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Hacking the Elefun


In a move reminiscent of many episodes of Home Improvement, [Xenon] decided to soup up one of his children’s toys. The Elefun is a toy the shape of an elephant that uses a built in fan to blow little butterflies into the air. They are notoriously weak and eat batteries like crazy. They don’t even have a plug for a wall adapter for power.

[Xenon] dug out a 7.5 V wall adapter from an old DSL modem. Since the Elefun normally ran on 6V, he figured this would give the toy a much needed boost. He began to open things up and prepare the soldering iron when he realized that he could just jam the wires into the terminals. The battery compartment screws shut, providing nice safety against electric shock.

He ended up with a much more pleasant experience for his little boy. The Elefun now jumps to life, spewing the butterflies out with ease. It actually shoots them out so quickly, he had to make some more just so the game would last longer.

This may not be the most complex hack or the most impressive execution. [Xenon] deserves some credit though, He recognized the design problems and made his own fixes for them. There’s at least one Elefun in the households of the Hack A Day staff that will be getting this treatment.
[thanks Chris]

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