Hacked Gadgets Forum

June 25, 2010

Million Dollar 13,000 Watt Home Theater

at 9:54 pm. Filed under Insane Equipment

I enjoy kicking back and watching a movie on my home theater, of course in my case I just have some extra equipment stuffed into my living room.  I guess when you are rich and famous a dual purpose room isn’t good enough. That is why companies like Goldmund are in business designing and creating million dollar home theater rooms pumping more watts than my air conditioner sucks.

“Today, we are gathering the fruits of our patient and meticulous work as Goldmund is the only company worldwide able to demonstrate what a speaker may become when it is perfectly aligned in Frequency response, in Phase response and in Time response. More simply put for readers who do not have a technical knowledge in audio products: the sound produced by our systems is now the most accurate and lifelike one that has ever been produced by any audio manufacturer worldwide.”

June 24, 2010

Water Surface used as a Touch Screen Interface

at 5:44 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Computer Hacks


After watching the Water Touch Screen video I was expecting to read that there was tons of sensors monitoring disturbances in the water, or changes in pressure due to the introduction of the users fingers. Was I ever wrong, turns out that a Web Cam and some carefully crafted software is all the magic that was needed here!

Via: Neatorama

“The webcam takes a picture of the surface of the water from the lower side. At this time, only when the finger has invaded water, the finger will be seen from the camera because total reflection is caused under the surface of the water. Color tracking system on Max/MSP+Jitter finds coordinates where the finger appears and produce the cursor move and click. Distortion of image because of taking a picture from diagonal are adjusted by affine transformation.”


June 23, 2010

GPS Box Project – Opens at secret location

at 5:19 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks


GPS technology is cheap enough that we are starting to see GPS being used in some cool new ways. You may remember this GPS game that we featured before. Markus has made a project he calls the Little Reverse GeoCache, it is based on a similar project that was made by Mikal Hart. The box can only be opened when it is in the correct location, the trick is that the location is not known to the user who is given the box. You are given a finite number of button presses to try to determine the magic location, when the button is pressed you are told how far away from the location you are.

Via: Embedds

“Other than with ordinary GeoCaches you do not need to find the box at the target coordinate: You will already have it when the puzzle starts. But the box is closed and it will only open when you are near the target coordinate. In order to find the coordinate, the box has a button: When you press the button, the internal GPS receiver will detect the current location and the distance to the target will be displayed. Of course the number of trials is limited. If you press the button too often, the box will be sealed forever.”


Multimeter Clock – Styled after the Simpson 260 Multimeter

at 12:17 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Vintage Electronics


I had great fun working on a cool Multimeter Clock project which got picked up by Design News for their Gadget Freak series. I thought it would be cool to have a clock that looks like an old Simpson 260 multimeter. The clock consists of three multimeters, the first meter displays hours, the second displays minutes and the last displays seconds. A 16F628A PIC microcontroller keeps track of time and outputs a calculated current to each meter to display the current time. The process to get it published took a bit of time and one of the most interesting aspects was going for the project photo shoot, the picture above is one of the outtakes.

I will be publishing tons of build details on my project site shortly, sign up for the mailing list to be alerted when the full project is up.

UPDATE: The full project page is now complete. The kit is also now available.



TI MSP430 LaunchPad Development Platform for $4.30

at 10:51 am. Filed under Electronic Hacks


Looks like Texas Instruments is making a big push into the hobbyist microcontroller market with this new product called the Launch Pad. All microcontroller manufacturers have a development platform available so what makes this announcement by TI something special? The price! You can pick up one of these for only $4.30 with free worldwide shipping if you get it from the TI store. You might have to put your order in later in the day since I think this offer has crashed their order servers… Alternatively you can pick it up at Mouser for around the same price and a small shipping fee. The value line of microcontrollers that are Launch Pad compatible currently has a maximum flash size of 2K but that will soon change, as you can see by the roadmap below there will soon be many more powerful chips with as much as 16K of flash available.

TI MSP430 MCU Value Line Product Roadmap


June 22, 2010

Crystal Set – Radio that needs no Batteries

at 2:55 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Richard Sudney (Youtube user 2sudsy) has been building Crystal Sets since he was 9 years old. He is a bit older than that now and his passion hasn’t drifted, it has just been honed over the years.

Via: Make

“A crystal radio receiver, also called a crystal set, is a very simple radio receiver, popular in the early days of radio. It needs no battery or power source and runs on the power received from radio waves by a long wire antenna. It gets its name from its most important component, known as a crystal detector, originally made with a piece of crystalline mineral such as galena. This component is now called a diode.”

Type a Swear Word on your Computer and get Sprayed with Pepper Spray

at 5:37 am. Filed under Computer Hacks, Funny Hacks


With Pepper Mouth, the user will get sprayed in the mouth whenever they type a swear word on their computer keyboard. This is sure to be a hit with parents trying to keep their kids online use clean. Only issue is that the user can just unplug the USB device and toss it in the drawer.

Via: Neatorama

“Maybe when your “bad language” disturbs you with a bad smell, you will start to understand that it might also have other, more serious consequences.

In this version it is releasing a disturbing pepper smell. The aim is to imitate my grandmother who would put peppers into my mouth when I used bad language as a kid.
I am using the sense of smell instead of taste in my imitation, to get as close as possible to the actual feeling without my grandmother being there.”


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