In the year 2000, Benjamin J. Heckendorn, a.k.a. Ben Heck, built his first mod, a vintage, portable Atari 2600 Video Computer System. Today, element14, the first collaborative engineering community and electronics store for design engineers and electronics enthusiasts, and the prominent modding guru, give the original gaming console a face lift, incorporating more efficient and modern design elements on the latest “The Ben Heck Show” episode.
“This episode, in particular, was quite nostalgic and definitely tugged at my heart strings a bit,” said Ben. “It was an amazing experience to take a step back and see how my work has evolved. I am thrilled to be able to make a career out of what I love, and honored to share my knowledge and experience with fellow designers and techies-at-heart.”
Ben takes a stroll down memory lane and deconstructs his original portable Atari 2600 mod to determine the best approach to apply a new, up-to-date design and feel. Ben walks viewers through the entire build – from taking apart the Darth Vader Atari 2600 system, to installing new resistors and simplified soldering techniques. The final project is a sleeker, more advanced version of his original design, complete with digital volume controls and an enhanced LCD screen.
“Ben’s latest project showcases the impact that new technology can have on designs – just look at the progression of Ben’s mods over the years,” said Kevin Yapp, chief marketing officer, Premier Farnell. “element14 supports all efforts to utilize innovative technologies to enhance design projects, which is evident in the design tools and resources provided on the community, as well as through our own collaborative partnerships with industry trend-setters such as the inventors of the affordable, credit-card sized Raspberry Pi computer.”
Fans of the show are invited to join the discussion online at element14 to enter for a chance to win Ben’s revamped portable Atari 2600 gaming device for endless gaming at home or on-the-go.