Hacked Gadgets Forum

March 18, 2016

Cheap Chinese LCD Projector Teardown

at 8:49 am. Filed under Teardown


FFcossag works at an electronics repair company. In came one of these Cheap Chinese LCD Projectors, based on the dangerous mains input and build quality it was not worth repairing. Looks like it was just thrown together with a make it work attitude and no quality or longevity in mind. Once inside the system you can see the main AC connector is hot glued in place! There are also many internal boards and cables that are held in place with duct tape. At 14:00 you can see some strange hot glued feature board stuck on under the main optics, have a look at 23:50 to see what the mystery part is. Even though this is called an HD device the true resolution is not even close. Funny thing is that since it is built from a bunch of modular parts some of the sections like the power supply look not bad at a glance. I love the big lens though, I could put that to good work when making some close up videos!


March 11, 2016

Inside Amazon Dash Button

at 10:02 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Teardown

Amazon Dash Button_tide

Brian Dipert has taken a look Inside the Amazon Dash Button. If you haven’t seen these before it is a little IOT device that is connected to your Amazon account and will order you some new products with the touch of a button. The design is battery operated and is small enough to be stuck where it could be pressed as soon as you realize you are out of something. Gone are the grocery lists or the notes on the fridge. Just check your mailbox in a few days and your daily staples that you ordered with your finger will be there. The device is basically free but there is actually quite a bit of tech inside.

Via: Electronics Lab

“The Amazon Dash appears to be based on a Broadcom WICED (Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices) reference design module. Combine the Wi-Fi IC and the microcontroller into one packaged device, by the way, and you end up with the USI (Universal Scientific Industrial) WM-N-BM-09 WICED module, which forms the foundation of the $19 Spark Photon development kit.”

Amazon Dash Button_inside

Amazon Dash Button

March 10, 2016

Laser Scanning Spectral Confocal Microscope Teardown

at 10:30 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Teardown


Mike has purchased a huge piece of electro-mechanical gear. Looks like this Laser Scanning Spectral Microscope would have cost the same as a small house at one time. Interesting to see how much in in this box of goodies. In the first video Mike goes over the internals of the system, in the 2nd video he gets the argon laser to fire! It takes a killowatt of power so this is no joke. If you want to know more Confocal Microscopes the last video gives a great overview.




February 25, 2016

GFI Circuit Breaker Teardown and Destructive Test

at 10:54 pm. Filed under Electronic Hacks, Teardown



Mike has taken apart a GFI Circuit Breaker and tested it to destruction. These devices are great to make electricity safer when used in dangerous environments such as beside water sources. They measure leakage current and trip when there is too much running from your hair dryer that accidentally fell into your tub full of water.

“A GFCI works by measuring the current leaving one side of a power source (the so-called “live” or “hot wire”), and comparing it to current returning on the other (the “neutral” side). If they are not equal, then some of the current must be leaking in an unwanted way, and the GFCI shuts the power off. After the problem is fixed, the device must be reset manually by pushing the reset button (the red button in the image shown at right). If the problem is not fixed, the GFCI will keep shutting off.”

February 14, 2016

Emergency Personal Locator Beacon Teardown

at 8:08 pm. Filed under Teardown


AvE got his hands on an Emergency Personal Locator Beacon. This is one of the few things made in Canada! Looks like no expense was spared in the build. The lithium batteries are still operational even though they were dated to expire 16 years ago. I have never seen the  tape measure like antenna. Without making an electrical connection is it doing anything? I was expecting to see a gold plated portion that lined up with some wiper arm.


January 25, 2016

Extreme Teardown of Dangerous Power Bar

at 9:18 pm. Filed under Teardown


John Ward does an Extreme Teardown of Dangerous Power Bar. It is very drawn out but demonstrates how electrical equipment as simple as a power bar should not be assumed to be safe. This power bar has a lot of bogus specs on the packaging and at a glance looks to be of ok quality. As you will see looks is all it has going for it. The rest of it is complete dangerous junk.


Video 1 interesting points.
At the 7:25 mark we can see they cheaped out and didn’t mold the plug large enough to meet the standard, as you will see this is a minor issue for this thing. At 15:25 the dangerous LED power on indicator can be seen, drop this once and this power on indicator will happily short out the incoming power.

Now even though the ground has no connection from the plug to outlets have a look at the gauge of wire they are using at 21:03. I wouldn’t power computer speakers with this crap. The mains wires are also massively undersized but are surprisingly a different size than the ground. The wires are also not copper! They are some type of plated wire, probably what every was cheapest in the market on production day.


Video 2 interesting points.
John takes apart the plug to determine why there is no ground connection from the ground pin to the ground wire. At 4:30 we can see that there was no attempt to connect the green wire to the ground pin, the wire is just jammed into the plug before it was injected with plastic.

Video 3 interesting parts.
My favorite part of Johns teardown testing is when he tests the wiring under load. When the cable is loaded to 8 amps at 2:20 which is within it’s rated load it completely fails. If that weren’t bad enough at 13:00 we can see that the body of the power bar is not close to being flame retardant.



December 18, 2015

11kV Lightning Arrester

at 4:53 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Teardown



Bigclivedotcom takes a look at how a 11kV Lightning Arrester works. When high voltage lines take a lightening hit they attempt to short it to ground to prevent passing the huge spike in voltage on down the line. The technique used is similar to what is done in a power bar on a big scale. When a high enough voltage is present in the line side a stack of MOV’s conduct the voltage to ground.

“This is a lightning arrester from an 11kV power distribution line with an interesting feature to clear itself electrically when sustained current flows through it.
Inside a robust fibreglass insulated core is a stack of MOV’s (Metal Oxide Varistors) which have a combined voltage to handle the regular peak voltage of the 11kV supply (presumably 15.5kV peak) plus a safety margin. However, when a higher voltage transient occurs on the line the MOV voltage is exceeded and they temporarily develop a lower resistance which shunts the transient to ground to protect other components on the line.
If an excessive over-voltage occurs or the MOVs start to break down after passing a modest amount of transients then there is a disconnecter attached to the bottom of the unit that will literally detonate and blow the ground cable off the end of the unit for safety. The primary function of this is to prevent the lightning arrester from passing significant current from the normal 11kV supply when it fails.”



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