Have you ever received a really boring Christmas card? Have you ever sat there and thought to yourself "If only there were a little video game on this card that I could play..." Well ponder no more because that card is here!
This instructable will show you how to make your very own retro video game Christmas card which can be made for less than $10. All you need is some time, some soldering know how and roughly $10 in your wallet.
Please view this youtube video to get the main idea of this project:
There are essentially two main parts to building this project.
1. Soldering all the parts to the vero board (experimenters board)
2. Making the card itself (this is where you can get creative)
The game is titled "Santas Scramble" and is played within 64 pixels on an 8x8 LED matrix display. You play santa (a red dot) who is frantically flying around the world in order to get all of the presents delivered to the children in time for Christmas, the only problem is that he has flown into a dangerous maze. Your job is to steer santa up and down the screen in order to avoid the oncoming obsticles. Be careful, the further you get through the game, the faster it gets. If you crash then it is - GAME OVER -
There are two different designs below and I must apologise for my lack of arts and crafts ability. My strong point is the electronics side of things...
Anyway - lets get started shall we!
Step 1: Gathering together the required parts.
1. Building the electronic circuit
2. Constructing the card
Here is what you will need for the electronic circuit:
- 1 x pic 16f648a microcontroller
- 1 x 7442 (1 of 10 decoder IC)
- 2 x cr2032 batteries
- 2 x cr2032 battery holders
- 1 x 32 hole by 23 hole piece of veroboard / strip board
- 2 x push buttons
- 1 x 8x8 bi-colour LED matrix display
- 9 x 150 ohm resistors 1/4 watt
- 2 x 10k ohm resistors 1/4 watt
- length of enamel wire (the really thin wire with a coating of enamel for insulation)
- shorter length of single core wire
- Soldering iron
- scalpel (or sharp knife)
- solder wick (optional but handy if you make a soldering error)
- Flux (optional but helps with soldering)
- pic microcontroller programmer
here is what you will need for the card:
- paper (all sorts of colours to make it more interesting)
- thin cardboard
- thick corrugated cardboard (the cardboard that packing boxes are made from)
- glue stick
- double sided tape
- sticky tape
- scalpel (or sharp knife)
- what ever else you can think of to make a nice looking card
- Pay a visit to sure electronics webstore where you can buy a lot of 10 Led matrix displays for around $8.60 this makes them 86c each!
- ebay is a great place to buy electronic components. Make sure you do a worldwide search since postage is normally quite cheap for lightweight components.
- Head on over to microchip.com and sign up to their online store. Then you can buy parts directly from them. For example here in Australia it would cost me $10 for a 16f648a microcontroller. But if I buy them from microchip they are just over $1.
- You can also request free samples from microchip. I think you can get about 6 free samples a month. This has been very handy for me in experimenting with different chips.