Hacked Gadgets Forum

February 9, 2011

Old Soviet Nuclear Bunker turned into Datacenter

at 6:39 pm. Filed under Computer Hacks, Insane Equipment


Where is the best place to house a Datacenter? An old Soviet Nuclear Bunker is the obvious place for the Datacenter! Turns out that this is quite a common situation. Just a warning, the link shown at the edges of the picture takes you to a Russian site that seems to have more details of the data center but also contains some nudity. The bunkers were built to keep tremendous forces out and were built with staggering budgets so giving them a new life to keep our most important data secure is a great use for them. I am thinking that they would also make for a great underground theme hotel.

Via: TechEBlog

February 8, 2011

PLC IO Simulator

at 2:09 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

When Johnathan Hottell from filear.com was developing some programming for his PLC testing how things work was often not very easy. The PLC IO Simulator allows Johnathan to simply adjust value on the simulator to see what happens on the PLC logic. Turning a potentiometer is a bit simpler than draining a 100 gallon tank to see what happens in the PLC. The wiring is actually quite nice based on the volume of conductors in the project box.

February 6, 2011

DIY Electronic Watering System

at 12:41 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


I love plants but they tend to die when in my care because I forget to water them. I know that the plant needs a shot of water every now and then but I still forget, there has been some helpful electronic plant monitoring systems made, even systems that let your plants tweet to you. But this DIY Electronic Watering System from Deddies Lab is more up my alley since it just does the work for you.

“An Atmega8 is used running on its own internal 1 MHz clock. A pushbutton is available to set the day that is most convenient for watering. Besides the timer mode their is also the possibility to give the plant an extra shot of water with the single shot pushbutton. This button is also useful when adjusting the voltage regulator that determines how long the pumps needs to be turned on. The single shot mode can test the amount of water that is pumped up. With the Aux In feature a external trigger signal can start the pump. That is unless the Timer Mode is disabled with the jumper. There is also an additional Aux Out that turns high when the pump is activated. “

February 5, 2011

Name the Thing Contest – 166

at 10:15 am. Filed under Contests


The prize this week is a loupe magnifier, this will let you get a close look at whatever you are working on. This contest will run for one week (February 5 – 11, 2011). 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 March 5, 2011

The item to guess was Shuttle Engine

The winner is Dustin S. (there were 173 entries)


Below is a picture of the prize.

Analog LED Clock next version

at 7:15 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

DIY electronics is all about revisions. Make something work the first time and make it look nice the second time around. We featured this Analog LED Clock last year, cosmetically it looked fine and worked great. Wellyb00t has been hard at work making a new version which you can see on his Youtube channel. Instructions and details on the clock can be found here.

Via: HG Comments

February 4, 2011

DIY Paintball Gun Chronograph

at 7:59 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


We have seen DIY bullet speed measuring systems before, this DIY Paintball Gun Chronograph by Instructables user KLASH69 has been well documented and includes schematics, PCB layouts and code so you can get a jump on building your own.

“The operation of this chronograph is rather simple, there are two IR transmitters and two IR Detectors, each transmitter/detector pair is placed exactly four inches apart.

When an object breaks the first beam the microcontroller starts a timer (Timer1). This timer will keep running until the object breaks the second beam or the timer causes an interrupt (on the 65,536th instruction cycle). If the object breaks the second beam before the timer causes an interrupt, it will stop the timer and read the 16-Bit value in the registers TMR1H and TMRIL. We can then calculate the amount of time that it took the projectile to travel the length in between the IR beams, which are 4 inches apart, and find the speed of the projectile.”

February 3, 2011

Anybot Telepresence Robot

at 6:44 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Computer Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment

I had a great time meeting the team responsible for creating the Anybot Telepresence Robot. The founder of Anybots is Trevor Blackwell who was featured on Hacked Gadgets about 5 years ago for his cool electric unicycle. There was an Anybot mingling with the people in the Las Vegas Anybots suite, it was being controlled by Ian Danforth who was back at the Anybots head office in Mountain View California. It was so natural talking with Ian that I felt that I was actually talking with him rather than a robotic substitute.

The $15,000 robot has now been available for sale for a few days but has been in beta testing for a long time. It serves an obvious need, just imagine having an Anybot at your remote locations that you need to travel too frequently. Instead of spending countless hours flying and expensive lodging expenses you could simply log into an Anybot that has been setup on site and conduct your business. You could visit a dozen branches on Monday morning and still make your 1:00 PM golf tee time.

The Anybot is full of cool technology, there are two cameras, one looking straight ahead and one looking down so the operator can see any obstacles that may be around the base. There is a LIDAR system used to let the robot know what is directly in front of the robot, this prevents you running over the feet of your coworkers. 🙂 Of course since it is a balancing robot there needs to be a fist full of sensors such as accelerometers to make that magic happen. But unlike a DIY hobby balancing project the design team needed to think of things such as what happens if the batteries fail before the Anybot can make it back to the charging cradle. They developed a small prong that sticks out from under the robot and acts like a small leg to prop it up in the event of system power failure.

Erico Guizzo from IEEE had one on loan for a week and made a video describing how it worked for him. Since the robot relies on WiFi you need to ensure that the WiFi signal is strong and the internet connection needs to be fast to use the Anybot with all of its features enabled. For example Erico was not able to stream a live video of his face onto the Anybot because of poor WiFi, when I met the Anybot there was only a still image on the screen because the hotel internet was not fast enough to support a good quality live video if Ian. I think this problem will soon not be an issue since all of the internet providers falling over themselves trying to surpass each others internet performance.

Internal Links:



Hacked Gadgets

Site Sponsors:

Nuts and Volts Electronic Labs Trossen Robotics Free Technical Publications Blue LED


Recent Comments:

More RSS Feed Options

Site Sponsors:


Interesting Sites: