Hacked Gadgets Forum

May 20, 2013

DIY Laser Engraver

at 2:49 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

 DIY Laser Engraver


If you have some old donated scanners and printers chances are you have most of the stuff needed to make your own DIY Laser Engraver. The main thing that all laser engravers have in common is a method of moving a laser or set of mirrors in an X Y pattern. Scanners and printers have motors and rails that can allow for accurate motion so all that is needed to be added into the mix is a control system, some motor drivers and the laser system. ianmcmill shows us how he did it using an Arduino and 90 € of other various parts.

With this setup you can see below what it is able to do.

“It is able to cut :

  • foam rubber
  • tape
  • vinyl
  • paper (nearly every color but white/red)
  • several plastics (could require several runs depending on thickness)

It can engrave:

  • light wood (Balsawood/Poplar)
  • leather
  • bone
  • horn
  • plastics
  • some varnishes
  • blank cds/dvds (purple/blue)”

May 19, 2013

16 by 40 Dual Color LED Sign Powered by Arduino

at 11:27 pm. Filed under Electronic Hacks

16 by 40 Dual Color LED Sign Powered by Android


Our friend Bob Davis has hacked another LED sign, you can see it above connected to an Arduino. Check out his article to have a look at the code to see how it works. There are lots of these LED panels available on Ebay that are ready to be repurposed for your next project.


May 16, 2013

Red Bull Creation Finalists including a Huge Tic Tac Toe Game

at 2:41 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets


Red Bull has selected their finalists in their latest competition. Have a look at the cool entry above by North Street Labs, it is a huge tic tac toe game. You stomp on large buttons in the center of the game board to register your space selection. The buttons are great, they are made from plumbing parts and some old bed springs. The use of RGB LED strips really makes the game stand out. Be sure to check out all of the other entries at the Red Bull Creation site and see them in person at the Northside Festive in June.


Sennheiser EW122PG3 Wireless Mic Review

at 1:42 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets


Our friend Max from Zedomax has introduced a new wireless mic to his video recording setup. If you make videos and need some distance from the camera his review of his new mic is sure to be of interest. He picked up a Sennheiser EW122PG3 which isn’t cheap but check out his video at the 10:20 mark where he demonstrates the range and clarity during a tarp board demo. If you hadn’t heard of tarp boarding before I was in the same boat…



May 14, 2013

Magic Wand Project for Kids

at 1:32 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Educational, Electronic Hacks


This Magic Wand project can be used to get someone young interested in electronics since instead of simply doing something practical this project appears to be magic. The project uses a magnetic reed switch and a magnet embedded into a magic wand to turn things on just by bringing the wand close to them. There are a ton of possibilities here such as hiding the magnet between your fingers and amaze your friends that you have the ability to turn on the items just by the force of your hand and they don’t.

Thanks for the tip Jason.

May 11, 2013

Name the Thing Contest – 229

at 5:57 pm. Filed under Contests



The prize this week is a breadboard power supply. This contest will run for one week (May 11 – 17, 2013). 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 July 6, 2013

The item to guess was a Pulse Oximeter

The winner is Aziz C. (there were 147 entries)


Below is a picture of the prize.


Hand Tracking Pong

at 2:04 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Game Hacks

Hand Tracking Pong 


For this Cornell ECE 5760 Hand Tracking Pong project Hanting Lu and Kedari Elety have connected a camera to an FPGA, the image is down sampled so that it is only looking at a 40 X 30 image to determine how the players are moving.

“The NTSC video signal from the camera is stored in the SDRAM at the rate of the TV Decoder Line clock (TD_CLK). Data is read from the SDRAM each time the VGA requests data. The data from the SDRAM is in YUV format which needs to be converted to RGB before sending it to the VGA. For skin detection, we added a filter at this converting module level such that in addition to the R,G and B values, the module also outputs a one bit binary 1 if it corresponds to a skin pixel. Else, zero. By doing this, the output on the VGA is now white corresponding to skin pixels and black otherwise.”


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