Hacked Gadgets Forum

July 13, 2014

How to Quickly Trace PCB Tracks

at 7:07 pm. Filed under Electronic Hacks

 

If you are trying to troubleshoot a PCB you probably don’t have the schematic and can just guess where PCB traces go, if you try to follow them manually it can be tedious as you follow vias from one side of the board to the other just to loose the trace under a chip. Sure you can probe around to try to find where the trace goes but with any substantial sized board that can take forever. The technique demonstrated above uses a large finger tip size piece of aluminum foil to quickly dab around the board covering a dozen or more points at a press looking for a common pin. When an area has been found you then just need to probe around and see where the connection was. If the board you are working on is mainly through hole you are probably best off probing around on the rear of the board since items such as electrolytic caps won’t be testable from the component side. 

I have never seen this technique used before, I wonder if a wand type probe tip could be made that would work a bit better than the foil finger. I am imagining a tip that looks something like a brush that girls use to apply blush, if the puffy thin strands of the brush were conductive this might be the ideal tool.

Via: Electronics Foru

 


July 11, 2014

Vintage Internet Radio

at 11:45 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks

music-box

 

By looking at this radio you would expect to tune in a great AM radio station but there is some modern electronic magic in here to allow it to play your favorite tunes from the internet. 

“Using the credit card sized computer, Raspberry Pi–the sky is the limit. To get the best streaming music experience for this project once you have the Raspberry Pi, use the free Linux distribution, Pi MusicBox. Pi MusicBox offers the cream of the crop:

  • Spotify, Google Music and Sound Cloud
  • Remote control it with a nice browser-interface, or with an MPD-client
  • Web Radio
  • AirTunes/AirPlay streaming
  • Last.FM scrobbling
  • Play music files from the SD, USB, Network
  • and more!”

July 10, 2014

Android Thermostat

at 12:32 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

 Android_thermostat

 

Yesterday we looked at an entry level DIY thermostat project. If you want to go all in with processing power and features have a look at the Open Source Android Thermostat Project. It is based around the IOIO-OTG and uses the TMP36 temperature sensor. A small custom PCB is used to hold the handful of components that make the control side of things work and you simply connect up your Android device for an instant great looking screen with touch interface.

 “Android Thermostat is an open source thermostat project ideal for programmers and electronics hobbyists. As the name suggests the application runs on Android phone that is connected to some basic electronic components for controlling your home HVAC system.It costs around $140 to build and can be assembled in an afternoon.

It has several advantages over a traditional thermostat including the ability to easily create multiple schedules that are as simple or complex as you like, remote control access, monitoring of usage and easy updates over the internet. It’s API and open source nature means you can further customize the thermostat to perform additional functions. “

 

 

Android_thermostat_2


July 9, 2014

Arduino Thermostat Project

at 5:33 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

Arduino Thermostat Project

 

If your thermostat just stopped working you could go to the store and purchase a new one but why not make your own. You can add any feature you like, want to control it from your smart phone? Add an ethernet module and go for it. Want to add schedules? Add a RTC and you can program timed temperature settings to your hearts content. Want to make sure the average temperature in your house is kept to a certain temperature? Add multiple sensors in various areas and average them together or add some dampers to control the air flow in various zones. Your imagination if the only limitation.

This Arduino Thermostat Project by Dylon124 is just the basics but from this starting place anything can be done.

July 6, 2014

Name the Thing Contest – 255

at 8:39 pm. Filed under Contests

 guess_this

 

The prize this week is an SD Card Reader. This contest will run for one week (July 6 – 11, 2014). Ending time is based on central standard time. To enter, identify the item above and what it can be used for. Please note the image above is a side view of the thing.

Please do not give the answer in the comments.

Send an email to contest @ hackedgadgets.com with “Name the Thing Contest” as the subject, and the message body consisting of:

  • The name of the item in the above picture
  • An example of what the item pictured above can be used for

The winner will be chosen at random from all of the correct entries.

Below is a picture of the prize.

arduino_sd_card_reader


Drawer Slide CNC Machine

at 8:23 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks

 

drez20001 built this CNC machine using plywood for most of the structure, all of the slides have been made using drawer slides. I have seen this done quite a few times, some of them are very tight and smooth. The only concern I would have is longevity but they are cheap and for a hobby machine it sure makes the price right. He is using a small rotary tool for cutting which should be sufficient for most small projects. Only issue with the small tools is they might heat up and self destruct if it is being used continuously for many hours. 

 

July 3, 2014

Arduino Home automation

at 2:04 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks

 

SuperHouse shows us how to control various items around your house using your arduino microcontroller as the brain. This system uses an etherten arduino to allow it to be controlled from the internet. Some stacked relay modules that talk via I2C are used to control external devices. Once mounted in the custom case the module looks great.  Sample code is provided that allows the system to work as a simple webserver that has a button interface to allow you to turn the relays on and off via the web.

“This episode shows the construction sequence of a controller that combines an Arduino-compatible board, Power-over-Ethernet, and relay driver shields to create a self-contained controller that can serve up its own web interface so you can click buttons in your browser to turn devices on and off.”

 

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