Hacked Gadgets Forum

July 11, 2015

HVAC Blown Control Board Repair

at 12:37 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks


Todd takes a look at a blown HVAC control board. His sister’s HVAC stopped working and Todd being the nice guy he is decided to have a look to see if it can be fixed. Turns out the control board is controlled by a PIC microcontroller, there was also a blown darlington transistor DIP package. After replacing the transistor package it was determined that the PIC was also defective. At this point there is not much you can do other than replace the entire board since the code on the microcontroller is probably read protected, might have been worthwhile having a quick look to see if the code was actually write protected though.

July 8, 2015

Molson Canadian Smart Beer Fridges

at 1:47 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking

Molson Canadian Smart Beer Fridges


Molson Canadian knows how to make an interesting Beer Fridge. While most would simply give the high tech illusion Molson Canadian has actually went to great lengths to allow the tech in the fridge to actually work the magic. In all cases the goal is to unlock the fridge to enjoy some cold beer. The methods to open the fridge has changed from version to version. There is one that looks for an inserted passport and opens the fridge when a Canadian passport has been inserted, one that opens when you sing a correct version of O-Canada and one that opens after 6 people say I am Canadian in 6 different languages. Nice thing is that Molson has made some behind the scenes videos that show us how the tech works behind the scenes. Of course all the tech could be tossed out if they went the simple route by having a remote human in the loop monitoring the interaction but it is nice that they stayed true to the concept in each case.







July 6, 2015

DIY Hot Wire Foam Cutter Machine

at 3:21 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets

DIY Hot Wire Foam Cutter Machine


If you are into foam cutting this DIY product is sure to give you some inspiration to make your own.  The system takes an image which is processed so that it can be cut with this PVC built system. The tolerances are not very good at 0.5 to 1mm but for foam cutouts that is probably all you need. If you would like to purchase one instead of building one you can see the Ebay auction here



July 4, 2015

Portable Solar Power Supply

at 11:26 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks

Portable Solar Power Supply


This is camping season, a Portable Solar Power Supply would come in handy this time of year. This one is small enough you can lug it around and it is simply to charge with the exterior solar panel. Leaving this out on your picnic table during the day will ensure you can charge all of your gadgets when you need to. Everything that is used are off the shelf parts mounted in a nice compact portable plastic case. Total build price is around $150.


July 2, 2015

3D Printed Latte Art

at 11:46 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Insane Equipment

Ripples combines hardware and software to deliver any image of message onto lattes, cappuccinos, or any foam-topped drink. www.coffeeripples.com (PRNewsFoto/Steam CC)


If you are looking for an extra boost in the morning, how does a custom message just for you printed on your coffee sound? That is exactly what this 3D Printed Latte Art Machine does!

“The Ripple Maker employs 3D printing and inkjet technology to adorn the top of your hot beverage with complex designs that could take the form of someone’s name, their face, or even a personalized message to the attractive customer behind you. The machine itself is small, measuring just 8.5” by 10.5,” and connects via Wi-Fi to a library of designs. Users have the option to choose from a menu of themes and messages to stamp onto the milky foam canvas using natural coffee extract, also known as Ripple Pods.

Even suitable for the morning rush, the machine takes all of 10 seconds to produce a selected design on top of any cup up to 7″ high and 4.5″ wide. In addition, the Ripple Maker comes with a mobile app that enables baristas and companies to create custom designs, or upload and edit images straight from their smartphone camera roll. This makes sending a personal image as simple as devising a social media post.”


July 1, 2015

Computer Printer made from a Typewriter

at 11:48 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks

Computer Printer made from a Typewriter


Chris Gregg made a an interesting Computer Printer made from a Typewriter, the typewriter is an old mechanical style and there is a bunch of electronics and solenoids attached to make the magic happen. The solenoids press the appropriate keys to type on the keyboard. One issue is that a microcontroller with enough outputs to drive this number of solenoids is not that common in the DIY space. Chris developed a custom shift register circuit that allows him to easily control all of the solenoids with just a few IO pins.

Thanks for the tip John.




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