Introduction: Arduino Old-Style Pong (TVout)

About: I am not from turkey or turkish in any way


The aesthetics of this project were designed entirely by me, but I was inspired by the idea of 1950s televisions. The materials used for this project were designed to be easily accessible & producible by the public, and as such are poor quality in look.


The code in the final section is a cleaned up version of the Arduino Pong code, that has corrected multiple errors on the other website (such as the error of having the pins wrong). The code also had many delays that crashed the Arduino upon setup. I had help with the C-code of the Arduino setup, and I do not claim this work to be solely via my effort.


Doing this project will require you to have:

  • A television that can receive RCA wires
  • One RCA cable
  • An Arduino Board (Leonardo/Uno) & a breadboard
  • 1 470R resistor
  • 1 1kR resistor
  • 6 alligator clips (Optional, but prevents a lot of messy soldering)
  • 2 10k Ohm potentiometers
  • Jumper Cables (around 10)
  • Soldering gear (Wire, Iron, Flux)
  • RCA Socket (Used for my method)
  • 75R Resistor (Used for my method)
  • The code in the software section
  • (Optional) Cardboard
  • (Optional) Spray Paint (colour of tv)
  • (Optional) Bottle Caps (to become buttons)
  • (Optional) 1 Marker Pen (preferred colour of buttons)
  • (Optional) Glue (to stick the buttons)

Step 1: Steps 1-3: Applying Asthetics

To make the television look like a proper 1950s TV, you'll have to brush it up with some cardboard. Keep in mind, this is all optional if you just want to have pong working on your television with Arduino. First, you'll need some cardboard, that's around the size and shape of your television. Now, since the modified code makes the pong 3/4th of its original size, you'll need to boot it up before you start cutting to approximate the size. When you've done the other steps, boot it up and see how big it is. Cut a hole in the cardboard the size and shape of the pong, and in the same location, too. Next, you can spray paint the cardboard the colour you want - just make sure to follow the instructions on the can. Once you've got that nice sheen, you can colour the bottle caps with a black marker pen to look like some fancy buttons - glue them on and you've got a pretty nice cover for your pong.

Step 2: Steps 3-6: Readying the RCA

You can see a limited process with pictures in the 1st source in the final section. Using a slightly different process here, you need to first:

Connect the shield (outer) RCA socket pin to GND. Insert the RCA plug into the RCA socket, and attach one end of the 470R, 1kR, and 75R resistors to the signal (inner) RCA socket pin. Using jumper cables, insert the other end of the 75R into GND, the 470R into D07. If you are using an Arduino UNO, the 1kR must be slotted into D07. If you are using a Arduino Leonardo, it must be slotted into D09.

Step 3: Step 7-10: Preparing the POTMs

The potentiometers (POTMs) will have 3 pins. The middle on is the signal line, but the two others (power and ground) can be used interchangeably. Attach the alligator clips to each of the pins, and add jumper cables to each. Connect the middle cable to A0, and the middle cable of the other one to A1. Connect the other cables as shown in the 1st resource in the final section.

Step 4: Step 11-12: Bumping Up the Button

Add the RCA plug to the TV. Add a button that is connected to GND and D2. Add a 1kR pull up resistor between 5V and D2. (This tells D2 to be a 1 while the button isn’t forcing it to be 0 i.e. pressed) Copy-paste the modified code in the resource in the final section into your Arduino.

Step 5: Final: Sources & Software