Hacked Gadgets Forum

October 26, 2011

DIY Stairs Illumination Project based on an Arduino

at 1:24 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

I am honored that this stair lighting video of our stair lighting controller kit inspired Youtube user Notcranium to build his own. His is based on an Arduino and he has used RGB lights to jazz things up a bit. Great looking stairs Notcranium! At an electrical cost of around $2 per year you sure can’t beat the effect and not having to keep a stairwell light on all the time is sure to have some positive economic effects in the long run. If you are looking for some stair lights please also have a look at our Reactive Lighting line of Stair Lighting Controllers.

“I am illuminating the stairs using 30 independently controlled RGB leds. Control of the LEDs is done using an ATmega328 processor (Arduino) and 6 TLC5940 LED driver ICs. Pressure sensors detect someone going on the staircase and is calibrated to ignore my dog.”

DIY Induction Heater

at 11:17 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Crazy Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


I don’t think I will be building this DIY Induction Heater that Rich from RM Cybernetics built since I am still nursing a burnt finger from a stupid soldering iron incident. 🙂 But if you are careful this could be an interesting project. We have featured a few DIY induction heaters here before and the results are incredible. Not exactly the safest project to create but there are lots of great uses for this type of device.

“The control circuit uses a method known as ZVS (zero voltage switching) to activate the transistors which allows for an efficient transfer of power. In the circuit you see here, the transistors barely get warm due to the ZVS method. Another great thing about this device is that it is a self resonant system and will automatically run at the resonant frequency of the attached coil and capacitor.”

iPhone 4S 24 Karat Gold Crystal Bumper

at 9:14 am. Filed under What Were They Thinking


So you picked up the new iPhone 4S. First thing most people do is personalize it by adding a case that suites them. Instead of picking a leather or plastic case why not move up to a metalic case. This 24 Karat Gold Crystal iPhone 4S Bumper is sure to fit the bill! Okay, it is actually not solid gold since 24 karat gold would be to soft for a iPhone case but it has been plated in gold and had a bunch of crystals on it. This might be the thing to get now that the I am rich iPhone app is no longer available.

Via: The Rich Times

“Crystal Rocked have taken a unique approach to creating these gold covers. Each bumper is dipped in 24 karat gold for 4 times (plated) to ensure that it is coated with the best of finishes. Up to 200 individual crystals are then set onto the case. The cost for this bumper comes to 300 pounds ($480) and they are directly available for purchase from Crystal Rocked. They can also be purchased from Harrods of London.”

October 25, 2011

Halloween House Lights

at 9:12 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Crazy Hacks, Electronic Hacks

I am sure Light o Rama (who happens to he DIY friendly) loves the holidays. When people like Youtube user KJ92508 from Riverside, CA places an order they are sure to break out the huge shipping boxes. The capability of the system looks amazing but it should considering there are 1144 channels out lighting outputs controlling the lights!

“Most all lights have been changed from incandescent to RGB LED so power consumption is a lot less than previous years. Also DMX added to show. All lights, faces and props are custom made (DIY) by me except for the roof line which are CCRs. Controlling channels have gone up 8X from last year. 1144 channels. “

October 24, 2011

DIY Pick and Place Machine called the redFrog

at 10:16 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Computer Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Crazy Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment


I was just catching up on some episodes of The Amp Hour and heard about this DIY Pick and Place Machine by Build Your Own CNC Router Machine. I love the fact that the entire thing has been constructed from everyday items. It isn’t the fastest thing but I love machines that you can program and walk away and get something else done while it completes the task. If you thought a normal CNC machine had enough steppers on it already you will note that this has an additional stepper motor to allow for the part alignment. I like the way the picking tip also feeds the tape strip to expose the next part. This way there isn’t a need for extra solenoids, wiring, electronics etc. Looks like the tip can handle the pulling motion without any issue but a small future upgrade would be to add a way for the head to press an advancing lever with a nub mounted on the pick and place head.

A few points of update:  the software used for all ofthge pick and place is EMC2 running under Ubuntu Linux.  The control language is g-code and almost every feature of this language was used to make the final control easy to use.  Three main sub g-code programs have ben created.  The main g-code subroutine contains all of the camera offset, feed specifications, rotation compensation and the levels of various places on the machine.  The tape and banks are held in another file that defines their x and y part locations for picking.  The final subroutine takes care of tool changes (vacuum cup changes).  The main file that users will have the most interaction with is a file that contains all of the place locations, orientaion specs and choice of tape from which to pick that part.

Delta Robot with Vision

at 6:20 am. Filed under Computer Hacks, DIY Hacks, Educational, Electronic Hacks


Henrique Ribeiro de Oliveira from Brazil and two others have built this great Delta Robot with Vision. Best of all it is running a cool program to show off what it is capable of. You can toss some tokens randomly on the board, the robot will locate the tokens and place them on some colored dots in the middle of the working surface.

Via: Hacked Gadgets Forum

We used Labview to make the main program, it has all the configuration of the robot. On normal cycle it will scan the image from a webcam located under the big base that hold the motors and if there is something that looks like the template that we are looking for it will calculate the inverse kinematics to start the movement (yes it has few problems on locating something under the robot arms). With the kinematics calculated it will send a value in steps to the microcontrollers so they can calculate a acceleration ramp and send it to the driver. The end effector is a vacuum cup that have a small pump to feed it. After the first cycle of movements to get the object it will repeat the process of scanning the webcam streaming to find a location to deposit the object.


October 23, 2011

Name the Thing Contest – 189

at 8:45 am. Filed under Contests


The prize this week is a solar flashlight, if you want to use this as a flashlight you better charge it during the day and not keep it hidden in a drawer. 🙂 I am thinking that the housing could make for a very small surface mount project. Not sure if the solar cell would have enough power to energize a very low current circuit but I would think it should. This contest will run for one week (October 23 – 28, 2011). Ending time is based on central standard time. To enter, identify what is going on in the 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 November 20, 2011

The item to guess was an OSB Production Line (OSB panel was also acceptable)

The winner is Stephen H. (there were 141 entries)


Below is a picture of the prize.


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