Discrete Pong Project Goes Big, Adds a Player

Some projects just take on a life of their own. What started as a pleasant diversion or a simple challenge becomes an obsession, and the next thing you know you’ve built a two-player color Pong game with audio completely from discrete components.

If this one seems familiar, it’s because we were dazzled by its first incarnation last year. As impressive as version 1.0 was, all the more so since it was built using the Manhattan method and seemingly over the course of a weekend, it did have its limitations. [GK] has been refining his design ever since and keeping accurate track of the process, to the tune of 22 pages on the EEVblog forum. We haven’t pored through it all yet, but the state of the project now is certainly worth a look. The original X-Y output to an oscilloscope was swapped out to composite video for a monitor, in both mono and color. This version also allows two people to play head-to-head instead of just battling the machine. It looks like [GK] had to add a couple of blocks worth of real estate to his Manhattan board to accommodate the changes, and he tidied the wiring significantly while he was at it.

It’s a project that keeps on giving, so feast your eyes and learn. We suspect [GK] doesn’t have any plans to finish this soon, but if he does, we can’t wait to see what’s next.

Thanks to [David Gustafik] for reminding us to check back on this one.

14 thoughts on “Discrete Pong Project Goes Big, Adds a Player

  1. This really really amazes me. Because in 1979 I was given an old tabletop pong arcade machine (working!), already many years old and probably originally built/assembled around 1970. It had no microprocessor, but it had SIX HUGE boards of 74xx discreet logic chips. Each board was approx half the size of [GK]’s, so he did it in 1/3 the space and with discreet components instead of chips.

    1. there was a popular electronic (magazine) article in the late 70’s or early 80’s that had board layout and schematic for a TTL based semi-discrete pong game.

      I had boards made (my job was to drill the holes on the single layer hand-etched board) and that was my first time hating doing board drilling. I was a teen and had all the time in the world but still hated that. never fully built it. might even still have the boards, but it never did get built.

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