Hacked Gadgets Forum

June 18, 2015

UPS Hack

at 2:28 pm. Filed under Electronic Hacks


If you have a UPS kicking around you can hack it to be used for all of your low voltage applications. The UPS has a battery and charging circuit in a nice case, by hacking out the inverter you can reduce the load when the power fails. Now of course you won’t have 110VAC available but these days there are so many things that need 12 volts. A handy side mounted battery voltage monitor lets you check to see what your battery voltage is so you don’t drain it too low. Plug in USB converters are used but I would have liked to see some switched ones that were fixed onto the case somewhere for convenience.

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 10, 2015

The Batteriser

at 11:33 pm. Filed under Electronic Hacks



You may have seen The Batteriser in the news recently. Our friend Dave Jones takes a look at their claims and demonstrates why their claims are total junk. In their patent they use lots of generalization that are not true in reality. A good electronic designer will design a battery powered device to operate to a voltage much lower then they are stating. Dave had a ton of battery powered devices around the lab and guess what, none of them dropped out at the claimed typical cut off voltages.

The one thing that I can say that I really like is the very small design of the design, obviously they are slapping their boost convertor onto an existing AA battery so the battery holder must be able to accept the battery with the device attached.


June 4, 2015

Atmel 1284p based Smart Medicine Box

at 1:04 pm. Filed under Electronic Hacks

Atmel 1284p based Smart Medicine Box_2


Keeping track of your pills and when to take them can be easy to forget. There are all sorts of pill storage systems but this Atmel 1284p based Smart Medicine Box project by Mingyuan Huang and Jie Zhang from the Cornell University ECE 4760 program made a proof of concept that helps with this.

“There are five major components for our device, including a pill box containing seven separate small boxes; a speaker module; a 3×4 keypad; an Atmel 1284p microcontroller; seven segment LED display (7 units); and a 2×16 characters LCD screen. 

The device’s logic structure contains three major stages: 1. User initialization stage. 2. Comparison stage. 3. Reminder stage. In the user initialization stage, the user enters the current time, date and pill information (including amount and serve time for each type of pill). After the user finishing entering all the information, the device will enter the comparison stage unless the initialization button is pressed. During the comparison stage, the system compares the pill information for each of the sub-box with the time counted by RTC. Once the information entered by the user matches the RTC time, the system will jump out of comparison stage and enter the reminder stage. In the reminder stage, the device will continuously play synthesized voice, and the seven segments LED display will show the number of pills needs to be taken on each of the sub-box.”



Atmel 1284p based Smart Medicine Box 


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 17, 2015

Constant Current DC-DC LED Driver Design

at 1:54 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Electronic Hacks


This is part 2 of a many part Constant Current DC-DC LED Driver Design set that SDG Electronics has put together. He is using a PIC microcontroller and MPLAB-X with the XC16 C Compiler on the control side.


May 12, 2015

Raspberry Pi Weather Station

at 11:19 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Computer Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Raspberry Pi Weather Station


Yes you can purchase weather stations that are ready to go but where is the fun in that? The Raspberry Pi Weather Station is designed for people who like to take control of their technology. 

 “WeatherPi is a solar powered Raspberry Pi WiFi connected weather station designed for Makers by SwitchDoc Labs. This is a great system to build and tinker with. All of it is modifiable and all source code is included. The most important functions are:

  • Senses 20 different environmental values
  • Completely Solar Powered
  • Has a full database containing history of the environment (MySQL)
  • Monitors and reports lots of data on the solar powered system – great for education!
  • Self contained and monitored for brownouts and power issues
  • Can be modified remotely
  • Download your data to crunch it on your PC
  • Can be modified to do SMS (Text) messaging, Twitters, webpages and more
  • Has an iPad Based Control Panel”


Raspberry Pi Weather Station_2

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