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Ronald’s tiny pong game, he writes -

When the &microSCOPE project was well underway, it was clear to me that my next project just had to be a miniature version of the classic PONG game. The PONG game was invented back in 1966 by Ralph Baer [1,2]. In the seventies the game became very popular and I remember that as a child I was completely fascinated by it. We had a later version at home, and on inspection it appeared that there was only one 40 pen IC in it, how did they do it ? In 1973 the Dutch electronics magazine Elektuur (Elektor for the rest of the world) organized a circuit design contest. Electronics enthusiasts where invited to submit their favorite circuit designs. Via a complicated set of rules, which I have never understood, a calculation of the costs for the components that were used was made. Part of the sum was given to the designer, the rest was given to the charity fund: “Aktion Sorgenkind”. The first price was a homebrew version of PONG by the youthful B L&uumlbcke from Kiel, Germany [3]! With nine TTL 74121 type one-shots and a handful of logic gates the clever designer was able to make a real functional tennis game on the TV. I was amazed how simple it all could be!

The &microPONG game works essentially the same as the original 1966 design. However, in the PIC version the hardware one-shots have been replaced by software delays. A number of microcontroller based PONG games have been published or posted on the internet [4,5]. This &microPONG version is so far the smallest, using only an 8 pin PIC processor, and is the only one to use two potentiometers for the bat controls, just as the original PONG game. In Fig. 1 the circuit diagram of the &microPONG is given. Although the circuit is pretty simple, it does contain some special tricks which will be explained in the text below.

microPONG, The world’s smallest pong game – Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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