Hacked Gadgets Forum

June 17, 2016

Custom Word Clock

at 1:28 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks

Custom Word Clock_1

 

Jeremy Blum built this Custom Word Clock. It has lots of non electronic parts such as the great looking case. Good thing Jeremy is no longer at Google and is now working at Shaper with use of a wood working shop. We have seen lots of word clocks here in the past but the main thing I like with this design is the LED panel based design. Most designs use either individual LEDs or addressable LED strips to provide the illumination, with the panel method it removes this large headache.

“I wanted to control the whole thing with a Raspberry Pi and Python. Why? I want to be able to use the clock as a platform for Leah and I to do some Python hacking. This word clock functions fine without an internet connection, but using a Pi makes it easy to hook up to the web for adding future features like a web interface to set an alarm clock – future expansion options! ”

 

 


June 12, 2016

Water Droplets Captured using a High Speed Camera Rig

at 6:37 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets

doubledriparticle-19

 

 

Check out these Water Droplets Captured using a High Speed Camera Rig. This system uses an Arduino to activate a solenoid, the solenoid releases a drop from a water container mounted at a specific distance above the table. The water falls at a repeatable rate, at the desired time the system triggers a camera flash. This allows a camera that is focused on the hit zone to capture some fantastic effects of the water drop splashing down.

 

doubledriparticle-7

 


June 7, 2016

Introduction to Analog to Digital Conversion (ADC)

at 2:01 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Educational

 

Bil Herd goes through a great Introduction to Analog to Digital Conversion. These days it is very simple to grab an analog reading and use it with a microcontroller with ease. This is because modern microcontrollers often have one or many ADC built in. Not that long ago a  would have been needed, this is still the case if a special ADC is needed for things such as high precision or very fast acquisition. Below you can see some items from the Microchip PIC 16 line of microcontrollers. This is just showing about a 5th of the available chips that can do ADC and it is sorted from cheapest to most expensive. Doesn’t take long looking at this chart to see that you can really get some big bang for the buck here. In volume the PIC 16F18323 will cost about $0.57 and this 14 pin count chip will give you 11 ADC inputs at a max resolution of 10 bits.

 

Microchip_ADC_Chips

 

 

 

 

 


May 28, 2016

IOT Long Runtime

at 6:18 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Educational, Electronic Hacks

 

 

With the adoption of IOT long runtime on battery power is something that is a huge concern. We don’t mind charging our smartphones daily but if we have a dozen IOT devices in our home we would like them to be invisible and just operate for as long as possible without needing attention. Andreas Spiess has done some research using the popular ESP8266 and a variety of batteries. In his test he was sending data to an IOT database every 2 minutes but for many cases you may only need the device to wake and transmit once per hour, this would greatly extend the battery life.

 

 

 

 

May 25, 2016

Huge Welder, High Current Tester

at 7:15 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets

 
John Ward shows us his new test device. Not exactly a bench mounted piece of gear! This Oil Filled Oxford Welder can be used in cases where you need to pump out some serious current, this is ideal to test to destruction items such as wires, extension cables, plug in connections etc. JW has performed many of these tests in the past. Photonicinduction has taken a look at the inside of one of these in the typical over the top fashion. This thing is built like a tank, not sure what the working duty cycle is but I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t 100% at most settings.

Power cords typically use copper as the conductors, the copper would represent a large portion of the cost so if a company wants to shave some of the production cost down goes the conductor diameter. Check out the junk power cord that John Ward tests to destruction below.

 

 

Typical test that this welder can be used for:


May 22, 2016

Spring 2016 Cornell University ECE 5760 Advanced Microcontrollers Final Projects

at 8:09 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Educational, Electronic Hacks

flowchart

 

It is that time again! There is a new batch of Cornell University ECE 5760 Advanced Microcontrollers Final Projects. If you have done any PID work in the past the FPGA controlled Magnetic Levitation by Gautham Ponnu, Ryan Land, Nathan Spallone should be of interest. They are using a Altera DE2-115 FPGA board to monitor and control a steel ball about 1mm above the position sensor with great accuracy.
“The LDC1000 inductive sensor from Texas Instruments. This device acts as a mini “metal detector” and tells us, albeit in a nonlinear fashion, the height of the ball. The output is nonlinear because it is measuring the presence of metal through inductance, not the direct elevation of the ball from the sensor.”

 

entire_sch

 

May 7, 2016

Bike2 – Chainless Electric Bicycle

at 3:59 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets

bike2_chainless_bike

 

Interesting concept, lots of the bikes we see today are mechanical bikes first with some add on electronics and motors that make them electric assisted. The motors are normally hub motors that are mounted within the wheel(s). The electronics connect to the brakes to sense when the user is braking and has a throttle to power the electric assist motor. If the battery is dead you are still able to use the bike as a regular pedal power bike. The Bike2  is a true electric bike first and has bike pedals available to simply generate electricity that can charge the batteries. Great concept but I wonder how it feels when the battery is dead or even if you can ride the bike with a completely dead battery. I think a regular bike rider would find it awkward at the beginning since the revolution of the pedals would not correspond with the speed of the bike.

“BIKE2 incorporates state of the art components for uncomplicated great technology at your fingertips (toe-tips), ergonomics and design. The system consists of innovative drive system components and is compact, silent and comes with a programmable interface for different speeds and cadence.
The absense of a chain allows different types of frames and customizable structures.”

 

 

 

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