Hacked Gadgets Forum

May 22, 2012

Bio Computer

at 8:07 am. Filed under Computer Hacks, Funny Hacks


Most of our workplaces are built using wood, metal and plastic. Adding some plants can go a long way to make the space a bit more comfortable. Have a look at the Bio Computer over at Total Geekdom. In this design the computer is used to help heat the soil to promote germination.

 “I started wanting to use the heat from a computer as a way to warm the soil and help with germination/growth. I’m about as far from a botanist as it comes, I did some reading online and became pretty interested in the effects of soil temperature on germination/growth. I read different studies and papers from various universities. It was not too long into that process that I became hooked on the idea of using computer heat as a way to control the soil temperature of some sort of living plant life. “

May 21, 2012

FTA Dish converted to receive KU-band

at 8:55 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, DIY Hacks


Like so many people these days David Prutchi has a space communications array in his back yard. His modification of his FTA dish allows it to be used to receive Ku-band transmissions from geosynchronous FTA satellites as known-Az/El beacons.

“The Fortec Star 120 dish is small enough to be handled by a Yaesu G5500 Az/El rotor, yet provides 21.7dB gain in the L-band, and 27.7 dB gain in the S-band.  In addition, it provides enough gain for the Ku LNBF that good FTA satellite reception is achieved despite the polarization mismatch that results from Az/El aiming without a dedicated geosynchronous horizon-to-horizon motor.”

May 20, 2012

US Military Experimental Flying Platform from 1955

at 8:41 am. Filed under Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking


This US Military Experimental Flying Platform from 1955 is like a flying Segway. I wonder how long it will be before we have a modern day version of this. With technology that is becoming common place because of devices like the AR Drone I think the time is close since the stabilization technology would be quite trivial these days.


May 19, 2012

Constant Current Dummy Load Project

at 5:22 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


George Graves built this Constant Current Dummy Load Project based on this blog post over at the EEVBlog. It was built from a single sided board which was designed using ExpressPCB. That software is very nice to draft something up fast and it allows for an easy screen grab to etch what you see quickly.

Thanks for sending this in Jim.

“The only change I really made was running the opamp at 8 volts (7808) for a bit more range. It seems happy at 1 amp. Two amps and things start to really heat up.”

Name the Thing Contest – 204

at 3:03 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 (May 19 – 25, 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 June 10, 2012

The item to guess was BGA Solder Balls

The winner is Hendrik  L. (there were 149 entries)


Below is a picture of the prize.



May 18, 2012

Heavylift Hexacopter Build

at 11:05 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Jacques Sperwer from Jacques Productions in the Netherlands shows us how he is building his Heavylift Hexacopter. Have a look at the video footage of the windmill below to get an idea of what these copters can do. This build is using a Wookong control system which looks to have all the bells and whistles. 


“Wookong Multi-Rotor stabilization controller is a complete flight system for all multi-rotor platforms for commercial and industrial AP applications. Unlike others, WooKong allows the use of regular ESC commonly used in RC helicopter without any wiring modification; Heli mode setup providing a seamless transition for current Ace One AP professionals. WK-M utilizes high quality components precisely calibrated with temperature compensation in all gyros and sensors, industry renounce flight algorithm in autopilot and UAV. IMU damping system is rated for gas engine best in the class.”


May 17, 2012

Light Trikes at the Bay Area Maker Faire

at 11:15 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets


If you are in the Bay Area you better be checking out the Maker Faire this weekend. It is running May 19th and 20th. The Light Cycle above from Frog is sure to be a big crowd draw! This device is loosely based on the light bikes from Tron, the two players are back to back riding one their own light cycle and has a dedicated view, this is a great spectator project since there is a center screen which shows the aerial view of the playing field. The bike is based on a Schwinn bike and was hand welded by the crew. The electronics are Arduino based and are networked together to allow sharing of game sensor data.

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