Single Board Computer Workshop at Midwest Gaming Classic 2020

I’m doing a “build your own single board computer” workshop at the Midwest Gaming Classic 2020 in downtown Milwaukee this April.

The design is based on the classic Z80 (which they still manufacture believe it or not) and is quite small, only 3 x 3″. It has an expansion port, build-in OLED screen, Atmel MCU as screen driver/USB serial port converter and an SD card adapter for loading BIN, HEX and saving files or doing RAM dumps.

This workshop is meant to teach how memory addressing works and you also get to take home the sweet computer you build! Basic soldering skills will be helpful and there’s also a decent amount of surface mount (fairly large parts to make it do-able) so tips and tricks on how to work with that are also part of the experience.

Sign up using the links below! (limited to 25 spots)

Workshops

Here are the YouTube videos I’ve made discussing the design process. Once the design has been verified it will be posted to my Github if you can’t make it to the workshop but want to order your own copy of the PCB.

 

 

 

Benheck.com Podcast Episode 126

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It’s time for a Star Wars Holiday Special as we discuss:

  • The new Disney+ streaming service
  • The Mandalorian TV show
  • Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker
  • Will the prequels be looked upon more kindly in the future?
  • and finally… Emperor Palpatine’s Sex Life

Enjoy!

Project started in 2000 finally finished – Atari 2600 Junior Single Chip Portable!

When I first starting buying Atari 2600 consoles for modding purposes back in 2000 (right after my website became famous) I was lucky enough that my first Atari 2600 Junior had the ultra-rare “single chip” variant inside.

Of course this was “portablization catnip” for me so I desoldered it and tried to make a custom PCB.  My skills at the time weren’t up to task and I feared the chip dead. Had I know then how rare it was (I’ve never found another since) I probably wouldn’t have tried but can’t change that now.

Flash forward to fall of 2018 and I come across the project in a junk box while moving out of the Ben Heck Show shop. Decided to give it another go and I have help this time – my friend Parker Dillmann has an intact single-chip 2600 Junior so we can cross reference to it.

I documented this near-year-long process in the video below. You can also click here for the full photo gallery with notes.

Benheck.com Podcast Episode 125

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Parker, Chris Kraft and I discuss all the games we played in 2019, including but not limited to:

  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
  • The Outer Worlds
  • The Outer Wilds
  • Shadow, or maybe Rise, of the Tomb Raider
  • Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order
  • Borderlands 3
  • …and many more!

It’s a long episode, sit back and enjoy!

Benheck.com Episode 124

benheck_podcast

In today’s episode Jones and I discuss The Streaming Wars:

  • What all services are coming.
  • The confusion when TV shows go exclusive to channels they didn’t originally appear on, such as CBS shows not going to CBS All Access.
  • Which of the new services we think will do well and which will fail.
  • Is Netflix like the video store, where people will rent (watch) anything new, regardless of quality?
  • And a wild tangent about how neither of us liked Avengers: Endgame.

Enjoy!

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Controller Monitors now have PS4 support!

Using a flex PCB adapter and some bodged IC’s inside the monitor itself I have achieved PS4 compatibility for the 2018 model Controller Monitors! Has all the same features as the XB1 controller including data logging and automated playback.

I plan to now offer a choice of what controller comes bundled with the package or you can choose to order both controllers for an additional charge.

The monitor’s mode can be toggled by holding USER button as you power up the unit and will stay in that mode until you toggle it back. I have also sectioned off separate banks of EEPROM so the XB1 and PS4 controller fine-tuning adjustments are preserved no matter what mode you’re in.

I will update the product page and documentation soon, in the meantime if you’re interested or want to inquire about getting an existing unit upgraded let me know!