Playing snake with a TV remote

[vinod] sent in his replica of a Snake game, the game to play on old Nokia dumb phones.

The build is based on a PIC16F877 microcontroller just like previous Snake builds we’ve seen, but [vinod] didn’t use physical buttons in his build. Instead, he used a Philips infrared TV remote to control the game. The infrared controller only takes up one pin on the microcontroller, as opposed to the 4 pins of the easiest four button setup. [vinod] also threw in a simple one-transistor level converter so Snake can be played with a PC via RS-232. With the PIC code included in the build, it’s a great build that reminds us of a more civilized age.

The video of [vinod]‘s snake game in action is posted after the break, but we noticed that the snake is allowed to ‘warp around’ the sides of the LED matrix. Some people might consider that cheating but that can be fixed by changing a few lines of code.


  1. DanAdamKOF says:

    Hah, I have a DTV box that has a few simple games (including Snake) built in. I saw this pop up on twitter and instantly thought of that box :)

  2. adnbr says:

    This is how snake should be, none of this crappy ‘Snake 3D’ bollocks I’ve got on my current Nokia.

  3. MT says:

    Bollocks bollocks, this right here is the dogs bollocks I say!

  4. ftorama says:

    Cool game but this guy doesn’t seem to know how to drive a led.

    He even says that the CD4017 could be removed because 16F877 has enough ports.

    As one says, it happened to work

    • vinod says:

      Yes, you may be thinking why I am not removing CD4017…right? Reason is , that board which you seen in the video is not only a game…But I used to do many things in that board…So, I thought its better to use a CD4017 to save ‘VALUABLE’ PIC PORTs…:-)

      • ftorama says:

        Actually your system works without resistors as voltage on pins alls down but it could be damaged if leds are lit for more time or if take another microcontroller family such as AVRs which are much stronger regarding output capability. Also, you can’t be sure your system will work with another led array.

        Current control is mandatory for driving leds

      • ftorama says:

        Also I suppose your leds are low consumption ones because CD4017 can handle 8,8mA on its output pins in the best case. With classic leds, everything burns, that what I would like to make you understand.

        Nothing offensive behind my comments ;-)

      • vinod says:

        Yes, I agree…..It is not good to use LEDs like this without any resistors in series..

        But when the display is scanning from one side to other, it is something like PWM of LEDs..This will prevent the LEDs to an extent…am I right?

        Also, I agree with your point that all LEDs are not similar. Some may get damaged easily compared to some other..May be depending on the manufacturer….

  5. diego says:

    it would have enough ports to drive that LED array. (8 Rows + 10 Columns = 18 Ports) one would probably want to supplement with some transistors to take the load off the PIC tho. (I think it can only source like 20mA at a time…)

  6. anarchy2012 says:

    Interesting idea using a 4017, the idea being that it is designed to drive LEDs directly.

  7. Mark A says:

    One of the red LED’s has escaped and infected the letter ‘i’ on your keyboard.

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