Emulator in NES cartridge – so clean it looks factory made

nesP_NES-emulator-in-game-cartridge

We extend our congratulations to [airz] over at the ben heck forums. He put together a mod that fits an emulator into an original NES cartridge and utilizes a butchered original NES controller; and he did an amazing job!

He is using a cheap but full featured emulator board. It comes with 4 gigs of memory but also has an SD card slot. NES, Game Boy, and Game Boy color ROMs can all be played on the 2.8″ color LCD but the system also features a TV out connector for use with a larger screen as well.

The cuts that [airz] made in the case are amazing, easily eclipsing the last cartridge emulator mod we saw. The holes for the controls look as if the plastic was molded that way. For realism he also cut off the PCB interface on the business end of the cartridge and glued it in place. Apparently it took three cartridges, two controllers, and two of the emulators to make it this nice, but if you want to make an omelet…

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Ben Heck gets sloppy and we love it

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[Ben Heck] is a name synonymous with game system hacking. His projects have been seen and praised by people all over the world for both their quality and their ingenuity. He’s so good, in fact, that many of his projects have gone far beyond what we typically think of as hacking. They look and feel like commercial products. While that is a fantastic accomplishment, we have a soft spot for seeing stuff that is truly hacked. This lasted job he did is a great example. The controller needed to work using a single hand, so he hacked it. He was in a hurry, so it didn’t get his usual professional finish. We kind of like it that way. This one handed controller mod can be seen in action after the break.

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Commodore 64 laptop

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[Ben Heck] has just completed one of his more unique laptop game consoles. This time around it’s a Commodore 64, which he’s been attempting since 2006. Recently he scrapped everything and started fresh on what turned out to be the fastest build yet. While it certainly looks similar to his other laptops, he put in a lot of effort to give it the appearance of an 80’s computer from the beige color to the texture. He used an original C64C motherboard since it was the final and smallest revision and coupled that with an original keyboard. A 1541-III-DTV allows use of an SD card as a floppy device. Just drag any disk image onto the card and it’s ready to go. Check out a video of it in use below.

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S-video from an Atari 2600

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[Ben Heck] posted this writeup about getting S-Video/composite out of an Atari 2600. This is actually the hack of [Longhorn Engineer], who showed it to [Ben] at a recent event. If any of you have tried to play these classics on a modern TV you may have found it to be quite difficult. If you manage to get it physically connected, through adapters and such, you may still have video issues. This alleviates that issue completely. After you solder this in, your Atari has native composite/S-video. As you can see in the video after the break, it seems to work pretty well.

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Pelican case Xbox 360

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[Ben Heck] has put the final touches on his Pelican case Xbox 360. This prototype was constructed for use by troops stationed overseas. When he announced the project in October, he already knew some of the hurdles he would face. An industrial Velcro style product is used for all component mounting so the air/water-tight seal of the case remains intact. He sanded the surface so that it would stick better. [Ben] mentions that he ended up using less Velcro than he planned on because it held so well. Not being able to cut the case meant the DVD drive had to be converted to top-loading. The tray movement limit switches have been relocated so they now respond to lid position. He regrets not being able to motorize the lid, but let it go since this is still just the first attempt. Extra copper was added to all of the heat sinks to improve cooling. This Xbox is for sale and he’d love to hear from anyone that wants to put it into production. The write-up has a ton of pictures and you can see a video of it below.

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Xbox 360 jasper in the wild

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[Ben Heck] has written up what he calls a “super unboxing” of the new jasper Xbox 360.  The “jasper” refers to a new graphics processor that is supposed to be smaller and more reliable. They have been hard to find, but [Ben] shows us how to spot them. Simply look at the sticker on the back of the unit that shows voltage/current. If it uses 12.1 Amps instead of 14.2, it has the jasper.

Controller button marquee

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[Ben Heck] posted an interesting one-off project he built many months ago. Video game developer Infinity Ward approached him to build a large display that indicated what buttons on a controller were being pressed. They were planning on using it during player testing by recording the board and the monitor at the same time. They could then compare the two to see if there was any disconnect between the players input and the onscreen action. Infinity Ward is the developer behind games like Call of Duty 4.

[Ben] piggy-backed the switch connections and added an external port. He used a pair of octal buffer ICs to replicate the signals and activate the LEDs. The whole board is powered by the same 3.3V line that’s used by accessories like the chat pad. The triggers have three LEDs each and are lit using a resistor ladder. [Ben] comments that since this is a newer Xbox 360 controller, the active-low button scheme makes it fairly easy to work with. There is a video of the board embedded below. [Read more...]

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