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PONG in a picture frame

Atari’s original PONG arcade game has an interesting design: No microprocessor or program; the whole game logic and signal generation are hard-wired from sixty-some TTL chips. So, when I got my hands on an original 1972 PONG circuit board, I wanted to build a playable cabinet around it, but also display the board with its surprisingly low-integration components.

I decided to take my half-scale Asteroids idea a step further, and give center stage to the circuit board in a cabinet styled like a picture frame. The shallow depth of the frame (6 cm, a good 2”) means that there is no room for a period-correct cathode ray tube; an 8” TFT is used instead. But I added a homebrew, FPGA-based video upscaler to simulate scan lines, horizontal blur and some phosphor afterglow, which makes the image look “right” to my eyes.

While this project is complete and has turned out nicely, this web page is preliminary. Just a few pictures for now, to give you an idea, and some relevant links and project files.”

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