Hacked Gadgets Forum

April 30, 2012

Ball and Beam Project Overview

at 7:06 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


This project by some 4th year engineering students will get them ready to build the next Segway.

“This project consists of prototype lab module for Control Systems II. The purpose of this lab is to teach 4th year electrical engineering students how to implement control systems to a real life mechanical system.

The controller seeks to balance the ball on the beam. It is also possible to set a desired position or motion for the ball.”

April 27, 2012

Drive a Car with an iPhone

at 9:48 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking


If you are getting a bit tired of driving your car manually this hack might be for you. 🙂 The guys from Waterloo Labs built this car that can be driven around using an iPhone. They are using a CompactRIO controller as the brains of the system which might be considered overkill and does come with a hefty price tag of almost two grand!

Thanks to Jody for sending this one in.

 “We built our control systems using a few motors, potentiometers, a Compact RIO embedded controller, and LabVIEW. We then set up wi-fi communication so we can drive the car from an iPhone as well as from a modified Power Wheels truck.”





April 25, 2012

Sip’n Puff Arduino Shield controls an iPod

at 10:41 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


There is a Kickstarter for this Sip’n Puff Arduino Shield. Check out this project where it is used to control an iPod. The uses are endless but just imagine the usefulness for people who don’t have the use of their fingers for the tasks we take for granted.

Thanks for sending this in Bob.

“The Sip’n Puff shield is a standard shield for the Arduino platform.  It is a basic air pressure sensor that detects positive and negative air pressure.  The shield gets its name from the similar devices used by persons with disabilities that allow them to sip and puff into a tube to control medical devices.  The shield can detect air pressure up to 1.45 PSI which is more than enough to be triggered by sipping and puffing by mouth.”






April 24, 2012

3 Axis Accelerometer based on the Freescale MMA7361L

at 10:51 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks



Viktor sent in this great 3 Axis Accelerometer project that he is working on, it is based on the Freescale MMA7361L. He is using a Microchip’s PIC16F887 for the brains of the system. Watch the video to see the board in action.

“The direction-sensing is accomplished by Freescale’s MMA7361L, which is a three axis low-g micromachined accelerometer in a tiny (14 pin LGA) package. The advantage of this chip is that it’s super simple to use: just connect the three directional output pins to an analog-digital converter input of a microcontroller and you’re ready to go. With a few more pins connected straight to some further microcontroller IO pins you can enhance its operation with functions like SLEEP, 0g detection, sensitivity selection, etc. “


April 23, 2012

Ben Heck Earth Day Wall Wart

at 5:28 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, DIY Hacks


Ben shows us how to get rid of phantom power to save a few bucks.

Thanks for the tip Stephanie.

“In this environmentally friendly episode, Ben channels his inner “Captain Planet” persona and provides viewers with simple energy-efficiency tips. Using recycled parts, Ben also creates a new version of a wall wart that can power several devices simultaneously, such as cell phones, computer monitors and Arduino boards, while still reducing the overall amount of energy used. “

Black and Decker 20V Lithium Drill Review

at 5:09 pm. Filed under Reviews



Thanks to Black and Decker for sending in this 20V Lithium Drill for review. This drill would be perfect for the average DIYer who is tinkering with projects in the basement on the weekends and evenings. It is nice and light so you won’t need to work out at the gym before a session of drilling. That being said, if you are planning on building a deck or putting in a new fence this is not the drill for that. The most exciting claim is that it will hold a charge for up to 18 months. Of course there was no way I could test this claim in the 2 weeks that I have been playing with the drill. 

The LED light is nice if you are using it in a dark corner, it automatically turns on whenever the drill is being used.  A few days ago I assembled a new corner desk for my daughter, this thing was a beast of a desk with poor instructions which meant that 5 or 6 of the pieces needed to be unscrewed and rearranged to work properly. I would have thrown in the towel if I was putting it together by hand. The clutch worked well for this job, I just set it at 3 and drove the screws in until the clutch kicked in.



April 22, 2012

Name the Thing Contest – 203

at 6:28 pm. Filed under Contests



The prize this week is a non contact AC test pen. This pen can be used to test if AC voltage is present in a wire without needing to touch the bare conductor. This contest will run for one week (April 22 – 27, 2012). Ending time is based on central standard time. To enter, identify the item above and what it can be used for.

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 May 19, 2012

The item to guess was a automatic fish feeder

The winner is Joe E. (there were 89 entries)


Below is a picture of the prize.



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