Hacked Gadgets Forum

December 31, 2014

Sound-Activated Outlet

at 3:35 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks


If you have something that needs to be turned on and off why not do it in a unique way. This Sound-Activated Outlet project lets us use an Arduino to monitor for sound patterns and then control an outlet accordingly. 

“The circuit for this project can be divided into two main parts: A microphone assembly and a relay driver.
The microphone assembly is composed of an electret microphone element, two resistors, and a capacitor. When the microphone picks up sound vibrations, the output voltage fluctuates in response. This signal is sent to one of the analog input pins on the Arduino.
The relay driver is composed of a power MOSFET transistor, a diode, and a relay. The power transistor is added because the relay requires more current than the digital pins on the Arduino can output. So the output signal that is sent from the digital pin activates the transistor and the transistor connects power to the relay and turns it on. The relay either connects or disconnects power from the AC outlet to the attached appliance. The diode acts as a suppression diode and protects the Arduino from voltage spikes that occur when the relay is turned off. If you don’t want to build a relay driver from scratch, you can use a commercial relay shield or a PowerSwitch Tail.”


December 27, 2014

DIY Electronic Christmas Tree

at 8:44 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks


Darbin Orvar built a cool tech electronic Christmas Tree. Best of all the above video will show you how to make your own. For more inspiration you can have a look at her blog

“My version of a DIY Christmas Tree made with redwood and plywood. Perfect for an apartment and easy to move around. As a bonus this tree is powered by an Arduino and LED strip lights playing Star Wars Darth Vader’s Theme.”

Airship Captain MK-I – Steampunk Keyboard

at 6:42 am. Filed under Computer Hacks, Cool Gadgets

Airship Captain MK-I - Steampunk Keyboard


If your computer keyboard looks a bit plain why not kick it up a notch? built this Airship Captain MK-I – Steampunk Keyboard that was built around an every day keyboard and by spending a bit of time and a few extra pieces you get an amazing data entry device.

“Tools used:

scissors and x-acto knives also used heavy duty cutter for cutting the plastic keys



a keyboard

glue(any kind will do, i used r21 and wood glue)

nail polish or any kind of polish will do(wood polish)

brass buttons – i used two sizes for emphasizing some keys like the ctrl and shift etc..

vintage ish looking paper(looks a bit like a scroll paper)

guitar strap pins

fabric of your choice

friction lid support – which is basicly a window hardware, but you can also use other hardware parts or make something similar your own, which is what i would have done if i would redo this.”

December 24, 2014

MIDI Christmas Tree

at 5:47 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets


Peter Marchant is going to have a wonderful Christmas with this MIDI Christmas Tree. As you play notes on the MIDI keyboard the tree lights in a cool pattern.

“Using an Arduino and a SparkFun MIDI Shield to control Christmas Lights with a MIDI keyboard. The lights cycle colour (green, red, blue, orange) for each note or chord. Improvisation based on the minor blues scale on D.”

December 22, 2014

Reverse Geocache – Captain Herrmano’s Mystery Box

at 7:33 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Reverse Geocache - Captain Herrmano’s Mystery Box


This Reverse Geocache called the Captain Herrmano’s Mystery Box packs a ton of sensors into the box and some slick programming brings it to like with a full on treasure hunt.

“The housing – that is, the box itself – came from a Nanu Nana store (which is a German chain of stores). Inside of the housing, an Arduino Mega controls and receives information from different sensors and boards – for example a CO sensor (carbon monoxide), a thermometer, an ultrasonic sensor, a GPS receiver, a number pad, a speaker, a display, a mini SD card and a servo.”


December 21, 2014

Name the Thing Contest – 263

at 10:58 am. Filed under Contests



The prize this week is a wireless transmitter for your next project. This contest will run for one week (Dec 21 – Dec 26, 2014). Ending time is based on central standard time. To enter, identify the item above and what it can be used for. Don’t need a make or model, just what what the thing is used for.

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 Feb 28, 2015

The item to guess was an old radio.

The winner is Steve F.  (there were 93 entries)


Below is a picture of the prize.



Bed of Nails Tests Jig

at 10:52 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Bed of Nails Tests Jig


If you have a bunch of boards to program and test you have probably thought to automate some of the steps. Wiring all the connectors, hooking it up to a computer, programming in test firmware, running the system through a battery of tests and finally programming in the release firmware can be a tedious task. shows us how he made a test jig that is connected to a computer that easily runs through a number of automated steps to test his 3D printer boards.


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