Hacked Gadgets Forum

August 31, 2011

Counterfeit Chinese USB Hard Drive

at 11:17 pm. Filed under Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking


The picture above looks like a Samsung USB Hard Drive case right? Looks can be deceiving, the case actually contains come large nuts to make it feel like there is actually something inside and a USB thumb drive to provide some convincing operation. The USB drive has been made to simulate the large hard drive by showing up with a 500GB capacity even though the capacity of the drive is only 128MB. I am thinking some smart people in China made a custom controller for the drive to allow it to work in a loop mode which allows all of the most recent copied data to remain and the oldest data be overwritten. The TOC also works in an interesting way since even though an old file has been overwritten it would remain in the TOC to make it seem that the drive is functioning as it should.

Read more at Jitbit Blog.


August 30, 2011

DIY Vacuum Forming Machine

at 11:16 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks

Thanks to James Bruton from xrobots.co.uk for sending in this DIY Vacuum Forming Machine project that he made. He is creating some props from plastic and a vacuum form is one way to get consistent plastic forms of the wooden objects he has already created. If you want to jump right to the fun and see the machine in action skip to 7:55 in the video. Of course as James warns be very careful when using this system since the high output heater is in a MDF box you would never want to operate the heater unattended and you would want to allow the box to cool between operations to prevent it getting hot enough to combust.

Update from James, he says that even after 10 pulls in a row the box didn’t get very hot due to the use of the foil.

August 29, 2011

IR Light and Camcorder used to make Cheap Night Vision Hunting Solution

at 11:27 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Insane Equipment


If you love all animals please skip this article.

Snypercat has been working on a way to hunt farm rats at night. There is no place for rats on a farm, they spread disease eat the food for your animals and will get you shut down if you plan on selling what you grow or raise. Snypercat knows that the best time to hunt rats is when they are most active which is at night. Only problem is us humans can’t see very well at night and if normal lighting was used it would scare away the rats. Her solution was to attach a Sony night vision camcorder to the scope of a gun. A large IR illuminator is then needed since she will be a long way from the prey she is hunting. The large wide spread type of IR illuminator worked not bad but since they are normally used for night vision cameras it has a very wide beam of light. She found that the optimal solution was a IR flashlight since it can be focused to a tight beam just where it is needed which might be a few hundred feet away.

August 28, 2011

Microsoft Kinect controlled Delta Robot

at 9:09 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Computer Hacks, Crazy Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Game Hacks


Malte Ahlers from Germany sent in this great Microsoft Kinect controlled Delta Robot (translated to English). We have seen quite a few Kinect hacks recently but this one represents something that interfaces very well with an external device like we have seen in the past with quite a few Wiimote Hacks.

“I built a delta robot and tried to control it with the Microsoft Kinect sensor. My aim was to make the delta robot pick objects only by gestures and body movements. The robot is actuated by three servo motors which are controlled by an AVR microcontroller. The AVR receives the desired x-, y-, and z-coordinates for the platform via RS-232 from a PC and calculates the inverse kinematics for the robot, accordingly. The robot’s firmware was implemented in BASCOM (a BASIC dialect for AVR microcontrollers). A solenoid is attached to the platform of the robot to pick steel balls. I used the Kinect for Windows SDK to get the skeleton tracking data from the Kinect sensor. I implemented a simple C# application that tracks my left and right hand and sends this data to robot via RS-232. With my right hand I move the delta robot’s platform in x-, y-, and z-direction, by raising or lowering my left hand I turn the solenoid on and off, respectively.”

August 27, 2011

LCD Thermometer using a LM35

at 10:54 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


The LM35 Temperature Sensor is a versatile and inexpensive sensor that could be useful in many projects such as a PWM Fan Controller or this LCD Thermometer project. In this case a ATMega8 reads the analog value and updates the LCD to show the current temperature. The code is provided so you can build from this example.

“In the circuit the LM35 is connected to the ADC port of the ATMega8. The ATMega8 uses a crystal as an oscillator for the clock pulses. At PORTD of the ATM8 an 20×4 LCD display is hooked to display the temperature in a discrete value and in a analog bar.”

Vowel Voice Decoder System

at 12:05 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Computer Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Annie (Wei) Dai from Cornell University sent in this Vowel Voice Decoder System she did for the ECE 4760 Class.

“The audio input is sampled through a microphone/amplifier circuit and analyzed in real time using the Mega644 MCU. The user can record and analyze his/her speech using both hardware buttons and custom commands through PuTTY. In addition, the final product also supports a simple voice password system where the user can set a sequence of vowels as password to protect a message via PuTTY. The message can be decoded by repeating the same sequence via the microphone.”

August 26, 2011

Robodance 5 – Telepresence Robotics for the Disabled

at 11:20 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Computer Hacks


Our friend Robert Oschler is running a Kickstarter for his new Robodance 5 – Telepresence Robotics for the Disabled project. Check it out and support it if you can.

“What you are funding is the Pro version, which has additional exciting features and also has benefits for the physically challenged.  For the first time in history an affordable consumer EEG headset is being sold called the EPOC, an Emotiv Systems, Ltd. product.  This $300 USD headset allows you to operate a computer in several new innovative ways, but for Robodance 5 it is it’s ability to detect head movement and facial gestures that are important.  Coupled with the inexpensive Rovio it can give those with limited mobility a mobile set of eyes and ears to explore their home or any place else in the world there’s a Rovio they can connect to.  “

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