Arduino Pong Clock

I am currently enjoying building interesting electronic clocks. I’ve built a couple of nixie clocks from kits, but I came across an Arduino project on make magazine blog. It linked to Nick’s LED Pong clock so I ordered the bits and built it in a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon. I bought a different real time clock module to the one that Nick used, mine came from Blue Smoke Labs and is a very neat little module.

So when I got it up and running I decided to put my own twist on it and started playing with the code a bit. First I added lowercase letters to the font and altered the character drawing routine to accommodate them. Next I added some space invader characters to the font and played around with adding a couple of animations to scroll them across the screen. Thirdly I thought that I’d try to replicate some of the functionality that I have on the nixie clocks and add a nighttime mode that allows the clock to dim between certain hours.

These changes took me a few hours, and tidying up the bits of code things stopped working – especially the button press routines, so I fiddled with the code for a while and before I knew it it was 3am, and I decided that I wasn’t going to fix it so went to bed.

Tonight I came in and methodically worked through my additions and within half an hour I had worked out what the problem was which had been staring me in the face for two hours the night before and had fixed it. Just goes to show what a night’s sleep can do.

Anyhow, a little video of it working showing the lowercase and space invaders follows, still more work to do on the invaders mode and I want to add a scrolling text mode and add some way of setting preferences and storing them in eeprom…lots of ideas.

7 Replies to “Arduino Pong Clock”

  1. Hey awesome job, I love the extra space invaders mode and the lower case font. A low light night mode is a good idea too.

    BTW, I noticed my matrix modules are bi-colour – green and red, it’s just the red LED’s aren’t wired to anything. Wondered if yours are the same.


  2. Could you please put the code right here next to the clock video.
    I have trouble finding even the project section.
    Unfortunaly the site layout is something weird, to be honest.
    And this some kind of understatement.
    Not easy to navigate.
    Have tried several browser, no luck.

    1. Sorry, this is a blog, it works chronologically, and you’ve dug up a post from 7 years ago. Since then the server has moved 2 times, and some things have got lost due to upgrades etc. like the projects section.
      Sorry, I didn’t have time to check through all the links when I moved it, I was tempted to just delete everything and start again, but went to the effort of preserving some of it.
      The code is very old, and I doubt that you’ll get it to compile in the Arduino environment any more, but it is hosted on my github here: if you want to look at it and get some ideas.

  3. Hi Richard,
    thats the crux with the internet.
    Sometimes something vanishes.
    Have two rev. modules with the C-revision on order.
    Old Arduino IDE available down to below
    At least I have them stored on my own server 😉
    Don’t bet on the internet, he he.

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