555 Video Game

[Thrashbarg] is back up to some 555 timer madness again, this time with his sort of dodge ball video game. Featuring twenty three 555 timers, op amps (the LM324) and atari paddles slightly modded so the pots act as voltage dividers.

Output is on a monochrome composite tv signal, and the game plays like a dodge ball game where the object is to avoid the ball and take out the other player. You can also launch your own ball and deflect the oncoming attack. When hit the defeated player disappears from the screen for 3 seconds and then another round starts.

On a personal note this project hits close to home, as the project I had planned was a 555 based pong game, and just days before the deadline all I have is a wobbly sync generator, so seeing something close to what I had imagined, and working, makes me smile and feel a little better about my mental status.

Check out a short video after the break, and [Thrashbarg's] previous 555 project, The Synthanola.


  1. Sobachatina says:

    This project is very impressive. The familiarity of analog electronics required is staggering.

    However, the real accomplishment of this contest is to make me very grateful for modern electronics and microcontrollers.

    So this is how people got things done 20 years ago. It’s like an electronics archeological study.

  2. twopartepoxy says:

    hats off to Thrashbarg!

  3. HackerK says:

    Holy Cow! This is totally awesome. Job well done.

  4. AO says:

    Awesome! Love the audio!

  5. JC says:

    Wow, all hardware! That’s awesome. Funny though, it’s like a reverse pong game!

  6. Andrew Parting says:

    Bah this isn’t a hack he should have used transistors. J/K, this is awesome.

  7. joeG says:

    Add a steampunk inspired enclosure & I’d buy one fer sure, like totally! RAD!!

  8. Wow, NICELY DONE!

  9. FridgeFreezer says:

    And to think there are people out there using Arduinos to make an LED flash…


  10. mindbleach says:

    The best 555 idea I could muster was a Space Invaders clone using a bucket of out-of-sync 60 Hz timers and a pyramid of OR gates, but realistically, I was never going to go through with it. This is a hundred times better simply for existing.

  11. bogdan says:

    Wow! Well done! This motivates me even more to finish my other 555 project!

  12. Jac Goudsmit says:

    I would have found a way to use two more 555s so it would have 5*5 555’s :-)

    Still: Awesome!

  13. robomonkey says:

    rats…someone beat me to the arduino joke.

  14. JC says:

    @FridgeFreezer I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using microcontrollers. I’m much better modifying physical stuff, so the fact they exist lets me make much cooler stuff. I’ve done some good projects myself, but this just isn’t some people’s niche.

    I’m definitely impressed with this project, but I think Arduinos etc. have their place.

  15. JC says:

    good projects – mostly physical hacks I mean.

  16. NatureTM says:

    Wow, very nice. I wouldn’t even deduct points for the glitchyness. In fact, I think it adds character.

  17. aggaz says:

    Impressive! I really like sound and glitchyness too!

  18. neimad says:

    fucking AMAZING. good job dude!!

  19. Tachikoma says:

    Awesome. I would love to see better pictures of this and the underside of the board.

  20. Sebastián says:

    I want to learn how to generate simple video signals like the ones in this game. Does anyone know a web page with that info? thanks

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