Arduino Pong

Full disclosure: I was given a review copy of Arduino Project Handbook Volume 2 in 2017.

I have been looking through the many books I accumulated over the past ten years but which I have not yet used to build projects. I came across this Arduino Pong game that uses a Nokia 5110 for a small screen in Mark Geddes' Arduino Project Handbook Volume 2. With simple circuitry and a large dose of whimsy, this project immediately appealed to me. I ordered the 50K potentiometers and screen then built this project.

The circuit was easy to build; I did neglect to add a connection between the Arduino's ground and the breadboard which made for some weirdness that was immediately remedied once I caught my mistake. 

I went to the tobacconist and bought a nice cigar box. I cut a hole in the top for the pins from the Nokia screen. I liked the gold details but did not need the cigar branding, so I taped off the box and spray painted it.

I 3D printed a 9V battery holder and used contact cement to affix it to the inside of the box.

I also used Tinkercad to model and I 3D printed a "bumper" for the screen that I contact cemented to the outside of the lid. The potentiometers are held in 3D printed brackets that they press-fit into.

My son had never played Pong before and he loved it! Gameplay speeds up the longer you play.

I finished off the project with 3D printed potentiometer knobs and I added a power switch to the exterior of the box.

This project is just one of many in this awesome book. I like the scaffolding of projects: they increase in complexity as you work your way through the book. Additionally, they are open-ended enough to encourage you to add on to them, like packaging them in a cool housing. If you or your students are looking to increase your Arduino skills definitely add this book to your library.