Hacked Gadgets Forum

November 15, 2015

Internet Radio in an Antique Case

at 9:51 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks

Internet Radio in an Antique Case



You can see the case above that Tony Flynn built the Internet Radio project around. The outside may look old but the internals are sporting a powerful Raspberry Pi. It uses your local wifi to tune in internet tunes.

“The radio is configurable by anyone and no programming skills are required.  All the stations and settings are stored in a text based configuration file which is stored on a USB memory stick accessible at the back of the radio.  When the user wants to change the settings or add new stations they remove the USB stick and edit the text-file using a laptop and any text editor.”


November 14, 2015

Component Tester FISH 8840 Review

at 7:21 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks, Reviews



This is an inexpensive component tester called the FISH 8840 which you can find from many online eBay retailers for around $30. The interface is very simple, attach a device to be tested and press the test button. It turns off after about 20 seconds, pressing the off button puts it into sleep mode immediately. There is a ZIF socket that allows you to insert leaded devices and pads that allow you to press SMD devices directly onto the tester. Their are number 1 through 3 on the tester where you connect the device under test to and then the screen will display the recognized component with the lead numbers on a component schematic picture. There seems to be an issue with the capacitor testing mode with a range of values, I will discuss this with the seller to see what the resolution to this is. I have seen this tester work fine with capacitors so I think it is just something with this one. You can see the features and functions below.


“NEW Function:
1:Automatic detection of NPN and PNP transistors, n-channel and p-channel MOSFET, diode (including double diode), thyristor, transistor, resistor and capacitor and other components
2: Automatic test the pin of a component, and display on the LCD
3:Can detect the transistor, MOSFET protection diode amplification coefficient and the base to determine the emitter transistor forward biased voltage
4: Measure the gate and gate capacitance of the MOSFET threshold voltage
5:Use 12864 liquid crystal display with green backlight
Specifications: For you reference
1 two -button operation, automatic shutdown .
2,Only 20nA shutdown current.
3,Automatically detect NPN, PNP bipolar transistors , N -channel and P -channel MOS FET, JFET , diodes , two diodes, thyristors small power unidirectional and bidirectional thyristor.
4,Automatic identification components pin arrangement .
5,Measuring bipolar transistor current amplification factor and base – emitter threshold voltage.
6,Via the base – emitter threshold voltage and high current amplification factor to identify Darlington transistors.
7,Can detect bipolar transistors and MOS transistors protection diodes.
8,Measuring the gate MOS FET threshold voltage and the gate capacitance.
9,Can simultaneously measure two resistors and resistor symbol is displayed. Displayed on the right with a decimal value of 4 . Resistance symbol on both sides shows the pin number. So you can measure the potentiometer. If the potentiometer wiper is not transferred to an extreme position , we can distinguish the middle and both ends of the pin.
10,Resistance measurement resolution is 0.1 ohms , 50M ohms can be measured .
11,Can measure capacitanceCan measure capacitance of 30pF-100mF , resolution 1pF.
12.2uF more capacitors can simultaneously measure the equivalent series resistance ESR values. The two can be displayed with a decimal value , resolution 0.01 ohms.
13,Can be in the correct order and the diode symbol display two diodes , and gives the diode forward voltage.
14.LED is detected as a diode forward voltage higher . Combo of the LED is identified as two diodes.
15,Eeverse breakdown voltage is less than 4.5V Zener diode can be identified.
16,Can measure a single diode reverse capacitance. If the bipolar transistor connected to the base and collector or emitter of a pin , it can measure the collector or emitter junction reverse capacitance .
18 can be obtained with a single measurement rectifier bridge connection.
Notice: Before measuring capacitance , the capacitor must be discharged , otherwise very likely damage the meter .”




November 12, 2015

Teardown of an Arduino based Industrial PLC

at 9:05 pm. Filed under Electronic Hacks, Insane Equipment, Teardown


Peter Oakes goes over a Arduino based Industrial PLC system called Industrial Shields. If you are an Arduino programmer and are looking to incorporate your design into something that is a bit more robust this might be for you. I was thinking the system would just use some of the standard Atmel chips that are common in Arduino systems and just use the IDE for programming but it actually incorporates the real Arduino boards. Of course there is not much protection on the normal Arduino boards since that would add a lot of expense and for a quick and dirty project would not normally be needed.

The system comes with a modular DIN rail system which allows for module replacement and addition flexibility. The parts that are used in the system is high quality and looks to be built very robustly. Looks like everything is opto isolated to prevent an external fault from taking out your entire control system. Much of the terminal blocks are pluggable which also aids in fast module replacements. Only thing that looks a bit janky is the wiring harness that can be seen at 41:30 which seems like it could have been better designed.

“The brand is “Industrial Shield” and they are from a company in Barcelona, Spain called “Boot and Work S.L.”
One of the really cool things about these PLCs is that they are based on Open Source Hardware in the form of an Arduino Leonardo or the Arduino MEGA2560… yes the real thing, no modifications aside from providing an industrial strength interfacing circuits around them, wrapped up in a nice industrial DIN rail mountable package including full 24V operation, 0-10V analog in and out as well as isolated relay outputs and OPTO isolated digital inputs and outputs”


November 11, 2015

Analog Alarm Clock Siren Hack

at 5:17 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Shake the Future shows us how to remove the internal buzzer of a small alarm clock and wire it to a much louder siren and strobe unit. This simple hack involves taking the small clock completely apart to get at the electronics that activate the internal buzzer. When the clock activates the alarm there is a small open relay that closes, with this wired in series with the siren the system is ready to test. After you are complete it will be hard to sleep through your ringing alarm again.


November 9, 2015

Self-flying Drone Avoids Obstacles at 30 Miles per Hour

at 2:49 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets

Check out this Self-flying Drone Avoids Obstacles at 30 Miles per Hour. It looks like this technology is
is not just for smart cars trying to avoid pedestrians and parked cars. CSAIL PhD student Andrew Barry has made this project open source for everyone to benefit from. It can fly through the treetops and dynamically avoid branches and tree trunks. It does this by using a stereo vision system.

“Running 20 times faster than existing software, Barry’s stereo-vision algorithm allows the drone to detect objects and build a full map of its surroundings in real-time. Operating at 120 frames per second, the software – which is open-source and available online – extracts depth information at a speed of 8.3 milliseconds per frame.

The drone, which weighs just over a pound and has a 34-inch wingspan, was made from off-the-shelf components costing about $1,700, including a camera on each wing and two processors no fancier than the ones you’d find on a cellphone.”

November 6, 2015

Emirates A380 and Jetman Dubai Formation Flight

at 4:40 pm. Filed under Crazy Hacks


Watching the Jetman suit flying in formation with the Emirates A380 plane is a heck of a feat. But with enough planning it is possible.

“While the formation flight looked effortless on film, painstaking planning and meticulous collaboration with an intense focus on safety drove all efforts. Click here to watch what went into making the Emirates A380 and Jetman Dubai team formation happen.

The carefully choreographed aerial showcase involved the world’s largest passenger aircraft flying at 4,000 feet in two holding patterns. The A380 aircraft was then joined by the Jetmen Dubai duo, experienced pilots and operators of the smallest jet propelled wing, who were deployed from a helicopter that hovered above the aircraft at 5,500 feet. The duo conducted formations on both sides of the aircraft and joined to one side thereafter before breaking away.”


November 3, 2015

Full Spectrum Light Therapy Build

at 10:24 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks

DIY Sunlight Simulator Light Therapy Light wide


Lots of people feel a bit down when we get less natural light in the winter months. SAD lights have been around for awhile and can be purchased from a few places but Luke Skaff decided to build one from scratch. His design allows for a light output that is closer to what you get in real sun.

“I made two full spectrum ceramic metal halide light therapy lights for my mom who has Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). They have a much higher color rendering index (CRI) and produce a more full spectrum output of visible light than fluorescent ‘SAD’ light boxes on the market. This allows it to be much more closely matched to the sun’s emission spectra than fluorescent and the vast majority of LEDs. Each light outputs 12,000 lumens and can hit the 10,000 Lux requirement.”


Cermaic metal halide bulb cool down

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