Hacked Gadgets Forum

December 11, 2006

Top 10 Christmas Project Ideas

at 6:45 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Top 5 and Top 10, Toy Hacks
10. Microcontroller Christmas Music

This project will allow you to create your own music using a microcontroller.

“With Christmas fast drawing near, I thought it appropriate to create a project that has a festive theme and also shows what the humble PICmicro is capable of doing with a little imagination and the right tools. i.e. PROTON+ Compiler.

Everyone and their reindeer has created Christmas projects in the past but most of them revolve around multi-coloured flashing LEDs. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with flashing LEDs, but let’s face it, they don’t exactly stimulate the imagination?

So what I’ve created for your perusal is a project to play several well known Christmas tunes using 3 channel (polyphonic) sound, with each channel having a pleasant chime effect. And all this using nothing more than a handful of common or garden components that you probably already have lying around. And yes, you can flash LEDs while the music is playing if you wish!”


9. USB Christmas Light Mod

Instead of simply adding batteries why not power your Christmas swag from your computers USB port.

“Here is a hardware list:
Battery power xmas lights: $5.99
Elmers gel instant glue: already had
Some type of USB cable: already had
—————
total cost for me = ~$6.00”

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November 29, 2006

Top 5 Crazy Watches from Tokyoflash

at 6:12 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Top 5 and Top 10

Check out Tokyoflash for a cool line up crazy watches. Here are my top 5 selections from their huge selection.

5. The Worlds Smallest LED Wristwatch
“At only 8mm thin and 40 grams, the Retsu is just 1/3 of the weight of most other LED watches. The Vertical display runs in line with the edge of the strap forming a smooth transition from one end to the other. Amazingly simple to read, the lights race up to the digit then trail off leaving one light reconfirming the number. This is repeated for each digit to tell the time. So straight forward it’s surprising no one has ever thought of it before.”

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June 13, 2006

Top 5 Spinning LED Displays

at 7:02 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Crazy Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Top 5 and Top 10
1. 32 RGB LED Magic Ball

With a bunch of RGB (Red Green Blue) LEDs you can make a real cool display. This one was made using a Microchip 16F628 microcontroller and serial to parallel converter chips since the 16F628 doesn’t have 32 outputs.



2. SPIN

Talk about life size. The SPIN display is massive and has a nice effect.

“We’ve all seen a train or a car whizzing past us in the night. If it’s close enough and we don’t move our heads rather quickly, we see that its lights appear as horizontal lines instead of moving dots. This is due to a characteristic of our eyes known as Persistence of Vision. A retina is capable of changing the data it sends to the brain only so fast. A quickly moving light appears to be in many places at once. If it’s on continuously, we see a solid line. If it’s flashing, we see a line of dots. This phenomenon can be thought of as the brain having a limited “frame rate”. Movies “work” only because of this limitation. We only think we’re seeing fluid motion around us because the brain is so good at piecing bits of data into continuous images and stories.”

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May 24, 2006

Top 5 Old TV Hacks

at 5:54 pm. Filed under Crazy Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Top 5 and Top 10
1. Plasma Globe

Link 1
Link 2
Link 3

“The heart of the high-voltage generator is a standard flyback transformer transplanted from an old TV set. The globe is mostly vacuum but has a tiny amount of inert gases namely neon and xenon. When excited by the HF-HV electro-magnetic field, atoms of the gas become ionized and cause various beautiful plasma trails to be produced within the sphere. Touching the sphere while operating (safe to do) is exciting because the plasma streams tend to follow your finger tips. ”

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Top 5 Cool Tables

at 4:45 am. Filed under Insane Equipment, Top 5 and Top 10
1. iBar, Interactive Touch Screen Bar Table

The iBar is one heck of a cool bar!

“iBar is a system for the interactive design of any bar-counter. Integrated video-projectors can project any content on the milky bar-surface. The intelligent tracking system of iBar detects all objects touching the surface. This input is used to let the projected content interact dynamically with the movements on the counter. Objects can be illuminated at their position or virtual objects can be “touched” with the fingers. ”



2. Human Locator Table

I could see this table being fun to play with. Too bad it is only in Vegas…

“The multiple award winning Tabu Ultra Lounge at the Las Vegas MGM Grand has been recently renovated with the addition of 5 interactive tables. Since its opening, Tabu has been the trend setter for the many lounges that have recently sprung up in Las Vegas.”

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May 19, 2006

Top 5 DIY Glove Keyboards

at 7:29 pm. Filed under Computer Hacks, DIY Hacks, Top 5 and Top 10

The Acceleration Sensing Glove (virtual keyboard) was created by some students at the University of California, Berkeley. I can think of lots of other cool applications for this other than just typing.

“An Analog Devices 2 axis ADXL 202 accelerometer is placed on top of each finger on the glove. Additionally, a sixth accelerometer is placed on the back of the hand. The analog signals from the accelerometers are digitized by an Atmel AVR microcontroller, which in turn sends the data to the computer via the serial port. The hardware supports wireless transmission of the data over RF but currently that capability has not been demonstrated.”


This glove is so clean looking it reminds me of Michael Jackson 🙂 Check out the full description of the KeyGlove.

Watch the Video

“The KeyGlove uses the electronics from an old keyboard. A keyboard is more or less a 16 x 8 grid. When you press a key, you short out a row with a column, and the electronics translate this into a number which is sent to the computer. The glove works by hooking up each of the rows and columns to press-studs, which the user then touches together to generate a keypress.”


This KeyGlove seems to be quite easy to build, and the total cost is quite low!

” 21 Dritz nickel “snap on” 3/8″ snaps from local fabric store ($5)
1 pair of black leather gloves from Wilson Leather ($20)
1 CompUSA 101 Key keyboard model #MKB931 ($15)
1 spool wire wrap wire from Radio Shack ($3)
(Douglas J.A.R. Sasse suggested: doll house wire)
1 spool of black heavy duty thread ($1)
10+ plastic zip ties ($1)”


The Thumbcode Glove was born in Stanford University. There is a full paper available on the site about the creation of the glove.

“Thumbcode is a device independent digital sign language. Device independence means that it is designed to work with a wide variety of devices. One early device we have experimented with is the Thumbcode Glove, shown below.”


The Data Glove uses IR LEDs to read finger positions. There is a complete parts list and code to make your own on the site.

“The basic operation of the glove is a simple voltage divider. The emitter end of the sensor sends light to the detector. Depending on the position of your finger you will get somewhere between full light and no light. This varies the resistance of the detector thus changing the voltage at Vout according to the light received. This simple concept is used to create the dataglove sensors.”


One extra glove for good measure… Dennis Crowley used flex sensors in his Keyboard Glove to get rid of his keyboard. He provides full source code and a parts list on his site.

“The flex sensor behaved in a fairly predicatable pattern, and when connected to ground via two 100 Ohm resistors gave me a range of 0-20. When the sensor was attached to the glove, I found that when the hand was “at rest” (flat with finger spread out), the average flex was around 15. I soon starting writing BasicX code which would check the current flex reading and compare it to this average to determine whether the finger was raised or lowered. ”

April 25, 2006

Top 5 Dead Hard Drive Projects

at 1:10 am. Filed under Crazy Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Top 5 and Top 10

What do you do when your hard drive dies or is so small it is no longer useful? Easy, rip it apart and make something cool out of it! Here are 5 ideas to get you started.


1) Hard Drive Laser Oscilloscope (page 2)
2) Hard Drive Clock (page 3)
3) Hard Drive Speakers (page 4)
4) Hard Drive Generator (page 5)
5) Hard Drive Wind Chimes (page 6)


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