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The Four Player Coffee Table Pong Video Game.

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UPDATE 12 APRIL 2011
Important! I have been made aware of a problem with the circuit board design with respect to the two push buttons. In order to get the buttons to work properly you need to connect them to the expansion port instead of the designated player select and mode button connections on the circuit board. Connect them to PIN D and PIN E on the expansion port. You will then need to connect a resistor from PIN D to GND and then another resistor from PIN E to GND. Finally, you will need to connect the other side of each button to VCC. This will make sure that when the buttons are not pressed, that you have a logic 0 at the microcontroller input (for that button) and then you will get a logic 1 when the button is pressed. If there are any hassles, just post a message here.

Okay scratch that - I have updated the circuit board and everything is working as advertised (and as written on the circuit board) Boards can be purchased direct from iteadstudio for $3 - link is in the instructable.


UPDATE 12 APRIL 2011
The circuit boards are now for sale direct from the manufacturer. They are $3 each. Also, the manufacturer is looking into how much it would cost to sell the boards with all pcb components as a kit. I will keep you updated. You can find the link to purchase a circuit board in STEP 1. Otherwise you can still make your own because all files are included in this instructable.

UPDATE 11 APRIL 2011
I have just received an email from the PCB manufacturer (iteadstudio) to let me know that the first batch of Super Pong Table circuit boards is complete and will be available for purchase very soon. They will be around $3 each from their website (I will provide the link once I have it)

UPDATE 10 April 2011
I have just released the sourcode for the 'Knockout' version of this game. This new version sees players battle it out to keep in as many balls as possible. There are no points for hitting a ball BUT you do lose a point for missing a ball - if you miss 20 balls, you are knocked out of the game and your 'bat' is replaced with a solid wall. The remaining players are then left to battle on. The last player standing wins!

You can download the latest version of the sourcecode in step 1.



Hello and welcome to another Bradsprojects instructable.

Are you tired of your old boring coffee table? Do you dream of a coffee table that allows you play games as well as keep your coffee cup off the ground?

Well dream no longer - because such a coffee table is here and you can build one for yourself.

Introducing Super Table Pong. no doubt you have seen the many variations of the classic game 'Pong', well this coffee table takes that game just that little bit further by allowing you to play up to four players at once with 5 balls on the screen at a time. It's a fast paced - action packed game of mayhem!

Here is a short youtube video of the game in action. (I have removed the top glass for video clarity)



Knockout Edition (This version is more fun than the original. A player is knocked out of the game if they miss 20 balls)

The Game
Each player uses an old atari paddle controller to move their respective 'bat' to the left and right of screen. The game starts with five balls in the middle of the screen moving outwards towards the players bats. Each ball moves at a different speed and at different angles to one another. When a ball approaches a player, that player needs to move their bat in order to intercept the ball and make it bounce back in the opposite direction. If the player does not get their bat there in time and the ball happens to go past the player, then that ball will re-appear in the center of the screen.

So how do you win?
If the player hits the ball, they are awarded one point, however if the player misses a ball, they lose one point. The first player to reach 20 Points wins the game and they will be presented with a 'YOU WIN' fireworks animation.

Technical Details
The game is powered by an 8-bit microcontroller (PIC18f4550) running at 8MHz. The display consists of 900 LED's arranged in a 30 x 30 matrix. (I originally designed it to have 1024 LED's, which would make it a 32 x 32 LED matrix. The LED's on each outside edge would have been a different color I.E. one side would have been green, then blue, white and orange) Long story short, the extra LED's that I ordered didn't arrive in time which has restricted mt to just 900 red LED's.

The four controllers are analog controllers taken out of the old Atari 2600 game system. You twist them clockwise / counter-clockwise to move your respective bat on the LED display. The circuit requires very little power and can be run off 4 AA batteries for more than 2 months if played for 30 mins each day.

Future Updates

I would like to say a huge thankyou for all of your comments and suggestions. I do have plans to improve on this project to make it into a much more enjoyable game. I am currently updating the circuit board design and schematic to include an expansion port which will allow for all manner of future improvements such as extra buttons and an LCD display for each player.

Thoughts for future updates:
  • Balls moving at more random speeds and angles
  • ability to select the number of balls on screen at once
  • computer player
  • scores will be displayed on an lcd display
  • add an arcade style button for each player giving them the ability to 'shoot' other players to take points off them
  • different color LED's for the players bats (rather than just red)
  • if a player loses a certain amount of points they are knocked out of the game - the last man standing wins.
 
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Nick Arora3 months ago

Hi, i don't have the atari controllers but i do have the old ps2 controllers. Can those be used?

or a simple keys (push buttons) system?

boopols235 months ago

can i use 40pins pic18f4550 rather than 44pins?

bradsprojects (author)  boopols235 months ago
Hi, yes you can. They are actually exactly the same chip, just in a different package. They both have the same connections that you will need for this game.

Although, you may be interested in the newer, better and easier to make version of this game:
http://www.bradsprojects.com/retroball-a-four-player-led-pong-game/

(downloads at the bottom of the page before the comments section)
too late I've got all the materials need for this. can you help me make a counter for each player? using seven segment? and can i use the fx from the retroball loaded to my pic18f4550.
1timmy1 year ago
you still have a problem with the buttons. the two 10k resistors are connected to vcc. not ground. I used desoldered the two onboard resistors and used to external ones and hooked them to ground and it works perfectly.
Djandco1 year ago
Forgive my ignorance with the Pic family but what software do you use to upload the firmware?
I have only ever used the Arduino and this would be my first venture into the Pic world.

Just so you know, I have just ordered a Pickit2 Starter kit, hope it comes with the correct stuff!

Regards


Darren
bradsprojects (author)  Djandco1 year ago
No worries. The PICKIT2 starter kit contains the PICKIT2 (funnily enough...) and that is what you will use to program the microcontroller. There are 5 connections you will need to connect (check out this image to see where they are)
http://i.stack.imgur.com/I1N6b.png

VPP - programming supply
VDD - power supply for the microcontroller
VSS - Ground
PGD - Serial Data
PGC - Clock

You don't need to connect the sixth AUX connector.

All you need to do is line these 5 connections up with the same 5 connections on the PIC. (some of the PIC pins have multiple functions, so these abbreviations may be hidden in amongst other abbreviations on the same pin)

Then you just load up the PICKIT2 software and it will autodetect the PICKIT2 and whatever PIC chip is connected to it. You then just open your hex file and click upload.
Thank you for your pointer, this should be fun when the parts turn up!

is there a big difference between the Pickit2 and Pickit3?
I would have assumed that the 3 would just have a wider compatibility with the newer chips.

On your instructable you mention that the Pic will already be fitted to the board, but when you order them it does not have anything on.
Not a major problem because I have ordered a couple of chips, (just in case!) but I thought I would mention it.

Kind regards

Darren
bradsprojects (author)  Djandco1 year ago
I haven't looked much into the PICKIT3 (I guess because I haven't needed to) But I also would assume it supports more chips. Perhaps the 24 series and 32 series?

I don't remember and can't find where it is written that it would be soldered to the board already. Could you copy and paste that here for me?
Funny enough it said it in the parts list on this front page but it doesn't seem to be there any more.



 
ddemirjian1 year ago
Hi Brad. Great project. is there anyplace i can buy all the components in one place now that the Kickstarter program is over?
bradsprojects (author)  ddemirjian1 year ago
Unfortunately not - You have to shop around to find all of the parts and they aren't that cheap if you don't buy in bulk. 

I am working on porting the retroball code over to super pong table so users can upgrade :)

Here's the download for the RetroBall details:
http://www.bradsprojects.com/RetroBall/RetroBallFiles.zip
mikeblack1 year ago
I have completed the super pong table but it won't program. I am having trouble connecting the ICSP wires on the board to the pickit 2 in the right order. but so far every different configuration we have tried has resulted in the same error. It always says: "Program failed to write at memory address 0x000000".
bradsprojects (author)  mikeblack1 year ago
Unfortunately you may have a bad / damaged microcontroller. Or perhaps you have a solder joint problem or short circuit on your microcontroller legs?
DeNuzio1 year ago
I'm making one in a IKEA Lack table :)
See here
bradsprojects (author)  DeNuzio1 year ago
Wow - that is fantastic!

Such a good quality build - much nicer than my table. I'll post links to it on my forum.

Thanks for letting me know, it's great to see other people building one for themselves.
How much would it cost for you to make this for me and ship it to me?
I live in the UK and I'm being serious! I want this but don't have the time or effort! A genuine response would be awesome :)
bradsprojects (author)  EpicNinjaPete1 year ago
Hi, I have made a new and improved version of this game that you can now purchase.

Check out:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1411349329/retroball-nostalgic-fun-for-up-to-four-players

would love to make this for my game room
how much was the total cost
and the time it takes to make
ayoun2 years ago
Hi
I now create your work
However, there is a problem.
I do not know how program to use the source
I saw a read-only source
It seems using it
A detailed description of the photo step by step, please
it is my mail 100akwon@naver.com
please quick answer
Thank you for reading.
htht12542 years ago
hello, i programmed the pic with the super pong table version 2 and it's in an infinite loop with the star rotating, sometimes it shows the choose your players screen but i can't select the players, any chance you know what might be wrong?
tomcharlie2 years ago
Hey there. I've put everything together and when I turn it on a single row of led's light up and then go out very quickly and then about 4 in the middle do that same then they are all blank. Not sure if this has anything to do with it but i'm using blue LED's. What do you think could be the problem?
nianri62 years ago
Finally got around to finishing the game, and it's a lot of fun. I'm going to make my own version of the board, and use some of the small RGB LED displays to make a handheld game. Are there any digital pins not used in the program? I was thinking about using the open pin to toggle between colors over time. And if at all possible, use another open pin to somehow vary the voltage on the 2803's so the LED's fade in and out instead of jumping straight to the next color.
bradsprojects (author)  nianri62 years ago
Good work!

There are certainly some digital pins not used. In the revised version of the circuit board there are around a dozen extra pins that I have made access to and called it the expansion port. With the original version of the board these pins are still spare but harder to get to because you need to try and solder small wires straight onto the spare pins of the microcontroller.

As for varying the brightness of the LED's you would need some sort of digital to analogue converter which would make the circuitry a bit more complex. Or you could use pulse width modulation which would be quite tricky to do with your code.
Ah, alright. I was wondering what the expansion port was for. As for PWM'ing the LEDs, couldn't I put a transistor in front of the power pin on the 2803 and have the microcontroller turn it on when the color is supposed to be on, and then have the microcontroller send pulses to the base of the transistor when it has to switch colors? Or would I need too big a transistor to deal with the large amount of current it would need if all 32 LEDs in any given string are on?
bradsprojects (author)  nianri62 years ago
You could do that although just as you say, you would need a high power darlington pair transistor. I am also not sure what kind of delay would be involved due to the switching on and off of the power rail to the 2803. It could very well be something to experiment with though.
If all 32 LEDs are on, then it would need 640 milliamps. So theoretically a transistor capable of about 700 milliamps would work fine, right? And I have a PIC that was programmed to do rapid fire in xbox controllers, if I can find it I'll hook it up to an extra 2803 I have and see if there's a noticeable lag. The PIC has three modes, and in one of them it pulses two pins at the same time, so I'll hook up one pin to an LED, and the other to the transistor and 2803 as I mentioned earlier. The pulse speed is quite slow, about 6 pulses a second, so if there is a significant lag it should be visible.
kp.kody3 years ago
Hey man, the place is sold out of the boards! Is there any other way to get a pre made one? I really want to make this for my girlfriend. We are getting ready to move into our fist home and thought this would be an awsome house warming gift to ourselfs!
vnovaes3 years ago
I like to know if the features, at least, the lcd display for the score, its easy to apply, because its is very interesting...when this "update" on the steps will come out, bests regards...
googlexx3 years ago
does it matter what the wattage is on the resistors?
I meant the size of the SMR's. Sorry :)
googlexx3 years ago
any recommendation of which pic programmer I should get?
bradsprojects (author)  googlexx3 years ago
The best by far is the pickit2 (get one direct from microchip.com)
could I buy this one considering I don't need the board to program the chip right?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Clone-Microchip-Development-Programmer-Mini-PICKIT-2-/250844066095?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_2&hash=item3a6778b12f

instead of this:

http://www.microchipdirect.com/productsearch.aspx?Keywords=DV164120
bradsprojects (author)  googlexx3 years ago
Short answer is yes it will work.

Long answer is that they have copied the original manufacturers design and their code that is stored in the chips inside to make them.
awesome thanks :)
googlexx3 years ago
will these led's work?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Blue-Cylindrical-5mm-Hi-Intens-LED-1000mcd-10-2USNDJ-/130315640817?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1e576adff1

Thanks!
bradsprojects (author)  googlexx3 years ago
Here's a much better deal for you, and they will work.

http://cgi.ebay.com/1000-pcs-5mm-Round-Blue-Superbright-LED-Light-blue-/110608686099?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19c0ca9c13

If you were to buy the other ones you looked at, it would cost you about $400 (because you need 900 LED's)

the ones I have shown will cost you less than $30 for 1000 of them.
okay thanks. I bought those and all of the other parts on iteadstudio.com

another question. What is a good (hopefully cheap) pic programmer to buy that is compatible with that chip?

Thanks
nianri63 years ago
I just had an idea for the newest version of this table. Would it be possible to make it 3d? I was thinking that you could use 8 more 74373's, and connect them to another 30x30 matrix, then angle one matrix several degrees to the right and the other display several degrees to the left? It would probably be extremely expensive, but if it works it'd be well worth it. That probably wouldn't work with the pre-made matrices though. Just throwing that out there. The programming wouldn't need any adjustments though. The only thing I'm not sure on is that the spacing of the LEDs might not allow us to get the full effect, even if they were side by side.
bradsprojects (author)  nianri63 years ago
I'd certainly like to see someone make one of those, although I just wouldn't have the time to make that many myself.

Are you up for it?
If I can get this current version to work, I'm certainly going to try.
nianri63 years ago
I'm in the process of building this, and bought the circuit board last week. I was planning to use my buddy's PIC programmer to program the microcontroller, but for whatever reason, it isn't compatible with the 18f4550. Would I be able to buy a preprogrammed chip from you, or do you know of anywhere that could program it for me? I work mainly with analog circuits, so buying a PIC programmer would be a waste. This is a very cool project though.
bradsprojects (author)  nianri63 years ago
Hi sorry for the late reply.

I could do that for you although I would have to sell you both the board and the chip because I need to solder the microcontroller to the board in order to program it.

If you still want that done it will be $15 and then whatever postage is ontop of that.

Just let me know.

Cheers,

-brad
Ah, ok. I already bought one board, and as of right now I only plan on making one. I do have a few friends who were blown away by the idea of a table that could play pong though, so I may have a few to order in the future. I received the board today, I can't wait to start working on it. I read you were going to make a few other games for this table as well, would you be able to program a galaga type game?
bradsprojects (author)  nianri63 years ago
I am actually working on an RGB version of the display.

This version will be capable of much better games (because we have eight colours instead of just one)

I am unsure of when I will finish it due to time restraints.
Sounds cool man. Would there be a way to use this current version of the PCB with the RGB version?
bradsprojects (author)  nianri63 years ago
It will require a new circuit board because the displays I am using are pre-made and they have a serial interface.

The good news is that the circuit board is quite simplified with only a few components rather than a board full of components.
Oh, cool. Any idea on how much the new circuit board will be? And how much do the LED displays cost?
bradsprojects (author)  nianri63 years ago
The new board should only be $3 and all the parts for the board will be cheaper because it uses less.

However, the displays are quite expensive. It cost me $160 to get two 32x16 RGB displays all up with airmail.
I'll take a stab at making one then.
GameNox3 years ago
Where did you get the leds?
bradsprojects (author)  GameNox3 years ago
I buy my LED's on ebay in lots of 1000

If you do an ebay search for 1000pcs led and select lowest price first, you should come up with a whole heap of listings between about $20 and $30 (make sure you do a worldwide search because they are normally from China.
Ice13 years ago
I think you forgot to include the ICSP port as one of the materials you need. Can i ask what sort of ICSP port you used?
bradsprojects (author)  Ice13 years ago
You are correct! Thanks for letting me know.

I use the pickit2 programmer which accepts a 6 pin header connection (although only five are required for programming which is why I only have five on the board)
How can i use only 5 pins when the cable has 6? What do i do?
bradsprojects (author)  woofwoof29923 years ago
The sixth pin is not used for programming so I normally leave it out (because it would not actually connect to anything on the board) All you need to do is line up the arrow on the circuit board with the arrow on the pickit2
Where can I buy the following materials?
bradsprojects (author)  TechnicalMan01013 years ago
You can buy most of them from where I get my boards made (iteadstudio) You can then get the microcontroller direct from the microchip website.
Can you buy a lot of the supplies from the site where you get the board?
bradsprojects (author)  woofwoof29923 years ago
Yes, they can provide just about all required parts. I don't think they have the microcontroller but you can get them from microchip for around $5
Ice13 years ago
Just bought the PCB, i think i might modify it to make an RGB table, but before i start that I want to finish my 8x8x8 cube first :) BTW looks like a great price you got on those RGB displays! Looking forward to seeing those in action and to see some more of your great instructables :D
bradsprojects (author)  Ice13 years ago
I have seen some 8x8x8 cubes on youtube and they have some fantastic effects = )

As for the RGB Displays, I have found some smaller ones (perhaps not suited for use in a table) for only $95 with free shipping (for an RGB 32 x 32 pixel display)

I have been experimenting with my new displays and the games and graphics look pretty cool. I have so far made my own version of river raid and will include all sorts of other games - it will be a multi-purpose game table.

Hopefully others will make games of their own for it.

Be sure to let me know how your cube goes.
Wow awesome, didnt know you could get them that cheap.

Sweet! Be awesome to play pacman or something on it lols

Yeah will do :)
googlexx3 years ago
I saw that you said you are redesigning the circuit board and adding rgb leds. I want to make this project but I was wondering how close you were to adding that. I just didn't want to go out and buy everything and then you post a better version a week later :) If its not going to be for a while then i will surely build this today. Anyways let me know. Thanks!
bradsprojects (author)  googlexx3 years ago
Hi, glad to hear your interested in the project.

I have only just received the RGB LED displays (I bought two 16x32 pixel displays) these cost me $160 all up with free postage. Which is a good deal because it would cost more than that if you were to buy individual LED's and then build it yourself.

As such I haven't yet started on programming it. I am also going to make a whole heap of other games for it including Super Mario Bros.

So it will take me a while to get all this done, which gives you plenty of time to build the current version.

Are you building the circuit board yourself?
Brad, iv been trying to work out how to change the circuit board to allow for RGB LEDs but as i said im still pretty new to this stuff. I noticed that if i did add more 74373s I would run out of ports on the PIC and im a bit confused. If it may be a while before you release the new version I would sure appreciate a schematic for the new circuit board or even a rough draft up as I am very comfortable with programming and stuff. Thanks in advance!
bradsprojects (author)  Ice13 years ago
Hi,

All you need to do is get eight more 74373 chips (you already have four for the RED color, you then need four for GREEN and four for BLUE)

You connect everything up exactly the same as the four that are already there (I.E. gnd, vcc, eight data inputs and output enable)

The only connections that will be different are your outputs (which obviously go to the green and then blue LED's instead of red) also, the last connection that will be different is your latch enable. You will need eight separate connections here to the microcontroller - the good thing is that with the expansion port that I have added, there are 11 spare connections for you to use.

To sum it up, you still use the common data bus, but the only extra connections you need from the microcontroller is one latch enable connection for each chip (which makes eight latch connections)
chicopluma3 years ago
best coffe table ever, imagine an 8 player octagon
bradsprojects (author)  chicopluma3 years ago
Now that would be chaos!
KVFinn3 years ago
Is there a way to have have the LEDS use varying levels of brightness?

If you had more states for brightness, you could run the game internally at a higher resolution and then translate that into the low res grid, basically 'anti-aliasing'. The transitions from one LED to another would not be so jumpy, you'd get nice smooth motion.

There were MANY games made for the Atari VCS for four player with paddles. The best suited for this is called WarLords. Makes MUCH more sense than the super-pong. I still play it with my family once in a while.
Really impressive!

I don't have any experience with PIC's, I hope to get around playing with it. (Have the programmer and the chips, but I need to sit down and look at the software! (Linux))

Lastly, how does you avoid the insanity while soldering all of these 900 LED's? :D

...let's see. I have soldered 50, and I believe that I have 850 left...
...now it's just 820 left! wait, what?
... what?

That's mostly the reason I need to stay away from this project,
althought I really, really want a big LED-table who does weird stuff...
bradsprojects (author)  alfredhenriksen3 years ago
I am guessing that you are using picklab if you are using linux?

I started out with assembly programming and then more recently made the switch to basic which has really allowed me to branch out into projects that I couldn't have dreamed of making in asm = )

As for the LED's, it wasn't too bad because you are essentially doing it line by line.

The quick part was putting the LED's in the holes, then you need to get a length of wire and weave it through the LED anodes then solder it to every leg in one line. Then repeat that 63 times = )
Well... I got recently a Mini PICKIT 2. For several years ago I used my friend's Windows as the serialprogrammer didn't work in Linux. At that time the software was non-existant and I was a moron in programming. All I wanted to was put a asm-file into a PIC16C84!
I don't require a GUI or a IDE, but the programmer and software was usually tied together before (and costly) and that sucked. I tried to make some (http://www.jdm.homepage.dk/newpic.htm) but it didn't work. I need to sit down, look carefully into this mess, b/c I want to program some PIC's. :)

As of now I prefer to program AVR, it's "easier". avrdude is flexible.

Yet - it's still 63times! 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10... whaaat?! :p
bradsprojects (author)  alfredhenriksen3 years ago
If you are interested, I have some pretty easy to follow pic tutorials on my website.

They are based around a chip very similar to the 16c84 (16f628a) And they are programmed in assembly language so they will work in piklab in linux
cool, thanks! I found sdcc and gputils and have installed these.
16f628a is better than 16[F|C]84 , but I have already a few 16F84's here.
I like asm, but I prefer to stay in C to save programming time,
as my time are limited. Read this a bad excuse for not wanting to learn something before it's absolute necesseary. You know how it's is. :)

RGB is just three LED's in one package.
I thought I would playing with it with my arduino in this weeked, but I never got around. Damn, I am too lazy.

I think that you people much been übermensch; how can you manually solder 3x900 LED's without going insane?
bradsprojects (author)  alfredhenriksen3 years ago
C is a great language to use and you are right in that using a higher level language like C is a real time saver.

I have solved the problem of having to solder in all of the LED's - I have found some 32 x 16 RGB panels which when you put two together - you get 32 x 32 = )

The panels cost me $160 for two of them including postage. This will greatly simplify the construction of the project.

Once I have finished with the new RGB version, I will again upload details.
tlittle13 years ago
will I be able to purchase a Super Pong Table complete? If so, can I get on some email list cause I'm no electrical engineer but I really think this table would be awesome for family and friends!
Ice13 years ago
One other question, would it be possible to use RGB LEDs? Im wanting to do this so i can turn the table into a decorative animation display aswell as a pong table. I'm not too experienced with this stuff, so if i wanted to do that would it require a completley different circuit, or just a small change to the programming? Thanks!
bradsprojects (author)  Ice13 years ago
It certainly would be possible with this circuit (with some expansion) You would need to add an extra four 74373's to handle the green LED's and then an extra four 74373's to handle the blue LED's. (at the moment there are four 74373's that hold the data for the RED LED's - the other four on the board handle the activated column of cathodes) You would also need to update the source code to handle the extra two colors but this is quite straight forward, it is pretty much a copy and paste of the existing code - but now you are sending the data to a different 74373.

It's funny that you mention RGB because I have already started planning a 32 x 32 pixel RGB coffee table which will be an all in one game table allowing you to play not only this pong game but all sorts of others aswell.
excellent! Can't wait :D Now i gotta decide if im gonna try to make it myself or wait for your project lol.. Got a steep learning curve though. Thanks!
Schmidty8503 years ago
I would just like to ask where is the link for the pre-etched and pre installed microcontroller pcb for me to buy, this looks like loads of fun
bradsprojects (author)  Schmidty8503 years ago
Unfortunately I don't think it is possible to get the microcontroller pre-installed and programmed because you won't be buying them from me - rather you are getting them straight from the manufacturer (the boards that is)

I have sent them the new PCB design and hopefully they will have them ready this coming week. Apparently they will cost approx $3 per board.
bradsprojects (author)  Schmidty8503 years ago
I have just sent through the updated PCB design to the manufacturer and hopefully they will have the PCB's made (etched) within a few days (hopefully)

They said that they will charge approx $3 for a board.

As for the pre-installed microcontroller / preprogrammed. i am not sure that this will be possible anymore because you are not buying the board from me, but you're getting them straight from the manufacturer.
Annatar23 years ago
Really awesome project, wish I had the technical know how to pull this one off.
bradsprojects (author)  Annatar23 years ago
Everyone has to start somewhere. Have a look at some electronics / microcontroller tutorials on the internet. There's some great stuff out there = )
wout smeets3 years ago
nice
CieNTi3 years ago
Hey, maybe a stupid question, but what is the use of ULN2803 here ?

Very nice project, and so tidy ending ... Congrats and thanks for sharing it :D
bradsprojects (author)  CieNTi3 years ago
Good question, each ULN2803 has eight darlington pairs within them. Since the display works by 'turning on' one column of cathodes at a time and then sending through the 1's and 0's to the anodes, there could be a chance that there will be upto 30 LED's on at once (which is an entire column) the 74373 is not sufficient enough to handle that much current, so that is where the ULN2803 comes in. Each darlington pair can handle 500mA.
Ops ... sure ... was a stupid question, didn't thought about that hahaha

Thanks for the reply, and again, really nice project!
davIRE3 years ago
holy dooley, that is one amazing pong table!
9ale73 years ago
that is a time KILLER !!!
love the 4 players mode !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
leeski3 years ago
that is awesome. I want one for my office, one for my home, one for my car?
bradsprojects (author)  leeski3 years ago
Maybe you could connect your steering wheel up instead of the paddle controller...?
I like that idea! Where is randofo?
catoctober3 years ago
This is nothing but a sales brochure!!! You need to include the circuit and software.
bradsprojects (author)  catoctober3 years ago
Easy there big guy = )

I was up late last night trying to get the instructable finished and uploaded and I completely forgot about the links.

My mistake!

They can now be found in the first step.
Excellent Job, sorry for the earlier comment, I was just trying to think in the spirit of instructables we need to include all information.
bradsprojects (author)  catoctober3 years ago
No problem,

I have certainly learned my lesson though - DON'T CLICK SUBMIT UNTIL YOU HAVE ACTUALLY FINISHED!

All my projects have always been open source. I am not in it to make money - I have been blessed to have a very well paying job. All these projects are simply a hobby.

With selling the board and parts I was simply trying to make it easier for people to build while also saving them money. As stated above - you cannot go out and buy the individual components and the PCB for less than $30 - infact, my local electronics shop charges $45 just for the microcontroller!
What I don't get is that you skim over how to make a PCB, making it really difficult for anyone less than an expert to do the PCB themselves. You say solder the chips, but not much else. You include the files, but don't give any details on how to use them. I can't even open the schematic, its in some format that needs specialty software. I don't know how to get the board data on the pcb if I want to make one either. You don't include instructions or the equipment needed to do it yourself, or even what software needed to read this stuff.

I understand your point of view that you are trying to make it easier for people by just selling the board, but it really comes off as a sales pitch angle since it feels you are "pushing" them to just buy a board from you, especially since the rest of your project is very well documented.

Can you add more on the process of making a PCB for people like me who are interested in doing it for the sake of being able to do it myself?
bradsprojects (author)  socrates_al3 years ago
To put it simply, that's because it takes nothing less than a PCB expert to put it together.

If you read through the instructable again, you will notice that I have included all info including tools and software for you to do all of this yourself. One thing I should have mentioned is the complexity of the project and what prior knowledge was required to perform the task.

I certainly am pushing people to buy the boards - but they are not from me, I am making a grand total of $0 from this project. I am simply trying to make things easier for people. If you want to make this project I will personally send you the $3 required to purchase the board. Just let me know you email address and consider it done.
There are already several instructables on making PCBs and soldering here.
At some point you are going to have to depend on experience or research to get you through some of these projects.

This table is no small feat and he has provided accurate data and source files to complete it.

A constructive suggestion I would have would be to link to an instructable on soldering and to another on PCB etching.
Amazing!  He just spent countless hours designing and creating a project, countless more documenting it, created a wonderful video, and writing up instructions for you.  Not to mention the amount of time he invested in writing the program.

Then... he offers up a PCB that he has taken the time to mount the SMD's and pre-program the chip for you at a MEASLY 30 bucks and all you can see is a "SALES BROCHURE"?

NOW... it appears that he has taken the option to purchase the PCB away thanks to your ungrateful comment.  It looks like me, or anyone else who is more than happy to fork up $30.00 for the PCB with a pre-programmed chip, will now have to make our own - THANK YOU!
jensenr303 years ago
this is so awesome!!!
bradsprojects (author)  jensenr303 years ago
Thankyou!
philbracy3 years ago
i read on google that these paddles used 1M Ohm pots. can we just use these http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062297# instead of buying up old atari contollers at 5-12 bucks a pop just to gut them? or is there some other specific in these controllers that i am missing?
bradsprojects (author)  philbracy3 years ago
You can use any pots, because all we are using them for is to act as a voltage divider that we can vary between +5v and 0v

So to save money, you can certainly go out and purchase the cheapest pots you can find = )
godofal3 years ago
very nice!

why did you decide on not using the LED's on legs for the whole matrix?
if you measured a bit, you could pre-cut the legs, and then bend them into shape before inserting them in the board

also, it might be cool to make the edges (rackets) a different colour LED. should work if you took ones with the same voltage drop
bradsprojects (author)  godofal3 years ago
You're thinking right up my alley!

You may notice that I do actually have a 32 x 32 matrix. I already had 900 RED LED's but had to order in some green, blue, white and orange ones.

As it turns out, the guy I ordered them from forgot to send them and I didn't get them in time to actually put in and use.

I know there are still more days left before the contest closes, but we're now on vacation so I can no longer work on it.

Bit of a bummer = )
oof, good luck replacing them then, thats going to take a fair amount of time :P

by the way, i just thought of something:
what happens when a "ball" hits a corner? do both players lose a point or noone? both get hit, but both could defend...

also, i was thinking to add a rule: get -20 points (or a different number) and get expelled, solidifying ur edge of the game
charlie_r3 years ago
What version of diptrace did you use to make your schematic?

I seem to be having a problem with opening it. I installed ver2.1, and when I try to open your schematic, my computer goes into a loop, with diptrace taking 99% CPU cycles. nothing shows up after leaving it for 5 min, and CPU still at 99%.

Any thoughts?

Any way you could convert to eagle?

BTW, DIPTRACE is not free. You can have a 30 day evaluation full version, or a freeware version with a 300 pin limit. This is why I prefer E.A.G.L.E. No pin limit, only a board size limit, so you can put as much as you want on a 4x3 double sided board.
bradsprojects (author)  charlie_r3 years ago
I forgot that you are limited to 300 pins with the free version which means you con't open up the pcb file.

I can export it as a gerber but can't change it to eagle.

I am actually adding more to the design to include an expansion port for future updates for things like extra buttons and LCD displays for each player (to keep track of scores etc..)

I will have that done later today and will update the link.
Hey, really stupid (I mean really stupid) question here but I don't exactly understand arduino and microcontrollers. Can someone direct me somewhere like a beginners project or a site that explains it? Very cool instructable by the way.
bradsprojects (author)  young skipper3 years ago
Certainly not a stupid question, everyone needs to start somewhere - and that is normally from the very basics. My first project was a flashing led - it was the coolest!

I have an electronics web site where I share my projects and even have microcontroller tutorials dealing with assembly programming.

I have since moved onto a higher language - basic. Which has certainly been a good move.

There are also plenty of websites out there with tutorials and how-to's etc...

Put simply, a microcontroller is a chip with input and output connections. you can then write a program that will tell the microcontroller to perform certain tasks. For example, you could connect an LED with a resistor to one of these output connections and then write a program to turn the LED on, wait one second, turn it off, wait another second and then repeat forever.

An Arduino is a circuit board which contains a microcontroller and some other components which allows you to get into the world of microcontroller programming more easily. I guess you could liken a microcontroller to a CPU whereas an arduino is like the complete computer motherboard with the CPU already connected.

I have been working with microcontrollers for around 4 years and they are great fun = )
very cool. Thank you so much for helping me figure this out. I would love to see your website, whats the name of it?
bradsprojects (author)  young skipper3 years ago
Sorry, it's

www.bradsprojects.com
zack2473 years ago
very nice!

i am going to assume it would be possible to play other games too? like brick breaker?
bradsprojects (author)  zack2473 years ago
Good suggestion.

You are certainly able to modify and reprogram it to play other games. I am going to redesign the circuit board so that you can add extra buttons and even LCD displays to make it just that much more customizeable.

ynze3 years ago
Very, very cool! Too bad that the code / software is not freely available. Or am I mistaking?
bradsprojects (author)  ynze3 years ago
Download links can be found in the first step = )
Grathio3 years ago
It looks great! Any chance of sharing the code and the PCB plans so we can all build one?
bradsprojects (author)  Grathio3 years ago
Download links can be found in the first step = )
laxap3 years ago
Four-players pong! Awesome!!!