Tennis For Two Resurrected

The first video game every created is attributed to physicist William Higinbotham. Tennis for Two is played on an oscilloscope using two controllers. Each one has a knob that controls the trajectory and a button to hit the ball. The fine folks at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories have recreated the game so you can play it on any oscilloscope. An ATmega168 is used to control everything. It takes user input from the paddles and outputs an the X and Y analog signals for the scope. An R-2R style DAC is used for the output stage which gives a 256×256 resolution. Everything is built on top of one of their business card sized project boards-which really shows how useful such a simple board can be. The source code is free and the write up includes plenty of detail. We’d love to see what modifications people come up with since the base game doesn’t even have scoring. There’s a video of EMSL’s system embedded below.

8 thoughts on “Tennis For Two Resurrected

  1. wow took me a minuet to realise how they detached the ball from the rest of the trace so well… they didnt! its a dual trace scope lol.

    no info on the original design. with digital accessible and easy to do i think a rebuild of the old ‘analog computer’ version would be much more interesting.

    imo the scope clock is way better…

  2. #1: It’s a dual-trace scope, but you need two channels to get X-Y capability. Like other oscilloscope vector display projects, it’s not drawing the ball with a separate trace than the ground and the net. If you change the analog voltages fast enough, you don’t leave a visible line on the scope, at least when the intensity isn’t cranked up all the way.

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