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.
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.
The device is a
multi-disciplinary DIY project created by the developers to test their 3D
modelling, electronics and software development skills.
WHERE TO BUY?
Device’s case and lid
3D print, following specifications listed on the
meet the specifications stated on website.
Any compatible Arduino device
Arduino website, or eBay/Amazon
30x30mm blue 8×8
LED matrix display.
Adafruit store part
Display driver of TeleBall
Standard /Farenell 2516083
for Arduino on breakout board
Ebay search: NRF24L01+
5mm round LED
Switch with right angle pins, used for on/off
Monacor UK VRB-141M10
Black aluminium rotary knob
eBay audio knobs
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.
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.
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
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