Hacked Gadgets Forum

January 25, 2014

Audi Night Vision Teardown

at 3:45 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets


Some new cars such as the Audi A8 pack some high tech electronics to enhance safety. Mike’s Electric Stuff has a look inside the Audi Night Vision System.

“Located in the Driver’s Information System, between the speedometer and rev counter a camera’s eye view of the road ahead is displayed to the driver.  The system will highlight people using their heat source.  Typically a person standing by the side of the road would be highlighted in yellow, indicating they are outside of the vehicles route, however should the person start to walk towards the road the advanced image processing system will identify that they could walk into the car’s path and will highlight them in red.”

January 23, 2014

Knit Bot named Agnes

at 11:40 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks



If you plan to compete in a knitting competition any time soon you need Agnes the Knit Bot in your corner.

Via: Make

 “DC motors drive her joints, using homemade gears. In fact, almost every part of her body was handmade, including her silicone face and her hands — latex made from plaster casts of a real person. The original plan had her knitting with needles, but after Noyes learned how to knit himself — a necessary step in his design process — he realized a loom would be easier.”


January 21, 2014

RumbleRail – Floppy Disk Jukebox

at 6:51 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking



 If you still have a few floppy drives left over after making your Floppy Drive CNC machine have a look at making some music by making a Floppy Disk Jukebox!

 “The overall setup is completly modular. Each floppy is connected to its own floppy driver (rrfdc), which in turn speaks I²C with the main board (rrcmd). On power-on the main board auto-discovers the connected floppies and adjusts the software to utilize the available drives. In theory the amount of floppies connected to RumbleRail is only limited by I²C address/bus restrictions.

The most important feature of RumbleRail is the ability to run standalone. After being powered-on, the main board scans the hotswapable SD card (rrsdc) and lists its content on the display. The user can browse through the selection using the rotary encoder and, once a song is selected, the main board decodes the MIDI file and streams the notes to the floppy drivers.”



January 19, 2014

Car Computer Build

at 6:58 pm. Filed under Computer Hacks

Car Computer Build


Even the most modern cars (except possibly ones made by Tesla) don’t provide much computing power that the user can harness. EEVBlog user Ptodorov wanted to have the power of a mini computer in his car. Only thing is a computer doesn’t interface with real world things like door switches and turn signals very well. To interface with the car hardware an Arduino and a relay module was used. Things haven’t been all smooth sailing though since the system has gone haywire while driving and the system does draw a bit too much current when off but it is a great start and inspiration.

“For the last 5-6 months everything ran fairly smoothly with a few glitches and bugs. But a few weeks ago all hell broke loose
while I was driving. Suddenly left and right blinkers started flashing, the headlights started blinking and doors kept locking and unlocking.
This kept happening for a good 30 seconds. Fortunately there were no other cars around me. Also when the winter came the arduino started draining the battery more noticeably, after leaving the car for several days it didn’t start with the first turn of the key even trough I’m putting the MCU in sleep and waking it on an interrupt from the remote control. The battery drain was 250mA and after I disconnected everything I’ve done from the car it drop down to 120mA.”


January 18, 2014

Jellyfish Looking Flying Machine

at 12:55 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks



This interesting flying machine looks like a Jellyfish flying around. Looks like Mylar film is the choice of lightweight film for these ultra light models.

Via: Make

 “The prototype has a motor-powered crankshaft that alternately flaps opposing pairs of petal-shaped wings. Though its Mylar film and carbon fiber body weighs less than one-tenth of an ounce, its stability stems from its bottom-heavy design, which lets it wobble, but not flip over. Indeed, its designers argue that the flying jelly is more stable than robots based on insects or birds, which require a tail, sails, or a feedback system to stay upright.”


January 16, 2014

DIY In Circuit Capacitor ESR Meter

at 4:07 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks



If you are fixing some used electronics chances are you will come across some bad caps that are causing some issues. Capacitors have a property known as ESR or equivalent series resistance. Caps will often test fine with a capacitor value check but are still bad. There are two types of capacitor ESR meters, in circuit and out of circuit. The in circuit meter will, as the name implies allow you to test the ESR of the capacitor without desoldering the device prior to testing. This will allow for fast testing and diagnosing of issue, many caps will fail with visible bulging but this is not always the case.

The picture above shows a nice and simple in circuit ESR capacitor meter, best of all there are full schematics and build details available for the design so you can build your own.


The Confectionary Cannon – Face Tracking Marshmallow Shooting Gun

at 11:25 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets

 The Confectionary Cannon - Marshmallow Shooting Gun


Forrest Bourke, Saarth Mehrotra, Michael Searing and Elliott Wyse from Olin College of Engineering built an interesting project called The Confectionary Cannon, it is a Face Tracking Marshmallow Shooting Gun! It uses air pressure which is released by a sprinkler valve to launch marshmallows to their victim using face tracking to get it done.

Via: OhGizmo and Hack a Day

 “After sketching out a few initial designs, we designed the entire system in Solidworks. Most of the parts are acrylic, which we chose primarily for its cost and ease of laser-cutting. Acrylic isn’t very strong and is quite brittle, but it’s less than a third the cost of acetyl (Delrin). The three aluminium parts were made from shop scrap.”


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