Hacked Gadgets Forum

December 21, 2013

Weiser and Kwikset Smart Key Insecurities

at 11:09 pm. Filed under What Were They Thinking

 

In the average year I need to change 5 or 6 sets of locks. My usual practice is to purchase an inexpensive lock from the local hardware store and simply toss out the original lock and install a new one. This is normally cheaper and faster than having the locks re-keyed. The old lock can also be used in less secure locations if desired. I was thinking it might be worth while to invest in a smart lock such as the  Kwikset Smart Key. In Canada they are branded Weiser but both were owned by Black and Decker so their smart locks are the same item under two names. Funny thing is they have a video that boasts how safe they are since they can’t be opened with a bump key.

The in store demonstrations look great and I can imagine how simple it would be to just walk into a locksmith and have him make 10 or 20 keys with a variety of random patterns so that a re-key of a lock would be as simple as tossing the original keys, taking a new random one and programing it in the lock. Turns out while this technology looks awesome, the actual lock mechanism is a piece of garbage. I was looking for some information on how the actual lock system worked and was able to be re-keyed. I didn’t find this information (If you have a link, please share!) but what I did find was how insecure this poor excuse for a lock actually is.

 I am not saying that the average lock is much of a defense against someone who wants to defeat it since on occasion I have had the need to get through a lock that was changed without my permission. I have never attempted to pick a lock but I have never spent more than 2 or 3 minutes with a nice powerful drill and a decent drill bit.

The marketing video above looks fantastic, how could you go wrong with such an innovative product? Then when you see the videos below you will see how terrible the lock actually is… Too bad Kevo is built on top of this crappy platform.

 UPDATE: Thanks to Dave who provided this link that describes how the lock works. Shane Lawson also created a method of decoding the lock, this video has been entered as the last video below.

 

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Arduino used in Semi-Automatic Production Line Equipment

at 7:54 pm. Filed under Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking

Arduino used in Semi-Automatic Production Line Equipment

 

When you walk through a factory full of automated machines that are doing repetitive tasks you will usually see a large metal electrical cabinet beside each machine. Inside that box will most likely be a PLC that is controlling the machine by monitoring inputs and controlling motors and valves. This all sounds fine until you look at the price of this equipment, $10 or $20K will get you a decent PLC system but you will get a truck load of Arduino gear for that.

Alexander Kozusyev turned to Arduino to provide some simple automation to a production line. I can just imagine the amount of money that was saved. I understand that an Arduino isn’t a true comparison to the rugged nature of PLC equipment that will run in the nastiest production environment in sweltering heat 24 hours a day. But in some situations I think it might make an interesting alternative.

Via: Arduino Blog

“Production line has two independent CNC 3-axis manipulator. The first spraying of release agent. Second automatic pouring polyurethane into the mold. Before spraying or pouring read RFID unique code for the mold, and then loads the G-CODE from the database server based MySQL. After pouring, the mould is moved to the waiting area.”

 


September 19, 2013

Heavy Lifting Copters

at 11:39 pm. Filed under Funny Hacks, Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking

 

Hobby King had a great plan to get people building big lifting copters. They call it the Beer Lift but water is used as a substitute although I am sure an equal weight of beer is weighting behind the scenes for enjoying after the competition. The last video isn’t a heavy lift but make sure you watch what happens at 2:20, that is some good flying!

 

 

 

 


August 30, 2013

Waterproof Electrical/Electronic Spray

at 9:42 am. Filed under What Were They Thinking

 

This Waterproof Electrical/Electronic Spray by Nano Protech looks amazing. Not exactly sure I understand how it works though. At first I thought it sealed the electronics but they demonstrate a socket and light bulb still operating after they are coated and then screwed together. Obviously the coating isn’t an insulator since the bulb is still making contact and it isn’t a conductor since it isn’t shorting out. I would be curious if they salted up that water well if the results would be the same since I am not certain that a light bulb socket would arc in distilled water? I wonder if the coating is simply being scratched through by the contacts on the bulb to make the contact.

“Based on a new kind of nano-zeolithe-technology with a slightly oily consistency, the coating crawls under rust,  oxidations  and humidity, forming a three dimensional multifunctional protective barrier network at the interface. Fills micro cavities (in circuit boards, micro circuitry, electric coils etc.). Powerful capillary effect allows the product to penetrate inside the blocks without dismantling. Excellent water repellent properties and low surface tension allow it to form a thin protective coating penetrating under the water layer. After spraying, a protective coating forms on the surface. NANO PROTECH provides a 100% water extrusion rate within 10 seconds.”

 

 

August 28, 2013

Calculator Powered by a Transistor Solar Cell

at 9:28 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks, What Were They Thinking

 Calculator Powered by a Transistor Solar Cell

 

Who knew you could use the guts of a power transistor as a solar cell! Steven fromRimStar even takes it a step further and chains five 2n3055 in a base to collector configuration to generate enough voltage to power a small calculator. Funny how some electronics form China are working fakes. The small calculator he got has a small solar cell in it already but once the case was cracked open it turned out that the calculator was simply powered by a small coin cell battery. I wonder if the solar cell was a fake or they were just too lazy to hook it up.

Via: Solar Power and Electronic Measurement Equipment

“To easily make a homemade/DIY solar cell, get a power transistor like the 2N3055 and carefully cut open the case. That exposes the semiconductor material inside to light. Hook up some wires and you’re done! Doing this I managed to get around 500 millivolts and 5.5 milliamps which is 2.7 milliwatts.”

 

 


August 3, 2013

How to 3D Print an Aston Martin

at 4:36 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, What Were They Thinking

3d-printed_car_aston_martin-4

 

3D printers are all the rage. Not sure where things will be in 10 years but I can’t wait to see what it will be like when you can pick up a 3D printer in Walmart beside the Lexmark all in 1 printer for $150. Printing door knobs and clothes pins will be second nature, just like printing a garage sale sign is today. I am not sure we will see the day when cars are printed in huge printers in peoples back garages but check out this 3D Printed Aston Martin build! Is this the future of car building? You can see the CAD file design stage here. Nice starting point as opposed to lots of the prop builders who are working from pictures but don’t let that fool you, it is a huge undertaking!

Via: Make

 

July 31, 2013

450mph Land Speed Record Project

at 11:45 pm. Filed under Insane Equipment, What Were They Thinking

 

This project will get funded at $200,000. They are hoping to get it flying across the ground at 450mph! With dual 2000 horse power engines it has tons of power to get the job done. Good luck on Danny Thompson continuing what his father Mickey Thompson started.

More Details

Streamliner Facts:

  • The skin of the car is made-up entirely of 68 hand formed aluminum panels. They are connected to the subframe via simple Dzus buttons.
  • The streamliner has two engines, one on either side of the cockpit. The original 1960s setup delivered nearly 1800hp. Our new engines provide close to 4000hp.
  • The engines are dry blocks (waterless), which means all of the cooling is provided by the fuel. A single run will consume approximately 50 gallons of nitro blend fuel.
  • The car ends its runs nearly 500 pounds lighter due to fuel consumption.
  • The tires are a prototype nylon weave backed with banded steel. There is only 1/32 of an inch of rubber. Any more would spin off due to heat and expansion. They are custom made by Mickey Thompson Tires.
  • Primary stopping power is provided by dual parachutes that deploy four foot blossoms. We also have four carbon fiber disk brakes just in case.”

 

450mph Land Speed Record Project_2

450mph Land Speed Record Project

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