Hacked Gadgets Forum

September 10, 2014

APRS – Automatic Packet Reporting System on a Raspberry Pi

at 11:15 pm. Filed under Cool Gadgets


If you need to keep track of the location of some things like your car or your service workers you can sign up for a service that uses cell phones and GPS or you can use the APRS which stands for Automatic Packet Reporting System. Jim Whiteside demonstrates how he is using a Raspberry Pi to gather data, decode it and plot it on a map. Since the service can also send text messages I am wondering if this might be an interesting way to send some small amounts of data occasionally from one location in a city to a base location. Something like high water alarms and temperatures a few times an hour. I am not a ham operator so I am not sure if this would be frowned upon as a use of the system though.

If you are looking to get some additional information on APRS you should have a look at the videos below. If you like reading text tapr.org also has a great resource.


September 9, 2014

Arduino based RGB LED Hard Drive Clock

at 9:00 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks

Arduino based RGB LED Hard Drive Clock


If you are looking for a new desk clock, look no further than this Arduino based RGB LED Hard Drive Clock.

Via: Dangerous Prototypes


“Used material:

  1. Arduino Uno,
  2. Tiny RTC modul,
  3. ULN 2003,
  4. IR diode and IR transistor (used like a sensor, more details in next steps)
  5. 4 pushbuttons (for controling the clock)
  6. TSOP4838 (allows us to control the clock with remote controler)
  7. Temperature sensor (DS18B20)
  8. RGB led strip
  9. Connectors,
  10. Paper,
  11. And of course and old hard disk with working motor.”


Bus Stop Video Game powered by a Raspberry Pi

at 7:51 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets, DIY Hacks

 Bus Stop Video Game powered by a Raspberry Pi


If you are tired of waiting in a boring bus shack waiting for your bus I bet you wish the guys from Norwegian Creations pimped your bus shack!

“The system consists of a Raspberry Pi running RetroPie and a (somewhat modified) Makey Makey. Because the controls needs to be available for the users they need to be somewhat environmentally sealed. Therefore, by using a Makey Makey and some aluminium tape, we created a robust and waterproof “touch” panel on the outside of the booth. The WS2812B led strip is controlled by the Makey Makey, and because it’s open source and Arduino compatible it was easy to modify the source code to also control the led strip based on key strokes.”



 Bus Stop Video Game powered by a Raspberry Pi_2

September 8, 2014

How Ferrite Beads Work – EMI Suppression

at 8:40 pm. Filed under Educational

How Ferrite Beads Work - EMI Suppression_4


If you are working on a project where you want to get rid of EMI from entering an input you might want to look into using some ferrite beads, they can help you out in removing high frequency noise from your circuit. The ferrite looks like a variable resistor that has no impact on your circuit at low infrequence and starts to conduct to short out higher frequencies. It does this by converting the energy that is suppressed into heat.

“Ferrite beads prevent interference in two directions: from a device or to a device. A conductive cable acts as an antenna if the device produces radio frequency energy, this can be transmitted through the cable, which acts as an unintentional radiator. In this case the bead is required for regulatory compliance, to reduce EMI. Conversely, if there are other sources of EMI, such as household appliances, the bead prevents the cable from acting as an antenna and receiving interference from these other devices. This is particularly common on data cables and on medical equipment.”




Raspberry Pi Model Train Controller

at 5:35 am. Filed under Cool Gadgets


The Raspberry Pi is a very powerful heart of many cool projects including this Raspberry Pi Model Train Controller by MrNotbuyinit. The description of the electronics starts at around 2:35. The prototype interface from the Pi is a simple breadboard which looks to be ideal for quick and easy additions and modifications. The Pi is interfacing with a port expander to get more digital outputs out of the Pi. A keyfob is connected to a receiver board that is great to control the system remotely. IR sensors are used to detect where the trains are on the track.

September 7, 2014

Arthur Benjamin – Mathemagician

at 10:23 pm. Filed under What Were They Thinking


Are you good at math? Not sure you will think that after you watch the TED Talk featuring Arthur Benjamin, the Mathemagician.

“Dr. Arthur Benjamin is both a professor of mathematics and a magician. He has combined his two loves to create a dynamic presentation called “Mathemagics,” suitable for all audiences, where he demonstrates and explains his secrets for performing rapid mental calculations faster than a calculator.”



September 4, 2014

HLK-RM04 Serial to WiFi Module

at 10:45 pm. Filed under Educational, Electronic Hacks

HLK-RM04 Serial to WiFi Module


If you are looking to add some WiFi connectivity to your next project the HLK-RM04 Serial to WiFi Module might be just the thing if you want to go wireless. The $10 HLK-RM04  module handles all of the WiFi overhead so your microcontroller project can simply send serial data to it using the TX and RX pins. RAYSHOBBY.NET has a great tutorial including code to get you started with this module.

Via: Dangerous Prototypes

“The chip (RT5350F) is a 360MHz MIPS core with built-in WiFi support. The module is quite powerful — at factory default settings it functions as a normal WiFi router. Now, in order to get it to talk to a microcontroller like Arduino, I need to use its Serial-to-WiFi capability. What is that? Well it means using the serial (TX/RX) interface to send and receive Ethernet buffers, and similarly using serial to send commands to the module and query or change its current status. This is quite convenient because first, it only takes two wires (TX/RX) of the microcontroller to talk to the module, second, it moves WiFI-related tasks to the module allowing the Arduino code to be very much light-weighted. “


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