Hacked Gadgets Forum

November 26, 2015

Burglar Alarm Hacked to Interface with GSM Cell Network

at 12:48 pm. Filed under Electronic Hacks


Ian Scott Johnston has a local only burglar alarm that he would like to be able to interface with remotely. He has hacked in an arduino with a GSM module to allow him to control the system via SMS text messages. The enclosure is large enough to house all of the additional modules that he needed. The built in regulator was a linear style which was swapped out with a switching style to keep the heat down with the additional load. The code isn’t available at this time due to security reasons but I am thinking Ian will release it as soon as he strips out his personal SMS number etc which is probably hard coded in the code.


November 25, 2015

Teledyne LeCroy Factory Tour

at 12:40 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks


KF5OBS shares a tour of the Teledyne LeCroy Factory. Unlike a high volume electronic manufacturing like TV manufacturing this facility has stations where the equipment spends significant time. They can afford to do things this way since these are not built in the millions. It is interesting to hear that these scopes need to have an antivirus scan performed before it ships. Just like high end sports cars, many of these scopes are being built for a specific customer.

Via: Dangerous Prototypes



November 14, 2015

Component Tester FISH 8840 Review

at 7:21 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks, Reviews



This is an inexpensive component tester called the FISH 8840 which you can find from many online eBay retailers for around $30. The interface is very simple, attach a device to be tested and press the test button. It turns off after about 20 seconds, pressing the off button puts it into sleep mode immediately. There is a ZIF socket that allows you to insert leaded devices and pads that allow you to press SMD devices directly onto the tester. Their are number 1 through 3 on the tester where you connect the device under test to and then the screen will display the recognized component with the lead numbers on a component schematic picture. There seems to be an issue with the capacitor testing mode with a range of values, I will discuss this with the seller to see what the resolution to this is. I have seen this tester work fine with capacitors so I think it is just something with this one. You can see the features and functions below.


“NEW Function:
1:Automatic detection of NPN and PNP transistors, n-channel and p-channel MOSFET, diode (including double diode), thyristor, transistor, resistor and capacitor and other components
2: Automatic test the pin of a component, and display on the LCD
3:Can detect the transistor, MOSFET protection diode amplification coefficient and the base to determine the emitter transistor forward biased voltage
4: Measure the gate and gate capacitance of the MOSFET threshold voltage
5:Use 12864 liquid crystal display with green backlight
Specifications: For you reference
1 two -button operation, automatic shutdown .
2,Only 20nA shutdown current.
3,Automatically detect NPN, PNP bipolar transistors , N -channel and P -channel MOS FET, JFET , diodes , two diodes, thyristors small power unidirectional and bidirectional thyristor.
4,Automatic identification components pin arrangement .
5,Measuring bipolar transistor current amplification factor and base – emitter threshold voltage.
6,Via the base – emitter threshold voltage and high current amplification factor to identify Darlington transistors.
7,Can detect bipolar transistors and MOS transistors protection diodes.
8,Measuring the gate MOS FET threshold voltage and the gate capacitance.
9,Can simultaneously measure two resistors and resistor symbol is displayed. Displayed on the right with a decimal value of 4 . Resistance symbol on both sides shows the pin number. So you can measure the potentiometer. If the potentiometer wiper is not transferred to an extreme position , we can distinguish the middle and both ends of the pin.
10,Resistance measurement resolution is 0.1 ohms , 50M ohms can be measured .
11,Can measure capacitanceCan measure capacitance of 30pF-100mF , resolution 1pF.
12.2uF more capacitors can simultaneously measure the equivalent series resistance ESR values. The two can be displayed with a decimal value , resolution 0.01 ohms.
13,Can be in the correct order and the diode symbol display two diodes , and gives the diode forward voltage.
14.LED is detected as a diode forward voltage higher . Combo of the LED is identified as two diodes.
15,Eeverse breakdown voltage is less than 4.5V Zener diode can be identified.
16,Can measure a single diode reverse capacitance. If the bipolar transistor connected to the base and collector or emitter of a pin , it can measure the collector or emitter junction reverse capacitance .
18 can be obtained with a single measurement rectifier bridge connection.
Notice: Before measuring capacitance , the capacitor must be discharged , otherwise very likely damage the meter .”




November 12, 2015

Teardown of an Arduino based Industrial PLC

at 9:05 pm. Filed under Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment, Teardown


Peter Oakes goes over a Arduino based Industrial PLC system called Industrial Shields. If you are an Arduino programmer and are looking to incorporate your design into something that is a bit more robust this might be for you. I was thinking the system would just use some of the standard Atmel chips that are common in Arduino systems and just use the IDE for programming but it actually incorporates the real Arduino boards. Of course there is not much protection on the normal Arduino boards since that would add a lot of expense and for a quick and dirty project would not normally be needed.

The system comes with a modular DIN rail system which allows for module replacement and addition flexibility. The parts that are used in the system is high quality and looks to be built very robustly. Looks like everything is opto isolated to prevent an external fault from taking out your entire control system. Much of the terminal blocks are pluggable which also aids in fast module replacements. Only thing that looks a bit janky is the wiring harness that can be seen at 41:30 which seems like it could have been better designed.

“The brand is “Industrial Shield” and they are from a company in Barcelona, Spain called “Boot and Work S.L.”
One of the really cool things about these PLCs is that they are based on Open Source Hardware in the form of an Arduino Leonardo or the Arduino MEGA2560… yes the real thing, no modifications aside from providing an industrial strength interfacing circuits around them, wrapped up in a nice industrial DIN rail mountable package including full 24V operation, 0-10V analog in and out as well as isolated relay outputs and OPTO isolated digital inputs and outputs”


November 11, 2015

Analog Alarm Clock Siren Hack

at 5:17 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Shake the Future shows us how to remove the internal buzzer of a small alarm clock and wire it to a much louder siren and strobe unit. This simple hack involves taking the small clock completely apart to get at the electronics that activate the internal buzzer. When the clock activates the alarm there is a small open relay that closes, with this wired in series with the siren the system is ready to test. After you are complete it will be hard to sleep through your ringing alarm again.


October 31, 2015

Wiimote Autofocus Laser Cutter Hack

at 12:26 am. Filed under Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment

Wiimote Autofocus Laser Cutter Hack


If you have a laser cutter focusing the laser on your work can be tedious if your system doesn’t have a way to adjust the distance from your work to the laser automatically. Now as much of a pain this is for a flat item it is impossible to generally do with an item that varies in height. Martin Raynsford has solved this issue by bolting a Wiimote to the laser head and uses it to watch the red dot laser and adjusts the bed height to dynamically ensure the laser focus is always where it needs to be. Watch the impressive video for a great demonstration.

October 27, 2015

Vintage MP3 Boombox Conversion

at 10:57 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks



This project makes a Vintage MP3 Boombox with a few simple steps. By using an inexpensive Bluetooth MP3 player this old Candle Model JTR1296 Boombox can now be used to crank out some MP3 tunes direct from your smart phone. The boombox is a 12 volt DC player which can get power from D cell batteries, a 12 volt DC input jack or wall power (which is rectified using a transformer and bridge. Watch the video to see the interesting ground connection via a high value resistor to main power. Since the mains power input is non polarized this can be 110VAC. I have never seen this before. Was this common practice in this era?

A battery input jack was implemented so the system could run from a rechargable LiPoly battery. To prevent discharging below the safe range a cheap warning buzzer which is common on quad copters would be a good addition.

The MP3 player that was used normally operates from a 5 volt USB connection, the case was removed to allow direct soldering to the power connections. A simple LM7805 was used to convert the players 12 volt DC supply to the 5 volts that the bluetooth device needed. The stereo has a mic input which was an ideal connection to pump in the tunes. The result is a great looking boat anchor of a player that cranks out the tunes in style!


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