If you're like me, you're working on an arcade cabinet and waiting for buttons to arrive in the mail, and thinking to yourself, "gee, I sure love Pong, but there's no way I can bring down some paddle-slicing fury with a joystick." It's a common thought. It's also why I ultimately decided to include spinners (paddles) on my arcade machine. You can too, and here's how to do it for cheap.

You'll need:

1 old ball mouse
1 peanut butter lid (yes, really)
a bunch of small coins
some old Legos:
-1 four or six-peg axle
-2 small right-angle gears
-1 large wheel
-1 beam
-some spacer bits

Step 1: Cheap Spinner Interface

Old ball mice are a great cheap solution for spinners, like the ones for playing Breakout, Pong, and some non-ball-based driving games. Not only can you find them for free, but they don't require any drivers, and they come with two optical encoders (one per axis), so you can make controls for two players out of one mouse.

Just cut out the bare parts you need. That means keep the plastic that holds the encoder shaft in place, and try to leave enough extra to support the electronic bits. It doesn't hurt to have a good flat area to glue the whole thing down with either.
<p>If you want to play original Pong and other Pong variants I'd grab the Dice Emulator. It emulates circuit-based arcade games from the 70's.</p>
<p>Nice Instructable. Atari decided not to use the Pong name whenever they were going to release the cartridge. They called it Video Olympics. My guess is because they wanted to emphasize that it did more than just play Pong. You could use MESS, which is closely related to MAME and runs a varity of hardware. Although, I would say that Stella is a much better Atari emulator. I had a lot of trouble getting the mouse inputs in MESS to work correctly. </p>
<p>Good to know. Thanks!</p>
Great work, Any chance of a video to show it in use?
I made one a few years ago for my MAME cabinet using a laser mouse. I attached a large washer to the bottom of the hard drive spinner I was using, then positioned the laser mouse to read the rotation. It worked great. (My pics turned out horrible, otherwise I'd post them.)
That's a smart way to do it. Mechanically much simpler too. I'll have to try it out on the next one.
Yeah, when I saw other people in the community using ball mice to do it, I wondered why they weren't just using a laser mouse. It made sense to me, yet no one else appeared to have tried it.<br>It has since fallen apart, but 2.0 will be made soon. Here's the absolutely terrible photo I took back then:<br>
You can use a Mouse-keyboard emulator if you really wanted to use this for pong... maybe something like 1 degree of rotation = 1 press of arrow key...
Luckily the mouse works really well; one turn of the wheel moves the paddle evenly from one side of the screen to the other. But that's a handy thing to know about for the future.
Very cool!<br>I actually did this a few years ago but with an arcade trackball.<br>Worked perfectly for what I need it for.
Cool. I'd like to see a picture of that.
Those are very interesting...uh...&quot;dimes&quot; you have there.
Pennies are on the inside. 3 dimes are crammed in between the wheel and the lid.
i believe hes saying that those might be nickels..
Ah. Nope, dimes. I tried just using pennies, but they weren't thin enough. Of course, different cap/wheel combos may require all sorts of currency.
Very nice work, your machine looks really good, Kudos to you for all your efforts, I hope you enjoy playing it as much as you seem to have enjoyed making it.
Thanks! I've had fun with both, but the playing it fun is easier to share.

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