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Tim Farley Hacks the Moon, One-Ups ThinkGeek

Offended that our R/C Moon Phase Light lets you set it to display a waxing crescent when the moon is actually waning gibbous, hardware hacker Tim Farley gutted its electronics. After installing an open source Arduino microcontroller and a real-time clock, he loaded his moon with software that computes the actual lunar phase from the current time. Tim's moon now stays in sync with the one up in the sky.


Since our collective ego wasn't crushed quite enough for his satisfaction, Tim went on to code a utility that lets him plug his moon into his PC to set the clock, just in case the 17-year battery in the RTC wigs out. And he says he's "not even a competent hobbyist."

Tim's previous exploits include a stoplight that warns would-be visitors away from his office when his Mac detects that he's overloaded with work, an alarm clock that only goes off when someone's actually still in bed, and modifying one of our pong video game kits to use a bongo board as its controller.

Hacked our stuff? Let us know about it! Mention it in the comments and email us details to We'll pick our favorite and the winner will get a $50 ThinkGeek gift certificate and the admiration of an infinite number of monkeys randomly soldering an infinite number of ICs onto an infinite number of experimentation boards.

[ post a comment ]


meaningless icon! I'd love to have the alarm clock that only goes off if someone is in bed. I always hate it when I get home from work to find it still blaring because I hit snooze one more time and forgot.
Stasia said this 2151 days ago.
meaningless icon! I took the shirt off the Timmy monkey plush I got cause I was wondering if it was sewn on or not. Yeah, Timmy was h@xZ0r3d! Shirtless Timmy performs so much better then the regular shirted Timmy. Wait..that sounded wrong... Ok, I'll leave... S.
AutomaticLimit said this 2150 days ago.
meaningless icon! I also want the alarm clock that only goes off if someone is in the bed. That sounds freaking awesome.
random41211536181351 said this 2150 days ago.
meaningless icon! I'd love to hear more about the project about his Mac detecting when he's overloaded with work.
Conti said this 2150 days ago.
meaningless icon! Conti -- you can see his other projects at
Jacob said this 2150 days ago.
meaningless icon! WOW i looked at his stuff and i am amazed and definatly want to get a bongopong when they are massed produced.
Mustadio said this 2150 days ago.
meaningless icon! i hacked the shocking pen to make it awesome by putting it in my friends hand and when they press the button it rules
IRManGuy said this 2149 days ago.
meaningless icon! This guy needs to hook up with someone who can massproduce this stuff and sell it on Thinkgeek!
Jiggily said this 2145 days ago.
meaningless icon! My hack is remarkably lame. The ribbon cable for my WiFi detecting shirt broke (and I always removed it before washing the shirt) so I replaced the connections on the battery box and the patch with RJ45 jacks so I can just use any piece of ethernet cable to connect the two.
DiscipleN2k said this 2131 days ago.
meaningless icon! Actually, that's a pretty cool modification, Disciple!
Jacob said this 2120 days ago.
meaningless icon! A more crazy and mass-producable hack would be to make the bongopod into a generic controller for a variety of consoles ... take your most boring game and make it fun again!
CPUnk said this 2103 days ago.
meaningless icon! PS - yes, I can mass produce things...
CPUnk said this 2103 days ago.

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