Hacked Gadgets Forum

November 30, 2011

Mint Tin Alarm

at 7:04 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Mint tins can be used for a lot of great projects. They are just big enough to be stuffed with some great electronics. This Mint Tin Alarm by Aaron from x2Jiggy is a great example of this. The video has a great beat and check out the cool schematic, no hard to read symbols here! Check out the Instructable Article for more details.

“Combine a mint tin, piezo siren and some basic components into a personal alarm that’s both functional and visually pleasing. This design involves connecting a 12 volt A23 battery to a piezo siren through a toggle switch and a tact switch. The toggle switch is used to arm the device (preventing accidental activation) and the tact switch activates it.”

November 29, 2011

Nixie Tube Meter Clock

at 1:54 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


James Hartnett took an old nixie tube meter and converted it into a clock. By using an arduino microcontroller to interface to the clock he is able to get the time to display. It is a bit finicky and needs to be calibrated very carefully to get the right time to display.

Read more.

November 28, 2011

Espresso Machine Microcontroller Temperature Regulation

at 1:16 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Cameron Charles from The Adventures of Cameron Charles has a Saeco Aroma espresso machine and wanted a bit more control. Of course this means a custom PCB with an onboard microcontroller. πŸ™‚ Have a look his Espresso Machine Microcontroller Temperature Regulation project where he shows how he takes over control of exactly how the espresso is being made. There is still a small amount of tweaking to be made but the results look great (and I am sure they taste even better).

“I set about designing a board based on the Atmel ATMega328 microcontroller. I put on connectors for the various I/O devices (among other things, I would need to read the state of the “Steam” button to adjust the temperature setpoint), a solid state relay for controlling the heater (I would be using a PWM-based approach to adjust the gain of the system and having a mechanical relay switching a few times a second would get pretty noisy), and I also added some extra features for future expansion (such as a second solid state relay for taking control of the pump, it would be pretty cool to also use a PID algorithm to regulate the water pressure when pulling a shot!). I also added a 120VAC to 5VDC conversion circuit to the board as I wanted the Espresso PID board to be able to scavenge power directly from the Saeco Aroma so that it wouldn’t need to be plugged in separately or require batteries.”

November 26, 2011

Name the Thing Contest – 193

at 10:39 pm. Filed under Contests



Thanks to ideasbynet.com for sponsoring another of our weekly contests. They will be providing a iPad Travel Companion Folder to the winner. One thing about the iPad is that when you are holding it the aluminum body feels quite slippery and this is certainly not something you wouldn’t want to have accidentally slip onto the floor. The other thing about the iPad is that there is no way to have it sit up because it is so thin. This iPad Travel Folder solves both of those issues in a nice looking form factor. Next time you are looking for some promotional gifts you might want to have a look to the sponsor for some ideas.

The iPad Travel Companion Folder is stylish and functional, in keeping with your iPad. The executive quality folder protects your iPad and presents it beautifully, with a flip cover that doubles as a stand – perfect for watching videos or browsing the internet.”


This contest will run for one week (November 26 – December 2, 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. Please note that there are some additional pictures of the item to guess at the bottom of this contest post.

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 December 27, 2011

The item to guess was a MEGMET 500 CONWAY ELECTRONIC TESTER ohm meter

The winner is mwarren (there were 102 entries)


Below is a picture of the prize.




Ducted Fan Bike

at 5:07 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Ducted fan vehicles haven’t exactly caught on yet but they look like tons of fun. Remember the Ducted Fan Scooter we featured earlier this year? Rich Olson from Nothing Labs has built this Ducted Fan Bike, it uses 3 ducted fans that are mounted to the rear of a bike, some controls on the handlebars are used to interface with an arduino. The arduino then controls the fan speed controllers. He got a speed of around 8.5 MPH, I think now that the proof of concept is done a unit with significantly more power should be the next step!

“The 3 EDF’s I got are rated for about 2 lbs thrust each when run at 12v (so maybe 6lbs thrust total). The specs say 20-40 amps. Normally the motor controllers are connected to a receiver – but I wanted something a little less cumbersome. So – I rigged up an Arduino to generate a PWM signal – and tossed together a little control panel.”


November 25, 2011

Automatic Dogfeeder Project

at 7:42 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


If you have animals, feeding them is a boring daily routine. This Automatic Dogfeeder Project allows you to load a big hopper full of food and program when it should do your dirty work. Future plans for the design include adding wireless capability to the feeder.

Via: Embedds

“The plan was to make an autonomous dogfeeder using an Atmel AVR microcontroller, a cereal dispenser, a DC motor and some electronics. The feeder should be able to feed the dog three times a day at preset times, which could be set by the user. The approximately correct amount of food would be dispensed by turning the dispenser propeller for a certain amount of time. I made test runs to find out for how long the propeller should rotate in order to dispense a correct amount of dry dog food. The correct amount should of course also be adjustable in case different types of dog food dispensed differently.

November 24, 2011

Single Pipe Alpine Coaster in Mieders Austria

at 2:17 pm. Filed under What Were They Thinking

This downhill machine looks like so much fun but I would hate to see what happens if a deer walks across the path of the driver, those small brake levers wouldn’t stop it very quickly when you build up the type of speed we can see in the video. The video above is of a person who went right down not using the brakes at all.

Via: TechEBlog and Buzzfeed

“This is a single-pipe alpine coaster in Mieders, Austria. You reach the summit via a cablecar and then sit on a small car with a brake lever and off you go. Having ridden it once using a little braking, I decided to try it a second time without using the brakes.”

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