Yet Another Pong-clock

[PT] let us know that Adafruit Industries has just release a pong clock kit. The $80 price tag might seem a bit steep but it does come with a custom-ordered KS0108 display in order to get white on black like the classic video game, as seen after the break. Also included is the laser-cut case, an ATmega328 microcontroller, RTC, and all the other bits needed to get this working.

We just saw a pong clock built on a breadboard using a KS0108 display but that one used a PIC processor. Adafruit always open-sources their designs and code so you can head over to the kit details page if you already have the hardware on hand to throw this together.


19 thoughts on “Yet Another Pong-clock

  1. Nice, I’m loving the retro gaming style to these things.
    Lets just hope AdaFruit don’t f**k up the part availability like they did the Ice Tube Clock Kit – was meant to be fully available since November, wasn’t it?
    I’m still waiting on availability of the X0xb0x kit but strong rumour around is that its been totally discontinued by them. Trouble is, you can still sign onto the preorder list for the complete kit with on!
    Hell of a way to run a business.

  2. I can’t figure out how it handles a new hour…when the right side gets to 60, the game would have to reset, wouldn’t it? or does it break the rules of pong and have the right side stay th same?

  3. @Stu – My icetube looks awesome on my desk.
    Ordered in December, and promptly shipped and received. You must not be trying very hard to get one. Or maybe you just like to whine.

    @Nate – Correct. The right side wins for an hour. Then the left side wins one, increments the hour and the right side starts again at 00.

    I will certainly be ordering one soon. Hopefully it will be the last one and right as Stu is getting ready to hit “submit” on his order.

  4. @Brian:
    I got a bulbdial clock kit that had both a crystal and an external clock chip as well (a ‘chonodot’) – the idea was that the crystal would be accurate, but the external chip would be far _more_ accurate. So with the crystal, it might lose a couple seconds every month. With the external chip it might lose a couple seconds in a few years. Not sure about this kid, but that one you could get without the external more precise clock.

  5. @Buzzkill – thank you so much, we worked 24/7 over the holidays to make sure everyone got their kits and we’re thrilled to hear everything with your order worked out great!

    @stu – we’ve shipped every clock exactly when we said they would be shipped, we worked with customers that had special time sensitive needs and we’ve also added resellers like MAKE that now sell the clocks. if you’d like, email us directly and we can make sure you know exactly when a kit order placed will ship. our site does a good job of this but we do not mind helping out.

    as far as the x0xb0x goes, we are not sure why you’re repeating a rumor we’ve never seen or heard, but the x0xb0x ships, when it’s possible to ship them. there is a waiting list, we do not accept payment unless we can ship a unit, the parts are rare and it takes time to get enough for kits.

    it sounds like you didn’t actually order any kit and you’re not on any waiting list – if you’d like to contact us directly as opposed to anonymous complaining on hack-a-day we’d love to help you out.

    thank you everyone for the kind words and support, we’re working around the clock to get the orders out – there are many happy customers already (check out our forums!).


  6. Hello, I need help with building a device that will interpret the letters that are displayed on a cell phone screen. It will “read” the voltage and know what letter that voltage represents.

    This device will operate oppositely to the way some people are able to manipulate and LCD screen. Instead of displaying a thermometer on the screen I want a device that will read a text message.

    I’m willing to pay $250 for it. The catch is that I need this device by the 1st of March. I will pay for the shipping as well.

    I’m very serious and I need anyone who can help me.

  7. @Adafruit support – thats a joke, I signed up for the notification of when they’ll be back in stock and never received anything. Same for both the X0xb0x AND the Ice tube clock – I signed up for the x0xb0x some time 6-12 months ago and signed up for the clock in november I think. Heard NOWT.
    So what is the back order time on a X0xb0x?

    @buzzkill-you’re damned right, I will simply NOT hang around a site waiting for availability every day or so, you’d have to be like one of those Apple fanbois to do that, so I missed out on a batch in december but every time I looked out for them it shows up as on backorder. Gee, I suppose I must have actually been, well, living a life outside checking Adafruit every so often. And NO I dont like whining – its a necessity for when things don’t go so well.
    And yes, I checked my junk mail filter box in Gmail too, no sign of anything.

  8. @dakota – I dont have showstopping issues with having the kits, I do however have showstopping issues with not receiving notifications about them being available.
    I also have showstopping issues with smarmy comments (I’m looking at you buzzkill) when I’m just trying to make a point about poor notification and availability – the kit parts, especially those VFD tubes, WERE meant to be readily available, for that nobody can say otherwise and there has been Red coloured text all over the product page pretty much every time I checked, and I did check relatively often.

    This whole community really has become quite smarmy and jumped up. Winter blues getting you all down?

  9. @Stu emailed us, here’s our reply. we’d like to thank everyone who had such kind words and support for us!


    hi stuart,

    every person who signed up for the clock was notified and/or received their clock. we worked very hard to make sure all the clocks went out last year and they did. we do not take payment unless we ship a kit as you know.

    1. is it possible the gmail tossed a notification to spam? yes, this happens all the time.
    2. is it possible that the email simply did not make it to you? yes again, email is a 100% perfect system, you know this.
    3. if customers have problems call us, email us directly or also post on our site and forums.
    4. if you had emailed us about a clock at any time and there were email issues we would have simply saved you one and sent you an email or called when it was ready to ship.

    as you saw in the hack-a-day comments everyone got their clocks. we’re lucky our customers read hack-a-day and post comments there. here is what @buzzkill said:

    “@Stu – My icetube looks awesome on my desk. Ordered in December, and promptly shipped and received. You must not be trying very hard to get one. Or maybe you just like to whine”.

    as you can also see, the commenters seems to be saying that instead of posting “unsavoury comments” on hack-a-day and saying we’re a “joke” you could have just emailed us directly and we’ll help you out immediately.

    now that you have emailed us (we’re replying in less than 20 minutes from your email) we’ve checked the icetube clock back order list – you’re not on it at all, we know this because we’ve shipped out every order. if you were sent a notification it went to spam or just didn’t make it. if you’re just checking the page manually, you’ll often see them going in and out of stock. that’s not the best way to know, just sign up or email us directly.

    as the x0xb0x goes, if you did indeed sign up in june of 2009 you’re on the list – we’re not up to june 2009 yet. so this is why you do not have a x0xb0x yet.


  10. @Stu – I just ordered the Monochron, and got the shipping confirmation shortly after.

    I ordered the icetube clock from the first batch, received it amazingly fast. My son managed to throw the icetube on the floor, breaking the casing and the tube. A short mail to Adafruit support, and the replacement parts were shipped in less than an hour.

    They have many cool kits. The kits are completely open source, meaning that you get all the information required to make them on your own. Heck, you can even make kits yourself and sell them if you want to.

    They are doing a world of good in the DIY scene, they have top notch service. If that’s not good enough, I don’t know what will make you happy.

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