Hacked Gadgets Forum

July 25, 2009

Server hidden in Closet

at 10:30 am. Filed under Computer Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


This is a nice example of how you can hide a server without just sticking the beige box in a closet or in some furniture. You can tell that Vassilis Papanikolaou took his time when thinking about an efficient system layout. I have to admit that I have a normal computer tucked away in the closet next to my home entertainment system 🙁 If I had the time and energy this system is definitely what I would like to strive for. I would love to see the faces of the crooks who break in thinking that they can score a quick PC out of the closet!

"1) Motherboard ASRock N68PV-GS for €41 (Mini ATX, on board RAID, GLAN, VGA)
2) CPU AMD LE-1640 for €31 (Slow, but more than enough for streaming media)
3) 2 x 1 GB SuperTalent DDR2 800 MHz for €21 (more than enough)
4) 2 x 1 TB WD Caviar Green 32 MB cache for €158 (for total 1 TB secure RAID1)
5) 2 x 12 mm fans for €18 (it will get hot in there !)"


Name the Thing Contest – 96

at 12:31 am. Filed under Contests

Thanks to Parallax for sponsoring the contest this week. They will be providing a Boe-Bot Robot Kit – USB Version to the winner. "The Boe-Bot Robot is built on a high-quality brushed aluminum chassis that provides a sturdy platform for the continuous rotation servo motors and BASIC Stamp’s USB Board of Education. Many mounting holes and slots may be used to add custom robotic equipment or off-the-shelf Parallax add-ons." This contest will run for one week (July 25 – 31, 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 note that a winner outside the USA will need to pay for the shipping.

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 Aug 10, 2009

The item to guess was the guts of a smoke alarm

The winner is Alex O. (There were 277 entries)


Below is a picture of the the prize product.

July 24, 2009

Inline Skating on a Roller Coaster

at 6:17 pm. Filed under Crazy Hacks


Check out this guy Inline Skating on a Roller Coaster. What some people will do for fun!!! There used to be a video up on Youtube but it got pulled. If anyone knows of a new video location please post it in the comments.

UPDATE. Thanks to HUB for finding a new version of the video. Not sure how long it will stay up…

Via: Gizmodo and TechEBlog

"An adrenaline junkie has taken in-line skating to new heights and set a new world record after racing down a roller coaster at speeds of 56mph. Dirk Auer decided to go where no sane man or woman had gone before and skated down an 860 metre track in just over a minute. Wearing specially designed in-line skates, the German made the attempt on the Mammoth roller coaster at the Trips Drill theme park in Stuttgart."

July 23, 2009

DIY Wireless Keylogger

at 1:06 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Computer Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


If you are looking to do some covert key capture this DIY Wireless Keylogger could be a project you may want to consider.

"The Wireless Keylogger consists of two main building blocks: the transmitter, and the receiver. The actual keylogging takes place in the transmitter, which is in fact a PS/2 hardware keylogger, with a built-in 2.4GHz wireless module. Captured keystroke data is transmitted through the radio-link in real-time, rather than getting stored. The receiver on the other hand, is a wireless acquisition unit with a USB interface. All keystroke data received from the transmitter is sent to the host computer via USB. From the software side, this data is available through a virtual COM port, allowing any terminal client to be used for visualizing keystroke data. The Wireless Keylogger electrical circuit is composed of two main building-blocks: the AT91SAM7S64 microcontroller and the nRF2401 transceiver. The accompanying passive components are mainly oscillator and RF circuitry. The entire circuit is powered with 3.3V, generated by the MCP1700 regulator and filtered by a set of capacitors. Power is drawn directly through the PS/2 bus (transmitter), or USB (receiver)."

July 22, 2009

Lunar Lander Game

at 5:28 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Game Hacks, Insane Equipment


If you want to test your hand eye coordination this Lunar Lander Game is sure to help you out. Best of all it isn’t like all the games that we see today where you are staring at a screen. This game allows you to see a real object moving around based on your talent.

Thanks Iain.

The electronics for Lunar Lander are based around ATMEL AVR microcontrollers. An Arduino board acts as a convenient USB to serial converter which makes the computer interface nice and easy. All the microcontrollers listen to a common bus from the Arduino. The circuit boards are hand-wired on stripboard or tripad except for the nixie driver which needed a PCB to make the connections to the valve base of the nixies. I was trying to make life easy for myself by using lots of off-the-shelf parts. There is some slightly clever stuff in the AVR software which makes the stepper motors run very reliably at the right speed even if the speed is being varied during the game. Infrared sensors are used to detect the limits for the system. On power-up the game does a calibration to find out the positions on all the limits. After this it relies mostly on the stepper motor counts being correct to measure the position of the lander. This seems to work fine – even over very long runs of many hours. The speed and acceleration of the stepper motors are controlled to make sure that no stalls or missed-steps happen.

July 21, 2009

Automatic Safe Cracking

at 10:56 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, DIY Hacks, Insane Equipment


Carlos from Carlos’ Contraptions found a safe that is sure to be filled with bars of gold and bags of diamonds. His problem is that the darn thing is locked. There are indications that others have tried to get into the safe unsuccessfully, his plan was to use technology to crack the safe. The snag that he got into is the servo motor selected to turn the tumbler was not quite powerful enough. Next time we see the project there is sure to be a stepper motor in the mix and a bar of gold sitting on top of the machine. 🙂 If you haven’t got your safe cracking fill have a look at the safe cracking project that we featured a number of years ago by some MIT students.

"Of course, there are many ways of achieving this (e.g. cutting holes into its walls, removing the hinges, hiring a locksmith) but I do not want to break the safe, nor I want to hire anyone to do it in my place. Inspired by so many movies, the first thing I tried was to listen to the (nonexistent) clicking of the dial as it turns: it did not work at all. Very quickly, I decided that the appropriate way of doing it (given my set of skills) was to have a machine do it in my place. So, I decided to build a little manipulator that will test all possible combinations of the safe until it opens up. Since this requires precise positioning I thought a servo motor would be the best choice of actuator (and also because I have some other project ideas involving servos)."

July 20, 2009

Moth Head Robot

at 10:45 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, What Were They Thinking


We have seen insect robots here before such as the Cockroach Robot, that thing makes me shiver just looking at it. In this example a Moth Brain Controlling a Robot.

Via: BotJunkie

"The team found that the moth can steer the car and quickly adapt to changes in the way the vehicle operates — for example by introducing a steering bias to the left or right similar to the effect of a flat tyre. In another, more advanced, test, the team severed a moth’s head and mounted it onto the front of a similar vehicle. They then directed similar odour stimuli to the contraption which the insect’s still-functioning antennae and brain picked up."

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