Skip to main content

Playing Pong on a pair of candy cans: it's the Cansole!

A little while ago I mentioned that I was working on a new contraption: a video games console in a candy can.

It's now complete and I can play Pong on a TV. Here's a shot of the completed contraption. On the left is the main controller (the power switch is visible) and on the right is the expansion controller with its cable. The left (red) controller also has a 'fire' button that isn't visible and both have simple 'paddle' style controls.


On the bottom of the main controller are the main connections for the TV (video and audio) and a second controller.

The second controller contains nothing but a simple potentiometer.

But the main controller is much more complex. There's an Arduino Pro, a potentiometer (for the paddle control), a button for 'fire' or 'select', the battery and the connection to the video and audio and second controller. Video and audio are handled by the Arduino TVout library.

The entire thing is wired squashed bug style as it's mostly interconnections and only a few discrete components (three fixed resistors, and two potentiometers).

The device generates a PAL TV signal in software (that's the clever bit that TVout does). It can generate NTSC with no problem if the code is changed. Here's a quick shot on the oscilloscope of the PAL TV signal just showing that the sync pulse is coming every 64 us as expected.

And, finally, to test it out I wrote a simple implementation of the classic game Pong. The source code can be found here.

No such blog post would be complete without a video showing the Cansole and Pong in action.



PS A few people have asked for a schematic. Here it is.

Comments

TimHannah said…
Do you have a schematic for the console, is there an instructable anywhere
I have added a hand drawn schematic.
Anonymous said…
Hello,

Concerning the Code ...

I do not understand which of the files is actually needed for the Arduino?
Are they all different Versions/Ideas/drafts?

Thanks alot!
Anonymous said…
I got it running, but in the schematic there is a small fault. The Pots should be connected to 5V instead of 3,3V.
Unknown said…
i conect the pots to 3,3v and dont work, if i conect to 5v just work one and controls both players. what can i do?

Popular posts from this blog

How to write a successful blog post

First, a quick clarification of 'successful'. In this instance, I mean a blog post that receives a large number of page views. For my, little blog the most successful post ever got almost 57,000 page views. Not a lot by some other standards, but I was pretty happy about it. Looking at the top 10 blog posts (by page views) on my site, I've tried to distill some wisdom about what made them successful. Your blog posting mileage may vary. 1. Avoid using the passive voice The Microsoft Word grammar checker has probably been telling you this for years, but the passive voice excludes the people involved in your blog post. And that includes you, the author, and the reader. By using personal pronouns like I, you and we, you will include the reader in your blog post. When I first started this blog I avoid using "I" because I thought I was being narcissistic. But we all like to read about other people, people help anchor a story in reality. Without people your bl

Your last name contains invalid characters

My last name is "Graham-Cumming". But here's a typical form response when I enter it: Does the web site have any idea how rude it is to claim that my last name contains invalid characters? Clearly not. What they actually meant is: our web site will not accept that hyphen in your last name. But do they say that? No, of course not. They decide to shove in my face the claim that there's something wrong with my name. There's nothing wrong with my name, just as there's nothing wrong with someone whose first name is Jean-Marie, or someone whose last name is O'Reilly. What is wrong is that way this is being handled. If the system can't cope with non-letters and spaces it needs to say that. How about the following error message: Our system is unable to process last names that contain non-letters, please replace them with spaces. Don't blame me for having a last name that your system doesn't like, whose fault is that? Saying "Your

The Elevator Button Problem

User interface design is hard. It's hard because people perceive apparently simple things very differently. For example, take a look at this interface to an elevator: From flickr Now imagine the following situation. You are on the third floor of this building and you wish to go to the tenth. The elevator is on the fifth floor and there's an indicator that tells you where it is. Which button do you press? Most people probably say: "press up" since they want to go up. Not long ago I watched someone do the opposite and questioned them about their behavior. They said: "well the elevator is on the fifth floor and I am on the third, so I want it to come down to me". Much can be learnt about the design of user interfaces by considering this, apparently, simple interface. If you think about the elevator button problem you'll find that something so simple has hidden depths. How do people learn about elevator calling? What's the right amount of