Your source for daily hacks

Published on: September 6, 2013 / Comments: None

Remote control WheelBarrow ? Hell yeah!

Look I wont lie to you, I hate yard work, so I really like this guy’s style.  Yeah I’d feel sorta weird loading this thing up and driving it to the dump site and letting it take some of the load off of me.  In the build instructions the author says it began life as a robotic mower project (that’s what I really need I tell ya) but ended up making this wheelbarrow instead.

So what’s involved in the build?  First it starts off with just building a giant remote control platform.  Use something beefy like an electric wheel chair.  Add some motor controllers, and an off the shelf radio control interface.  Mount it up to the wheelbarrow platform and you’re almost there.  The tricky part here is rigging up the pneumatic cylinder to dump the load.  The author is running a 24oz CO2 tank, some paintball hoses and a regulator.  All hooked up to a 3 way air valve and turned by high torque servo to lift and lower the ‘dump’. (more…)

Published on: September 5, 2013 / Comments: 2

Xbox Controller Case Mod

This may be just the hack I need to keep my kids from hogging the Xbox.  Inspired by the late ’90′s film eXistenZ our hacker friend ‘leftmusing’ came up a mod that might just make you squirm a little.

Sculpted Xbox Controller Mod Parts

After carefully opening the case she applied a little dish soap as a releasing agent.  Then she sculpted Sculpey Polymer Clay into the desired disturbing shape.  Parts of the mold were too thin so she broke it into smaller more manageable chunks and then baked it in the over at 275F for about 10 minutes.

After baking she used a little sandpaper to adjust the fit.  She used epoxy to bond the parts back together and also mixed the dust from sanding with a little epoxy to fill in the gaps. She finished it off with a bit or paint and clear coat.  See more build photos after the break.


Published on: September 3, 2013 / Comments: 1

SNESoIP puts your controller on the net

The project it currently in its early stage, but fully functional and could be used to play multiplayer games over the Internet.
The sheer fact that people seem to spend a great deal of time modernizing vintage consoles tells you one thing, that retro gaming is awesome.  The SNESoIP project is not a full solution for playing SNES games (on a real console I might add, not an emulator) over the internet, but it is a start.

The concept here is to basically move the controllers to a packet format that can be manipulated over networking.  On the hardware side, it’s basically a box with an ethernet cable and a SNES controller jack.  It looks like the processor is an ATmega8 with an enc28j60 for ethernet (which was mentioned earlier as a cheap Arduino solution).

The project is open source, has source code, schematic, and pcb files here on github.

Published on: August 14, 2013 / Comments: None

Reusing Camcorder LCD’s on the Raspberry Pi

Warren Gay, avid Raspberry Pi hardware hacker, was able to remove the LCD screen from an old Hitachi camcorder and use it as the primary display on his Raspberry Pi.  He had a lot of help from the service manual for the camcorder, but this is still a pretty awesome hack, especially for those looking to make RaspPi handhelds or portable gadgets on the cheap.  Even better, the display and backlight runs off of 6v (4 AA batteries, anyone?)

Imagine all of the portable game emulators and WiFi sniffers and other fun stuff that could be made on a tight budget. Couple this with a 3D printed case and a battery pack and you’ve got yourself a tiny laptop…

Published on: August 12, 2013 / Comments: None

Making use of those unused buttons on your remote

On the 20 some-odd remotes I have around the house, I know there are a bunch of buttons on some of them that don’t do anything for my model of whatever it controls.  Badr noticed the same thing on his satellite receiver.  So he decided to give those extra buttons something to control.

Armed with a little IR transmission know-how, a 16f84a, a transistor array and some relays he added support for controlling his some lights and a fan.

He’s got a schematic and source code up here.


Published on: August 8, 2013 / Comments: None

Millennium 64 and N64 Pi!

This is the kind of stuff that I really like to see.   Baka Chan is my type of hacker.  Here is his build log of taking the guts from a Nintendo 64, and sticking it in a Millennium Falcon.  It’s not as easy as you would think, just taking the guts and tossing it in another.  You have to  finesse  things, plan it out, and extend a lot of wiring!

So here’s the kicker.  Why go through the trouble of putting the guts in a Millennium Falcon ? (Besides the obvious answer that it’s awesome).  Well because you have one left over from putting a Raspberry Pi inside a N64 case of course silly!   Not the cleanest stuff job I’ve seen, but it works.  Bravo Baka Chan keep ‘em coming.

Published on: August 7, 2013 / Comments: None

Reverse engineering a wireless thermostat

Steve already had a pretty smart thermostat running his house, but he wanted more control.  After shopping around at some of the newer wifi thermostats he decided they still didn’t provide the level of control he wanted.  So rather than buying one he decided to hack the one he had.  His thermostat already had some wireless control so it was up to him to figure out how it communicates and control it himself.

By using one of those cheapo 433mhz wireless boards you see everywhere, and a home brew soundcard logic analyzer he was able to capture the broadcasts as an audio signal.  Once decoded he used the arduino and a 433mhz transmitter to simulate the messages he had captured.  Now his PC can control when the system is on and off on a very algorithmic schedule / and or make use of other sensors.

An interesting walk through his reverse engineering process, and if you happen to have a similar thermostat he has provided the source code.