Hacked Gadgets Forum

June 4, 2014

Submersible Thruster

at 8:55 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Educational, Electronic Hacks

Submersible Thruster


If you are looking to design some underwater propulsion Dane from Transistor Man has completed a well documented Submersible Thruster build to get some pointers from.

The goal here is to design a submersible motor assembly that is able to accomplish the following:

  • Able to operate, submersed, up to 1 meter underwater while not transfering more than 10ml of coolant into the surrounding water per hour (not leaky)
  • Capable of delivering >5kw of motive thrust, when driven at 40v from a sensorless 3 phase motor drive.
  • Utilize a clear housing assembly to allow for easy-to-observe internal failures or leaks
  • Actively aid in cooling the motor assembly, using condutive heat transfer
  • Maintain a rotating shaft seal while operating up to 2k RPM. 
  • Design using easy to assemble, easy to reproduce components (ex: off the shelf bearing & shaft seal assemblies, waterjet aluminum)
  • Utilize a propeller designed to operate at 2k RPM without significant cavitation effects at speed*


Submersible Thruster Static Test 2 from Dane Kouttron on Vimeo.

March 17, 2014

Bypass Capacitor Tutorial

at 11:12 pm. Filed under Educational

bypass capacitor


We all use Bypass Capacitors in our designs but what size do you normally pick and why? Does location of the bypass capacitor matter? Should you use multiple values of capacitors? Chances are some of these questions are not obvious and might enhance your future designs if you know the answers. Electro Labs has a great article that solves of these questions in their Bypass Capacitor Tutorial.


January 15, 2014

How a 4 Layer PCB is Made

at 6:19 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Educational


When you send off your Gerber files to have your latest board made you will be shipped some shiny new board in a few weeks. The process of creating the boards is very time consuming, the video above goes through the many steps of how a 4 layer PCB is created. Most boards are 2 layer but it is interesting to see how the inner layers of the 4 layer boards are created. It is hard to believe that our boards can be processed through this many steps and be flawless when they are completed since a small mistake on any of these steps would have a good change of damaging the entire thing.

January 3, 2014

Gesture Based Security Lock Project

at 4:54 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Educational, Electronic Hacks

Gesture Based Security Lock Project


Instead of using keys and codes for security this device that Ankur Thakkar, Darshan Shah and Saisrinivasan Mohankumar built as part of their ece4760 Final Project uses gestures to grant access. The system uses IR sensors to determine the movement of a persons hand within the detection area, after you train the unlock pattern you can simply repeat the pattern to activate the device. I think a small miniature version of this that can detect a finger instead of a full hand would be a great replacement of a typical keypad and would probably be able to retain a similar form factor. Nice thing about this technology is that it is contact free, these days no one likes touching things like keypads that thousands of others have potentially used before them.

“The IR proximity sensors gave us an analog voltage proportional to the distance of the sensor from a flat object placed in the user’s hand for drawing the patterns. The analog voltage from each of the sensor is given to the ATMega1284P, which utilizes the internal Analog to Digital Converter, to convert this analog voltage to digital signal which can be utilized by the microcontroller for further processing.”


December 6, 2013

MakiBox – What happens when you offer a $200 3D Printer

at 9:54 am. Filed under Educational

MakiBox - What happens when you offer a $200 3D Printer


We featured the MakiBox here before, taking about their inexpensive 3D printer (still the cheapest as far as I know). They have two models, one that goes for $200 and one that goes for $300. So what happens to your company when you offer a hot product at this kind of price? You get lots of orders and need to ramp up very quickly. They have a number of posts on their site showing how they are dealing with their growing pains. The one big advantage is that they are located in Hong Kong allowing them to throw a ton of people at the problem which you will see in the video, I don’t think this could be produced in North America for the same price when you need this kink of staffing to keep the gears cranking. I would have thought that one day after hiring a huge crew of people there would be mass chaos but they must have had one hell of an orientation day because everyone seems to be working at a furious pace. I guess it helps when they know they are being recorded for a blog post…



December 4, 2013

Ultrasonic Range Finder with Haptic Feedback called The Bat Hat

at 1:22 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, DIY Hacks, Educational, Electronic Hacks



Jeff Buswell, Clifford Chou and Andrew Knauss from Cornell university made a cool Ultrasonic Range Finder with Haptic Feedback called The Bat Hat for their ECE 4760: Final Project

“For our ECE 4760 final project, we designed and implemented an ultrasonic range-finding hat that uses haptic feedback to alert its wearer about obstacles in his or her path. The hat is equipped with an ultrasonic transmitter/receiver circuit, which is capable of emitting short pulses of ultrasonic-frequency (approximately 40 kHz) sound, at a level of about 120 dB. These pulses then echo off the closest object in the line of sight of the hat and are picked up by the receiver. The time delay between sending the initial pulse and receiving the echo gives a sense of how far away the obstacle is from the ultrasonic sensor, which can be conveyed to the person by vibrating the hat at a level proportional to that distance.”



November 7, 2013

Teardown of a modern LED Light Bulb

at 4:59 am. Filed under Educational


If you haven’t ripped apart an LED bulb to see what makes it tick have a look at the video that electronupdate made showing what is inside a Philips A19 bulb which is a 60 watt incandescent replacement. It really shows you the world of difference between incandescent and LED! Watch the video below to see how simple the old style bulb is to make.


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