Hacked Gadgets Forum

April 5, 2014

PCBs made using a Laser Cutter

at 4:50 am. Filed under DIY Hacks

PCBs made using a Laser Cutter_3


If you have a laser cutter and need a double sided PCB made the same day you can give this method a try. You first paint the PCB on both sides with spray paint to act as a etching resist. The laser machine is then used to blast away the pain to expose the copper in the areas that you need to etch, a quick flip will let you do the same in the reverse. After a quick etch and removing the paint you are left with a double sided board. A quick run through a drill press will let you complete the component lead holes and via holes. Of course this design favors SMD parts since you will have less holes to manually drill.

I have tried this technique in the past for a simply board but after some issues getting the front and rear to align properly I simply made the board out of perf board. I think the key to success is the jug that clamps the board in the perfect position each time. The laser cut adjustment spring is a great idea.


PCBs made using a Laser Cutter_2

April 2, 2014

Nixie Bargraph Clock

at 4:03 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Nixie Bargraph Clock


This is a cool Nixie Bargraph Clock that has an hour and minute tube, the heights of the plasma in each tube indicates the time. There are some wires wrapped around the tubes so you can easily see what time it is without estimating.  The electronics are tucked out of sight in a box out of sight so when you are admiring the clock you don’t see the modern electronics which adds a nice touch of class. There are full details on the build so you could build your own, please note that since there is a Nixie tube in the project high voltages in the range of 140 volts are present making it a dangerous project if you are not careful.


Nixie Bargraph Clock_2

March 26, 2014

Etch A Sketch Laser Cutter

at 2:20 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Etch A Sketch Laser Cutter


Laser machines are very useful pieces of gear. You can send a very precise file to it and it will cut or etch it perfectly and accurately as many times as you like. The entire machine is built with accuracy and repeatability in mind, so what if you want to have some analog fun with it? You would need to do some hacking just like our friend Martin Raynsford from Just Add Sharks has done with his laser cutter. Martin has converted his laser cutter into a huge etch a sketch! He has made it so that the laser is only activated when the unit is moving, high power cuts out shapes and low power etches. A few rotary encoders are read by an Arduino Pro Mini which feeds movement signals into the stepper motor controllers.

Want to see it in person hand has a go at driving it? It will be featured at some of the upcoming UK Maker Faires.


March 25, 2014

RC Car using Arduino, PS3 Controller and XBee

at 11:32 am. Filed under DIY Hacks


OtakuSanel built a cool RC car that uses an Arduino, PS3 Controller and a few XBee transmitters. The RC car electronics are totally custom allowing him to take full control of the car functions using his PS3 controller. Range is great since the XBee transmitters are the 60mW units, line of site is claimed to be 1 mile on these things!

You can see some intro videos of the first car build below (smaller car). Video 1, video 2, video 3, video 4.


March 22, 2014

RGB Lamp made from an old Scanner

at 2:51 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks

_RGB Lamp made from an old  Scanner


In really old scanners you will normally find a florescent light source but new ones use a RGB light bar to shine on the document being scanned. There are lots of ways to make the thing light since it is a common positive 5 volt RGB light bar. To kick it up a notch Hack Shed decided to tie it into an Arduino and make it totally remote controllable. Watch the video below to see it in action. Check out the build details to get some inspiration and have a look at the code. 

 ”What’s in it?

  • 1x Arduino
  • 1x Arduino Ethernet/SD Shield
  • 1x Micro-SDHC Card
  • 1x Scanner LED RGB
  • Various jumper wires”


March 21, 2014

Toothbrush Timer using a 555 Timer Chip

at 12:37 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks

Toothbrush Timer using a 555 Timer Chip


In this project Steve Hoefer uses some electronics to create some fun chattering teeth that will give you some fun incentive to keep brushing your teeth for long enough to maximize effectiveness. A small microswitch waits for you to remove your toothbrush and the 555 timer goes to work counting down your 2 minute brush time. A servo motor that has been hacked to operate in continuous rotation mode is used to move some chompers up and down during the countdown! When the teeth stop chomping you are all done.




March 10, 2014

Ping Pong Robot

at 10:28 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Crazy Hacks, DIY Hacks, Insane Equipment


 If you hate when you don’t have a partner to play ping pong with you why not build a robot. Ulf Hoffmann is an industrial mechanic and has some creative ideas. His Ping Pong Robot (translated) is quite amazing, you can see it in action above. The videos below demonstrate the building blocks to get to where the robot is today.

Via: Laughing Squid



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