Hacked Gadgets Forum

July 4, 2015

Portable Solar Power Supply

at 11:26 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks

Portable Solar Power Supply


This is camping season, a Portable Solar Power Supply would come in handy this time of year. This one is small enough you can lug it around and it is simply to charge with the exterior solar panel. Leaving this out on your picnic table during the day will ensure you can charge all of your gadgets when you need to. Everything that is used are off the shelf parts mounted in a nice compact portable plastic case. Total build price is around $150.


July 1, 2015

Computer Printer made from a Typewriter

at 11:48 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks

Computer Printer made from a Typewriter


Chris Gregg made a an interesting Computer Printer made from a Typewriter, the typewriter is an old mechanical style and there is a bunch of electronics and solenoids attached to make the magic happen. The solenoids press the appropriate keys to type on the keyboard. One issue is that a microcontroller with enough outputs to drive this number of solenoids is not that common in the DIY space. Chris developed a custom shift register circuit that allows him to easily control all of the solenoids with just a few IO pins.

Thanks for the tip John.




June 12, 2015

Portable Pinball Build

at 3:43 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Ben Heck shows up how he built his Pinball Portable project. The brain of the system is a Teensy microcontroller. He is using shift registers to lower the microcontroller pin count that is needed. This allows for a nice modular design. A output shift register is used to drive mosfets to drive high current devices such as solenoids, input shift registers are used to capture a bunch of inputs bu using just a few pins on the microcontroller. Ben is also using a nice max7221 chip to drive a 7 segment display, this allows for a serial interface to drive multiplexed 7 segments. In the second video Ben puts the electronics to work in a custom built pinball mini model most of which has been laser cut.


June 6, 2015

Pixel Pacman

at 8:33 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks

Pixel Pacman


Mike Szczys from Hack a Day built this great low res 1 Pixel Pacman game. If you had fun playing video games from the 90s you would love this. It is a classic game of pac man built around a 32X32 RGB Pixel display and is powered by a Teensy 3.1.

 “The hardware and software running the Smartmatrix made the display portions of the project really simple. First off, the Teensy 3.1 is fast, running at 96MHz in this case. Second, it has Direct Memory Access (DMA) which [Louis] used in the Smartmatrix library. This means that driving the display takes almost no CPU time at all, leaving the rest for your own use. This example of a game is under-utilizing this power… it’s totally capable of full-motion video and calculating amazing visualizations on the fly.”


May 30, 2015

Motorcycle Gear Indicator Project

at 11:54 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

 Motorcycle Gear Indicator Project


Vassilis Papanikolaou built this Motorcycle Gear Indicator Project that uses hall effect sensors to detect the movement of the shift pedal. The end project was put into a nice looking case and mounted in a way that it looks stock. The sensor was encapsulated in epoxy to keep the weather out. Most new vehicles have this type of indicator built in but if not this is a nice way of enhancing your ride.

The main circuit is based on an AVR ATTINY25/45/85 microcontroller, which reads the signals of the two Hall sensors and the neutral switch and outputs the current gear number to a 7‑segment LED indicator, through a 4026 counter/decoder.


 Motorcycle Gear Indicator Project_2

May 14, 2015

Solder Paste Dispenser

at 1:51 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks

Solder Paste Dispenser


There are lots of expensive Solder Paste Dispenser options but there will come a time that you just need to do more than is practical to do with a syringe and your fingers. That is when building a quick and dirty machine would come in. Good thing there is a system that you can model your endeavors after. The tricorderproject.org has a nice and simple DIY Solder Paste Dispenser project that might be just what you are looking for.


“The prototype that I put together is more of a sketch in hardware to help me appreciate the issues of paste extrusion, and help hammer out a design. Instead of using a plunger, I’ve used a very long lead screw that acts as the plunger, and has a gear atop with a captive nut to transfer force. The gear is driven by a Parallax continuous rotation servo, which I thought I’d try given that it simplifies the design by having an integrated gear box (which gives it lots of torque), and it can be directly driven by a microcontroller rather than requiring a separate stepper driver.”

May 10, 2015

Arduino Quadcopter Project

at 2:42 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks


 Alvin Phyo built this quadcopter using Ardunio Nano and a GY-87 3-axis Gyro, this way he has total control of how the flight control works. There are lots of off the shelf control systems that would have been easier to get working but would not have the same ability to make it work exactly way Alvin would like.

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