Hacked Gadgets Forum

August 13, 2015

Hackers Remotely Hack into Vehicle

at 10:23 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Crazy Hacks


 Turns out there is a hole in the UConnect entertainment system that can be found in many cars on the road today. This can allow hackers to take control over things like the vehicle systems like acceleration and braking

“Two hackers have developed a tool that can hijack a Jeep over the internet. WIRED senior writer Andy Greenberg takes the SUV for a spin on the highway while the hackers attack it from miles away.”


August 11, 2015

DIY X-Ray Inspector Looks Inside Chips

at 11:51 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, DIY Hacks, Insane Equipment

  DIY X-Ray Inspector Looks Inside Chips_2


If you have ever wanted an X-Ray machine in the lab to assist in tracing out the PCB traces that run under components? John McMaster built just that. He used a dental X-Ray machine which has a very small image size. A controller moves the system to allow for multiple images to be taken and stitched together later. The result is demystified reverse engineering. Via: Make


DIY X-Ray Inspector Looks Inside Chips_3


DIY X-Ray Inspector Looks Inside Chips


August 9, 2015

Sound Activated Touchlight Teardown

at 11:04 pm. Filed under Teardown


A look inside an inexpensive Sound Activated Touchlight. This product was purchased from Princess Auto in the surplus section. There are just a handful of components that makes it work since this was probably a 4 or 5 dollar product when it was in a regular retail store. I purchased it for about a dollar. In touch mode the push dome simply presses a push on/push off button. In the sound mode it takes the output of the microphone which is AC coupled to a single transistor amplifier. This mic signal charges a large electrolytic capacitor which slowly discharges, while it is greater than 1.1 volts the lamp lights. A photocell prevents the automatic sound operation from operating when there is sufficient ambient light. I was surprised to see a lamp in this thing but I guess it could be 10 years old when lamps were still common in battery operated lights. The current draw is quite significant when lighting at more than 1/2 and amp at 6 volts. To bring things a bit more up to date a few under driven 1 watt LEDs were installed to allow this device to operate for much longer than it would with the light bulb.

August 8, 2015

LightBlue Bean+ Bluetooth Low Energy made Easy

at 11:30 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets

LightBlue Bean+ Bluetooth Low Energy made Easy


LightBlue Bean+ by Punch Through is a cool little device that will bring your next idea to life almost as fast as you can think about it. You can easily tie it to your smart phone using Bluetooth Low Energy. The system is very energy efficient lasting up to 1 year on a charge and getting communication distances up to 400 meters depending on the configuration. They have already surpassed the funding goal so this thing is going to be a reality!


August 7, 2015

Electronic Fire Crackers

at 1:08 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets


If you like fire crackers but are in a location where you can’t use real explosives this Electronic Fire Cracker project will let you simulate fire crackers. A smoke machine and some strobe lights will provide the visual effect, a speaker will be producing sound and a raspberry pi will be controlling the show. Some PIR sensors are used to sense people and trigger the effects. The design has been made very robust in a nice industrial manner. The construction is modular which would allow for easy part replacement if needed.

August 5, 2015

FPGA-Based Rubik’s Cube Solver

at 2:00 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Computer Hacks, DIY Hacks

FPGA-Based Rubik's Cube Solver


Alex Whiteway, Sungjoon Park and Rameez Qurashi built a great FPGA-Based Rubik’s Cube Solver. The system uses 3 robotic grippers to manipulate the cube, a camera to “see” what state the cube is in at the beginning and an Altera Nios II FPGA computes how to solve the cube. There are lots of algorithms available, the team looks at many of them and decided to roll their own solution. It isn’t as optimized as some solutions but was one they could code in the time available. The solution the system takes is the 5 step process seen here

“The software consists of code for cube scanning and solving. The cube scanning works by reading in the raw YUV 444 data from a pixel buffer that the Altera IP video cores use to store data our camera and output it to a VGA screen. The scanning code creates 9 lowpass filter kernels at uniform locations corresponding to the expected location of cubies on each face of the cube. We use these filters on each channel of the YUV data. We chose to do this lowpass filtering to mitigate the effect of noise in individual pixels. We then created threshold values to assign a color value to each cubie based on the result of the lowpass filter of each channel. In order to reduce color misidentifications, we take 25 samples of each kernel and use the mode as the final result. For further error-checking, we compare the total amount of color values for each cubie and check it against the total number of colors of each cubie for a normal Rubik’s cube (9/color) and we rescan the cube if these numbers do not match. Because of limitations with our three arm setup only allowing us to scan 4 faces we have to use the arms to creatively rotate certain faces to present all of the cubies to the scanner, slightly scrambling the original cube orientation more in the process. This method will not allow us to present the left and right center cubies, but these are inferred in software. After the cube is finished scanning, it sends the color values of the faces to the cube solving code.”



FPGA-Based Rubik's Cube Solver_2 

August 3, 2015

Name the Thing Contest – 286

at 10:20 am. Filed under Contests



The prize this week is a HMC5883L Triple Axis Compass Magnetometer Sensor so you can add some directionality to your next project. This contest will run for one week (Aug 3 – Aug 7, 2015). Ending time is based on central standard time. To enter, identify the item above and what it can be 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 Dec 6, 2015

The item to guess was a Lilypad Proto Board.

The winner is Olaf.  (there were 152 entries)


Below is a picture of the prize.




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