Ben Heck’s N64 Portable mod

After many comments, requests, questions, setbacks and badgering from our impassioned fans, the Nintendo 64 Portable is finally finished. Ben took the device to the Midwest Gaming Classic for help with the hardware. Thanks to our community of followers, the problematic RAM add-on was soldered flat and is now in place. In addition, the case had to be completely redesigned …

A 3D printer gave my Nintendo Switch a real D-pad

Nintendo has a long history of building innovative game controllers — the company put shoulder buttons on the SNES gamepad, added force feedback to the N64’s bizarre controller and made a fad out of motion controls with the Wii. Its most enduring innovation, however, has always been the humble D-Pad: a simple plastic cross that lets players input eight different …

USB-powered Sega Nomad gives you near-endless game time

Sega’s Genesis Nomad was always something of a compromise (it was running 16-bit console games on mid-1990s handheld tech), but the battery life was a particularly sore point: it took six AA batteries just to get 3 hours of play time. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could use modern hardware to play without constant (and sometimes expensive) battery swaps? …

Ben Heck finally gets the Nintendo-PlayStation prototype working

It feels like a long time has passed since the Midwest Gaming Classic in 2016 where the team first encountered the Nintendo-PlayStation SFX-100 portable. Now it’s time to see the highlights of Ben working on the rare console from past episodes, as well as one or two livestreams. Watch unseen diagnostic clips using oscilloscopes, and much glorious soldering! Finally, the …

Ben Heck’s Nintendo Classic Edition teardown

It’s time for another hardware teardown! This time it’s the Nintendo Classic Edition — specifically, a unit belonging to David of the “Technophiles” podcast. Using Keysight’s DSOX1102G oscilloscope, Ben is able to find out how the NES controller talks to the base of the NES Classic. He then compares the inner workings of the NES Classic controller to the Wii …

ICYMI: Watching plants grow and playing ‘Mario Kart’ with an actual car

Today on In Case You Missed It: The thought of watching a plant grow seems, well boring. But researchers from the Institute of Science and Technology in Austria used lasers, fluorescent lights and a microscope to track the growth of a flowering weed’s roots. The end result is a close-up 3D video that looks more like a glowing burrowing worm …

Ben Heck’s Nintendo Switch teardown

Nintendo has a new console out, which means Ben, Karen and Felix are responding exactly as you’d expect them to: by tearing down the new Switch console and Joy Con controllers. How does it compare to a laptop or tablet computer? Is it designed for easy maintenance and upgradeability? Share your take over on the element14 Community. Author:  Source: Engadget

Ben Heck makes a Zelda lamp by upcycling laptop screens

Humans by nature can be a little bit wasteful. Recycling helps, of course, but some things are too good to throw away. That’s where upcycling comes in. Karen has the idea to repurpose laptop screens to create a Legend of Zelda-inspired lamp. However, not just any laptop screen will do. As the team rips apart old hardware they soon discover …

Ben Heck’s Portable N64, part 2

When Ben began his Nintendo 64 build, he knew it wasn’t going to be easy. In this episode, he shrinks down the size of the controller, embeds the RAM expansion and begins to construct the case with design cues from the Nintendo Switch. To embed the controller, he has to get creative: The notorious analogue stick needs to be reworked. …

‘Wolfenstein 3D’ ported to Game Boy Color on turbocharged cart

Yes, that’s a Game Boy Color cartridge sporting the Wolfenstein 3D logo. It’s not just cosmetic, because a modder named Anders Granlund has built a playable version of the classic FPS for the ancient handheld console. To give you an idea of the degree of difficulty, Granlund designed and built a custom ARM-powered board to power the graphics, and built …

Ben Heck’s Virtual Boy, part 2

Now that the Nintendo Virtual Boy has been torn down and we know how it operates, Ben and Karen get to work repurposing the console as a wearable virtual reality headset. To do so, Ben has to redesign the enclosure, which means it’s time to bust out some vector graphics software. It’s not all about 3D printing mounts and laser …

Ben Heck visits the Portland Retro Gaming Expo

Join Ben as he leaves the workshop behind and goes on a journey to Portland’s Retro Gaming Expo. There’s little Ben loves more, and this time he’s on the hunt for a copy of Road Rash for the Sega Genesis / Megadrive! With some happy distractions, Ben gets another chance at the Nintendo Playstation console and discusses the Commodore 64, …

Ben Heck’s Virtual Boy, part 1

Ben’s seeing double this week with a retro virtual reality console that was ahead of its time: Nintendo’s Virtual Boy (codename “VUE”). Though the technology was advanced in many ways, it didn’t prevent the sort of dizziness that still plagues virtual reality headsets today. As Ben quips, “It’s like a trip to the eye doctor!” Of course, this means Ben …