Hacked Gadgets Forum

December 28, 2013

Electric Scooter MK-1 Build Log

at 7:16 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

_Electric Scooter MK-1 Build Log_3


Check out the Electric Scooter MK-1 Build Log, Dane from transistor-man.com has done some cold weather testing and it looks like it works quite well!

“The electrical layout for the MK 1 scooter is fairly straightforward. Everything starts from the 12S 4p cylindrical battery module. A Cooper Bussman 120A circuit breaker sits between the battery and the rest of the scooter. Note that, while there are a number of DC circuit breakers out there, VERY few actually tolerate vibrations. I found this out the hard way when I started using [link]. The first hint of vibration and the breaker tripped, which, made it fairly hard to use. The headlight I chose is a fairly awesome 30W led setup with a 30 degree beam path. It has an onboard dc/dc, but unfortunately its max input voltage is 30V. I used a 40W dc/dc to bring the module voltage back down to 12v DC, which is useful for driving the LED assembly as well as 12v accessories (if I opt for adding a sealed 12v cigarette lighter outlet). Finally a linear regulator feeds the 5v logic for the three phase sensorless controller and throttle assembly.  “




December 26, 2013

Infrared Eye-Tracking Computer Mouse

at 7:56 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Infrared Eye-Tracking Computer Mouse


This Infrared Eye-Tracking Computer Mouse uses some interesting methods of creating a eye controlled computer mouse. The intent is the you would be able to ditch the desk mouse and simply put on a pair of glasses. The system would be a self contained battery operated system that doesn’t have you tethered to your computer with a cable.

“We have a pair of 3-D printed glasses with plastic lenses. These lenses have holes drilled into them to mount thru-hole infrared LEDs and phototransistors. The emitter is positioned above the eye and emits IR light, which is reflected off of the eye into the phototransistors below the eye. We also have a small gyroscope breakout board in the center of our glasses above the bridge, which will detect head movements in three axes of rotation. All of these glasses-mounted components are connected to a microcontroller, which parses the LED and gyroscope data into USART packets and transmits it wirelessly. The packets are read by a wireless receiver on a separate ATMega1284P board, which moves the mouse cursor using a Java program based on the information received.”



Infrared Eye-Tracking Computer Mouse_2

December 23, 2013

Custom Christmas Ornaments with Spherebot

at 1:44 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks

Custom Christmas Ornaments with Spherebot


The Spherebot would be a great way to design some unique Christmas Tree Ornaments.

“Our Spherebot is made of two stepper motors and a servomotor; as mentioned, a motor serves to rotate the ball on the axis, while the second motor allows to move the marker around the circumference of the sphere. The servomotor is used to raise and lower the pen. To allow anyone to easily edit the software without the need for programmers or compilers a bit of Arduino would be ideal.”

Via: Dangerous Prototypes


December 22, 2013

Open Guitar Pedal

at 8:14 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets

_Open Guitar Pedal


 If you are a guitar player and like tinkering with electronics this Open Guitar Pedal will probably be of interest.

“The shield has three parts:

  • The Input Stage or Preamp: Amplifies the guitar input signal and sends it to the Arduino microcontroller to be processed. 
  • Arduino Board: It does all the Digital Signal Processing (DSP) modifying the signal and adding the effect (delay, echo, distortion, volume…).
  • The Output Stage: Once the waveform is processed, the signal is taken from the Arduino DACs and prepared to be sent to the Guitar Amplifier.
    This part also includes a Summing Amplifier which is very useful for delay effects like echo or chorus.”

 Thanks to Doug for the tip.


December 21, 2013

Weiser and Kwikset Smart Key Insecurities

at 11:09 pm. Filed under What Were They Thinking


In the average year I need to change 5 or 6 sets of locks. My usual practice is to purchase an inexpensive lock from the local hardware store and simply toss out the original lock and install a new one. This is normally cheaper and faster than having the locks re-keyed. The old lock can also be used in less secure locations if desired. I was thinking it might be worth while to invest in a smart lock such as the  Kwikset Smart Key. In Canada they are branded Weiser but both were owned by Black and Decker so their smart locks are the same item under two names. Funny thing is they have a video that boasts how safe they are since they can’t be opened with a bump key.

The in store demonstrations look great and I can imagine how simple it would be to just walk into a locksmith and have him make 10 or 20 keys with a variety of random patterns so that a re-key of a lock would be as simple as tossing the original keys, taking a new random one and programing it in the lock. Turns out while this technology looks awesome, the actual lock mechanism is a piece of garbage. I was looking for some information on how the actual lock system worked and was able to be re-keyed. I didn’t find this information (If you have a link, please share!) but what I did find was how insecure this poor excuse for a lock actually is.

 I am not saying that the average lock is much of a defense against someone who wants to defeat it since on occasion I have had the need to get through a lock that was changed without my permission. I have never attempted to pick a lock but I have never spent more than 2 or 3 minutes with a nice powerful drill and a decent drill bit.

The marketing video above looks fantastic, how could you go wrong with such an innovative product? Then when you see the videos below you will see how terrible the lock actually is… Too bad Kevo is built on top of this crappy platform.

 UPDATE: Thanks to Dave who provided this link that describes how the lock works. Shane Lawson also created a method of decoding the lock, this video has been entered as the last video below.



Arduino used in Semi-Automatic Production Line Equipment

at 7:54 pm. Filed under Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking

Arduino used in Semi-Automatic Production Line Equipment


When you walk through a factory full of automated machines that are doing repetitive tasks you will usually see a large metal electrical cabinet beside each machine. Inside that box will most likely be a PLC that is controlling the machine by monitoring inputs and controlling motors and valves. This all sounds fine until you look at the price of this equipment, $10 or $20K will get you a decent PLC system but you will get a truck load of Arduino gear for that.

Alexander Kozusyev turned to Arduino to provide some simple automation to a production line. I can just imagine the amount of money that was saved. I understand that an Arduino isn’t a true comparison to the rugged nature of PLC equipment that will run in the nastiest production environment in sweltering heat 24 hours a day. But in some situations I think it might make an interesting alternative.

Via: Arduino Blog

“Production line has two independent CNC 3-axis manipulator. The first spraying of release agent. Second automatic pouring polyurethane into the mold. Before spraying or pouring read RFID unique code for the mold, and then loads the G-CODE from the database server based MySQL. After pouring, the mould is moved to the waiting area.”


December 20, 2013

How the Grinch Stole Christmas project entry for Parallax Hack The Halls

at 11:44 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

How the Grinch Stole Christmas project entry for Parallax Hack The Halls


Parallax just completed their Hack the Halls Contest. Ben Kenobi made a project called How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the user aims a laser at a Christmas scene and shoots things up. Sensors detect if a hit was made and gives the player some feedback. Looks like fun!

“Materials – I picked up a few cheap Christmas decorations at the dollar store and walmart as well as cotton balls, glitter (don’t ask) and 9V batteries for about $10. I threw everything on top of a pizza box and had used other cardboard boxes for things. I had to pick up two servos, LEDs, photoresistors, a speaker, joystick, various resistors and wire from radioshack. I had used my $50 gift card I’ve been holding on to for a year. The laser was bought off of amazon for like $5. The BOE was picked up at the beginning of the semester.”



How the Grinch Stole Christmas project entry for Parallax Hack The Halls_2

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