Category Archives: Ben Heck Show

Begun, the Pinball Wars have

Ho, ho, ho, now I have a CNC machine.

Yes, after years of using other people’s CNC machines I finally bought one of my own. A big one. A 4’x8′ ShopBot to be exact. Now I can build more of everything and hopefully even sell kits / cases in the future.

In other news, after a shaky truce The Pinball Wars have begun anew. Pinball upstart “The Longhorn Engineer” is attempting to have his machine done by the Midwest Gaming Classic in March. It is called “Reset Vector” and is based off all of the tropes in crappy hacker movies.

Also everyone’s favorite ex-Roller Derby girl / engineer Jeri Ellworth hasn’t given up on her custom pinball either. It’s called “As Seen on TV” and celebrates the world of cheesy infomercials.

For myself, I am planning at least 2 new machines. “Tesla VS Edison” and “Lost“. “Lost” is an unlicensed one-off that I’m doing for a friend, similar to Paxton, but “Tesla” is something I’m hoping to build 2-3 of and sell to interested buyers. If you’re interested please let me know.

Be sure to check out the latest episode of The Ben Heck Show for an exclusive tour of my shop and home, as well as other hi-jinks.

Ben Heck Show’s Coach Section Laptop

Ever try and use a laptop in coach? It’s pretty difficult, especially if the jerk in front of you leans back.

No longer! For Episode 5 of the Ben Heck Show we built the “Coach Section Laptop” – a modified Toshiba Satellite that can transform to fit your needs!

Sha-zam! The rebuilt screen portion has sliding arms that let you move the screen closer to you, and knobs to lock it into place. You now type “under” the screen, allowing you to look busy on the airplane to impress other people even though you’re just scrolling up and down the same spreadsheet for hours. If your flight has WiFi, you can also order things from Sky Mall while in the sky. All it needs now is a cupholder for your half can of soda.

For some more pics and a video, check the rest of this article. To see how we put this together, don’t miss Episode 5 of my show airing Monday November 8th!

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Xbox 360 Slim Portable with New Colors!

Have you noticed the new branding of the Xbox 360? I have, so I made my latest Slim Laptop match! It’s an all-white shell, with metallic insides, but has the new “green swoosh” colors that you see on all the new games and packaging.

Other than that, it’s the same as the last 360 Slim portable I built, with the exception of the Power and Eject buttons which I made back into regular buttons.

For more pics and a video, see the rest of this article.

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Portal Shirt – Just in time for Halloween!

I'm in the mood for cake.

It dawned on me that making a see-through Portal shirt might be a huge success. It’s probably the geekiest Halloween costume you could possibly make. You see, I do what I must, because I can.

I've got a hole in my heart that can only be filled by you.

The system consists of a front-mounted LCD, pocket-mounted battery pack and rear-mounted camera. And the best part is you can watch us build it on Episode 4 of the Ben Heck Show, since it is out of beta and releasing on time.

You can make up to $2000 for a week study.

This shirt is now up for auction to benefit the Able Gamers Foundation. Click here to check out the eBay auction!

Xbox 360 Slim Portable

You knew this was coming – the Xbox 360 Slim Portable. Big differences compared to my older models:

  • About 1.5″ inches narrower left and right, 1″ narrower front to back.
  • Internal power supply.
  • Uses stock Xbox 360 Slim fan so it’s much quieter than my older 3 fan models.
  • Touch sensitive power and eject buttons of the Slim have been preserved.

Not so big differences:

  • Pushbutton control audio amplification.
  • Gateway 1775W 17″ widescreen LCD display @ 1280×720.
  • Fan grate design copied from PS3 Laptop design.
  • PVC plastic routed case.

The construction of this unit is being covered over the first 6 episodes of The Ben Heck Show so be sure and check it out to learn how I put this thing together. This is the actual unit that is up for grabs as part of their contest, so one lucky winner will take this puppy home!

I’m actually building 3 of these so besides the giveaway unit the 2 others are available to buy – if interested please email me.

For more photos, check the rest of this entry. Enjoy, and we’ll see you on the show!

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Contribute to “Maker Faire” edition Xbox 360 Slim

Pictured above is my new Xbox 360 Slim laptop in pieces. Why is it in pieces, you ask? Well, I’m taking it to finish assembling at Maker Faire New York this weekend.

But wait – there’s more! Right now it’s a plain gray color. Those of you with an artistic slant, you are encourage to stop by the element14 / Ben Heck Show booth and help decorate the unit before the final assembly! The call is open to visitors and vendors alike. Call it the “Maker Faire” edition.

For more details, visit and