Hacked Gadgets Forum

August 31, 2013

Name the Thing Contest – 238

at 2:08 pm. Filed under Contests



The prize this week is an 6V 0.6W Solar Cell. This contest will run for one week (August 31 – September 6, 2013). Ending time is based on central standard time. To enter, identify the item above and what it can be used for. Please note the image above is a side view of the thing.

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 November 3, 2013

The item to guess was a Current Sense Resistor

The winner is Folke S. (there were 138 entries)


Below is a picture of the prize.



Android Powered Camera – Smart Cube

at 2:01 pm. Filed under Funny Hacks


This is really funny. How convenient would it be if you could have a camera that was powered by Android?

Thanks to Michael for sending it in, he spotted it on Droid Life.


  • Always connected (3G/4G & Wifi)
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean™
  • Advanced photo editing software
  • Social Media apps
  • Easy access to Dropbox and Flickr”


August 30, 2013

Waterproof Electrical/Electronic Spray

at 9:42 am. Filed under What Were They Thinking


This Waterproof Electrical/Electronic Spray by Nano Protech looks amazing. Not exactly sure I understand how it works though. At first I thought it sealed the electronics but they demonstrate a socket and light bulb still operating after they are coated and then screwed together. Obviously the coating isn’t an insulator since the bulb is still making contact and it isn’t a conductor since it isn’t shorting out. I would be curious if they salted up that water well if the results would be the same since I am not certain that a light bulb socket would arc in distilled water? I wonder if the coating is simply being scratched through by the contacts on the bulb to make the contact.

“Based on a new kind of nano-zeolithe-technology with a slightly oily consistency, the coating crawls under rust,  oxidations  and humidity, forming a three dimensional multifunctional protective barrier network at the interface. Fills micro cavities (in circuit boards, micro circuitry, electric coils etc.). Powerful capillary effect allows the product to penetrate inside the blocks without dismantling. Excellent water repellent properties and low surface tension allow it to form a thin protective coating penetrating under the water layer. After spraying, a protective coating forms on the surface. NANO PROTECH provides a 100% water extrusion rate within 10 seconds.”



August 29, 2013

Clear Glass PCB Creation

at 8:17 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


 If you want your next project to have a wow factor why not make a glass PCB! You can see how CNLohr makes them in the video above. A glass microscope slide is what the circuit will be made on. He puts some UV activated glue on the slide and sticks some copper leaf on it. A UV eraser is used to cure the glue so that the slide and copper leaf is bonded together. The next step he does is the standard toner transfer method which allows laser printer toner to be fused to the copper. Now he has an etched board that has glass instead of fiberglass as the substrate. After the etching process the glass is a but frosted but by applying a quick coat of polyurethane is used to make it nice and clear. He paints it on but I think a dunk might also work quite well and would also give you a bit of water protection also.

August 28, 2013

Calculator Powered by a Transistor Solar Cell

at 9:28 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks, What Were They Thinking

 Calculator Powered by a Transistor Solar Cell


Who knew you could use the guts of a power transistor as a solar cell! Steven fromRimStar even takes it a step further and chains five 2n3055 in a base to collector configuration to generate enough voltage to power a small calculator. Funny how some electronics form China are working fakes. The small calculator he got has a small solar cell in it already but once the case was cracked open it turned out that the calculator was simply powered by a small coin cell battery. I wonder if the solar cell was a fake or they were just too lazy to hook it up.

Via: Solar Power and Electronic Measurement Equipment

“To easily make a homemade/DIY solar cell, get a power transistor like the 2N3055 and carefully cut open the case. That exposes the semiconductor material inside to light. Hook up some wires and you’re done! Doing this I managed to get around 500 millivolts and 5.5 milliamps which is 2.7 milliwatts.”



August 26, 2013

PIXY – Smart Vision Sensor

at 6:15 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Electronic Hacks

PIXY - Smart Vision Sensor


The Pixy shows what is possible if you off load the complex task of video processing when it comes to vision processing. The kickstarter is already successful so we can already think of this as a product. I think this will change many of the portable projects that we see next year.

Thanks to Rich LeGrand for the tip.

 “Pixy is a small camera about half the size of a business card that can detect objects that you “train” it to detect.  Its creators, Carnegie Mellon University and a small Austin-based company, Charmed labs are “giving it all away” so to speak — the source code, the schematics, board layout — everything.  It’s generating significant interest in the robotics and maker communities, raising over 400% of it’s Kickstarter funding goal with weeks still remaining.  The Kickstarter campaign began on August 15 and ends September 14, 2013.


Pixy is the latest version of the CMUcam, a popular line of vision sensors.  The goal of Pixy is to provide a smart camera sensor that is easy to use and priced low enough, so that it can be used by a wider audience, including educators and hobbyists that currently use microcontrollers such as the popular Arduino. Pixy can connect directly to the Arduino with a simple cable. Since Pixy has its own processor, it does not bog down the Arduino’s CPU with processing images.  And since Pixy has several communication options, it can talk to practically any microcontroller, or even simple devices such as relays, servos or lights. “


August 25, 2013

Electric Imp Garage Door Opener

at 6:51 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks

 Electric Imp Garage Door Opener


This Electric Imp Garage Door Opener is a great enhancement to your stock garage door opener. You can get some expensive garage doors that have lots of these features but with this project you are able to have it all. For example if you would like to get an alert at 10pm if you forgot your door open it would be simple to do. Or why not just close it if it was left open at 10pm and send you a message about that. The options are now endless when you are in control of the code!

“I’ve lost count of the number of times we have set off on a trip only to have to turn back to check to see if we remembered to close the garage door. This ‘ible shows you how to connect the Electric Imp to your garage door opener, how to control your garage door from your iPhone and how to check the status of the door from anywhere. Every time the door is opened or closed a sensor is triggered, and a text is sent to a predefined group of phones so that you are always “in the know” as to door status.”


Electric Imp Garage Door Opener_2 (2)

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