Hacked Gadgets Forum

September 1, 2012

Reverse Engineering a Toy Helicopter

at 1:28 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Toy Hacks



Seems that reverse engineering remote control toys is becoming quite popular. Last week we saw an RC toy car get hacked so it could be controlled by an Arduino. Kerry Wong recently completed a project where he reverse engineered a toy helicopter. Many inexpensive remote control toys use IR light to transmit commands instead or conventional RF signals which is what Kerry is dealing with in this project. He built an IR receiver that he connected to his RIGOL 1052E scope to capture the pattern for the various remote control commands. Then he was able to generate the commands using an Arduino to send the commands to the helicopter with the original remote control. I am thinking that this will be tons of fun with a few scripted commands. Kerry has made all of the code available on his site.

August 30, 2012

RC Car Automation

at 2:39 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Toy Hacks


Jon Bennett from JBProjects.net has just completed his latest creation. He purchased a cheap $9 remote control car, added a bit of electronics and now has a car that allows complete control using an Arduino. He has PWM control over the motors to give the car some refined control. All of the code has been made available so you could make your own.


August 21, 2012

Lite Brite LED Clock

at 10:38 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Toy Hacks


You probably remember those fun Light Bright boxes that were so much fun to play with. This one looks a lot different than the plain white wedge that I had when I was young, but the concept is the same. Over at Mean PC you can see how a simple  Lite Brite was turned into a Lite Brite  LED Clock. You can see the numerous build videos that take you from the beginning to end.

Thanks for sending this in Lonnie.

“The Arduino lite brite clock basically consists of an Arduino, 46 LED’s, 12 resistors, a Lite Brite and a few other odds and ends. I have the LED’s multiplexed like this: all of the cathodes on each row are soldered together. All of the anodes on each column are soldered together. The LED’s making up the colon are stand alone. Since there are 5 rows and 10 columns, the digits take up 15 pins on the Arduino, and the colon takes up 2 pins for 17 pins total. “


August 20, 2012

Cheap Tricopter Build and Stunt Demonstration

at 10:42 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Toy Hacks


Hallstudio has been flying RC planes since 1989, lots of things have changed since then. Check out this great Cheap Tricopter Build that he put together. It comprises of a bunch of inexpensive parts that total around $100 but give you the a great tricopter base that you can fly and modify. There are lots of interesting tricks that he demonstrates in the video such as the use of a drywall screw as a simply pivot point which allows a cheap $5 servo to move the tail rotor. If you want to build it he has provided a full list of all the parts needed in the comments of this video. Once you have the tricopter built you don’t want to be knocking into yourself or other things while you fly the thing. Check out the video below where Hallstudio demonstrates a simply but effective carbon fiber beach ball like cage that allows you to bump into things from all angles with no issues. I guess things like the AR Drone has similar crash resistant properties but there is something very cool seeing the flying sphere.


July 21, 2012

CD Wheels for RC Truck

at 8:39 am. Filed under Funny Hacks, Toy Hacks


Next time you are looking for something to bling up your RC vehicle why not look around the house. took some CDs and attached them to his RC truck with some interesting results. I think all he needs to do next is add some of the 80mm CDs as some spinners. 🙂


July 15, 2012

Quadcopter made to look like a Formula1 Race Car

at 7:24 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks, Toy Hacks



Most of the quadcopters we see look almost the same, you need to look at the specs to see what is different about them. Jose Julio sent in his Quadcopter that was made to look like a Formula1 Race Car, now there isn’t any mistaking it for another! The body looks great yet the construction seems to be nice and simple, Jose took some red coroplast plastic and cut it into the basic side shape of the racing car. When adorned with some stickers it resembles the real thing quite well.


July 7, 2012

Remote Control PVC Pipe

at 11:41 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Toy Hacks



This Remote Control PVC Pipe is one of the strangest remote control projects I have ever seen. This RC vehicle is using drill motors to provide the get us an go. We have seen drill motors used in an RC project before but it was more of a motor replacement situation.

“Smooth start required something to push the speed control of the drills.

I used one of the controls from one of the drills. The thing that pushes this control is a system taken from car headlights regulator. It operates by moving a rod forward and backwards. This helped me push the speed control. It also works at 12V.

The idea is that this moving rod is controlled from the receiver. If any of the four channels receives a signal – the rod extends and pushes the speed control. Then current flows through this control and also through the relay of the channel which is opened – then the motor spins.”


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