This report will detail ‘TeleBall’ an
Arduino programmed to play the classic Atari game ‘Breakout’. The device also
features a multiplayer game by utilizing a radio component, named ‘Tennis for
Two’. The device also utilizes ‘paddle’ component as its main controller.

Project Description

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The TeleBall is a fully
custom-made Arduino based handheld game console, created by 3 makers who go by
the screennames ‘sy2002’, ‘doubleflash’, and ‘lamags’. It was designed,
developed, and released in 2015 as an Open-Source/Hardware project. The device
allows a single user to play the Atari classic ‘Breakout’ game. Additionally,
players can opt to play ‘Tennis for Two’ using the multiplayer mode – which
allows two devices to communicate via radio. The device features an 8×8 LED
matrix, a paddle as a control and a button. These simple controls limit the
range of playable games but allows the device to provide players with an
authentic retro gaming experience.

 

 

 

 

 

Project Design

 

Goals

The device is a
multi-disciplinary DIY project created by the developers to test their 3D
modelling, electronics and software development skills.

 

Project Components

 

NAME

DESCRIPTION

WHERE TO BUY?

Case

Device’s case and lid

3D print, following specifications listed on the
project website.

PCB

Custom printed
circuit board

Manufactured to
meet the specifications stated on website.

Arduino

Any compatible Arduino device

Arduino website, or eBay/Amazon

KWM- R30881CBB

30x30mm blue 8×8
LED matrix display.

Adafruit store part
#1817

IC1

Display driver of TeleBall

Standard /Farenell 2516083

SV1

Wireless transceiver
for Arduino on breakout board

Ebay search: NRF24L01+
Arduino.

IC2 VREG3

Voltage regulator

Standard/Farnell
2342845

LED1,LED2,LED3

5mm round LED
lamps

Standard/Farnell
2112111

SCHLATER

Switch with right angle pins, used for on/off

Standard/Farnell
1608081

Button

Reverse logic
button

Amazon, eBay

LS

0.25W speaker

Adafruit Part#1891

POTI

Linear mono
potentiometer

Monacor UK VRB-141M10

C1,C2,C3,C4

Capacitor packages

Standard/Farnell
197270, 644160

R2,R5,R6,R7

Resistor packages

Standard /
Farnell
1887306

KNOB

Black aluminium rotary knob

eBay audio knobs

BATTERY CLIP

4xKeystone BK5201
battery clips

Amazon / eBay

Key Component: Rotary Knob

The rotary knob is the
device’s main component used for controlling the game play. Rotary knobs, also
referred to as ‘shaft controllers’, are used to precisely measure the rotations
and angular position of the motors. Many rotary devices also have a pushbutton
when the axis is pressed down, allowing them to be used as analog sticks. They
are also used to create wheel controllers, that can be turned an infinite amount
of times. A potentiometer was utilized in the making of this device, meaning it
can only be rotated a set amount of times before an end stop. Rotary encoders
have a set amount of ‘steps’ or detents per rotation, that define the minimum amount
of rotation it takes for the component to register any change.

Applications

The rotary knob can be used for several applications. It
can be used as a push on/off switch, for menu navigation and gameplay controls.
It is highly effective for these purposes due to it’s simplicity. The controls
are minimalistic and easy to learn, helping to increase the learnability of the
device and its controls. Even the most inexperienced user could quickly learn how
to play on the TeleBall device.

 

Considerations for Use

Although there are many advantages to using rotary encoders,
one major issue is the encoder signals. The contact noise between the circuits
causes noises when the device is in use. The noise can be filtered out through
the use of software or using additional filtering circuits. Another issue users
encounter with this component is the sensitivity. This issue can be solved by
experimenting with rotaries with different amounts of detents. Rotary encoders
are cheap and can be purchased from many online retailers.

 

Conclusion

The TeleBall device is an Arduino project
inspired by retro games, created to test the authors skills. It is perfect as a
weekend project, making use of numerous Arduino components used in conjunction
to allow the user to easily learn and enjoy the system. This report has detailed
the purpose of the device, components used, and described the details o the
main control component. The conclusion can be drawn that Arduino devices can be
used in a vast array of projects, and the numerous compatible components only enhance
it’s capabilities.

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