Building the second tiniest Tetris

A few years ago, [Richard] pulled a crushed camcorder out of a junk box at a hamfest. After pulling the half-inch CRT out of the viewfinder, he needed to find a project. [Richard] ended up building the second tiniest game of Tetris we’ve ever seen.

After futzing around with the CRT, [Richard] discovered that one of the pins would accept an NTSC input. He also found a similar project that used a dime-sized CRT to play Tetris. With ready to go code, [Richard] started assembling his project into a handsome wooden box.

There are two PCBs for the build – a CRT driver circuit, and a small custom board that handles the game and controller code. The circuit for the game board was found on this site, but the featured boards there were too large for the project. A stripped-down board was fabricated by BatchPCB and put into the box.

There aren’t any controls on the console itself, for that a standard DB-9 connector was installed so a vintage Atari joystick could be used. For a more ergonomic Tetris experience, a Sega Genesis controller could be used. For something that looks like it comes out a steampunk laboratory, playing Tetris is a bit unexpected. Check out the demo video of the screen at 20x magnification after the break.


  1. t&p says:

    That would make a great conversational piece!

  2. Oneironaut says:

    Nice project!

    It’s great to see the glow of a real CRT when displaying a retro game bit banged from an 8 bit microcontroller.


  3. Rachie says:

    Genesis controller? Surely you mean NES. It’s hard to imagine Tetris otherwise.

  4. Paul Potter says:

    Brilliant. And yes, a NES controller would really add to it.

  5. phnx says:

    It’s not a hardware tetris, but Favris is pretty damn tiny… It’s a tetris clone that plays in the page icon of the browser tab.

  6. Hirudinea says:

    It must get tiring resting your eyeball on the screen to play the game.

  7. cmholm says:

    Next step: 2 crts with vidcam eyecups retained, attached to headset… 3D mini-Tetris!

  8. pRoFlT says:

    I built this tetris app a couple years ago. runs on a pic16f84 chip. built mine into a tictac box. and built a small controller that plugs directly into it. i have a couple viewfinders floating around maybe ill add one to mine.

  9. bobby joe says:

    yes, get just close enough to see it, now watch as I turn it on and shoot x-rays directly into your forehead

  10. futz-master says:

    It’s not everyday that you get to see the word futzing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 97,808 other followers