Hacked Gadgets Forum

January 24, 2015

Arduino Powered Thermostat

at 9:43 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Arduino Powered Thermostat


Your thermostat is probably one of the most boring pieces of technology in your house. This Arduino Powered Thermostat lets you take control over your furnace and make it work the way you want it. 

“The three zone system  is also equipped with DS18B20 temperature sensors, DS1307 RT Clock, 16×2 character display, LCD keypad Arduino shield, along with various miscellaneous wire leads, connectors and resistors. 

On the software side, hbomb9000 used an add on for SublimeText known as Stino, as well as two libraries: OneWire and DallasTemperature.”

January 2, 2015

Repair of an Agilent Synthesized Signal Generator

at 6:21 am. Filed under DIY Hacks


Shahriar from the SignalPath purchased a defective Agilent E4433B ESG-D Signal Generator as a teardown and repair project. Sounds expensive but this piece of equipment is an expensive piece of gear. Shahriar goes through the troubleshooting of the system in great detail and repairs the fault!

“The Output RF board is equipped with various amplifiers, electronic attenuators, I/Q mixers, heterodyne paths and final PA. By using soldered SMA cables to various points in the signal path, the fault is traced to an internal amplifier chain which is likely made of a MESFET or JFET transistor. Since this part is obsolete, an RFMD GaAs hybrid amplifier is used in its place. The biasing network and matching networks need to be modified to accommodate this change. The repaired unit is then verified for functionality and performance by measuring a QAM constellation output signal.”

December 31, 2014

Sound-Activated Outlet

at 3:35 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks


If you have something that needs to be turned on and off why not do it in a unique way. This Sound-Activated Outlet project lets us use an Arduino to monitor for sound patterns and then control an outlet accordingly. 

“The circuit for this project can be divided into two main parts: A microphone assembly and a relay driver.
The microphone assembly is composed of an electret microphone element, two resistors, and a capacitor. When the microphone picks up sound vibrations, the output voltage fluctuates in response. This signal is sent to one of the analog input pins on the Arduino.
The relay driver is composed of a power MOSFET transistor, a diode, and a relay. The power transistor is added because the relay requires more current than the digital pins on the Arduino can output. So the output signal that is sent from the digital pin activates the transistor and the transistor connects power to the relay and turns it on. The relay either connects or disconnects power from the AC outlet to the attached appliance. The diode acts as a suppression diode and protects the Arduino from voltage spikes that occur when the relay is turned off. If you don’t want to build a relay driver from scratch, you can use a commercial relay shield or a PowerSwitch Tail.”


December 27, 2014

DIY Electronic Christmas Tree

at 8:44 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks


Darbin Orvar built a cool tech electronic Christmas Tree. Best of all the above video will show you how to make your own. For more inspiration you can have a look at her blog

“My version of a DIY Christmas Tree made with redwood and plywood. Perfect for an apartment and easy to move around. As a bonus this tree is powered by an Arduino and LED strip lights playing Star Wars Darth Vader’s Theme.”

December 22, 2014

Reverse Geocache – Captain Herrmano’s Mystery Box

at 7:33 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Reverse Geocache - Captain Herrmano’s Mystery Box


This Reverse Geocache called the Captain Herrmano’s Mystery Box packs a ton of sensors into the box and some slick programming brings it to like with a full on treasure hunt.

“The housing – that is, the box itself – came from a Nanu Nana store (which is a German chain of stores). Inside of the housing, an Arduino Mega controls and receives information from different sensors and boards – for example a CO sensor (carbon monoxide), a thermometer, an ultrasonic sensor, a GPS receiver, a number pad, a speaker, a display, a mini SD card and a servo.”


December 21, 2014

Bed of Nails Tests Jig

at 10:52 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Bed of Nails Tests Jig


If you have a bunch of boards to program and test you have probably thought to automate some of the steps. Wiring all the connectors, hooking it up to a computer, programming in test firmware, running the system through a battery of tests and finally programming in the release firmware can be a tedious task. shows us how he made a test jig that is connected to a computer that easily runs through a number of automated steps to test his 3D printer boards.


December 18, 2014

WS2812B LED Driver Project

at 1:53 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks

WS2812B LED Driver Project


JEELABS did a nice WS2812B LED Driver Project that uses an ARM LPC810 running at 30 MHz to get things done.

“Sending 12 bits @ 2.4 MHz takes 5 microseconds. If we were to set the LPC810 to run at its maximum 30 MHz clock, we could probably drive the SPI hardware entirely via interrupts, but for a simple timed example this is not really necessary. Instead, we can let the SysTick timer interrupt the polling loop used to drive the SPI bus – without losing track of time.”

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