, the iShoes have a powerful 500 watt motor that can take you up most hills.


May 28, 2009

Arduino Controlled Trains

at 6:28 pm. Filed under Electronic Hacks


There are lots of train groups around. Many of the setups are very realistic including automated crossing gates etc. R2S2 has spend some time developing some smarts that allow an Arduino to control trains so that they can pass each other and not collide.

"This shows an automatic control of two trains on a single track. The fright engine switches in each stop to the other side of the train. The control is programed on a Arduino (ATmega168) (~30$). The electronic amplifying the signals is self-made. The Arduino feeds optocoupler, which in turn power relays and one power transistor. The relays switch the direction of traffic, signals and turnouts. The power transistor is set by a PWM signal and controls the train speed. One self-made reed contact in front of each stop signal the micro controller the arrival of the train. The other distances are time controlled. Since the train speed is temperature dependent, the travel time between the two reed contacts is used for a temperature control. The other trains shown are (currently) controlled manually."

May 27, 2009

Cheap Chinese Multimeter Warning

at 11:30 am. Filed under Electronic Hacks


David Jones from the EEV Blog has some good advice on selecting meters, or at least what to avoid. All the bells and whistles for the lowest price possible is not the way to go when looking for a meter. Inexpensive meters are fine for crude measurements if you are on a budget but if you need it to last and care about measurement accuracy you should stick to a meter with a good reputation behind it such as Fluke.


Programmable Synthesized Guitar

at 5:08 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Toy Hacks


If you like Guitar Hero you would love this project. Joel Ong, Frank Chen and Justin Leow from Cornell University built this Programmable Synthesized Guitar for their ECE 4760 Final Project.

"Our basic idea is to model an acoustic guitar as closely as possible and then implement additional functions not available to the conventional guitar. This includes allowing the play of the guitar with sound being output to earphones, allowing for practice without disturbing others, as well as a chord-learning mechanism based on LED-signalled instructions and other functions. A close modeling would mean that we use push buttons to simulate actual depressing of strings at specific fret locations, calibrate vibration sensors to detect strumming of guitar strings, and faithfully recreate a representation of the guitar body. For the production of guitar strumming sounds, we used the Karplus-Strong algorithm that synthesizes a plucked string sound signal."


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