Hacked Gadgets Forum

September 30, 2011

Puppy Robot

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


Russell Cameron built this Puppy Robot for his son to play with and after watching the video I can see that it was a huge success!

“The robot is relatively simple to build and is made from robot parts and accessories available in many online robot shops. You only need a couple of screwdrivers and some pliers. No soldering required!.”

September 28, 2011

Dual Floppy Drive Music

at 5:36 pm. Filed under Computer Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Remember the days when floppy drives were all the rage. Well I don’t miss those slow noisy things, it’s hard to believe that a large floppy was one that held 1.44MB of data. You would need 10 of them to store a modern picture these days! Thankfully there is still a use for these relics, you can connect them to a custom microcontroller and have it play some music using the stepper motors that move the read/write heads. 🙂  You can see a bit more information on the Dual Floppy Drive Music here. There is an English translation in the works, when it is done that link will also be added.

The English version of the project can be found here.

“FDD has a simple interface – the description may be found for example [ HERE ]. To move the head you need to activate the drive by pulling the DRVSB0 or 1 (depends on the cable you have and the connector – notice the crossover on the FDD ribbon cable) pin low and then falling edge on STEP pin makes the head move one step in direction dependent on DIR pin state.
An ATMega microcontroller is generating those frequencies and it makes the drives play music.”

September 27, 2011

Arduino Ambilight

at 11:06 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Don Howdeshell sent in this great Arduino Ambilight project. Sure seems like the Ambilight projects will continue to be popular. This one uses an Arduino at the core and ShiftBrite LED lights. You can see the effects here before the diffusion was added but make sure you watch the video below where the full effects of the lighting system are shown off!

“The first challenge was to construct my own ShiftBrite Shield.  They can be purchased from Macetech’s store, but I wasn’t interested in spending that much money on one when I could build what I needed for a fraction of that cost.  As you can see, my ShiftBrite Shield is a bit more complex than Macetech’s because I didn’t have a transformer that could push enough amperage at those voltages.  My solution was to use a 12V 2A transformer and step the voltage down using an LM317T voltage regulator. “

September 26, 2011

Hard Drive Clock Kickstarter – Hard Drive Tick!……Tock POV Clock

at 10:12 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


We have seen lots of Hard Drive Clocks, my original one is now looking quite poor in the build quality zone.  Till this point if you wanted a Hard Drive Clock you would need to built one yourself by either taking inspiration from the other builds out there or making your own from scratch. Phillip Smith  is running a Kickstarter to hopefully change this and make a hard drive clock he calls the Hard Drive Tick!……Tock POV Clock. There are a number of backing levels but if you want a kit with all of the parts to build the clock it will set you back $75. This Kickstarter has about a month to go and about $19,000 to go so jump on this one if you want to see it become reality.

Via: HG Forum

“I have a working prototype as seen in the video; the software is 90% complete and the hardware is 75% complete. The circuit is currently on a breadboard. I need to finish integrating the battery backed up RTC (real time clock) chip so the time is not lost when the power is lost. And I need to finish up some software changes and have the design sent out to get professional printed circuit boards made. I still need to do some design on the front cover plate, and fabricate a suitable stand. The HDD Clock also fits nicely in a variety of 4×6 picture frames. I am open to suggestions and want your input. Depending on the consensus, I will consider adding in an option that I may not have considered. I will also write some software would allow you to hook the clock up to your computer and make any design you want, with any colors you want. So for example, if you have a favorite sports team, you can select their colors to be displayed on your clock.”

September 25, 2011

Hollow Spiral Candlestick

at 11:48 am. Filed under DIY Hacks

If you have ever wondered how a Hollow Spiral Candlestick is made watch the video above. If this was my setup I’m not sure how long it would stay without some stepper motors running the show. 🙂

September 24, 2011

Wood Carved Computer Case

at 10:38 pm. Filed under Computer Hacks


I have done quite a bit of CNC work with MDF but I didn’t know it could be carved with normal wood working tools this nicely. Andrew Espie-Whitburn from Espie Whitburn Design created this Wood Carved Computer Case over a period of 20 days and it looks great!

September 23, 2011

How to Interface a Microcontroller to a PS/2 Keyboard

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


Interacting with your project can be as simple as hooking up an IO pin to a button but if you need greater capability it might be time for a keyboard. In this tutorial Chris from PyroElectro demonstrates how to connect a PIC microcontroller to a PS/2 keyboard. One issue these days is finding a PS/2 keyboard, thankfully before USB came around they were a standard for a long time so if you can’t find one new you will certainly be able to get your hands on a used one.

“The system designed in this article is a simple passive PS/2 host device. It receives commands sent to it (key presses) and then outputs them to a 7 segment LED, but it never sends commands, all communication is 1 way in this system, which greatly simplifies the design and implementation.”

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