Portable Led Game System




About: Robots and video games...

This is a really easy to do video game system with a LED screen.
I made it trying to keep it as tiny and cheap as possible.
It uses only one IC, a PIC16F628A and 9 bipolar transistors, has 4 buttons for control and a swich for turning it off.
It also has a tiny speaker for making some sounds.
The power is given by four ni-mh batteries, and the consume is so reduced and you will keep them charged for a long time.

Games: So far I have only programed three games but I gonna do more in the near future (see steps 9,10,11 and 12  for more info about the games).

I hope you like this instructable and make your own portable game system.

Ps: I am from Argentina so let me know for any grammar mistake.



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Step 1: Stuff You Need

It just use some electronic components, most of are them recycled.

Transistors: Use 9 transistors BC548 or similar.
Even 2N3904 can be used but their terminals are opposite, very careful when soldering if you choose these ones.

LEDs: they are at the forefront of this project. Only the four lower LEDs are RGB, the rest are common red LEDs.
If the light is different from the LEDs you can diffuse then using a sandpaper.

Switches: try to get good quality switches. I used switches from a monitor for the shoulder buttons and I bought the front ones.

9 - 1k ohm
4 - 220 ohm
4 - 10k ohm
1 - 560 ohm

1 - 100 uf
1 - 100 nf

Microcontroler: PIC 16F628A

Misc: An on/off switch, a piece of plastic, 8 screws, 8 spacers, 1 piezo transducer (the little speaker that looks like a coin).

Step 2: Making the Control Board

To make the control board I used the method of the ironing.
The tracks are thick enough to not have any problem and allow you to use any glossy paper.
The last image will help you locate the components.
Pdf file is ready for printing (don't use the fit to paper option).

Step 3: Screen Board

The screen board is made in the same way as control board.
Be careful when soldering the bridges linking the columns do not touch the tracks of the rows.
Do not drill the six holes for the columns.

Step 4: Wiring the Boards Together

This is the most boring part of the construction process.
Use wires of about 10 centimeters long, if you use shorter wires the second part will be harder, if your wires are too long they won't fit between the two boards.
Follow the guidance of the first two images and you'll be fine.

Step 5: Connect the Speaker

The speaker is soldered directly on the copper side of using two small wires.
The image will show you how to do it properly.

Step 6: Plastic Back

The case of this proyect tray to keep it cheap and portable.
This is just made from a piece of plastic and some spacers.
First cut and drill the plastic at the size of the control board. Then put four screws and the 3 mm spacers.
Now we have to paste the speaker, I used two sized tape for keeping it firmly pasted to the plastic sheet.
Cover the speaker with electrical tape and insert the control board.
Put the 8 mm spacers, then the screen board and finally the last four screws.

Step 7: The Power Supply

The system is powered by 5 volts.
I use 4 x 1.2 volts my-mh with a battery holder. Consumption is low and the batteries will last for a long time.
You can try any other type of power supply like a 9 volt battery and a 7805, or even use a rechargeable Li-ion battery.

Step 8: Programming

For programming the pic I used a JDM programmar, which is really cheap and easy to make and the WInPic800 software which is free.
Any game and aplication requires the PIC to be reprogrammed.
The HEX file in this step allows you to test if the screen works well.


Step 9: Game 1: Led Racer

This was the first game I made.
We controll the green led and we have to avoid crashing with the falling red ones.
When we lose the game show a screen telling you the level (with the red leds) and where you crashed (with the green led).
Then we can press the right shoulder button and start the level again, or press the left one and start from level 1.

Sound: The game also have sound, we can listen a biiiiip when we start a new level, and a beeeep when we lose. If youhold the right shoulder button while the game is starting the system won't make any sound.



Step 10: Game 2: Simon Says

The classic game Simon Says.
This time in a monochrome version.
The aim of the game is to repeat the sequence generated randomly.
You use the two buttons on the front and the two shoulders buttons.
You can reach a maximum sequence of 16 LEDs and then start from 0 again.


Step 11: Unfinished Game: Roullete

I never finish this game. I thought it was going to be more fun but when I started to make it and played in real life I didn't like it.
We have a red led that goes all around the screen, and when it is in the third led of the bottom it turns green, then is when we have to press any button. If we press the button when the led is green we speed up the game, else we lose and start again, from the same level.


Step 12: Aplication: Counter

This is a simple application for counting events.
Pressing the left frontal botton we add one.
Pressing the right frontal button we subtract one.
Pressing the top left button sets the account to 0.
The green LED serves as an indicator of on and off.

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Runner Up in the
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125 Discussions


8 years ago on Introduction

hey brunoip , i built your game in a evening project

can you tell me if your rgb led is anode or kathode common and the config of your led , which pin is which color
cause only the lower row doesn't light up

and btw i add i third board on your led game, it hold two cr2032 in parallel, the piezo is glued and i add an ICSP connector

5 replies

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

New image in step 1 with the pinout of the RGB led,
Don't forget to upload a picture when you finish it.
Regards, Bruno.


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

thank's for the reply , i have an another one for you.
the counter , the roulette and simon work's just like the video
but led racer, i can't move the green dot from left to right . is there something wrong with the hex

btw the problem i had with the 4th row is i was using a different
rgb led than yours , i have to reconfigure the led pin

and is this normal in screen test , i have the 4th row all green light up
and a red led that move from top to bottom ?

(if you want ICSP connect pin 4-5-12-13 from the pic to a jdm prog pin 4-5-12-13 it work fine for me, you might already know it)


Reply 2 years ago

hey. i know its been a long time since you commented. how do you connect the led rgb pins? i couldn't understand the circuit without the schematic for led :'(


Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

hi, i tried my willem prog , my jdm prog , i tried ICSP , i tried on board
none of them work.. when i power it up i see brunoip intro
and after the green dot at the bottom light up , i can,t move it from left to right

i follow the test , power up the device with 5 volt , connected a external ground wire on the board , used a small +5 source with two wires , and i put pin 6 and 10 and so on... on the socket at +5 volt to test the screen , all led light up

i'm so confused about it , i tested each trace ,evrything look's fine
and like i said all the other hex work ok


2 years ago

how did you programme the PiC? isnt that HDMI usb? but it isnt in the list ?


3 years ago

can I make this project on breadboard using a 8x8 led matrix?

The PlaidG

3 years ago

What on/off switch did you use?


3 years ago

Very nice design and implementation, thanks for sharing!


5 years ago on Introduction

When I open winpic800 it says can't install WP800I0.sys and it won't let me program it :(


5 years ago on Introduction

La ultima imagen del paso 5 es 1:1?

The last image of the step 5 is 1:1?


5 years ago

Como programar?


5 years ago

Hola Bruno, tengo una duda, las tablas de color café son de cobre? Y esa lamina de cobre se pone en una tabla de plástico?

1 reply

5 years ago on Introduction

Puedo usar en vez de un PIC 16f628a un microcontrolador que se llama RX-2-G 90507285?


5 years ago

Hi Bruno,

First off, this is an amazing idea, and your English is very good.
Please could you tell me the dimensions (how big it is/the size) of the game system? I want to know what size board to get.
Many thanks,


6 years ago

Hey I saw this other guy or the same guy idk but he made the same thing but with 2 games on it but you had to reprogram it to change it.