Ardu-pong! the Arduino Based Pong Console




About: hi i enjoy making ludicrisly over the top and complex devices.... Being an ameture engineer, I refuse pick the easy option, but rather the one that seems best, which inevitably devolves into a weekend of ha...

A while back the instructables robot made a post on Facebook about some guys who played pong on an Arduino (
but after looking around, i saw that everyone who did this was only worried about making it work. and often resulted as a very hard to use system with only potentiometers to use as controllers. so in my attempt at this, i decided that it needs to be much more polished if it is ever to be something of use. so heres how i did it:

UPDATE! ive managed to shink it down into an entire atari themed mint tin! check it out here 

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Step 1: Get the Stuff.

so to do this, we are going to need a couple of things.
first off, we obviously need an Arduino, we are also going to need an atari joystick, a rs232 socket, a rca jack,  1Kohm resistor and a 330 ohm resistor, a switch for power, and something to cram all the guts into , i decided to use a busted digital tv receiver as my enclosure  

Step 2: Hack the Enclosure.

now take your chosen enclosure and take it apart and remove all the circuit boards and junk you otherwise will not need, then mount your Arduino against the backside of the enclosure and drill a hole large enough for a usb cable to fit through, then cut out a hole for the serial port to be mounted through.

Step 3: Install the Rca Jack.

before we install the rca jack we need to freeform the following circuit off of the pins of the rca jack .
then we can drill a hole in the back of the enclosure for the rca jack to come through and then glue it in place.

Step 4: Wire the Serial Port

now we have to wire the serial port to the pins on the arduino so we can get input from the joystick.
so using the following pinout, connect the following to the corresponding pins on the Arduino

pin1 up, to Arduino pin 7
pin2 dn, to Arduino pin 6
pin6 fire,to Arduino pin 2

Step 5: Wire the Rca Jack

this is pretty simple just connect the 1kohm resistor lead to pin9 and the 330kohm resistor lead to pin8

Step 6: Software

now we need to download and install the tvout library for the Arduino sdk here 
and once you have done that i have modded a version of pong for the arduino to take our input from the joystick you can get right from this instructable.

btw thanks pete

Step 7: Congratulations!!! Your Done (almost).

now just install your power switch anywhere you'd like and wire it to control the power to the arduino, im not going to explain this, if you've gotten this far Im pretty shure you can handle it.

then assemble the enclosure, plug in the controller, upload the code, and plug it into the tv. if it worked you'll see somethin like this : 

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    95 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I have fix the old TVOUT libraries and I have port the code into the current version.

    Some code modifications applied, also I have modify the code to replace the joystick with two potentiometers (one per user ).

    New version of code is here:


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Would I be able to use the Arduino to burn the game into the ATmega328 so I don't have to connect the whole thing to the computer each time I want to play the game?

    1 reply

    6 years ago on Step 4

    This should have been implemented to use pots, everyone has potentiometers not everyone has the joysticks you use.I have got pong on my screen but cant move the paddles.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    This is very cool; well done. I am diggin' this. ... it's been a very long time since I've played Pong so I might be mistakin' because I was about 7 and now I'm in my mid 40's... but if I do remember correctly, the original Pong game came with knobs that basically worked like potentiometers. they looked a lot like over-sized dimmer switches for regular home lighting but they were black if memory serves me right. ... so this might be why when a lot of other people do a home-made Pong they use potentiometers.

    You could use a Commodore 64 controller if you don't have an Atari one but you do have a C64 one. A Sega MegaDrive/Genesis controller MIGHT work, but that would need to be a official SEGA one, and even then i'm not sure.

    1 reply

    Sega and most joystick producers followed the layout that Atari used, you could plug a megadrive/genesis controller into an Atari2600 and it'd work fine, so there shouldnt be any issues here I'd think.


    7 years ago on Step 3

    Why a 330 ohm, the image on the tv_out page has a 470

    I cant get my arduino to output a tv signal ive tried every sketch i could find tried diferant version of the library and every tv in my house but i dont get any signal i was close one it showed text then went white diamond to black then repeats so i almost had it just it was off