Hacked Gadgets Forum

April 15, 2015

Make a Emergency Phone Charger from a Pencil

at 9:16 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks


Language Warning on this video by AvE. If some swear words turn you off this video isn’t for you. This is the type of project that could come in handy when you find yourself stuck in the bush with no stores in site. We are shown how to use the resistive properties of the pencil lead to act as a voltage divider and drop the voltage to a save level for phone charging. It would be better to connect it to a 5 volt USB charge cable if one was handy since this will most likely have some voltage protection circuitry built into it, the cable could be cut and stripped with the knife in your back pocket.  That way if you are connected into the USB side of things you could slowly increase the voltage till the phone turns on and starts charging. The only thing to look out for would be the thing you are using as your voltage divider, if it has low resistance it might heat up and burn you. 

April 14, 2015

Thin Film Resistor Networks

at 10:34 am. Filed under Insane Equipment


Dave take a close look at Thin Film Resistor Networks. These are used in various precision electronic gear where extreme precision is needed. This one is from a Keithley DMM7510 7.5 Digit Multimeter and is stamped Fluke, I didn’t now that both companies were owned by Danaher. You may have seen a similar resistor trimming design on a large scale if you have ever purchased a high current monitor shunt except they use a hack saw to cut through the metal strap before painting to dial it into spec.

April 12, 2015

Name the Thing Contest – 277

at 5:35 pm. Filed under Contests



The prize this week is a HMC5883L Triple Axis Compass Magnetometer Sensor so you can add some directionality to your next project. This contest will run for one week (April  12- 17, 2015). Ending time is based on central standard time. To enter, identify the item above and what it can be used for.

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.




Cruise Ship Robotic Entertainment System

at 5:20 pm. Filed under Complex Hacks, Crazy Hacks


These days projection displays are gaining in popularity and are very impressive. If you are working on a very large scale projection is the way to go but for smaller displays have a look at this complex system that uses 100 inch screens that are animated with ABB arms and have a video system that is in sync with the robotic movements to make some interesting visuals. 

“A RoboScreen is a graphical screen mounted to the arm of an ABB articulated arm robot, which creates a unique viewer experience by bringing virtually unlimited, 6-axis movement to the video media. Available in various sizes, the Two70° RoboScreens feature six ABB IRB 6620 robots, each holding a 100” diagonal Daktronics LED screen. Housed in the ceiling while not in use, during shows in Two70° the RoboScreens will extend down on the gantry to a position above the stage, displaying unique video and imagery while performing choreographed movements, all custom produced for the specific performance.

Developed by Andy Flessas (aka andyRobot) in conjunction with ABB, RoboScreens first gained prominence in 2010 when five large models travelled the globe as main stage props for the Bon Jovi Circle Tour. They have since added visual intrigue to a concert tour by Kis-My-Ft2, a Japanese Pop band; the Las Vegas house show for deadmau5, world famous music producer and performer; and the Ultra-Music Festival in Miami. The RoboScreens being installed on the Quantum Class ships will be the first on any sort of moving vessel.”

April 9, 2015

Alarm Clock that Opens Window Blinds

at 10:16 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks

 Alarm Clock that Opens Window Blinds


If you are a heavy sleeper you might need an Alarm Clock that Opens Window Blinds. What better way to wake up than some rays of sun shine, this is assuming that you are trying to wake up in the morning when the sun is out. If you are a shift worker this might not work very well for you.

“It is created using a Spark Core micro controller, a H-Drive circuit, and a really strong geared motor. Its cheap, simple to use, and pretty easy to make! Essentially this project allows your blinds to open and let the sunlight in to wake you up in the morning instead of waking up to that annoying alarm we all have.”


April 8, 2015

RC Car GPS Follower

at 8:55 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


If you have some RC gear and a few bits of GPS electronics this project that iforce2d built might be worth a look.  Have a look at it in action at 2:40.  The user has a GPS module and the car has a GPS module, the module with the person sends its position to the car and the car goes to that location, issue with GPS is that it isn’t very precise so following tight corners is quite challenging. This would perform great in a field though, I would like to see this connected to some farm equipment in the field. There is some code here that will help you build your own. 


April 6, 2015

GPS Guided RC Boat

at 7:20 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks

 GPS guided boat


This GPS Guided RC Boat project is a great way to capture some interesting pre-determined navigation scenes. The boat does a great job of navigating until it hits something or gets swamped. Joseph Fortune has a page that provides build details and code so you can make your own.

 “Here is a rough layout of the parts. The 9V battery hooked to the engine was actually one of those 7V rechargeable RC battery packs. The other 9V battery was to give the Arduino its own noise-free power source (Noise from the engines kept resetting the Arduino). Here I used the Adafruit GPS breakout board, when the project actually used the GPS shield, but they didn’t have the graphic. Other than that, this should be pretty faithful to the actual design.”



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