Hacked Gadgets Forum

April 20, 2011

555 Timer Contest

at 12:32 am. Filed under Educational, Electronic Hacks


The 555 Contest that we told you about back in January is now over. Chris and Jeri will be on the air later today announcing the winners live.

“Jeri and I have decided to announce the winners on-air, on Wednesday, April 20th. We will be uStreaming the entire show and will have a chat room running the entire time. This link will get you to the IRC chat and the embedded uStream window:


or if you just want the uStream video and don’t care about the chat:


April 19, 2011

Erase a CD using High Voltage

at 8:22 pm. Filed under Crazy Hacks

I thought I had seen the coolest way to kill the data on a CD which was linked on this article.  But watch the video above to see the new coolest way to kill a CD. A high voltage is generated on either side of a spinning CD and it jumps the gap by using the path of least resistance which in this case is the spinning CD. Of course the CD is mostly plastic except for the thin layer of foil which is where the data is stored. Each time a spark makes the jump it destroys a tiny piece of the disk until all of the CD foil has been destroyed!

Thanks for the tip Paul.

April 17, 2011

3d iPad – no glasses needed

at 10:02 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Insane Equipment

This 3d iPad Demo is future of portable media! Laurence Nigay, a professor from France was inspired by the 3D work done by Johnny Lee who we interviewed a few years ago (blogs here and now works for the Google).

“We track the head of the user with the front facing camera in order to create a glasses-free monocular 3D display. Such spatially-aware mobile display enables to improve the possibilities of interaction.
It does not use the accelerometers and relies only on the front camera. “

April 16, 2011

Name the Thing Contest – 171

at 11:53 pm. 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 (April 16 – 22, 2011). Ending time is based on central standard time. To enter, identify the item pictured above.

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 June 9, 2011

The item to guess was Mercury Switch

The winner is Mattew R. (there were 152 entries)


Below is a picture of the prize.

POV Propeller Clock

at 11:47 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Take a look at this cool POV clock project that PyroElectro.com did. Please lots of other POV projects below, all of these projects are cool but the Pyro Electro POV Propeller Clock is probably the best documented one I have seen! It uses a PIC 18F252 Microcontroller to run the show and fan to spin the controller. IR light is used to keep track of where the spinning circuit board is so that it can display properly.

“The goal of this project is to make a single color propeller clock that uses POV for a cool optical illusion. The propeller should be able to display at every angle 0° – 360° in 1° increments. An IR transmitter receiver pair should be used as a ‘home’ point for the propeller clock.”

Other POV Projects to have a look at:

April 14, 2011

Oscilloscope Probe Noise when Physically Shocked

at 10:27 pm. Filed under Electronic Hacks

The recently unemployed Dave Jones from the EEVblog has done a very extensive investigation of an issue he noticed which is the Noise an Oscilloscope Probe generates when Physically Shocked. I would have guessed it was just the switch that was not keeping a good contact when experiencing the jolt but watch the video to see what the culprit was.

I remember having a similar (but totally different) thing happen to me years ago when I was installing a small PA mic in a small hall. The amp was a very cheap and tiny thing that was driving a efficient 5 watt horn speaker. I was surprised at the thump I could generate just by walking on the 50 foot cord that connected the mic to the wall mounted jack. I never looked into it and just thought it must be a rapid change in the dielectric properties of the cable when it was squeezed rapidly. If that is not the case please clue me in with the comments.

Congrats to Dave now that he has taken the plunge into full time video blogging. We are sure to see lots of interesting things in the weeks and months to come! If you are curious what made Dave decide to take the plunge be sure to listen to The Amp Hour radio show, episode 37 which Dave and Chris Gammell do together.

April 12, 2011

BlinkM can be used as a Small Arduino

at 11:35 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Just by adding a few wires you can use the BlinkM as a small Arduino. So next time you need a simple microcontroller that can be stuffed anywhere you might want to use a BlinkM.

“The BlinkM board doesn’t have nearly the I/O pins and other features of a real Arduino board. But it is very tiny. Here are its capabilities:
– 0.4″ square (MinM), or 0.6″ square (BlinkM)
– 8MHz clock speed
– 8k bytes Flash ROM (4kB on ATtiny45)
– 512 bytes RAM (256 bytes on ATtiny45)
– 512 bytes EEPROM (256 bytes on ATtiny45)
– 5 I/O lines total, partitioned as:
– 3 high-brightness LEDs in RGB package
– 2 digital I/O lines
– 1 analog I/O line (shared with digital)”

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