My work, on display at NAB

It’s not unusual for a product or service that I played some small part in designing and building to appear at an industry trade show, whether that’s CES or NAB or whathaveyou. But this year, a device in which I was a lot more integral in the hands-on design and manufacture appeared. I not only designed a highly visible part, but also 3D printed it on my home printer.

elemental_nes
(source tweet)

 

What you see in that photo is one of the kiosks in the Elemental Technologies booth at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show. That’s a modified Nintendo Entertainment System, both modified electronically and with a custom casemod. A coworker soldered in a daughterboard (no easy task!) to hijack the video signal and output (in a slightly roundabout way) digital HDMI. Remember, the NES outputs analog video — it was designed long before digital video was a thing. You’d have to hook it to your antenna and select channel 2 or 3. Or if you were lucky, you could use the yellow/red/white RCA cables. Most new TVs no longer have analog inputs; those that do give you a horrible rendition because the tricks the NES used to give you a sharper analog picture on old CRT televisions work against it in the flat-panel world. My contribution to this kiosk was the 3D printed replacement door. The NES obtained for this project had a broken door, so we thought it would be nice to print a new one (and give it a little flair in the process). That’s a light-up Elemental-themed NES door.

NES_bezel_closeup

I went through about five different revisions of NES cartridge door (Thingiverse link) before arriving at the one modeled after the Elemental Technologies faceplate. This final version has a few printing flaws due to warping during print; please ignore those. You can download both the regular design and the Elemental one from Thingiverse.

NES_Cartridge_Door-ELEMENTAL_preview_featured
the replacement NES door

For comparison, here’s what a typical Elemental product’s faceplate looks like:

a typical Elemental server faceplate
a typical Elemental faceplate

So the thing in the booth isn’t a true product sold by anyone, more of a fun way to attract people, but it’s something I designed and printed. And it was on display at NAB.

Posted in: MakerBot Projects Work

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Brian Enigma

Brian Enigma is a Portlander, manipulator of atoms & bits, minor-league blogger, and all-around great guy. He typically writes about the interesting “maker” projects he’s working on, but sometimes veers off into puzzles, software, games, local news, and current events.

3 thoughts on “My work, on display at NAB”

  1. Simply put, EPIC. What a way to time travel back to my childhood. Imagine having that type of cartridge door back in the day! A little late to the party, but great job. Now if I can just get this damn contra code to work…

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