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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Atari Xbox 360 controller

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It’s amazing what [Ben Heckendorn] can manage to crank out in just five hours. This time it’s a wireless Xbox 360 controller stuffed inside an Atari 2600 controller. The guts are from a Guitar Hero 3 controller. It’s a fairly compact board and [Ben] used thin ATA wire for the connections. While it doesn’t have all the buttons of a true Xbox controller, this 3600 controller has enough to make it useful in arcade games. The joystick portion was reused without any modification. Things like the guide button and ring of light are located underneath.

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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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...]

Xbox 360 portable

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A couple months ago we posted [Ben Heck]‘s in-progress photos of his Xbox 360 laptop (with links to his other versions). He’s just put the finishing touches on it, and dubbed it the Xbox 360 Portable. It has a removable hard drive on top and memory slots on the side. The webcam is embedded in the frame and there’s internal WiFi. With chatpads available now, he’s decided not to include a keyboard. It’s really a nice machine. Check out the video below for a tour of the system.

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Access controller demo

Embedded above is a review/demo of [Ben Heck]‘s Access Controller. The controller is designed for one handed use and has reconfigurable/hackable modules. The reviewer is [BawNeY] a one-handed Major League Gamer. When using a standard controller, he cradles it on his lap, steering with one hand, and hitting the trigger with his elbow. The new controller looks a lot easier to use.

Pelican case Xbox 360

We were surprised the last time [Ben Heck] was building a Xbox 360 laptop, yet here’s another one. Well, it’s not a laptop exactly, but an Xbox 360 built inside of a Pelican case. After receiving several requests for a similar device for people stationed overseas, he finally decided to try it out. The goal is to get all the components into the case so that the watertight seals are intact. It’s only partially complete right now and he notes that one of the major hurdles will be converting the DVD drive to top loading. The light ring and USB ports will probably be moved to the top surface, and the hard drive will be made removable. We look forward to the final writeup since there aren’t many tutorials on working with Pelican cases.

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