Hacked Gadgets Forum

June 18, 2015

UPS Hack

at 2:28 pm. Filed under Electronic Hacks


If you have a UPS kicking around you can hack it to be used for all of your low voltage applications. The UPS has a battery and charging circuit in a nice case, by hacking out the inverter you can reduce the load when the power fails. Now of course you won’t have 110VAC available but these days there are so many things that need 12 volts. A handy side mounted battery voltage monitor lets you check to see what your battery voltage is so you don’t drain it too low. Plug in USB converters are used but I would have liked to see some switched ones that were fixed onto the case somewhere for convenience.

June 16, 2015

Flame Speaker

at 2:11 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets


You might have seen the Plasma Speaker before, this is the Flame Speaker by TX/RX Labs might not be as practical as your speakers in your living room but it sure is cool.
Via: Make


June 15, 2015

Game of Drones Aerial Sports League

at 11:40 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets


Now that quadcopters are getting really popular it was just a matter of time before we put them in a ring and let them battle, Aerial Sports League’s Drone Combat is the result. Just like BattleBots but in the air. I would like to see some autonomous designs that can seek and destroy.

 “The Game of Drones Aerial Sports League is the premiere drone sports competition, showcasing pilot skills, engineering prowess & technological innovation through aerial combat, flying obstacle courses and other drone games.   We bring together the best inventors, pilots, and artists for a fun & educational showcase of drones and UAV’s of all shapes and sizes.  The GoDASL has divisions for tiny palm-sized toys all the way up to huge multi-rotor heavy-lifters, and include both combat and non-combat games.


June 14, 2015

TIG Welder Auto Pulse System

at 9:23 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets

  TIG Welder Auto Pulse System_3


 If you are a welder you might want to have a close look at the TIG Perfect project/product. It uses the Parallax Propeller chip which was designed by Chip Gracey (great interview here). This looks like the optimal fit for a Propeller chip, a low volume product that has high value to people that can get use out of it.  The design looks great, nice use of the single rotary encoder for the UI.

Via: Parallax

“TIG Perfect is a plug and play device for your TIG Welder. This device adds pulsing functionality to your under-equipped/less-expensive welder, at a fraction of the cost of buying a welder with these features built into it.
Here is how it works: the TIG welder uses a 0-10v signal for the pedal position… my device reads this signal as an input, and generates a new signal output based on this input and user settings. Some of my challenges that I had when developing this is that a TIG welder (or any welder really) emits a TON of interference. I had to design this device to be able to withstand this interference and not reset or become damaged from prolonged exposure. This involved creating various filters on the power supply rails, the addition of protective circuitry, and using more tolerant electrical components. Having solid grounds to the case was also very important to better shield the circuit.”



TIG Welder Auto Pulse System2


TIG Welder Auto Pulse System_1

June 12, 2015

Portable Pinball Build

at 3:43 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Ben Heck shows up how he built his Pinball Portable project. The brain of the system is a Teensy microcontroller. He is using shift registers to lower the microcontroller pin count that is needed. This allows for a nice modular design. A output shift register is used to drive mosfets to drive high current devices such as solenoids, input shift registers are used to capture a bunch of inputs bu using just a few pins on the microcontroller. Ben is also using a nice max7221 chip to drive a 7 segment display, this allows for a serial interface to drive multiplexed 7 segments. In the second video Ben puts the electronics to work in a custom built pinball mini model most of which has been laser cut.


June 10, 2015

The Batteriser

at 11:33 pm. Filed under Electronic Hacks



You may have seen The Batteriser in the news recently. Our friend Dave Jones takes a look at their claims and demonstrates why their claims are total junk. In their patent they use lots of generalization that are not true in reality. A good electronic designer will design a battery powered device to operate to a voltage much lower then they are stating. Dave had a ton of battery powered devices around the lab and guess what, none of them dropped out at the claimed typical cut off voltages.

The one thing that I can say that I really like is the very small design of the design, obviously they are slapping their boost convertor onto an existing AA battery so the battery holder must be able to accept the battery with the device attached.


June 9, 2015

Automatic Pet Water Bowl Project

at 9:41 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets

Automatic Pet Water Bowl Project


Using a Raspberry Pi Acmecorporation made this Automatic Pet Water Bowl Project. This project is designed to keep your pet bowl filled with fresh water and also gives you the ability to keep an eye on your furry friend. The designer is a native french speaker so there are a few spelling mistakes but his English is much better than my French. 🙂

“During the summer, when i leave at home my dog for several hours, i have the problem that water inside its bowl become warm in few time. Then i’ve create this system that can empty and re-fill the bowl with fresh water each preselected time, maintain constant water level and finally spies my pet.”


Automatic Pet Water Bowl Project_2

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