Hacked Gadgets Forum

August 28, 2014

Creative Sound Blaster Roar Review

at 4:17 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Reviews

 Creative Sound Blaster Roar Review

 

Thanks to Creative for sending in the Sound Blaster Roar for review. Right out of the box the quality of construction is evident. The feel of the buttons and switches is top notch, it should provide years of trouble free use. It is easy to pair it to your bluetooth compatible phone and get your tunes cranking on the Roar. If you don’t want to play music through your phone you can select one of the many other methods of playback. Pop in a micro SD card with some music will allow you to keep it standalone and play all of your favorite music. If you have a device that just has a headphone jack out like an old iPod that will work using the Aux in jack. The micro USB port can be used to play music from your computer.

The system has 3 active drivers, one is a long through woofer for surprisingly deep base. There are also 2 forward facing speakers for right and left audio, 2 additional passive radiating drivers fire music out of the side grills.

If you have a cell phone that needs a quick charge you can plug it into the full size USB port. The port has a 1 amp rating so it will also charge most tablets.

Need a conference room speaker? The Roar actually does a good job of transmitting the sound from your cell phone to the speaker and transmits the room audio using the built in room mic. The system is obviously doing a good job of canceling out the sound that it is producing in this mode since there is no feedback.

If you are feeling a bit uneasy in your surroundings you can arm the alarm and press the siren button to grab the attention of everyone around.

 

The Good

  • Great sound quality and bass
  • Build quality is fantastic
  • Feel of the controls is very good
  • Battery life is good at around 8 hours
  • Good range on the built in bluetooth receiver
  • Built in NFC for easy paring with new devices
  • Flexible methods of music connectivity
  • Conference room speakerphone that works well
  • Aux USB charging capability
  • Easy to switch privacy modes to share access to the device

 

The Bad

  • The rear controls are cumbersome to access without flipping the device on end, this could scratch the front of the system
  • Although the micro SD card allows tons of music storage capability it is not possible to select a playlist or specific song to be played. A cell phone app would be a great addition to allow control over the SD card audio
  • The case makes it hard to read the button labels
  • Battery is not user replaceable

 

You can see that there are good and bad qualities to this device. That being said the good far outweigh the bad. If you are looking for a kick ass portable audio player to fill a room with booming sound this device is for you!

 

 

Creative Sound Blaster Roar Review_4

 

Creative Sound Blaster Roar Review_2

 

Creative Sound Blaster Roar Review_3


August 26, 2014

Automated Surf Notifier

at 7:30 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets

 Automated Surf Notifier

 

Our friend Colin Karpfinger from Punchthrough.com has just completed his latest project. You might remember his last project, it was the LightBlue Bean. The Automated Surf Notifier uses a LightBlue Bean at the heart and interfaces with some colorful LEDs to indicate where the ideal surf waves are located. Using some daisy chainable LEDs mounted behind a poster of the coast make for a great indication method.

“I enjoy seeing technology added to things in a subtle way. With this surf map, when the LEDs are off, you’d never know they are there. This surf map displays the report for the upcoming week, along with tide times, by use of LEDs behind the canvas. The report is pulled from the web by a Python script on my computer, then sent to the artwork over BLE using the Bean’s virtual serial port. Finally the Bean parses the report and displays the LEDs accordingly.”

 


August 22, 2014

DIY Component Tester – Transistor, Capacitor, Inductor, Resistor Meter

at 8:05 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks

 

If you are looking for a DIY meter project have a look at this DIY Component Tester (translated),  it tests Transistors, Capacitors, Inductors and Resistors. It is AVR based and is very flexible, in most cases you can just jam in a device and press the button to analyze the device.

“Automatic detection of NPN and PNP transistors, N-and P-channel MOSFETs, diodes, thyristors, inductors, triacs, resistors and capacitors.
Measure ESR with a resolution of about 0.01 ohms
Automatic calculation and display of the pins of the component under test
Detection and display of protection diodes for transistors and MOSFETs
Determination of the gain and the base-emitter forward voltage at transistors
Measuring the gate threshold voltage and gate capacitance of MOSFET
Self calibration process to improve accuracy”


August 19, 2014

Binary Wrist Watch

at 9:31 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

 Binary Wrist Watch

 

Check out this great Binary Wrist Watch. It’s a true watch for the geek since most won’t be able to read it!

Via: Dangerous Prototypes

“The time setting mode can be entered by holding the left button for two seconds. After that the display is blanked and the time can be set bit by bit by switching through the bits by pressing the left button. If the bit is to be set, the right button has to be held down for one second. The watch automatically enters normal display mode after the last bit has been set (once you’ve gone through all the bits).”

August 16, 2014

Mini MAME Cabinet

at 9:16 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets

 Mini MAME Cabinet_2

 

If you are going to be building a MAME cabinet, you should have a look at the Mini MAME Cabinet that Greg Kennedy built for some tips. He built this thing from scratch and kept the costs down, using some older electronics was a great way get some use out of the hardware that might not have had a use otherwise. The hand made cabinet turned out very nice, at a glance you can’t tell that it was home made.

 

Hardware

Complete hardware specs for this build:
  • Intel 1.3ghz Pentium 4
  • 128mb RDRAM
  • 256mb CF card, CF< ->IDE adapter
  • 250W PSU
  • PCI: S3 Virge DX, 4mb VRAM
  • PCI: Creative (Ensoniq) Sound Blaster PCI
  • Monitor: IBM PS/1 13″ CRT VGA (max res: 800×600)
  • Speakers: cheap no-brand PC speakers

 

  • MDF: $35
  • Screws and wood glue: $15
  • Joysticks, buttons, T-Molding: $30
  • Plexiglass scraps: $10
  • Paint: $15
  • Printing: $5
  • Fluorescent lamp: $7
  • Hinges, lock, misc. fasteners: $30″

 

Mini MAME Cabinet

 

 

 

 


August 11, 2014

autoCut – Robot Lawn Mower

at 9:44 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets

autoCut - Robot Lawn Mower

 

Do you still cut your lawn by dragging an antiquated gas powered spinning blade back and forth across the grass? If so you might want to build an autoCut. The autoCut is a robotic lawn mower that is powered from LiPo batteries and the brain comprises of a Raspberry Pi. The goal is to have completely autonomous operation but I think an IP camera would also be a great option for the user who would like to drive this around from the comfort of his living room. Like the project? Be sure to skull it on Hackaday.io.

” Details

- Four weel drive with kink steering
– Electric mowing height leveling
– Two 85 watt mowing motors, each equipped with two very sharp blades, able to snap back on hard obstacles
– On the fly interchangeable LiPo-battery with voltage monitoring, about 1 hour of battery live on active mowing
– Wifi network connection for web interface which includes gamepad/joystick remote control
– Modular electronics: a couple of modules, connected with a power- and I²C-bus with a Raspberry Pi as master”

 

 

August 7, 2014

Voltmeter Clock Project

at 10:02 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Voltmeter Clock Project

 

If you are into cool clocks have a look at this Voltmeter Clock Project. It is based on the version that I built but has been enhanced with a ton of features such as master clock sync.

“I have used three voltmeters and mounted them on a wooden plinth with a clear Perspex cover to give the clock an industrial look.

I have modified Alan’s code to run on PICBasic Pro version 3. I have also added the following.

Switched display On and Off (keeping battery backup as per Alan’s design) but also allows me to turn meters Off in full power mode.

Synchronization to my Master Clock every 30 seconds

Synchronized LED & Re-Synch LED

Synchronization On & Off

Transistor meter drivers

Separate hourly Chime Circuit

Pulsed “tick tock” seconds sound.”

 

Voltmeter Clock Project_2

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