Using MatchBox cars as a switch


[atduskgreg] posted this interesting setup to flickr. He’s using two toy cars as a switch. He has wired into their metal undercarriages so when they collide, the circuit closes. We’ve seen some pretty nifty home made interface items, but usually they are posted with a clear purpose or a project. This one is a little puzzling. Does he intend to keep using the cars or was he just fooling around? Is he working on a toy that does something when they crash? Was he merely bored and wanted to see what he could attach to his Arduino. We may never know.


  1. djrussell says:

    maybe matchbox crashes with pyro and sound effects?

  2. really? says:

    hackaday, please stop this.
    a post about a single flickr pic, about a switch?

  3. eh? says:

    Slow news day?
    Really now.

  4. sansan says:

    WFT is this? C’mon Hack a Day! Don’t go lower!

  5. dan says:

    Whats the purpose of this??? I remember when I started reading hackaday, there was only one hack a day and I was learning something every time,, NOW, we have about 2 maybe more hack a day, if we can call it a “hack”, and these are useless “hack” like this. So, please stop this.

  6. moron4hire says:

    @really?, @eh?, and @dan: I think they’re intentionally trying to tease you, especially with the last line mentioning an arduino.

  7. andrew says:



  8. supershwa says:

    more fluff from Krafty Caleb…

    they’re really, really grasping for good material these days

  9. napalm says:

    It seems like a game of limbo, how low can they go?

    Next time, find some true hacks to post, this rubbish is pissing me off,

  10. napalm says:

    STFU, seriously.

  11. Stunmonkey says:

    Yeah, and its not like there isn’t tons of GOOD material they could be using instead.

    Hell, I submitted cool stuff I stumbled across for awhile, but like everyone else I eventually stopped as it never ever got published – not enough Arduinos I guess.

    This no substance crap is getting old.

  12. If you don’t like the content, you can just not go to hack a day. Nobody is forcing you to read these and post the same comments over and over.

  13. aztraph says:

    i’d rather crash windows, but matchbox cars recover easier, WTG

  14. Stunmonkey says:

    “This one is a little puzzling. Does he intend to keep using the cars or was he just fooling around? Was he merely bored and wanted to see what he could attach to his Arduino. We may never know.”

    If you don’t know, then why the gently caress did you publish the goddamned article? Sponsors weren’t getting their quota of Arduino plugs?

    I was sick of articles about Arduinos that just did something lame, so now you’ve replaced it with articles on unfinished Arduinos doing nothing at all?

    Whisky Tango Foxtrot, over?

  15. scott says:

    I liked it better when you just stole articles from Instructables on the days you were too stoned to do your job.

  16. MrX says:

    AhAAhAhAhahA! EPIC! I never laughed so much about an article. Just look at people reactions.

    And the arduino touch, beautiful!

    @Caleb Kraft
    Thank you

  17. Buzzkill says:

    I just don’t see what the issue is here. Somebody needed a quick fix for a switch and grabbed what has handy and turned it into something else besides the intended purpose. Wait… there is another word for that. Oh damn, what is it? Can’t think of it right now. People do it all the time. They have entire websites about it. Damn! I wish I could think of it. Oh well.

  18. chris says:

    To gay for words!

  19. Bill Hates says:

    I want to put them in my ass

  20. bobob says:

    unless you’re selling Arduinos,this site is about as useful as tits on a bull.

    seriously tho,why does this site even exist anymore? it’s been eclipsed by at least half a dozen other,better,far less transparently “bought and paid for” sites.

    the internet would be no worse off if this sad shadow of a “hack” site simply got deleted one day.

  21. Zymastorik says:

    In snort this is shit. See comment about your other shit post for reference (you know the lame ass lego stand post WTF?!?!).

  22. chris says:

    What sites eclipse this one? I need details people….

  23. RICK says:

    wow… a switch… this is usually the kind of technology that is unveiled at MIT! You are SOOOO lucky to have this on here… what’s next?

    I GOT IT!

    do away with the switch… what would happen if there were no switch and a staight wire was used? IT WOULD STAY ON ALL THE TIME!

    we’ve all had enough arduino “hacks”… I agree with the guy below… i liked it much better when you just stole hacks from other sites and posted them here…. it’s too boring to come here any more…

    SEE YA!


  24. strider_mt2k says:

    How many ohms through that switch?

    Using a debounce circ…oh I just can’t do it.

    it sucks IT SUHUHUHHUUUUCKS!!!

  25. Frank says:

    BEST. Arduino. HACK. EVAH!

    WANT MOAR!!!

    But seriously, Troll bait much? I ROFLED so much over this article and the comments below it I had to go FAP!

    Thanks HAD, you made my day :)

  26. vonskippy says:

    So does it have to be matchbox cars or can any tin toy car work? If I can transpose this hack to wooden blocks will you post it?

  27. chris says:

    try moist dog turds

  28. Tom says:

    This has to be a joke, right? Surely nobody could have looked at this and thought it was actually worthy of getting posted.


  29. Thumb says:

    What if, instead of Matchbox cars, they used…

    wait for it…

    real cars!

    And four Arduinos!

    You’re welcome.

  30. bobob says:

    what if you just wired up a THOUSAND arduinos,then dipped them in chocolate,and rammed them up Caleb’s ass??????

    i await negotiations on the book deal and movie rights.

  31. Jes1510 says:

    The next picture in hist stream explains it just a bit better. He is using the arduino to detect the collision between the cars and trigger a camera to capture the crash.

    Crash-triggered photography with Arduino

  32. adam says:
  33. Campbell says:

    “This one is a little puzzling. Does he intend to keep using the cars or was he just fooling around? Is he working on a toy that does something when they crash? Was he merely bored and wanted to see what he could attach to his Arduino. We may never know.”

    Step One: Click on next item in stream
    Step Two:…
    Step Three: Profit from his description of what he is using the switch for.

  34. AnthonyDi says:

    Why was this even posted? I think hackaday is posting stuff now solely for SEO.

  35. thedudefrommiamivice says:

    I keep coming to this site for the same reason I still watch thundercats once in a while. I think, man it used to be so cool, I gotta see that again. Then when I watch it or come to this site I’m filled with a cold realization that I was either easily impressed because I was 8 or I’m a fucking idiot.

    Considering I didn’t start reading this site until much later in the timeline of my life it can’t be that I was easily impressed because I was 8 so I must be a fucking idiot for continuing to read this site. And yet here I am again, really its getting to the point that I am almost ready to accept what you post as possible hacks and this makes me sad, like put a gun in my mouth sad. Please don’t kill me hackaday……please.

  36. scott says:

    could someone please expand on the sites that have eclipsed this one? a replacement for this site is overdue.

    i thought maybe they would eventually get the point and, well, improve or something. that obviously isn’t gonna happen.

    time to stop wasting time prodding these guys to not suck so much, and just give someone else the ad revenue.

  37. johnn says:

    wow great hack! ‘ve got to figure out how to do this at home and show all of my friends so we can turn on some LEDs with our toy cars. excellent yuhu!

  38. johnn says:

    oh, i have just seen that there is an arduino board in the picture? so that’s why this was posted…

  39. Fili says:

    Yesterday I used two wires as a switch. If you just touch them, it’s like a push-button. But if you twist the ends, it’s like an on-off button. Isn’t it cool or what?
    Oh, it’s not using an arduino, so I don’t think it will get published on hack-a-day :(

  40. longtime reader says:

    fuck you caleb kraft, for insulting our intelligence, fuck you.

  41. jimmys says:

    [holding a torch AND a pitchfork]

  42. Doc Helladay says:

    @caleb kraft: funny post wise guy. not sure how exactly you managed to slowly strangle this site, but when you are done could you move to my mother in law’s house? if you could pull the same thing off there we’ll call it even for the cluster that this site has become.

  43. Zymastorik says:

    @ Helladay lol no shit right? I was just curious if you guys get a kickback everytime someone mentions the Arduino? If so you guys should be asking for a bigger kickback as much as you talk about how f’n great it is. Just aayin.

  44. Drone says:

    who the heck at hack-a-day is the gatekeeper for this shit. we need to replace that person with an arduino; then we might get some better content.

  45. _ezaK says:

    I think the car on the left is a Majorette, not a matchbox.


  46. Jeff says:

    Atleast it doesn’t twitter… Or did I just spoil tomorrow’s post of “Twittering matchbox car switch”?

  47. Frank says:



    Carz touching – maek me fap!

  48. 3rix says:


  49. 3rix says:

    But anyway, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen similar switches integrated into toys like these, not just toys, also the fact that cars chassis usually serve as the ground gives me the impression that this inspired this thing [that's not a hack].

  50. calebkraft says:


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