Hacked Gadgets Forum

August 8, 2012

DIY Neurophone lets you Feel Sound

at 11:03 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Crazy Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking


The Neurophone was invented by Patrick Flanagan and used radio transmitter that injected sound into the human  nervous system.  Antennas coupled a one-watt 40kHz transmitter to the body to inject the signals. Seems that Patrick was quite the brain since he developed and sold a guided missile detector to the U.S. military when he was 11 years old.

Andreas Hahn has make a modern version of the Neurophone using modern electronics to help him out. Andreas uses ultrasound that is modulated with sound and can be sent directly into the brain.

“To make the ultrasound signal, we’ll use a widely-available TL494 pulse-width modulation controller. This isn’t a perfect solution, so you won’t hear the signal as well as with one of Flanagan’s designs. But it’s a lot simpler than messing around with DSP. And it gives you a chance to experience and experiment with the “Neurophone” effect.”

August 6, 2012

Motor Control using an FPGA

at 7:45 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Chris from Pyroelectro shows us how to interface to an FPGA to allow precise control over a DC motor.

“The goal of this project is to build a simple one input, one output system that will control a motor. The control input will come from a trimpot and the FPGA or CPLD’s job will be to use the input to create the proper duty cycle PWM output to the DC motor controller. “


August 5, 2012

How Ceramic Brake Discs are made

at 11:58 am. Filed under Insane Equipment


Wow, making Ceramic Brake Discs is not an easy process. I didn’t think there would have been so many complicated steps involved in making them. I was just thinking it was a slurry of ceramic material that was cast and machined.

“This high performance material, made from a special mixture of powders, resins and fibres in a complex manufacturing process, has been used since the 1970s in braking systems for aerospace applications and since the 1980s in motorsports.
Since 2000, carbon ceramic has also been used in the production of braking systems for sports cars. In 2004, the carbon ceramic braking system was awarded the Golden Compass prize by ADI, the Italian Industrial Design Association. Carbon ceramic offers substantial benefits in terms of performance – in both wet and dry conditions – weight, comfort, corrosion resistance, durability and high-tech appeal.”

August 4, 2012

How a Slurpee Machine Works

at 2:54 am. Filed under Insane Equipment


Most people enjoy a nice cool Slurpee every now and again. Even though I live in the Slurpee capitol of the world I had no idea how the machines worked. The video above makes it sound like the process is a bit more complicated than it is. I was thinking there would have been a bit more going on under the hood. I had envisioned some type of automation that determines the level of slush left and triggers some type of refill process from a bunch of different tanks of syrup, water and liquid sugar. I guess there might be some machines that are more complicated but overall there isn’t much going on. But that being said the resulting slush is so refreshing on a hot day!



August 2, 2012

Taipan Game running on Arduino

at 2:13 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Game Hacks


I played a ton of Apple games in junior high, I think Choplifter was my favorite, looks like Taipan was created around the same time but unfortunately I don’t think my school had it. Simon Jansen sent in this hack where he made a version of the Taipan game that runs on 2 Adruino boards. Two Arduinos (that talk to each other) were used because a single Arduino would not have the power to run the game. As you can imagine this game requires a ton of strings to be displayed on the screen and text chews up memory space in a hurry. Because of this there is a lookup table that is used to index strings that are being stored on an external EEPROM. The game display is a small backup camera and looks right at home in the 1st edition of the Taipan book that was used as the game case.

If you are interested in making your own Simon has provided the source code on this page.

“Gameplay is exactly like the original Apple 2 version, right down to the ‘bugs’. I did need to rearrange the screens somewhat due to a smaller resolution than the original version but all the information is present and all the strings are exactly as in the original (with the exception of minor changes).

The whole game is contained inside a housing made from a hard cover copy of the original Tai-Pan book (first edition too)! It contains 8 AA Ni-MH cells to power both the screen and the Arduinos. A recharging socket is included on the main panel.”




August 1, 2012

Texas Instruments C2000 LaunchPad released at $17

at 3:52 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


You probably remember (and have) the Texas Instrument MSP430 LaunchPad, that is the TI microcontroller development board that was released for $4.30. TI is back at it, they have just released their C2000 LaunchPad which has a 60MHz Piccolo processor on board. This processor is sure to be very popular based on the power and price since it looks like you can get them for 2 or 3 bucks for fairly low volumes of them.  If you have some of the boosterpack boards for your MSP430 you will be happy to hear that the new C2000 is pin compatible so you can continue to use them. Be sure to order one before they sell out and make sure you send in the projects that you build with it!

Thanks to Trey German (the designer of the new LaunchPad) for sending in this tip.

Order your C2000 LaunchPad from the TI store here.

“The C2000™ Piccolo LaunchPad is an inexpensive evaluation platform designed to help you leap right into the world of real-time control programming on the C2000 Piccolo microcontrollers. The LaunchPad is based on the Piccolo TMS320F28027 with unique features such as 64KB of on board flash, 8 PWM channels, eCAP, 12bit ADC, I2C, SPI, UART, and much more. It includes many board hardware features such as an integrated isolated XDS100 JTAG emulator for easy programming and debugging, 40 PCB pins for easy access to the pins of the F28027 processor, reset button and programmable button, etc. Not only does the C2000 LaunchPad have the required hardware for development, it is also provides users with access to example code, libraries, drivers, and many more resources through controlSUITE which is available for free. Along with controlSUITE, users can also download an unrestricted version of Code Composer Studio integrated development environment (IDE) version 5.”



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