Hacked Gadgets Forum

September 29, 2009

Laser Projector Prototypes

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


Have a look at the TinyProjector Lab Notebook project for some cool laser projection prototyping. See two of the ten prototypes below.

Via: Elektronika

"The biggest challenge for designers of mobile communication devices is presenting large amounts of information on very small displays. As the form factor of these devices continues to get smaller and our demand for mobile information continues to grow, the task only gets more difficult.

·         8 Lumex laser diodes

·         Single, compact row

·         Separately 3D printed holder for lenses and diodes

·         Diodes mounted with U shaped double wires

·         Sweeping mirror (single strip stainless steel), mounted on single axle at one edge of strip

·         Driven via one-arm crank (aluminum) and 6mm pager motor

·         Closed-loop system with IR LED and photodiode

·         Refresh rate 25Hz

·         Bigger PIC (16F877) with enough memory to display all characters"

September 28, 2009

How to connect a a PS/2 Keyboard to a Microcontroller

at 2:54 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Connecting a keyboard to a microcontroller project could be a useful addition. Even if it is to be used as a code input device it could be more convenient than using a key matrix. The guys over at Nerd Kits have put together an informative video that is based on the NerdKit however it is applicable to any microcontroller.

"The PS/2 Interface is quite easy to implement. To send a key stroke, the keyboard begins driving the clock line. On the falling edge of the clock line, the data line represents the current bit. Each keystroke is sent as 11 bits: first a start bit of 0, then the 8 bits of the scan code (least significant bit first), then a parity bit (odd parity, which we did not implement for simplicity’s sake), and finally a stop bit (always 1)."

DIY Game of Life Build using a PIC 12F683

at 12:46 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks, Game Hacks


Droky sent in a great DIY Game of Life Build that uses a PIC 12F683. There are lots of details and he also provides the board layout and the PIC code so you could make your own. The capacitive sensors are a nice touch, the board also looks very well done!
Here is the English Google translated version.

"As it did not have enough memory on the PIC, I broke the screen with a grid and thus convert the 84×48 array of pixels in a 25×17 matrix (405 cells) that I do fit in the RAM of the PIC. The next problem was to calculate the next generation, and he needed two RAM arrays, one for the incoming generation and one for output. I’ve solved by calculating the next generation line by line and using a LIFO stack of type 2 levels on 2 variables of type vector."

Game of life from Droky on Vimeo.

September 27, 2009

DMX Controlled Skeleton for Halloween

at 4:46 pm. Filed under Crazy Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Scary Lady bought a skeleton and hooked up some pneumatics to it to bring it to life. She takes it to the next level by controlling it with a DMX system. That way she can control the lights, skeleton movement and music! I bet there will be some super scared kids in her yard this year.

CD-ROM Clock

at 4:11 pm. Filed under Computer Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Here is good way to recycle some of those old CD-ROM drives that you probably have laying around. Jason Dorie took inspiration from my Hard Drive Clock for his build. You can see the details in these three posts. CD-ROM Clock Part 1, CD-ROM Clock Part 2, CD-ROM Clock Part 3.

“Basically I’m using the motor and CD holder from the drive, as well as most of the original chassis. I’ve hacked up the motor so an RC hobby brushless controller will spin it, and I’ve got a clear CD with a hand etched into it (you can see it in the ‘back’ image). I’m going to write some microcontroller code to run the motor, sense the RPM, and strobe some LED’s at the right time (like the hard drive clock does) to make the display.”

September 26, 2009

Show us your Halloween Project Contest

at 8:15 pm. Filed under Contests


Halloween is a great time to whip out the soldering iron to make some cool and frightening projects. We have featured tons of cool DIY Halloween projects over the years like the Halloween prop shown above, they are all inspirational! This season we want to see your creations.

Enter Contest Here

To enter you will need to post your project in the Hacked Gadgets Forum, if you don’t have an account you will need a password during the sign-up process, it’s joinhgforum. We needed to implement this to prevent the smart spammers that seem to be everywhere.

Here is what you need to do to enter:

  • Make a Halloween project that has some electronic components, it doesn’t need to be anything complex, for example some red LED eyes on a ghost would be enough.
  • Post at least one picture of the project in this thread on the Hacked Gadgets Forum. Additional pictures and a link to some video would be welcome though.
  • List the materials that were used and a short description of the project build. The description don’t need to be very detailed but more detail than the bare minimum is appreciated.
  • You can enter as many times as you want, place each new project in a seperate forum entry. You can only receive one of the loupe magnifiers though even if multiple projects are in the first 10 entries.
  • All projects need to be your own work. The Halloween project doesn’t need to be something that was made this year, you are welcome to post a project that you have built in the past.
  • Enter before November 11th, 2009.

The winner of the contest will get a cell phone jammer, this device should disable most cell phones in your direct area. If you win this device and it is illegal in your country please only use it for research. The winner will be selected by a vote based on all the valid entries. The first 10 entries will get a loupe magnifier which is great for building or repairing circuit boards.

Note: The contest end date was accidentally listed as October 11th, it should have been listed as November 11th (after Halloween). It has been updated, sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Grand Prize: Cell Phone Jammer (pictured below)
First 10 entries: Loupe Magnifier (pictured below)

Remote-controlled Cyborg Beetle

at 4:05 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking


If you get a bit queasy when seeing someone swat a fly please skip to the next article. This microcontroller that has been mounted to the back of this beetle has the ability to drive him as he flies. I can just imagine the possibilities that will soon be reality. Take a few hundred of these with cameras on them, have some real time computers control them to snap images of the entire environment and use some software like Photosynth to re-create the entire 3D map of the area. Just imagine this happening behind enemy lines, flying around in enemy bunkers. If you are interested in this technology have a look at some of the other developments that we have featured before such as the Remote Controlled Pigeon, Rat Brain Remote, Moth Head Robot and the Cockroach Robot.

Via: Make

"The miniaturized system developed by Sato and his colleagues is mounted onto the pronotum (the dorsal, or upper, plate of the exoskeleton), and consists of electrodes implanted into the brain and wing muscles. Flight commands to start and stop flight and control the insect’s elevation and turning were generated on a personal computer running specialized software, and transmitted to a microcontroller which is equipped with a radio transceiver and powered by a microbattery."

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