Hardware Hacking

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Sometime in a world long long ago I built a Pong game using a General Instruments AY-3-8500-1 IC (the -1 is for NTSC).


I found the unit in one of my junk boxes.  It has survived 3 moves and an earthquake (Northridge 1994).  It was in okay condition considering.  I'm not sure why the case was not screwed together and looks like some components might have been cannibalized and it is missing a controller.  It really looks like something that I would have built 42 years ago .   If I have time next month I might try to get this to work again as a Hardware Hacking Project.


You can see that the homemade paddle controller just used a potentiometer mounted in a used 35mm film canister.  It's odd that there is only one remaining.


It looks like I used a mix of soldering and wirewrap.  Very messy construction.  I have no idea why there are two 9V battery clips.


Looks worse from the side but it actually looks like I used a crystal to set the frequency.


I don't have a schematic and I can't remember if this was still working (not a good sign that the case was open).  But the circuit looks simple enough (due to the IC) and it looks like I didn't use a modulator but drove a composite monitor directly and it also is only monochrome.  I'll probably check to see if the IC appears to be alive and if so it will probably be easiest to rebuild everything from scratch (just can't tell my wife I'm doing it).


I did find the AY-3-8500 schematic on the web.  Wouldn't be possible to try this without it.  It does have multiple games and I did put in a multipole switch for selection.