Handheld Game to Interactive Big Screen




This Instructable shows you how to take those old hand held games your mom gave you when you were little and make it into a large scale game that can be projected onto the tv and played by multiple players at once. This instructable will include:

*Creation of projections of the game onto a large format TV screen using mini cameras
*External buttons vs. directly on the game's circuit board using soldered wires

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Step 1: Deconstruction of Your Game....

In this step you will need to take apart your hand held game to find out just exactly what you are dealing with. You will most likely need to do the following:

  • remove all screws from the back / front of device and separate the case from the inner circuit board
  • remove screws from the inner parts of the game, including any on the circuit board themselves
  • make sure you keep track of what part goes where...having an organizer or piece of paper with listed out parts that you can later sort out into containers such as plastic ziplocks will be helpful.

Step 2: Reconstruction and Beginning of Building Your TV Game

Next you will need to gather some supplies....

*Soldering iron and Lead thread (for solding wires)
*wires (for solding onto the circuit board)...These are for external buttons
*wire cutters

Step 3: Solder Away...

*First you are going to want to strip the ends off of you wires.
*Once you wires are stripped, carefully solder your wires using the lead thread to the circuit board at each side of each circuit. (each circuit has two sides that when they touch the circuit is closed and a connection is made which results in a button being pressed. Therefore it is highly important that you make sure when you solder to not connect the two sides. You may want to seek the assistance of an individual with experience in soldering if you have never attempted it)
  • It might also be helpful to label each wire as you go along so that it wont be so hard to determine which wire makes a connection with the other.

Step 4: Even...LONGER!!!

Now that each wire is labeled and connected to the circuit board it would be wise to find out just how many circuit connection combinations there are. For example:
  • when wire number 12 touches wire number 4...the start button is put into action


  • when wire number 12 touches wire number 2...the stop button is put into action

Once all combinations are identified attach to each end of wire, an addition set of wires based on the number times the wire occurs in combinations. For example:

  • wire 12 was used 6 times in 6 different combinations for the button functions. Therefore attach 6 addition wires to the end of wire number 12.

Once all wires are attached pair up each wire combination and tape them together and label them so there won't be any confusion. For example:

  • since when wire number 12 touches wire number 2...the stop button is put into action, take one of the 6 wires of wire number 12 and one of the wires of wire number 2 and tape them together.

for further explanations and visuals click on the images attached

Step 5: Button Time

Now, its time to make the buttons that are external from the game.

First, take regular foil (from your mom's cabinets) and cut them out into the shapes of your buttons.

Next take regular sheets of paper (printer paper is good enough) and cut them out also in the shapes of your buttons but slightly bigger than your foil pieces.

Once you have all the shapes of your buttons, poke holes in each shape (see picture)
  • this allows for the connection and circuit to be closed. The paper separates the two pieces of foil from touching, but when pushed from both sides, the foil touches where the holes are...closing the circuit.

Cut out pieces of fabric to encase the buttons we are making. Make sure that they are large enough so that you can fit the button contents inside.

Step 6: Making the Buttons Work

Now that you have both your foil pieces and paper pieces, take your wire and spread out the tips so they look like a mini broom.

Next, take the exposed, spread out wire and place it on the foil and tape down onto foil with electrical tape for each appropriate button.

Now, make a foil sandwich in which the the swiss cheese is in the middle (the paper with holes)
  • make sure the wires are on the inside so that two pieces of electrical tape face each other

Once you have the "sandwich" tape the foil down securely to each side of the paper with holes, but not too tightly so that there is just enough space between the foil and paper

Step 7: Final Step to Making Buttons

Now, once all buttons are made into mini sandwiches, insert them into the cloth shells you made to encase them in.

Once the paper, foil, and wire sandwiches are inserted, close up the opening of the button (i used hot glue to close the opening).

Step 8: The Box...

Find a box or make a box that will hold your game. Make sure the box has an opening on top for the camera attachment.

Place the game with connected wires inside the box and secure both the wires and games themselves by using tape, glue, plastic cubes...to hold everything in place.

Make sure the wires can reach outside of the box and are accessible to for playing purposes.

Step 9: Making the Camera Piece

For this part, you will need:
  • a small camera (used for surveillance...you can order these online..just do a search on surveillance cameras)
  • Legos
  • little LED lights (mine came from a cheap spin top from a party store)
  • two clothes line clips

Using the legos, constructed a frame that will hold the small camera. Build the frame outward so that it can sit on top of the opening on the box over the screen.

Once the frame is made and it holds the camera, position the camera over the screen of the game so that the screen can be clearly seen. Attach the little LED lights to the bottom of the frame (on the inside of the box) so the screen can be seen if the box is too dark.

Using a hot glue gun attach the two clothes line clips onto the sides of the opening on the box so that you can clip the lego frame you built onto the box.

Step 10: Plug, Play and Go....

Now that the camera and box is set, label the buttons so that the player can identify what button does what.

Once all the pieces are labeled and the camera is set, just plug, play and go!

You're ready to go and play....just plug in your camera chords into the televison video input plug...and you're ready to enjoy your fabulous game....made BETTER!

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    13 Discussions


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Maybe it's not worth doing this to a Perfection game, but I think an interesting concept was demostrated, and perhaps can be adapted to more worthwhile items like a color Gameboy


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Hahaha...Very cool project. Nice nails too...Hahaha :p


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks, for all you supporters...this SCHOOL project was not easy for being a novice at learning how wiring and circuit boards all work...its great to know that ppl out there are supportive! :)


    11 years ago on Introduction

    This is a great project for kids in winter. Don't knock it. Most of the people that b*tch the most have never once posted an instructable. Seems no matter where you go on the net, there they are:( kudos for the nads to post, unlike others. I like your project.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    You get on with you're bad self Jessi! :P Oh and pls don'tA stompA your're a Lil Last Season Prada Shoe's at me....Hooooney. :P lol ~Rogerbert


    11 years ago on Introduction

    You you have to have sparkly nails to do this instructable? Great job, everything should be on a mega scale so we can pretend were all borrowers


    11 years ago on Introduction

    cool! how much does that huge roll of solder cost? just wondering, i dont want to look it up right now :-)


    11 years ago on Introduction

    wow i use to have on of those little shape maching machines when i was litle brings back memerios of a better time....


    11 years ago on Introduction

    how to use a webam with a tv? else was just creating new buttons... and for those of you who saw the car battery hack... LAME!!!!!!!!


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Could you believe our devices are being featured on instructables. We famous!! lol sorta. See ya tonight.

    1 reply