Hacked Gadgets Forum

June 21, 2014

How to Recover Gold from Scrap Computer Parts

at 3:49 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks


LifeBuzzN shows us How to Recover Gold from Scrap Computer Parts. This process involves dangerous chemicals so if you attempt it please use caution.

If you have a look at the edges of most computer parts you will see that they are gold plated. In the video memory chip gold fingers are being used but you will find gold fingers on video cards, audio cards and many other parts of your computer equipment. Gold is used to allow for good electrical connections between the card and the motherboard. There is just a thin layer of gold but if you process enough of it you can recover a nice amount of gold. With current prices 100 memory chip fingers produced about $80 worth of gold.

The process requires Muriatic Acid, Hydrogen Peroxide, Urea, Sodium Metabisulfate, Nitric Acid and some Coffee Filters.




June 19, 2014

Arduino tracks Near Space Launch

at 11:18 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

 Arduino tracks Near Space Launch_3


  send this box of electronics 124,000 feet in the air. The view sure looks great from that height! To track the balloon he used the Space Near Us tracking system, a custom PCB was created to keep the circuit as robust and compact as possible. 

“Radio – in the UK there are only a few narrow frequencies you can use from the air and even then you are only allowed 10mW. The NTX2 is one of the few viable options for radio modules.

GPS – layout of a GPS module can be difficult and ideally you would keep it away from everything else. I opted for a pre-made module that could be soldered above and off to the side from the main board. It’s important to note also that many GPSs don’t operate above 14km height. Ublox GPSs have a flight mode that does work. For any others you will need to do your research before you buy/use.

Microcontroller – the ATMega 328 is a great option because it can be programmed from the very easy Arduino IDE. It will also run on 3v3 but only a 8MHz. However that’s plenty of processing power for reading a GPS and running a low baud-rate radio.

Temperature – a temperature sensor provides interesting data but many are not rated down to the -50’C that we could encounter at the tropopause. The DS18B20 is a good option because they are pretty cheap and are rated to low temperatures. You can get “external” ones which are sealed in a stainless tube for added protection. We’ll use one board-mounted one and one external.

Pressure – there are not too many “absolute” pressure sensors that I have found. The Honeywell HSCDANN001BA2A3 supposedly goes down to “0” mBar and in practice performed well down to 8mBar on the flight. Its i2c interface is pretty easy to handle. Honeywell make about a zillion variants but many are “relative” sensors – they measure the difference between a certain pressure and atmospheric. You need an “absolute” pressures sensor because it’s atmospheric pressure we are measuring.

SD card – you could potentially surface-mount your own SD card holder but that’s pretty fiddly and I didn’t have enough board area anyway. SD-card breakouts are cheap and easily available so I elected to solder one underneath the main board to be compact and easy. A lighter approach would be to solder wires to the pads of a micro-SD adaptor and use it as a socket for a micro-SD card.”



Arduino tracks Near Space Launch_2


Arduino tracks Near Space Launch_5


June 18, 2014

Samsung NX300 Camera Hack

at 2:21 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets

Samsung NX300 Camera Hack


When you think of rooting a device that lives in your pocket you will probably think of your smart phone. With the new Samsung NX300 Smart Camera you now have more pocket items to root. Lars shared this hack by Georg Lukas about Hacking the Samsung NX300 Camera and also rooting it.

“Experience shows that most firmware images provide an easy way to run a user-provided shell script on boot. This feature is often added by the “software engineers” during development, but it boils down to a local root backdoor. On a camera, the SD card would be a good place to search. Other devices might execute code from an USB flash drive or the built-in hard disk.

Usually, we have to start with the firmware update file (nx300.bin from this 241MB ZIP in our case), run binwalk on it, extract and mount the root file system and have our fun. In this case, however, the source archive from Samsung’s OSS Release Center contains an unpacked root file system tree in TIZEN/project/NX300/image/rootfs, so we just examine that:  make_image.log sounds like somebody forgot to clean up before shipping”

June 16, 2014

Northrop Grumman X-47B RC Plane Build

at 8:42 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks

 Northrop Grumman X-47B RC Plane Build_9


Check out this Northrop Grumman X-47B RC Plane Build by Eric Maglio.

“The internal structural parts were cut by laser from some 1/8″ plywood. They were assembled first, then glued inside the skins during the joining process. Much clamping ensured a tight fit. It was easiest to install the landing gear and doors next, while the model could still be rested inside the molds. All of the hinges are laser cut plywood, and no two are identical. This is because the many complex curves mean that the hinge geometry must be precisly controlled. Each gear door has it’s own small servo, and an Arduino controls the sequence of motions.”




June 15, 2014

Name the Thing Contest – 254

at 8:07 pm. Filed under Contests



The prize this week is an Arduino SD Card Reader. This contest will run for one week (June 15 – 20, 2014). 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 July 26, 2014

The item to guess was an Portable film projector.

The winner is Andy S. (there were 235 entries)


Below is a picture of the prize.


Laser Cut Mitre Joints

at 7:51 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks

Laser Cut Mitre Joints


When laser cutting with most laser machines you can only cut straight down. How can we cut angles? Make a jig, Martin Raynsford from Just Add Sharks shows us how.

Here at Just Add Sharks, we’ve been running some experiments using these cutting jigs and the results are pretty promising. The first and arguably most useful jig holds the material at 45 degrees to the laser beam. The panels that make up the box were cut to size before the machine was set up to accept the mitre jig.

June 13, 2014

Robot uses Kinect for Mapping

at 5:48 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets


Check out this Robot that uses Kinect for Mapping that Sean Anderson, Kirk MacTavish, Daryl Tiong, Aditya Sharma from University of Waterloo built for their 4th year project.

“Current accomplishments:
– Optical Flow using Shi Tomasi Corners
– Visual Odometry using Shi Tomasi and GPU SURF
. . . . Features undergo RANSAC to find inliers (in green)
. . . . Least Squares is used across all inliers to solve for rotation and translation
– Loop closure detection using a dynamic feature library
– Global Network Optimization for loop closure”

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