Hacked Gadgets Forum

November 30, 2010

Acrylic Bending Machine

at 11:06 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks

Giorgos Lazaridis from PCB Heaven has made a DIY Acrylic Bending Machine. It uses a high power lamp to heat the acrylic from underneath, in about 3 minutes the acrylic is soft and can be bent into any shape you like. The area that the acrylic lays is made out of aluminum and is kept cool with circulated water so that the heating is very focused.

November 29, 2010

Nixie Clock with LED Accents

at 10:38 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks


Our friend Muris from Elektronika.ba has been busy. He has created one of the coolest Nixie Clocks that I have seen in a long time. His inspiration is the Ice Tube Clock from Adafruit which uses a single tube that glows blue. You can tell that the board was laid out with great care to get everything to fit in such a compact space. If you are interested in making your own you can get the code at the bottom of the project page.

“The shield board has 4 RGB LEDs under the Nixies that can be turned off if you don’t like how it looks. It shows time, full date and temperature. There is also a “candle mode” in which all four tubes lit up and simulate the flickering of candles. This looks pretty cool in dark room and you can even put it on the dining table for a bit of romance.

The brain of the clock is ATmega328P AVR microcontroller (the datasheet says it works at low voltages as 1.8V, and this is great because it must continue working on 3V backup battery). The important thing to notice here is the external crystal of 32.768 kHz that is used to clock the internal Timer1. That timer is set with a prescaler of 128 so that it generates interrupt once per every second and that is used for internal RTC.”

November 28, 2010

DIY Rubber Stamp Making

at 8:57 am. Filed under DIY Hacks


Address stamps are very common and cheap to get made but if you want to get something custom made get ready to open your wallet and bleed some money. Using the DIY Rubber Stamp Making steps that jovolomo has shared we can now make these complex stamps ourselves using either a CNC machine or an exacto knife and a steady hand. He carves the reverse pattern into a block of plaster and fills it with a construction sealant which when dried is the rubber stamp. A simple stamp backer and handle finished off the custom stamp. To keep with the spirit of DIY Jovolomo even makes his own carving tools out of broken drill bits.

November 27, 2010

Name the Thing Contest – 159

at 3:19 pm. Filed under Contests


Thanks to Dino Direct for sponsoring the contest this week. They will be providing a $20 gift Dino Direct certificate or a 50mW Violet Laser Pointer to the winner. They sell tons of cool tech products so finding something won’t be hard, deciding what you want from the large selection will take awhile though! If you are looking to get some new toys have a look at their site right now since everything is 50% now till December 1st, these buckyballs for $17.99 are a good example of the deals. They also have a popular surveillance section with some crazy deals.

This contest will run for one week (November 27 – December 3, 2010) . 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 January 1, 2011

The item to guess was Solar Tube

The winner is Andrew C. (there were 212 entries)


Below is your prize selection, a gift card or a violet laser pointer.



Situated Virtual Reality for Telerobotic Control

at 9:02 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Computer Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment


Stéphane Bersot has developed a Situated Virtual Reality for Telerobotic Control system which allows an operator to control a piece of machinery in a remote location by viewing a 3D representation of the remote scene.  The cool thing about this is since you are looking at a representation of the remote location you are able to see everything at any angle you want including positions that the physical remote cameras are unable to see. There is a bit of lag between the remote condition and the 3D model but if you aren’t performing anything that needs very fast visual feedback I can see this working very well. If that wasn’t enough the system also has some stereo cameras which are watching the operator to judge where the operator is looking and manipulates the shown image accordingly. The only enhancement I can think of would be to add some haptic feedback to the manipulator that the operator has in his hands.

Be sure to have a look here for more information.

“The objective of this project is to experiment with a new way to teleoperate mining operations based on 3D models. The idea is to substitute completely the view of the physical model by the 3D model and to teleoperate machinery without direct video feedback.

Two methods are available to control the virtual camera which represents the view location in Unity3D: The Logitech DualAction gamepad and/or the head and eye tracking via Facelab software and stereoscopic infrared cameras. We can choose either to use our eye gaze to tilt and pan the camera or a tip tracking method which places the tip of the 3D robot in the centre of the screen with or without delay to smooth the motions. The camera position can be changed using the simple joystick on the gamepad or moving our head right and left.”

November 26, 2010

Watch TV on an CRT Scope

at 5:11 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Crazy Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Vintage Electronics

Tired of watching your flat panel LCD and miss the days when you were trouble shooting your circuits with a CRT scope? You can have the best of both worlds with this circuit. CameramanLink designed the circuit below to make it happen. If you have a few hours to kill have a look at the ton of projects that CameramanLink has done!

“Homemade television video monitor built from scratch. It uses a 5″ 5UP1 CRT to display a video image in black and green. This is the fourth of five video display projects I’ve built. After building the 2AP1 T-Vision, I decided to build another similar circuit but with further improved features. This circuit uses 2 multivibrator oscillators with improved linearity to produce the sawtooth waves for the horizontal and vertical scanning. It uses many of the same improvements made to the previous 2AP1 T-Vision: 1) It uses a wide band video amplifier to increase frequency response, allowing for better horizontal resolution, 2) It uses vertical retrace blanking applied to the cathode of the CRT to remove the flyback lines, 3) It uses balanced deflection amplifiers for even focus across the screen.”


November 25, 2010

Vision Tracking System Kit

at 9:32 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks


If you are looking for a new cool project check out this Vision Tracking System Kit from Trossen Robotics. Put this on a robotic platform, stick a red dot on your cat and have it chase your cat around the house. 🙂

“The RoboTurret Vision Tracking Kit is an industry first! Never before has it been so easy and so inexpensive to jump into the world of machine vision! Trossen Robotics has teamed up with RoboRealm® to bring this fantastic kit to experimenters everywhere.

This easy to build kit is based around the exclusive MosquitIO Pan & Tilt Microcontroller and includes everything needed to build a fully programmable, Arduino-compatible Pan & Tilt platform. Add webcams, lasers, airsoft guns, a variety of sensors to the available I/O, up to two small motors, and switch things on and off with the built-in solid-state relay! The MosquitIO can also be custom programmed using the Arduino IDE for autonomous behavior using sensory input, or a variety of other custom applications- your imagination is the limit!”


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