Hacked Gadgets Forum

November 28, 2009

Flashing RGB LED Project

at 11:44 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Do you know someone who wants to learn a bit about electronics? Wiring up some components is the first step in starting the journey. Or maybe you just want to try out some of these cool Flashing RGB LEDs! With a total project cost of between $2.00 and $3.00 the time is right to try some of these things out. They can add some fun to the holidays that are just around the corner, these RGB LEDs will be on sale for the next while so that you can get some to spruce up the holiday season. πŸ™‚

These LEDs are magic, inside the ordinary looking LED dome there is actually 3 LEDs along with a tiny controller that sequences the lights in some cool patterns. Stay tuned for a peek inside one of these LEDs! It first cycles the individual colors quite rapidly, and that is followed by some slow color fades where individual and multi-color slow fades are performed. All you need is a single current limiting resistor and you are in business!

Placement Ideas:

  • Under the Christmas tree for a subtle effect amongst normal lights.
  • Behind your computer monitor, this would force you to stay awake and get more work done. πŸ™‚
  • Light up your house door bell, no more plain white.
  • Change the power on light in your computer or other equipment.
  • Use it to light the inside of your computer case.
  • Subtle above cabinet lighting, at night the effect would be cool.
  • In a Christmas ornament.
  • Lots of interior and exterior vehicle applications!

There are two projects listed below, one uses crimp connectors which means there is no soldering needed. The other uses out LED Mounting Board to solder all the components and leads to.


Solder Together Flashing RGB LED Project Video


Crimp Together Flashing RGB LED Project Video



Name the Thing Contest – 108

at 3:02 am. Filed under Contests

Thanks to Protostack for sponsoring the contest this week. They will be providing a ATMEGA168 Development Kit and a USBASP AVR Programmer to the winner. The development kit contains everything you need to start building ATMEGA168 circuits. The AVR programmer is based on the Thomas Fischl’s USBasp design and connects to your computer’s USB port. The USB interface is achieved by using an atmega processor and the rest is done in firmware. The ATMEGA168 Development kit is 25% off right now so if you are needing a new dev platform this might be a good time to pick one up while they are only $13.20. Shipping is often an issue, many companies charge more for the shipping than the parts cost. That is not the case at ProtoStack, their shipping is only $5.00 for worldwide shipping!

This contest will run for one week (November 28 – December 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.


Added December 21, 2009

The item to guess was a High Power Laser

The winner isΒ  Gero O. (There were 56 entries)


Below is the prize.

November 27, 2009

DIY Laser Light Show using Speakers

at 9:01 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


If you have a laser pointer, a few speakers, an old radio and some small mirrors you are all set to make your own DIY Laser Light Show. Alex Wiebe from Flyinglow created the project based on one he read about in the pages of Make magazine.  The first video shows the system configuration and it operating under normal lighting conditions, the second video is in the dark and shows the dramatic results. The principle is the same as some other projects that we have seen here in the past. It uses a similar principal to my Hard Drive Laser Oscilloscope project but uses the voice coils of two speakers instead of the voice coil that moves the read write head in a hard drive.


Solar Hot Water Heater

at 2:12 pm. Filed under Computer Hacks, DIY Hacks


I wasn’t aware that central hot water was rare in Brazil, here in Canada every home has central hot water and it is just taken for granted that every house has a large electric or gas heated hot water tank. Jacob Teater wanted to cut his electrical bill by installing a Solar Hot Water Heater and re-plumbing his home. Have a look at the video around the 8:40 mark for a demonstration of an instant hot water shower head, it takes cold water and instantly heats it up for a warm shower (yes it takes lots of juice to do that on demand).

Via: Hacked Gadgets Post Comment

"As part of our remodeling I decided to re-plumb the house to have hot and cold water pipes. And instead of using electricity I wanted to attempt to build a solar hot water heater. The solar water heater consists of two basic parts, the hot water tank and the solar collector. The tank is 310 liters (82 gallons), it sits in the attic and is insulated with spray foam insulation. The solar collector is made up of 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch PVC pipe and florescent light bulbs. The collector is encased in an insulated box with glass on one side."

November 26, 2009

Scarecrow by Contech – Motion Activated Sprinkler

at 3:07 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets


Hacked Gadgets went to Island Tech 2009 which was on Vancouver Island British Columbia Canada to check on the technology that was being demonstrated. Contech was there showing some of their products, the Scarecrow was by far the most interesting. It isn’t a new product but the way it was hooked up for demonstration was interesting. There was no source of city water like there would be in your back yard so they had a sealed dome around the sprayer and a pump that would produce the pressure needed to operate the device. Simple yet effective. This is a great system that can be mass produced however I still like the WaterHobo that we featured a few years ago, too bad this system would be costly to produce.

Fastest Bicycle in the World

at 1:26 pm. Filed under Insane Equipment


Hacked Gadgets went to Island Tech 2009 which was on Vancouver Island British Columbia Canada to check on the technology that was being demonstrated. It was an interesting feeling to be able to touch the fastest bicycle in the world! Designed by VARNA of British Columbia, it looks like this bike can’t be beat. Thumbing through the binder of newspaper clippings and event pictures shows that this technology is no over night success but rather the result of years of dedicated work towards excellence.

"2009 Men’s 200m Flying Start

  • New World Record: September 18, 2009, 82.819 MPH
  • Battle Mountain, Nevada, USA
  • Rider: Sam Whittingham
  • Vehicle: Varna Tempest
  • Designer: Georgi Georgiev
2009 Women’s 200m Flying Start
  • New World Record: September 18, 2009, 75.458 MPH
  • Battle Mountain, Nevada, USA
  • Rider: Barbara Buatois
  • Vehicle: Varna Tempest
  • Designer: Georgi Georgiev"



Phosphor E Ink Watch Review

at 1:06 pm. Filed under Reviews


You have probably heard about E Ink before. It is the new technology that is being used in portable book reading platforms such as the Sony Reader and the Amazon Kindle. Thanks to Phosphor for sending in a E Ink watch for us to review, even though there are many devices that are using E Ink, Phosphor is the first company to use in a watch.

We were sent a watch named Digital Hour, it came with the leather band option although the watch can also be ordered with a plastic or a metal band. The presentation of the watch is very good starting with the luxurious box, it has a texture something like leather, I would not be surprised if the intent was to house the watch in the box at night. The feel of the watch is good, the band is flexible and the body of the watch has a nice weight to it and does not feel fragile.

The time mode shown below is interesting and would prevent people peeking at your watch to see the time. It is very simple to read when you know what you are looking for. The missing slot in the hour circle represents the current hour. The settings on the watch are simple since there are only two buttons to deal with. I like that you can change the background color to be black or white, it makes a dramatic change to the look of the watch depending on which one you choose.

I wore this watch for two solid weeks and didn’t take it off for anything, the screen held up and didn’t get any scratches on it, the band also held up well and did not get any scuffs. I didn’t use the watch underwater but it is water resistant up to 50 meters.

A few things that may be deal breakers for you is the fact that there is no stop watch feature and no light for night viewing. I found it a bit cumbersome the few times that I needed to look at the time when it was dark. I am not sure how consistent the display quality is since the review unit has a small black spec in it. Is this a small group of black balls that refuse to drop down? I am not sure but it does appear to be a tiny black mark on the actual display itself.

The price may seem a bit high but is comparable to other exotic watches. If you are looking for a cool Christmas gift this might be for you if you like cool looking watches. You can also win one of these watches by entering the contest that they have running right now.


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