Hacked Gadgets Forum

February 6, 2016

Air Hockey Robot

at 4:54 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks


This project uses a vision system that looks for puck and determines the best location to move the mallet. The processor power is coming from a Intel MinnowBoard Max. Details and code can be found here if you would like to build your own.

“The goal of the this project was to prove out the real time properties of the IoT Core OS. We chose the air hockey table due to the requirements involved in tracking a moving object across a plane and responding appropriately. The robot uses a color blob tracking camera to detect the location of the puck on a table surface, and uses stepper motors to move a striker mallet to intercept the puck. Additional sensors help detect goals and the XY mallet position. All of these devices hook into a MinnowBoard Max, which is responsible for taking in puck position data and calculating motor movements in response.”



February 4, 2016

Novena Laptop Build

at 10:29 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks


Novena is an open hardware computer by Bunnie that recently raised over $780,000 in a crowd funding campaign. The Ben Heck Show is building a custom computer around this platform. Everything is custom on this laptop build and no details are rushed including the difficult keyboard LED lighting.


  • Freescale iMX6 CPU — same footprint can support dual-lite and quad versions:
    • Quad-core Cortex A9 CPU with NEON FPU @ 1.2 GHz
    • Vivante GC2000 OpenGL ES2.0 GPU, 200Mtri/s, 1Gpix/s (*)
    • NDA-free datasheet [1] and programming manual
  • Internal ports & sensors:
    • mini PCI-express slot (for wifi, bluetooth, mobile data, etc.)
    • UIM slot for mPCIx mobile data cards
    • Dual-channel LVDS LCD connector with USB2.0 side-channel for a display-side camera
    • Resistive touchscreen controller (note: captouch displays typically come with an embedded controller)
    • 1.1W, 8-ohm internal speaker connectors
    • 2x USB2.0 internal connectors for keyboard and mouse/trackpad
    • Digital microphone (optional, not populated by default)
    • 3-axis accelerometer
    • 3x internal UART ports
  • Fun features:
    • 100 Mbit ethernet — dual Ethernet capability allows laptop to be used as an in-line packet filter or router
    • USB OTG — enables laptop to spoof/fuzz ethernet, serial, etc. over USB via gadget interface to other USB hosts
    • Utility serial EEPROM — for storing crash logs and other bits of handy data
    • Spartan-6 CSG324-packaged FPGA (PVT uses LX45: 43k logic cells, 6.8k slices, 54.5k ff, 401kb distributed RAM, 58 DSP48A, 2088kb block RAM) — has several interfaces to the CPU, including a 2Gbit/s (peak) RAM-like bus — for your bitcoin mining needs. Or whatever else you might want to toss in an FPGA.
    • High-speed I/O expansion header”






February 2, 2016

Nixie Alarm Clock With Time Updated via GPS

at 2:31 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Nixie Alarm Clock With Time Updated via GPS


This Nixie Alarm Clock project gets the Time Updated via GPS. Not only is there GPS to get an accurate time, this clock also has an SD card that is used to play audio files.

“The firmware for the clock is written in C using Eclipse C/C++ with the AVR Eclipse plugin with avr-gcc and avr-libc 1.8.1

Since the GPS module provides the time in UTC, I need to handle time zone and DST in software. This is actually quite easy since the standard time.h functionality has been implemented in avr-libc 1.8.1. But as I started the development on Linux using 1.8.0 it took me a while to discover the newer avr-libc since there are still no official binary packages for avr-libc 1.8.1 even though it was released more than a year ago.”

January 31, 2016

ESP8266 Brodcasting Analog TV while running a Web Server

at 7:13 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks



CNLohr has been playing with the inexpensive IOT device for quite a while. Check out the ESP8266 Brodcasting Analog TV while running a Web Server. Hard to believe that this small chip is only a few dollars in small quantities. If this chip is in a IOT light bulb or doorbell this thing would be seriously be underused. That would be just like using your brand new android phone to just make phone calls. I look forward in seeing what projects this device finds itself into since it has power and price making it very appealing.

January 18, 2016

Screen Printing Electroluminescent Lights On Clothing

at 1:11 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks




AMBRO Labs is playing with Screen Printing Electroluminescent Lights On Clothing. I think in the near future this will be common place to see clothing that adds a bit of light to the design. We have seen lots of sew on items from the maker side of things but if would be nice to see some things that has been silk screened directly onto the fabric.

“We’ve screen printed our first successful prototype today.  This proof of concept shows that our EL screen printing technology works for fabric and garments.  Our next steps will be to integrate the EL screen printed fabric with sewable electronics including conductive thread and popular wearable platforms.”


January 7, 2016

DIY Cell Phone Klick Quick Button

at 12:43 am. Filed under DIY Hacks


This is a DIY Cell Phone Klick Quick Button by Roman UrsuHack. You can get these for about $1 on eBay or just over $2 on Amazon but building your own might be fun and chances you have everything you need laying around. Great idea to add some extra simple functionality to your phone, turns out the simple headphone jack is getting more versatile as time goes on. I still remember when it was just for headphones. :) I am sure some people these days think of it as the Square Credit Card Reader jack.

January 3, 2016

FPGA RGB LED Matrix Driver Project

at 10:22 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


If you are looking for an interesting FPGA project this FPGA RGB LED Matrix Driver Project looks interesting. There is a great overview of how the project was designed. Interfacing to the large display is quite complex but by doing it using a FPGA they have control over every aspect of what the hardware is doing. The current design uses the display as dumb output which gets what is to be displayed from a bluetooth connected computer.

“The various components of the overall system (PLL, UART, and Display Controller) are shown along with the simulation data. The outputs of the Spartan-6 FPGA board are then measured using a Keysight S-Series oscilloscope. The design of the RGB matrix is also demonstrated using a custom clock interface sent wirelessly to the unit via Bluetooth.”


Internal Links:



Hacked Gadgets

Site Sponsors:

Nuts and Volts Electronic Labs Trossen Robotics Free Technical Publications Blue LED


Recent Comments:

Site Rating:

More RSS Feed Options

Site Sponsors:


Interesting Sites: