Hacked Gadgets Forum

September 20, 2012

XBox 360 Chatpad used in a Mini Computer Build

at 11:37 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks


Ben Heck shows us how he used an XBox 360 Chatpad as the keyboard input to a small computer. The Chatpad has only a few pins to connect to the external circuit (which is normally the XBox controller). Microsoft has been nice enough to provide a programming header on the circuit board. Ben flashes the integrated PIC chip with some custom firmware to allow the device to simply output ASCII text. Look like a great little keyboard that could be integrated in lots of neat applications. Ben integrated an Arduino and a display into the project and builds a great looking laser cut enclosure for the unit and uses it for things like positioning servo motors using commands.

September 19, 2012

PandoraBar – DIY Pandora Player

at 11:26 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Check out this cool DIY Pandora Player called the PandoraBar that Jianyi Liu built. His inspiration was the Mighty Ohm radio that we saw back in 2009. The initial thought was to use a router as the main processor but in the end Jianyi used the Beagle Board since it had the processing power needed to run the device. The case looks great, and it looks like it works very well. Of course you might not be able to use Pandora if you are outside the USA but you can always use a USA proxy. Keep your eye on Engscope for updates on the build in the near future.


September 17, 2012

Open Source Smartbike

at 11:51 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Computer Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks


If you enjoy biking this Open Source Smartbike project will be of interest to you. Luis Cruz who brought us Eyeboards last year is now enrolled in the University of New Orleans and has started this new project. Luis will make the code and schematics available in December so you could make your own. If you would prefer to buy one you could support his Indiegogo.

“The Smartbike is a virtual reality game that you can play on your PC with your own bicycle. It consists of the hardware that has to be adapted on someone’s bike so the software can read the speed of the bike, the direction that the bike is going to depending on the handlebar’s position, the heart rate and the calories burned throughout the game.”


September 15, 2012

Extra Special Word Clock

at 11:41 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


We have seen lots of these word clock builds. Our friend Muris has just completed his word clock build, he is using a ATmega328P microcontroller to command the 248 LED matrix to show the time and a little something special (watch the video at around the 32 second mark). Atmel AT42QT1011 touch sensors add a nice way to interface with the clock and I am impressed by the professional look of the final design. As usual the code and schematics are available so you can have some fun also. The wood work is hand done but the attention to detail makes it look like it was carved using a CNC machine. I vote for a CNC machine to be the next project that Muris does!



September 14, 2012

Speaker Manufacturing Tour

at 6:31 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets


Check out this cool tour through a speaker manufacturing plant. I am quite surprised to see how much manual labor is involved and how much wasted movement of parts and pieces goes on. With some thought behind the production line I think the process could be greatly simplified. Although with a high end, high price product I guess you don’t need to be as fast and efficient as other products. At 8:05 you can see an interesting way of holding a pencil soldering iron. I guess for speed this is the way to go.

September 13, 2012

PVC Nerf Air Gun

at 11:13 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks


Youtube user has really gone all out in this PVC Nerf Air Gun project. A used cordless drill provides the ergonomic handle for the gun, the trigger of the drill activates a sprinkler solenoid which releases the air and propels the projectile down range. I have always been surprised how well sprinkler valves work with high air pressures since it isn’t what they were designed for. The video goes through the build process which uses off the shelf PVC plumbing parts. To skip to the demonstration go to 8:25.

September 12, 2012

Cocktail Making Machine based on the Arduino

at 5:18 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Crazy Hacks, Electronic Hacks



from Make shared this cool Cocktail Making Machine that is based on the Arduino. Enjoying a great drink is one thing but watching it being made by this machine would be just as fun. The Inebriator isn’t open source as mentioned by John but I don’t think everything needs to be. It is nice when something is since everyone can see how it was done and learn from it but this machine is more concept than anything. I think there is room for cool projects that are closed since it might a business concept that the developer would like to pursue in the future. Releasing the code might not be the direction the developer would like. If someone would like to make something similar, watching the video demonstrates 90% of what you need, the rest is just the fun of implementation.

As far as business ideas go I can see this being mounted behind glass in a club. The customer could pay for a fancy drink and watch it being made right away. You might be able to sell more drinks by having stats on most popular drinks, drink specials or suggestions. I guess there is already something similar being offered to clubs and bars, it isn’t as cool to watch but it gets the job done.

Via: Make



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