Hacked Gadgets Forum

April 22, 2012

Old 16 Segment Display on top of The Great Coal Mine, Coney Island

at 6:11 pm. Filed under Vintage Electronics



Bruce sent in a link to this cool picture of a very old display in this 1901 picture (top of the tallest building in the picture). It looks to be a primitive 16 segment display. The building is The Great Coal Mine, Coney Island. I wonder what the display was used for? Below you can see the modern version of this display.

“The Great Coal Mine was a 1,500-foot-long dark ride that enabled visitors to travel on coal cars through several levels of a dimly lit simulated mine. It opened in 1901 on the north side of Surf Avenue at West Tenth Street, was not very popular, and was soon replaced by L.A. Thompson’s Oriental Scenic Railway.”


April 21, 2012

RGB Stair Lighting using an Arduino Uno and TI TLC5940m PWM Chips

at 10:44 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


If you like stair lighting as much as I do you will want to have a look at this. Geert built his RGB Stair Lighting using an Arduino Uno and TI TLC5940m PWM Chips. He uses 3 of the TI TLC5940m chips to allow to control 3 channels of light on each of his 12 stair steps. Geert now has some cool lights on his stairs and his next step is to add a detection method to activate them automatically. If you don’t have the time to build your own but still want the stair bling, have a look at this stair lighting controller or this stair lighting kit.

Via: HackaDay and Stair Lighting



April 20, 2012

Interactive Mirror based on the IOIO Microcontroller

at 12:51 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Computer Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


This Interactive Mirror project by OpenGadgets is based on the IOIO Microcontroller which looks like it is very flexible. A 32X16 pixel matrix display is mounted behind a 2 way mirror, this display is connected to the IOIO microcontroller and talks to the Android phone using bluetooth. With the current implementation you are able to send things such as low resolution pictures and video to the display. There is also a version of magic 8 ball that looks like fun.

April 17, 2012

DIY Motorcycle LED Brake Lights

at 11:18 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks



 If you have ever had a motorcycle you know that being seen by other motorists is always on your mind. Pete Mills recently purchased a motorcycle and installed a custom brake light to combat this issue. His DIY Motorcycle LED Brake Light was inspired by a flashing brake light of an ambulance. His design flashed quickly when it is activated and then goes on solid. There is also a quick way to disable the feature if desired. The method of connecting the circuit to the existing light bulb power is great, if you every need to do this you will want to have a close look at the method Pete used.

“The circuit is basically a large array of really bright red LED’s ( Light Engine ) and an ATTiny85 microcontroller to tell the LED light engine how to behave.  There are also two high brightness LED’s that shine downward onto the license plate. There are two modes of operation to this brake light – flashing and non flashing.  The non flashing brake light is activated by turning the key on while holding the brake and behaves just like a stock brake light would.  Flashing mode is enabled by default so key on with brake off and you are good to go.”



April 16, 2012

Mechanical Bit Adder Clock

at 10:46 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks


Thanks to Lior Elazary for sending in this great project. It accomplished a few things, he was able to justify the purchase of a laser cutter and his kids learned come computer basics.  His Mechanical Bit Adder Clock is sure to be built by many since he also made a detailed Instructable for it.

“The inspiration for this project came from trying to teach my son and daughter about how a computer works (in reality, I was always fascinated with mechanical computers and clocks, but I had to give a better excuse to my wife for buying a laser cutter specifically for this project).

The Mechanical CPU Clock shows the basic building blocks of a CPU (ALU.Buses,RAM,registers, and a Control Unit). It executes a set of instructions which will emulate a simple wall clock.”


April 15, 2012

Name the Thing Contest – 202

at 10:30 am. 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 15 – 20, 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 gold shaker table

The winner is Tim M. (there were 128 entries)


Below is a picture of the prize.



Invisible Infrared LED Geocache Box

at 9:59 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Geocaching is getting very popular. AJ and Brian sent in this cool Geocache Box they built with Invisible Infrared LED inside. This box has a secret number that can only be seen with a bit of ingenuity, in this case since the numbers are shown with IR LEDs the numbers are not visible to the naked eye. But if you look at it through the viewfinder of camcorder or digital camera and you will see the numbers magically appear.  



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