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Arduino Pong Console

My attempt at creating a custom Pong console. Can be used with an ATmega328 emulating an AY-3-8500 chip, or the orignal chip.

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UPDATE: Project shelved, see log.

This project was inspired by my cousin's Magnavox Odyssey 3000 console. We had trouble getting it to work, which lead me down the rabbit hole of the Pong chip from the 70s. I really enjoy the fact that there was a dedicated video game console chip so long ago, and that game manufacturers just built a console around it. The original chip has 2 shooting games that aren't emulated on the ATmega328 chip, which I plan to implement eventually, when I order an original chip. I'm designing the console with that hardware in mind, so it will be easy to add the shooting games later. I plan to make the console out of a solid piece of wood, routered out with a Dremel, and hand drilled holes.

This is my interpretation of a Pong console, based on the AY-3-8500 IC from the 70s. This console could be used with an original chip with some tweaking, but is designed to be used with an Arduino Uno. To use with an original chip, replace the 100K pots with 47k pots and attach the switches to the proper pins. You would also need an RF modulator or some video out circuitry. I'll add build instructions for both chips later. This project was inspired by my cousin's Magnavox Odyssey 3000 console. We had trouble getting it to work, which lead me down the rabbit hole of the Pong chip from the 70s. I really enjoy the fact that there was a dedicated video game console chip so long ago, and that game manufacturers just built a console around it. The original chip has 2 shooting games that aren't emulated on the ATmega328 chip, which I plan to implement eventually, when I order an original chip. I'm designing the console with that hardware in mind, so it will be easy to add the shooting games later. I plan to make the consoled out of a solid piece of wood, routered out with a Dremel, and hand drilled holes. It will be powered wiht either a USB cable or a 12 volt barrel jack. Audio and video will be output through RCA jacks, but a built in speaker and amplifier could be added if needed. Laying out the holes and such should be quite easy, as I can print the patterns out on paper, and just trace things onto the wood. It would be a very heavy console, but I'm ok with that. The controllers will also be made of solid wood, routered out with the Dremel. I have yet to decide on the controller cords, but it will need 3 wires for the pot. This console is just for fun, so I can have my own vintage console. Video output over composite is a bit of a problem in modern times, but I can use a composite to USB video capture card to use my laptop as a TV for this. I'll be living in a camper when we move out to California, so I don't want to invest in a dedicated TV or monitor. Just a fun little electronics and woodworking project that I can do in the camper and out in the desert sun.

Jameco_Cart_Arduino_Pong_Console.csv

Jameco.com shopping cart list. All components included, except an Arduino Uno. A bare ATmega328p chip, a crystal oscillator, and a few passives could replace the Uno far cheaper. I have an Uno on hand, so I'll just use that to speed up this console build.

Comma-Separated Values - 707.00 bytes - 12/30/2020 at 04:31

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Wiring1.2.jpg

Wiring diagram. Not mine either, but useful.

JPEG Image - 116.14 kB - 12/30/2020 at 03:14

Preview
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TVGame.ino

Arduino code. Not mine, but uploading here for future reference and such. Needs some editing to change push button game selection from push button to rotary switch.

x-arduino - 36.50 kB - 12/30/2020 at 03:13

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Console_Case_Design.dxf

First draft of case design. Simple 2D CAD file made with trial version of QCAD.

AutoCAD DXF - 121.32 kB - 12/30/2020 at 03:12

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  • Project Shelved: No Room

    Dustin05/22/2021 at 15:06 0 comments

    I've decided to shelve some of my projects to focus on the most important ones. THis one, sadly, isn't going to be completed any time soon. I really have no physical space to store this in the tiny camper I live in, nor do I have a display to use it with. The lady and I probably wouldn't play it much anyway. It was to be a beautifully crafted wooden game console centerpiece, but I have no room in my life for that right now. I'll likely still complete this project eventually, as I really love the simplicity and paying homage to humble beginings of the video game industry. I don't game much at all these days, but I do enjoy them from time to time. Most of the info needed to get one of these working should be compiled here if anyone wants to make one of these consoles for themselves. I am starting a YouTube channel these days, and I'd love to make a video of the creation of this console, then give it away to a viewer or sell it to someone who would appreciate it. No idea where this project is going, which is why it is shelved. I start tons of projects but finish very few. It's always bee a problem for me, but I do have a few that are breaking that trend. Learing all kinds of useful skills as I go. 

  • Possible Future Games

    Dustin12/30/2020 at 03:02 0 comments

    The following are interesting projects that I may want to integrate into the console. Arduinocade uses an overclocked ATmega328p and special bootloader, so I'd need a way to swap out the entire chip. The easiest way to do that is to just make game cartridges with the processor on it. I think I'll just make the basic pong console now and add that in later.

    Toorum's Quest

    Arduinocade

    Pong

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dearuserhron wrote 05/22/2021 at 20:22 point

Make it a handheld. Attach small screen. Write your own Pong version. Do not use Arduino, use avr assembler instead. Try it on a breadboard first. Use Raspberry pi GPIO wires to upload firmware to the chip, no programmer needed :)

Read this:

http://www.avr-asm-tutorial.net/avr_en/starter/starter.pdf

http://www.avr-asm-tutorial.net/index.html

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Dustin wrote 05/24/2021 at 14:05 point

That's an awesome idea. Would be a lot of fun to play with random people. I do plan to learn assembly at some point too. I'll keep it in mind and refer back here when I get a chance. I'd just put the entire project out of my mind, but thanks for the fresh ideas!

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