Picture of Make a Desktop Tamagotchi

One day I was sitting behind my desk at work and I got that weird need to build something, after looking around for a bit I got my eye on an LED matrix and that sparked an idea in my head : "I WANNA MAKE A TAMAGOTCHI".

So for those of you that don't know what the heck is a Tamagotchi here is a little snip-it from wikipedia :
"The Tamagotchi (たまごっち Tamagocchi?) is a handheld digital pet, created in Japan by Akihiro Yokoi of WiZ and Aki Maita of Bandai. It was first sold by Bandai in 1996 in Japan."

So my take on this classic toy is to make it in to a desktop gadget with an LED matrix for a display, and an Arduino for brains to make it more accessible to people. With that said join me as we design,build and program the World's first (As far as I know) desktop Tamagotchi.


Step 1: Getting The Right Stuff

Picture of Getting The Right Stuff

So like any other electronics project you will need to get some basic tools:
1) Soldering Iron
2) Some solder wire
3) A pair of cutters
4) A pair of needle nose pliers
Optional : Get some solder braid or a solder pump to fix soldering mistakes

As for the electronics the parts list a bit longer, here is what you will need to get:
1) An ATmega328P with the arduino bootloader + 16Mhz crystal with two 22pF caps
* You will need something to program the chip as well like an arduino platform or an FDTI adapter
2) 4 x 74HC595 shift registers
3) 2 x ULN2803 Darlington transistor array
4) 1 x DS1302 RTC + 32.768kHz Crystal
5) 1 x 3V coin cell battery holder + the battery.
6) 4 x right angled push buttons
7) 1 x Peizzo Buzzer
8) 4 x 8x8 LED matrix modules
9) 16 x 330Ohm resistors (you will need to calculate the value for your matrix)
10) 2 x row of 16 female pin headers
11) 2 x row of 16 male pin headers
12) 1 x row of 4 female headers(For programming)
13) 5 x 100nF cap
14) 1 x 10uF cap
15) 1 x 10K resistor
15) Power jack connector
16) 5V DC wall wart
17) A big piece of protoboard
18) Some wires for connections

Chi YeungS3 months ago

can I use the bluetooth controlled by android?

Elipsit9 months ago

Well done man, awesome throw back project!

Raphango10 months ago

Congratulations! =D

Great project!!

sethalec71 year ago

Is there any way I can make this with arduino uno? I am dying to make this

Syst3mX (author)  sethalec71 year ago
sure, just program the chip in the board.
Take it out of there and put it in the tamagotchi board.

Search in google for "stand alone arduino"
darkmeiun1 year ago

got a question were are the numbers for minutes in the code?

The minutes do not matter. Only the hours are used.
Therefore you are in the menu for the time only the hours.

darkmeiun1 year ago

the common on the matrixes is cathode or anode?

Syst3mX (author)  darkmeiun1 year ago

There is no such thing. There are 8 anodes and 8 cathodes on each matrix.

And because it's symmetrical you decide if the rows are anodes or cathodes.

srdwa Syst3mX1 year ago

Hello Vadim,
my tamagotchi is completed. Thank you for your development work.


well actually the pin numbering changes, so if designing a bigger circuit it could cause confusion if the diagriams are pin numbered

you need common anode modules.

srdwa1 year ago

this is the correct assignment of the rows and columns for 1088 dot matrix module with common anode. for example 1088BS.

Dot Matrix for Tamagitchi.PNG
tomilofano1 year ago

The driver board is Arduino?

Syst3mX (author)  tomilofano1 year ago

yes it is.

It's a standalone ATmega328 chip with the arduino bootloader

Thank you ! Very nice your Project ! Im form Argentina !

dmajor31 year ago
pure genius
srdwa1 year ago

Very nice projekt!

Vadim you're the best!!

Vivi1251 year ago

Why do u still use arduino?

I mean your capable of doing it all with plain C and AVR micro controller don't you?

this is awsome! defiently going to try making one