Make-It-Yourself projects
Pongtronics & Space-War (Popular Electronics, April 1976)

This issue contains two interesting analog projects. Options were also puclished in the next issue of May 1976.

The first one is called Pongtronics. It plays three games: Table Tennis (also shown as Pong on the game unit pictured in the article), Handball, and Gravity Pong. If the first two games are quite obvious in such projects, the last one features a very rare option: gravity simulation. This gives the impression of playing a side-view Tennis game. The clever design of this project makes the ball to bounce depending on where the paddle strikes it, allows catching the opponent off guard using a Slam push-button (ball accelerator). A small modification allows playing versus the machine or put the machine in demo mode where both paddles are electronically controlled. Amazingly, the then classic "hole in the wall" option was not implemented.

The second game is called Space-War. It has nothing in common to the 1962 computer game: it is a paddle shooting game where both players shoot the ball at the opponent. The interest in this project is to show how simple games other than Tennis and its classic variants can be designed around the same pulse technology.r>
Click the pictures below to read the article. You can also visit this page which contains interesting explanations and improvements for the original Pongtronics design.


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