Hacked Gadgets Forum

March 30, 2011

Automatic LED Stair Lighting System – Reactive Lighting

at 10:11 pm. Filed under Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment

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I have been spending all sorts of time recently getting ready for the release of the Reactive Lighting – LED Stair Lighting System. The powerful stair lighting controller and wide variety of stair lights has gotten a lot of attention from some of the partners that we have been working with pre-launch. We will be launching the company tomorrow (March 31, 2011) at the Home Expressions show here in Winnipeg Manitoba. This show is the largest home show in Manitoba and is sure to be a fun time. The last few weeks have been filled with countless sleepless nights getting all the loose ends tied up but tomorrow is the big day and it seems like everything has come together very well!

If you are in Winnipeg, please stop by and say hi, our booth is #46 on the main floor of the Winnipeg Convention Center. Hope to see you there!



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Electronic Magic 8 Ball

at 9:39 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

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Remember those magic 8 balls that would help you make decisions? Well Pete Mills decided to make one but of course it isn’t filled with fluid this Magic 8 Ball is filled with electronic goodness. It is controlled by a ATMega328 and if you want to make your own Pete has posted the code here.

“You can see the mercury switch in the picture below.  It is hot glued to the lower left of the circuit board.  The header at the top connects the LCD which is mounted in the lid of this enclosure.  Space and time were limiting factors on this  build so, component layout was adjusted accordingly.  E.g. jamb the bits in where they fit.”



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March 28, 2011

Dual LED Desk Light Controller

at 11:24 pm. Filed under Computer Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

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What do you use your touchpad for? Moving a mouse around on your computer screen? Well now there is a cool new use for your typical computer touchpad, Dave from Plastibots has made a Dual LED Desk Light Controller that uses it for lighting control.


“Relative mode is the norm.  It works like you would expect it to on a laptop.  No matter where you put your finger and move it, your mouse will move from its current point in the direction you move your finger.   Well, I’m not using a computer or moving a mouse around.  I needed the unit to work in absolute mode.  I need to know the exact X/Y coordinates of where my fingers were moving. Knowing this, I could create mapped areas to monitor in the Sketch and perform various actions when movement was detected in those areas. “



March 26, 2011

Steampunk Mouse Hack

at 11:18 pm. Filed under Computer Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

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Peter Balch who is a hardware designer from Scotland sent in this great looking Steampunk Mouse Hack. It is made out of wood just the original mouse was. The green glow on the brain in the jar is great, but it isn’t for the squeamish since you are holding a brain after all.  Peter built the project from some guts of an optical mouse which he hacked into a mush smaller form factor to match the project size.


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March 25, 2011

DIY Lightning Detection for Photography

at 10:15 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

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If you enjoy photography you know that it can be very hard to capture certain events. Our friend Viktor has built this DIY Lightning Detection for Photography which has a PIC microcontroller controlling the events. The photodiode monitors the ambient light levels and triggers the camera when it sees a lightning strike. This project is safe for your camera since it is optically isolated for your cameras protection. Viktor will send you the source code upon request so you can make your own. He has also offered to sell you the parts so you can build your own if you would rather not hunt down all the parts.

“The circuit is based on a 16F628A PIC microcontroller. The light sensing part (OPT101) is a monolithic photodiode and single-supply transimpedance amplifier in a single 8DIP package allowing a smaller final product size. When designing the PCB care must be taken to position this part in a place where it can “see” the ambient light and lightning bolts.”


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March 24, 2011

DIY Scanning Electron Microscope

at 10:24 pm. Filed under Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking


There are lots of electronic projects that can be made at home but I would have never thought I would see a Scanning Electron Microscope that was made at home! The results are able to be watched on an oscilloscope. The comments of the article are great also and worth a read.  You can see the system in operation in the video at 9:53.

Via: Make

“The lock washer is only being magnified 10 or 20x. In this test video, I wasn’t too concerned with focus, so the resolution is probably 50um or more. Eventually, I hope to achieve resolution of about 1um. I will probably experiment with different objective lens placement, final aperture size (currently 100um), deflection plate placement, etc.

I originally wanted to use a microprocessor to generate the raster scan pattern and capture the data for storage/display on an LCD. I may still do this, but there are a few problems: finding a microprocessor with enough RAM to store the image matrix, using a DAC to generate the raster scan pattern at live video rates, and interfacing with a nice LCD (ie generate SVGA video). The Parallax Propeller seems like it might work, but needs a lot of development.”

March 23, 2011

Sentry Gun Project

at 11:02 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Computer Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Crazy Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment, Toy Hacks, What Were They Thinking

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Now that spring has arrived you might be looking for something new to build that can be used outside. Why not make something that can be used to protect your property in a non-lethal way? We have see lots of sentry guns over the years but quite a few of them has closed source code. This Sentry Gun Project has code that has been released which is sure to help you get started on the build. It also looks like the creator of the project will be making some kits available if there is enough interest. A kit might be just the thing needed to make it an easy build instead of a very challenging one.

Other Sentry Guns that we have featured in the past.

Via: HG Comments


“This sentry gun autonomously tracks, aims, and shoots at targets, using:


  • An airsoft or paintball gun
  • A webcam to find targets
  • A computer to process the video feed and aim the gun
  • Servo motors to physically aim the gun and squeeze the trigger
  • A sturdy tripod base
  • A microcontroller to interface between the computer and the servo motors
  • Lots of camo paint”



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