Hacked Gadgets Forum

August 31, 2009

CRISTAL – Control of Remotely Interfaced Systems using Touch-based Actions in Living spaces

at 12:50 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Computer Hacks, Insane Equipment


This CRISTAL remote system by the folks at Media Interaction Lab would be a welcome addition to any complex home theater setting. The intuitive ease of use is something that current remote controls can only dream about. Recently some remote controls have incorporated color LCD displays to attempt to allow additional functionality but it can only go so far. Now that projection technology has been dropping in price I can see this interactive projection technology become common place (I can’t wait!!!). Until then I will continue to use my Atari 2600 Remote Control. 🙂

Via: Robin Ferianto’s blog and Wired

"Many remote controls lack intuitive interfaces for mapping control functions to the device intended being controlled. This often results in trial and error button pressing, or experimentation with graphical user interface (GUI) controls, before a user achieves their intended action. CRISTAL simplifies the control of our digital devices in and around the living room. The system provides a novel experience for controlling devices in a home environment by enabling users to directly interact with those devices on a live video image of their living room using multi-touch gestures on a digital tabletop."

August 30, 2009

Smart Tweezers Hack

at 2:16 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


The guys over at Openschemes have hacked a set of Smart Tweezers to measure voltages. The internal DMM chip that was used in the Smart Tweezers has voltage measurement capability however it was never meant to be used. It also seems that even if you purchase one of these Smart Tweezers you should probably adjust the internal calibration pot to allow more precise measurements.

"Disassembly of the MS8910 is trivial – remove the battery screw to expose two hidden screws. Remove these, and one more near the probes and the case can be easily slid open. The PCB resides in the LCD side, held by a few plastic clips. The battery resides in the battery compartment, obviously, and is connected to the PCB by red/back wires. Be careful not to break them during disassembly. One interesting point is that the red wire (battery positive) is considered the GND terminal of the device and is directly connected to the top probe (near HOLD button). The black wire (battery negative) is considered the V- negative (-3v) supply for the DMM chip. The positive (+3v) supply for the chip is generated by the DMM IC itself with a capacitor-based charge pump. Makes sense, when you consider that a typical meter needs to measure both positive and negative voltages so a bipolar supply will be required."

August 29, 2009

Computerized Office Disco Ball

at 3:15 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Funny Hacks, Insane Equipment


If your next office party needs a tiny amount of fun added you could whip up this cool disco ball. Yes, the same effect could have been created in about 5 minutes with no complexity but what fun would that be?

"For fun, Sid created a disco-ball wired to a servo-mechanism by a switch. Then, added a microcontroller (from a WSNnode) and some helping FETs. Then, controlled the node through UDP on another WSN-node. Then, added speech recognition on a Windows PC to remotely send the UDP packets."

Guess the Price Contest 5

at 1:58 am. Filed under Contests


Above is an electronic board, the source will not be given to add to the challenge. This contest will run for one week (Aug 29 – Sept 4, 2009). Ending time is based on central standard time. To enter, leave a comment with your best guess of the item price.

If you know the source of the ad please do not provide it in the comments.

The winner will the guess that is the closest to the actual price, if there is more than one correct guess a random selection will be used to decide on which of the correct guesses will win.


Added October 7, 2009

The price to guess for the Automatic Railway Grade Crossing Circuit was $28

The winner is ttsgeb (comment #5)




August 28, 2009

JAN6418 Valve Preamplifier Kit Build

at 12:36 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


If you are into audio and kit building have a look at this cool JAN6418 Valve Preamplifier Kit Build. Not very many areas of electronics have kept tubes alive but this kit uses two of them as the heart of the circuit.

"Oatley Electronics in New South Wales Australia makes a few kits based around the Raytheon JAN6418 sub-miniature valve (tube). These 6418 valves look like small Christmas Tree lights. Hard to believe that they are actually pentodes. The USA made Raytheon JAN6418 sub-miniature valves are low power consumption pentodes that are used as triodes in the circuit. The 6418 tube filaments are 1.2V and draw just 10mA. You can barely see the tubes glowing in a dark room and the are just slightly warm to the touch. From a single 9V battery the entire preamplifier draws just 12mA. For a longer run time I used two 9V lithium batteries in parallel."

DIY LED Tube Light

at 5:26 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


If you have been thinking about making some of your own DIY LED lighting have a look at this DIY LED Tube Light project for some inspiration. There is lots of build details and tons of good pictures to get some great ideas.

"The LEDs in the lamp designed are driven using a linear current regulator. The following is a parts list for this circuit. This website will not explain how to make the circuit board as there are so many ways. This instructable outlines an excellent method of creating a board in one minute. A simple google search will lead you to an overwhelming amount of information about etching circuit boards. Any method that uses ferric chloride is usually the easiest and cheapest.
The basic operation of this circuit is quite simple. The LM334 has a tap which is a wire that measures the current running through the LEDs using a reference voltage of 64 mV. Based on the measurement it takes, the ZTX948 transistor is opened. The ZTX948 is fine for a small number of LEDs, but the maximum current that can flow through it is quite low. To combat this, the TIP32C power transistor is added in a darlington configuration. In this configuration, the ZTX948 amplifies the signal coming from the LM334 to a level that the TIP32C can use. The TIP32C is a much larger transistor that can handle a much higher current. This allows a higher number of LEDs to be used."




August 27, 2009


at 6:04 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Computer Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


The EyeWriter is a cool piece of hardware that serves an important task. Tony Quan was diagnosed with ALS in 2003. The disease has left him almost completely physically paralyzed except for his eyes. With EyeWriter Tony can now draw with his eyes.

"The EyeWriter project is on ongoing collaborative research effort to empower people, who are suffering from ALS, with creative technologies. The project began in Los Angeles, Caifornia in 2009, when members of the GRL, FAT, OF and TEG communities teamed-up with a legendary LA graffiti writer, publisher and activist, named Tony Quan, aka TEMPTONE.

COMPONENTS: cheap sunglasses, a micro CCD camera, IR LEDs, misc electrical hardware and electrical components, custom software written in openFrameworks, capture card, laptop, projector (optional) and wireless broadband USB sticks (optional)."

tempt writes tempt from thesystemis on Vimeo.


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