Hacked Gadgets Forum

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.



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

August 5, 2014

Drawbot Using Parallax Propeller Microcontroller programmed using PropForth

at 10:22 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets

Drawbot Using Parallax Propeller Microcontroller programmed using PropForth


Martin_H from the Parallax forum has built a cool little robot called Drawbot, it uses a Parallax Propeller Microcontroller programmed using PropForth. The main drive for this robot are the cheap $5 stepper motors that are available on eBay out of China. Looks like it is just powerful enough for this project. There is some loss of position after it draws a lot due to things like wheel slip. This might call for a hacked optical mouse to be added to the bottom of the robot for enhanced position sensing. There are some enhancements to the robot such as remote wireless programming that drives up the price a bit but the convenience of just being able to zap a new firmware file at it without having to plug in is worth it in my eyes. It is programmed in Forth which looks like there would be a bit of a learning curve to it. You can see the code examples on the project page here.



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