Hacked Gadgets Forum

March 21, 2014

Toothbrush Timer using a 555 Timer Chip

at 12:37 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks

Toothbrush Timer using a 555 Timer Chip


In this project Steve Hoefer uses some electronics to create some fun chattering teeth that will give you some fun incentive to keep brushing your teeth for long enough to maximize effectiveness. A small microswitch waits for you to remove your toothbrush and the 555 timer goes to work counting down your 2 minute brush time. A servo motor that has been hacked to operate in continuous rotation mode is used to move some chompers up and down during the countdown! When the teeth stop chomping you are all done.




March 18, 2014

Piezoelectric Crystal Speaker Build

at 9:31 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets


If you are into high end audio this project is probably not for you. If you are into tinkering with electronics then dig in. RimstarOrg shows us how to build a Piezoelectric Crystal Speaker. He took a Rochelle Salt Crystal that he made and electrically connected to it using some tinfoil, once rubber banded to a tin can for amplification the speaker was complete. When an alternating voltage is applied to the crystal it will resonate, only problem is that the standard output from his clock radio was not enough to make it loud enough. A transformer wired to amplify the input voltage was used to increase the volume. He then shows some experiments that demonstrate various methods of amplifying the sound using things such as cones.

March 17, 2014

Bypass Capacitor Tutorial

at 11:12 pm. Filed under Educational

bypass capacitor


We all use Bypass Capacitors in our designs but what size do you normally pick and why? Does location of the bypass capacitor matter? Should you use multiple values of capacitors? Chances are some of these questions are not obvious and might enhance your future designs if you know the answers. Electro Labs has a great article that solves of these questions in their Bypass Capacitor Tutorial.


March 14, 2014

Voltage Testing Screwdriver Failure

at 11:51 pm. Filed under Funny Hacks


Have you ever used one of those neon screwdriver voltage testers? I haven’t seen them for a long time but I remember seeing one in a few tool boxes while growing up. I didn’t realize how dangerous they are if the voltage is more than it was designed for! For an interesting experimental test of an insulated screwdriver rated at 1000 V have a look at the 4:45 mark. What is your best guess at what voltage this German made high quality screwdriver will fail at?



March 13, 2014

Spy Camera Made with an Arduino Catches a Cubicle Thief

at 11:54 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets


I have worked in quite a few companies where the employees have a dedicated desk or work space, some had lockable drawers but in most cases everything was unlocked. I have never had any issues with things going missing but Youtube user RuthJ180 didn’t have the same experience as I did. In her case some of her fancy pens and change was going missing. A mini spy camera and an Arduino came to the rescue. You can see in the video above captures a bunch of random office stuff, but it also caught the lurking thief poking around where he had no business being. I can’t stand dishonest people, I hope he was turned in and fired.

March 12, 2014

Vintage Multimeter Teardown – Weston 6000

at 5:27 am. Filed under Vintage Electronics

_Vintage Multimeter Teardown - Weston 6000_6


Kuzyatech has acquired a a Weston 6000, Vintage Multimeter and performed a very detailed Teardown of the device. The meter looks very interesting but it sure isn’t the most ergonomic unit. It isn’t shown in the picture but the multimeter has the test lead jacks located on the right side of the body, that is a strange location but when you see how the fuse and batteries are replaced you will see why that is. The entire front lifts off to expose the battery compartments and the fuse. I guess when you are one of the first building something nothing is standard yet. You can see the hand drawn traces in this thing, this makes the board look like some artwork rather than a measuring device…


March 11, 2014

Hauksbee Generator

at 8:22 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets



Our friend Rick Crammond has built a Hauksbee Generator.

“The idea is that a triboelectric (electrostatic) effect occurs from sliding hands on glass. The voltage generated ionizes the gases in the globe, creating a blue plasma glow inside.

Our rotating globe is a pyrex lab flask containing air under a partial vacuum, is mounted on a bicycle axle with skateboard bearings, and driven by a remote-control model aircraft electric motor at up to 8000 rpm…”

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