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The Ben Heck Show element14's The Ben Heck Show is one of my most favorite YouTube channels because not only does he hack, engineer, and make cool stuff; he brings a "heck" of a lot of fun into it!

Benjamin Heckendorn, or just "Ben Heck", combines electronics, custom circuits, 3D Printing, and an assortment of other maker techniques to build projects that solve problems. Not only that, but every once in awhile he teaches us how electronics work, methods for designing enclosures, and answers your questions. This channel puts out high quality entertainment that teaches a lot, so any maker creating and reverse engineering electronics should subscribe and keep up with his videos every Friday.

The first thing you have to realize is ... Ben is a comic. He's not going to bore you with serious instructions and lectures. You'll enjoy watching and get incredible take-a-aways from his videos. The most important ideas I get from Ben's show is how to take existing electronics, hack them, and utilize them in your own projects. Reverse engineering is often the theme. Here are some of the shows more recent episodes:

 

 

Ben Heck’s Roomba Nerf Dart CollectorBen Heck’s Roomba Nerf Dart CollectorBen Heck’s Roomba Nerf Dart Collector

Working at a tech company by day I can understand after a long productive day of Nerf battling that there might be a mess to clean-up. In this three part series Ben builds a Roomba Nerf Dart Collector using the iRobot Create Kit.

While watching these videos I kept constantly wondering how much smarter I could make a Roomba of my own. A lot of insight is given into how you can modify and reprogram the iRobot Create Programmable Robot. I'm not entirely sure what model Ben is using int he videos, but the latest right now is the iRobot Create 2.

Here's the three part series embedded from YouTube:

Ben Heck's Essentials Series

In this series Ben takes us through the basics of electronics. The first two episodes Ben talks about Battery Power and Connectors. These two videos are really made to learn by and there are a lot of tips for your own projects. A good away from the Connectors episode was to keep those parts removed from boards, something I haven't been doing. Fortunately, they're often found behind my bench; unless my dog happens to find and dispose of them the way dogs like to.

So far the series is up to three episodes, but I'm hoping to see more. I'm still getting bits of information I didn't know before even though I already had a good grasp on the topics in the series. I especially enjoyed the lastest episode, "Circuit Protection at Eaton", where we take a small break at concept learning and watch things explode! Hopefully you will get the idea that protection can be important when building circuits or just plugging things in at home.

Here's the current three episodes embedded from YouTube: