Hacked Gadgets Forum

March 22, 2011

Ben Heck Show Updates

at 11:33 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Computer Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

I haven’t been keeping up with the Ben Heck show for the past few months, back in September we featured the the Ben Heck Show when Ben built the custom XBOX controller. I had a look this weekend and Ben has been very busy making lots of new episodes. Love the huge ShopBot CNC machine. Ben goes through lots of the build steps that go into making his projects but he still glosses over lots of details. I guess the show would be 5 hours long if it was more in depth or a build would be split into 10 sections but I would prefer to see more details of the projects to get some ideas. If you only have time for one video watch the one below, Ben makes a cool pop can cooler that uses some large machined blocks of aluminum and some peltier devices.

March 20, 2011

Name the Thing Contest – 169

at 5:52 pm. Filed under Contests


The prize this week is a coax cable stripper, this will help you make a easy job of stripping coax cable. This contest will run for one week two weeks (March 19 – April 1, 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. This week we will need a make and mode of what it is.

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 April 10, 2011

The item to guess was Apple Lisa

The winner is Kajetan P. (there were 92 entries)


Below is a picture of the prize.


LED Heart Valentine

at 5:43 pm. Filed under Computer Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment


This LED Heart Valentine has a lot more meaning that a box of chocolates from the grocery store. It shows that there was a ton of work to make it work. The site isn’t in English but you can get the feel of what went on just by looking at the great picture log. Sure no lack of surface mount LEDs in this project!

Via: HG Comments

March 19, 2011

DIY Keypad Lock

at 10:22 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


William from the Hackers Workbench designed a DIY Keypad Lock. What’s the big deal you ask, well just like the electronics of a time long ago there are no microcontrollers anywhere to be found. Sounds like a simple project until you think about how to get it done using only a handful of gates. Have a look at the project page for schematics and a clear circuit explanation.

March 18, 2011

iPhone controlled Kitchen Island

at 11:42 pm. Filed under Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment

If you like home automation this iPhone controlled Kitchen Island would make an interesting addition to your system. Not sure how practical it is but wow would that ever be a conversation piece. If Tim Thaler has a island that is this great I would love to see the rest of his system!

Via: Make

“A hydraulic scissor lift is at bolted to the cement, and then a small frame is built on top of the scissor lift table. On top of that is a subfloor, flooring, and then the island. The cabinet doors are on the other side, and have safety push button switches that kill the electricity from the Smart Home Insteon switches, and prevent it from moving when the doors are not fully closed.”

March 17, 2011

RedEye GTO iPhone Remote Control Build

at 4:05 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment

You might remember the ‘69 Pontiac GTO controlled using a iPod Touch that we featured last year. Dave Phipps has made a new video that goes over how everything was tied together to make the RedEye control the entire system. Dave does some great work! I have seen the inside of some other custom car mods and some of them are just a rats nest of wires, Dave on the other hand has some great documentation and everything looks neat and tidy. I was a bit surprised to see that Dave uses a relay kit as part of the build but the kit looks like it is something special that I haven’t seen available any where else so this might be the only simple way to get that type of functionality. In the demonstration near the end Dave hooked up a system that opened and closed a simulated window using a timer instead of limit switches. I wonder how well this technique would work in the real world, as the motor gets a bit older and depending on how good the battery is I think the time to open and close the window could change significantly. I am thinking that a max time and some limit switches would be the best option, but of course that would take more hardware, wiring time and programming time.

Thanks for the tip April.

March 16, 2011

LED Stair Lighting – Automatically turns on when the stairwell is entered

at 11:11 am. Filed under Computer Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment



The new on one at a time stair lighting controller option has become very popular option. A customer sent in the video below which shows the stair lighting system in action. The lower infrared beam is activated to show the lighting pattern going up the stairs, no one entered the stairwell so the camera could record the full effect. The second half of the video shows someone coming down the stairs breaking the upper infrared beam to automatically activate the lights. In this case the customer ordered custom 5mm blue LED lights instead of the normal ones which are 10mm white stair lights. In this install the customer did not have access to either side of the stairwell so they installed small 1 inch by 1.5 inch wood channels on top of the stringers for the light wiring and the LED lights. After the wood was stained to match the stairs it blended right in. The normal 10mm LED stair lights are generally drilled right through the stringer to the other side when there is a storage or mechanical room there.  In the long exposure picture above you can see what looks to be 4 lights per step but there is actually only 2, the other glowing spots is from the glossy varnish on the stairs reflecting the bright stair lights. Thanks to Bob for sending in the great video.


Looking to learn more about LED lights? Go to ledlightsgallery.com to learn everything you need to know about LED lighting.


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