Build A Pong Gaming Console

A lot of thought went into [Patrick Mccabe’s] Pong gaming console build. He used components we’re familiar with; an Arduino as a controller, 8×8 LED modules as the display, and potentiometers (with fancy knobs) in project boxes as the controllers. But every step along the way he took care to build this cleanly and robustly. Even the MAX7219CNG drivers for the six LED modules reside on PCBs from a fab house. The finished project is something you’d be proud to pull out and play when you have friends over. Even if they’re not part of the geek elite we think they’d enjoy a game or two. Great job [Patrick]. We hope to see an internalized microcontroller and scoring in your next update!

Want to do this but the cost of the matrix drivers scared you away? Follow our tutorial to build your own display using an AVR for the multiplexing.

18 thoughts on “Build A Pong Gaming Console

  1. You would like to see an “internalized” microcontroller? Really? You want to hide the brain away inside that box? Well, I guess we can’t all have good taste…. For the record, the Arduino is right where it should be –out for the whole world to see… I wish all the beautiful PCB’s pat designed were able to be shown as well! Nice work, Pat.

  2. Matrix drivers? You could probably do that entire thing in sweep mode with a few TLC5940s and a mux. The GPIO overhead for driving even a large matrix array is pretty low with this approach.

    If you only have a few values to choose from, you can do it more cheaply by setting up a few signal sources with the duty cycles you want (555s), buffer / amplify the result, and then use a few GPIOs to control a mux array which maps source to output.

    Oh, and latched-output serial to parallel shift registers are a lovely thing as well. You can grab two dozen for about five bucks, mux the input, and then drive that whole mess off a bare handful of GPIOs again (while having lots of leftover ICs).

  3. Yay Patrick! I love it.

    @Tweeks, This Pong was made by a person significantly younger then the one you linked. It is a good accomplishment, not ‘weak’.

    @fludic, I agree, I would have liked to see cheaper driven method, though Patrick got the chips for free, the rest of us aren’t so lucky.

    @Egonis et al. I’m making a ‘kit’ for a cheap Arduino powered matrix driver. One AVR for 10 matrices, and only using 6 IO pins. I plan on partnering with Patrick (for code) when I finish, and could very well sell a ‘Pong’ game kit.


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