Hacked Gadgets Forum

January 31, 2012

Nixie Tube IN-18 Tester

at 1:46 pm. Filed under Vintage Electronics


Who would have thought that in 2012 we would have a need for Nixie tube testers since this was a technology that was only developed and used because things like LEDs didn’t exist. Since the technology is so cool it has remained as a technology that is used in some DIY kits and projects.

Thanks for sharing this with us Vassilis.

“A simple device for testing and/or healing Nixie tubes of IN-18 type. An 11-pole switch is connected in series with a 50 KΩ pot (+ 470 Ω resistor for safety), powering from an 180V DC source. Normal operation at 2 mA is shown. “

September 9, 2011

Steampunk Webcam from an Old Heater

at 5:15 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Vintage Electronics, What Were They Thinking


If you like steampunk you will want to watch the video below where fellow Canadian Robert Shuttleworth from shuttlewerks / ephemera shows us how he builds a webcam from an old electric heater.

“Steam punk webcam built from a 1930’s electric heater. Not technically difficult and should cost under $50. Resulting image is old time Alice Through the Looking Glass”

January 3, 2011

DIY 1970’s Calculator

at 5:13 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Vintage Electronics


If you think about the technology in the 70s and wonder what a home made calculator would look like this is exactly what I have in mind. A wooden box is used to house multiple small circuit boards and reams of colored wires connect everything together. I remember hearing about the Woz designing many of his creations on paper rather than with actual electronics since the parts were so expensive. In this case the cost of purchasing a similar calculator made building one from scratch a viable option. This is almost unthinkable these days where you can get a calculator for less than a dollar and it has a built in battery and solar power as a backup!

Via Hack a Day

“Back in the good old days of the early 1970s, small desktop calculators were made by several companies. However, they cost quite a lot of money. The average engineer didn’t have that much cash lying around, but still wanted to relieve himself of the burdens of manual mathematical computations.”


November 26, 2010

Watch TV on an CRT Scope

at 5:11 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Crazy Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Vintage Electronics

Tired of watching your flat panel LCD and miss the days when you were trouble shooting your circuits with a CRT scope? You can have the best of both worlds with this circuit. CameramanLink designed the circuit below to make it happen. If you have a few hours to kill have a look at the ton of projects that CameramanLink has done!

“Homemade television video monitor built from scratch. It uses a 5″ 5UP1 CRT to display a video image in black and green. This is the fourth of five video display projects I’ve built. After building the 2AP1 T-Vision, I decided to build another similar circuit but with further improved features. This circuit uses 2 multivibrator oscillators with improved linearity to produce the sawtooth waves for the horizontal and vertical scanning. It uses many of the same improvements made to the previous 2AP1 T-Vision: 1) It uses a wide band video amplifier to increase frequency response, allowing for better horizontal resolution, 2) It uses vertical retrace blanking applied to the cathode of the CRT to remove the flyback lines, 3) It uses balanced deflection amplifiers for even focus across the screen.”


November 3, 2010

Typewriter automated using Solenoids

at 5:43 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Funny Hacks, Game Hacks, Insane Equipment, Vintage Electronics

Remember ZORK? Take a look at this typewriter which has been automated by hooking up tons of electro-mechanical goodness to an old typewriter!

Thanks for the tip Jack.

“Each key is attached by fishing line to a solenoid, an electromechanical device that pulls down when electric current is passed through it. The solenoids sit behind and underneath the typewriter in a multi-layer structure. The solenoids are connected to a MOSFET, which allows the lower-power parts of the circuit to control the high-power solenoids.”

September 7, 2010

1953 Radio upgraded and now plays MP3s

at 9:34 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Vintage Electronics


I had never heard of the system that this radio used to be used on. It was tied into the telephone system and received the audio programming over the phone line. Since this system has been discontinued the 1953 Radio was upgraded to play MP3s and FM Radio. The neat thing about the conversion is that it still uses all the original electronics to make the sound so it still sounds like it is from the 50s!

Thanks Muris.

“The idea is that the mp3 player and the FM receiver’s audio signals are re-modulated by using an AM modulator to keep the sound quality as it was. The radio now has IR remote that is actually from a car mp3 player (see the last image). The radio receives FM stations from a tuner PCB taken out from a working FM radio receiver.”



September 2, 2010

Worlds Smallest TV Station from back in 1959

at 5:25 am. Filed under Vintage Electronics


Back in 1959 a small garage was rented and a DIY television studio was born. The TV station was called PJ-TV because they were located in Port Jervis. They were broadcasting to its viewers instead of using the airwaves. Seems that things have come full circle, all of the big networks are turning to IP TV for a large portion of their offering and other initiatives such as TWIT and Revision 3 are solely internet based and entering the viewers homes on wires.

The 19 by 20 garage reminds me of the TWIT cottage a bit, they have recently expanded their staff and have taken over more rooms in the cottage so it’s now larger than the 380 sq foot PJ-TV garage though. For a look at the tour of the TWIT cottage that Mostly Lisa (Lisa Bettany) recorded have a look at the bottom of this article.

One day Hacked Gadgets will need to do a road trip and visit Leo Laporte at TWIT and Kevin Rose at Revision 3!



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