Ben Heck utilizes old-school BBC Micro-inspired keyboard to bake up a new Raspberry Pi build in latest episode of "The Ben Heck Show"

Show invites modders and next-generation engineers to collaborate and inspire innovation with $35 Raspberry Pi on element14 community

Jul 09, 2012, 11:01 ET from element14

CHICAGO, July 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- element14, the first collaborative engineering community and electronics store for design engineers and technology enthusiasts, and mod guru Ben Heck, build a fully functioning computer system using the acclaimed $35 Raspberry Pi and a BBC Micro-inspired keyboard. Ben's latest project gives viewers one "heck" of a look at just how accessible the Raspberry Pi mini-computer makes programming and developing for professional and aspiring engineers of all skill levels.


"I got a big kick out of having the chance to tinker with a Raspberry Pi," said Ben. "Now I understand why everyone's so excited about it. The possibilities are endless, and it can really help inspire kids to learn coding again."

Ben models his Raspberry Pi creation after a BBC Micro-inspired keyboard, complete with a vintage custom enclosure, cartridge slots and an add-on experimenter's kit. Using wood and hinge construction, Ben creates an antique-inspired computer that cleverly opens like an old desk when lifting the keyboard. Ben's box construction allows for an on/off switch, Ethernet connectivity, video/audio composite, DC 5V input and, of course, a USB hub that enables users to attach many popular peripherals such as a mouse or thumb drive. Ben also implements C++ programming to run tests using the experimentation kit resulting in a user-friendly computer.

"Offering powerful functionality at an accessible price, the Raspberry Pi has been nothing short of a phenomenon, and element14 has been proud to play a role in its success," said Kevin Yapp, chief marketing officer of Premier Farnell, the parent company of element14. "Our Raspberry Pi page is one of the most popular we've ever had in the community, providing Pi fans with helpful downloads, exclusive webinars, technical information and a place to collaborate on projects."

Fans of the show, developers and future engineers are invited to join the discussion online at element14 to enter for a chance to win the Raspberry Pi build featured on the show. A dedicated Raspberry Pi discussion page is available to access helpful information, design tools and tutorials to create and program with the mini-computer.

Editor's note: A hi-res image of Ben with his build is available at

About "The Ben Heck Show"
"The Ben Heck Show" is a bi-weekly online television series aired in English that's dedicated to the science and art of system and hardware modding with a global audience of design engineers, students and electronic enthusiasts. Sponsored exclusively by element14, each episode spotlights Ben's mods of popular electronic devices while educating viewers on the underlying technology powering each project.

About element14
Launched in June 2009, element14 is the first information portal, collaborative community and electronics store specifically built for electronic design engineers. The community recently unveiled its element14 knode, a unique automated platform that enables engineers to quickly research, design, develop and prototype in a single, intelligent environment. element14 is an innovative offering from Premier Farnell plc (LSE: pfl), FTSE 250, a leader in multi-channel electronics distribution trading throughout Europe (Farnell), the Americas (Newark) and Asia Pacific (element14). The company had group sales of pounds Sterling 990.8m and underlying profits of pounds Sterling 93.3m last year.

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SOURCE element14