Retroball: The Build-it-Yourself Game Kit

Retroball is a build-it-yourself kit which follows in the footsteps of the classic ‘PONG’ style video games. Retroball allows you to play with two, three or four players and up to five balls on the screen at the same time. Retroball was funded on Kickstarter, raising $25,407AUD thanks to 218 backers! Build instructions and downloads…

Electronics Course Notes

I wanted to build a nice easy to read, fun to explore electronics course. So I started making one – the only problem was that I didn’t really think about just how much time it would take me to make. As such I spent multiple months coming up with nearly 200 pages of content, but…

The Action Packed Adventure

While this post is not about any electronic project that I have made, it is nonetheless interesting (well, I think so anyway). The background story is that we are selling our house to move into a different house which needs some renovations done to it before we move in. We are trying to do all the renovations…

Brads Electronics Shop

I decided to open up my own little online electronics hobby store – Brads Electronics Shop (can you see how I came up with that name?) At the moment it is intended for those in Australia It’s now open to all those worldwide! to get all sorts of electronics components, tools, modules, wires etc… At a low price….

Another RetroBall!

I made a previous post of how some people have made their own RetroBall unit: https://www.bradsprojects.com/a-couple-more-retroballs/ Well it’s great to see that people are still making their own version and the latest addition has been made by forum user Ulf Maier. He has kindly provided some photo’s of his build which happens to be a super…

PCB Christmas Trees!

Forum user bitfogav has made a well themed project in the form of circuit board Christmas trees. Each tree contains 16 LED’s, driven by a couple of 74595 (serial in – parallel out) shift registers. An Arduino or practically any microcontroller can then be used to send in a bunch of 1’s and 0’s to…

The DigiRule

Digirules are available again from my Tindie store: Here’s a youtube video of the improved version: And now back to the original post… This project is completely open source. You can download all files including PCB layout, source code and BOM in the link at the bottom of this page. UPDATE: 30 December 2015 –…

Oak – The WIFI enabled microcontroller DEV board.

Erik Kettenburg from over at digistump.com has come up with his fourth Kickstarter campaign named ‘Oak’. Oak is a tiny Arduino Compatible development board with built-in Wi-Fi and a secure cloud-powered platformcalled RootCloud (online IDE, REST API, and Dashboard) which makes it easy to create cloud-connected electronic devices, projects, and products. Oak is fully Arduino…

StickyBUG – Make Your Own Arduino Shield

David John Barker (The guy behind my favourite programming IDE Swordfish Basic) has started up a Kickstarter campaign today where you can pledge for some StickyBUG’s! But what are StickyBUGs? Good question, but first some background information. Arduino is a great versatile electronics / programming platform that allows you to plug in various shields for…

Super Pixel Bros on the Intellivision

I am a big fan of the old Nintendo Entertainment System video game console. And perhaps one of my favourite games on that system is Super Mario Bros. (image reference: http://images.eurogamer.net/2013/usgamer/NGL1—Super-Mario-Bros.png) So a few years ago I decided to make my own version of this Nintendo classic but restrict it to just 64 pixels on an…

Tiny Screen: A color display the size of your thumb!

Tiny Screen is a small OLED display with a resolution of 96 x 64 pixels and a colour depth of 16bits which gives you 65,536 different colours. The display measures just 0.96″ diagonally which I guess makes sense as to why they call it tiny! The tiny screen is made by the same people that…

USB Meter Pro – The USB Multimeter and Charge Accelerator.

I have just recently launched my latest Kickstarter campaign which can be found here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1897710270/usb-meter-pro-monitor-and-accelerate-your-usb-char?ref=category_location What Can The USB Meter Pro Do? The USB Meter Pro Can: Measure the charging speed of your mobile devices. Increase the charging speed of your mobile devices* (See below for full details). Check the ‘health’ of your USB ports…

Adding 3D Patterns to Diptrace

The great info on this page comes all thanks to bitfogav from the forum. Bitfogav took the time to do an excellent write up on how to add new 3D patterns into the Diptrace 3D model library. If you have never used Diptrace before, I highly recommend that you check it out here: http://diptrace.com/downloads/download-diptrace/ There…

MAGPI – The Micro Arduino Gaming Platform Interface

I stumbled upon another microcontroller based handheld video game device tonight while checking out the Arduino contest over at instructables.com The MAGPI was made by instructables user zippy314 and his son. It uses minimal hardware but the results are great, the first game in their youtube video reminds me of a lunar lander / asteroids…

How To Break Your Smartphone.

I have made a whole heap of electronics and programming tutorials over the years and I thought it was about time that I let you guys know of a sure fire way to smash your smartphone’s glass digitiser. It’s quite simple really, when you’re working with some wood, nails and a hammer – be sure…

Swordfish Basic Floating Point Math Problem.

I am working on another new project (surprise, surprise…) where I am measuring current of different devices and sending it to an LED matrix. I am using a PIC18F13K50 microcontroller for the job and coding in Swordfish Basic. I was in the initial stages of testing the led matrix display and I ran some simple…

Make your own Super Mario Bros Levels

My 5 and 4 year old boys very much enjoy playing games from my retro video game collection with Super Mario Bros being their favourite. So I did a little searching on the internet for a Super Mario Bros level editor and well, I found one. It is called Super Mario Bros. Game Builder and…

The DigiPixel

  Note: Downloads at the bottom of this page. What is the DigiPixel? The DigiPixel is an open source Arduino and Digispark compatible shield with a 64 pixel RGB LED display and six buttons. The DigiPixel comes with it’s own Arduino library, graphic converter and demo sketches (as seen in the video) to help you get…

A couple more RetroBalls…

I have been contacted by a couple of people who have made their own version of Retroball which is great to see! Firstly, cnribbens from the forum posted some details of his retroball build. It started out as a Super Pong Table (which was my original version of Retroball) this version required that you make…

My Latest Project – Twins!

I am proud to introduce my latest project – my twin boys! Joel Thomas Slattery and Isaac James Slattery. They are wonderful little boys and were born on Friday 25th October 2013 at 10:20am and then 10:21am. I have designed many electronic projects over the years which involve countless hours of circuit design, coding, testing…

Sin and Cos – The Programmers Friend!

I was doing a little bit of searching on the internet for how I might go about drawing a simple circle on an LED matrix. I then stumbled upon an excellent website which had some great information on using Sin and Cos to not only draw circles but also for making game mechanics work. For…

TAWS – Online Amiga WorkBench Simulator

I came across this really cool site that is an Amiga Workbench Simulator that runs right in your browser. I grew up with a commodore 64 and then later moved onto an Amiga 500 so I have very fond memories of Amiga Workbench. However, Amiga slowly died out with their last major system (I think)…

Lithium Battery Charger with Load Sharing

Thanks goes to ChuckT from the forum for this one. I have used microchips range of Lithium ion battery charger chips before (very low cost and a tiny form factor). They have proven to be a great way of charging 3.7V lithium batteries in my little LED game based devices. The problem though was that…

Arduino powered LED Matrix Coffee Table

I stumbled upon this coffee table while looking for a particular video on youtube. It is a 10×16 RGB LED matrix display made into a coffee table. It has a number of built in games but the reason I wanted to post it was because it comes complete with a game just like one that…

Structure Sensor – Capture the world in 3D

I was browsing kickstarter and came across this pretty nifty little gadget that (kinda) works like a kinect sensor but can plug into a whole heap of different devices (although it looks to be mainly designed for the iPad – it includes an SDK to be used with Xcode. One of the impressive feature for…

Space Invaders on a 32×16 RG LED Matrix (YAIGC)

Back in 2008 I made a very simple Space Invaders type game on an 8×8 RG LED matrix display. Everything was represented by a single pixel (I.E. the player, the bad guys, the UFO up the top and even the barriers). It was still a playable game but I have found a better LED version!…

The Game of Light

The Game of Light is a great Arduino project that has a 64 pixel X 64 pixel RG LED matrix. This is a project that I especially like because it plays retro games! The graphics are quite a bit better than any LED game that I have made (infact, it’s much higher resolution than anything…

Gameboy Cartridge Reader via Arduino

GBCartRead is an arduino based original Gameboy cartridge reader made by Alex at inside gadgets. I am a huge fan of retro video games and have quite a collection of gameboy consoles and cartridges myself. I have wanted to make a cart reader / writer for a while now but have just not had the…

Bitfogav’s Firewing Matrix Shield

Bitfogav (a resident forum member) has come up with a great shield for the new Firewing platform. I especially like this shield because it’s just the sort of thing that I would make! Click HERE to check it out.

The $9 Arduino Compatible Starter Kit

An indiegogo project that aims to put the power and ease of arduino into your hands for as little as $9. This project is compatible with the Arduino Leonardo board. (Source – bitfogav from the forums) Click HERE to check it out.

Red Pitiya

A Kickstarter project that combines a dual signal oscilloscope, dual signal spectrum analyser, function generator and more into one device. You can access the Red Pitiya via any web browser on practically any web enabled device. (Source – Kickstarter) Click HERE to check it out.

Interfacing a NES Control Pad to an Arduino

Most of my electronic projects revolve around making games. (Retro type video games that you may have seen in the 1980’s). So therefor I need some way of controlling the games – normally by way of push buttons. I used to connect up some push buttons to a breadboard but it wasn’t the nicest solution….

Arduino Tips and Tricks

I will be compiling some useful tips for you guys in this page to help with your Arduino projects. A faster way to read and write to / from digital pins. Have you noticed how slow reading and writing digitals pins is with the: digitalRead(); and digitalWrite(); functions? Well I sure have (and upon searching…

The Best Way To Program Arduino’s.

  I have been programming microcontrollers for about 6 years now and have mainly been using Microchip’s PIC range of microcontrollers. My favourite programming environment is Swordfish Basic. It is a pleasure to use however despite being around since (I think) 2007, it doesn’t have a very large user base. Arduino is a fantastic way…

RetroGaming Times Monthly

[bbp-forum-index] I stumbled across this great site when looking at how visitors came to my site.   It’s a monthly online magazine dedicated to retro video games – and it’s fantastic! The site has been running since 1997 and is still going strong. One of my hobbies is also collecting retro video games (that’s why…

PIC Assembly Tutorial 2 – LED Flasher.

The LED flasher is basically the “Hello World” of microcontroller programming. It is a very good place to get started and even though this is just the beginning, you will still learn a whole heap of instructions.   What you can expect to learn in this tutorial: How to connect the pickit 2 to your…

RetroBall (A four player LED pong game).

Pong style video games have been a favourite of many gamers since their inception back in the 1970’s. A simple two player game where each player is required to move their bat up and down the screen in order to intercept the oncoming ball to prevent it from getting past them. (Downloads at the bottom…

The Super Pong Table.

I saw sparkfun make a similar table a few years back where they had multiple LED matrix screens connected together and put them into a table to play a four player game. I decided to come up with my own version and wanted to keep the cost down as low as possible. The result is…

SNES Mode Select Mod.

Once installed, this mod will allow you to select from various modes all by pressing the reset button – you are presented with feedback by a multicolour power light (RGB LED). When you first turn the console on you will be presented with a RED power light. This is telling you that you are running…

Christmas Tree LED Display

The motivation behind this project was so that I could give a simple little gift to friends, family and neighbours that was unique (and inexpensive!) This little device measures just 3cm x 3cm x 2cm and is designed to hang on your Christmas tree just like any other ornament. When you switch it on, it…

The Game of Reaction

Reaction is quite a simple little game whereby you have to press a push button as quick as you can when the LED changes from RED to GREEN. The faster your reaction time the lower the number that will be displayed on the seven segment display.   All the credit for this idea came from DJSPANKY one…

The 8×8 Game System

I was selling these as a build it yourself kit but unfortunately I have run out. You can however build your own with all the information contained within this web page. You can download schematics, parts list and there are a number of games to try out also. Original Demo Video: Space Invaders Game: Stacy’s…

The LEDBOY Handheld Game System

This was my second attempt at making simple video games within a 64 pixel display. This time however, I used an RGB LED display rather than just an RG display. The circuit design is quite similar to the old 8×8 Game System, just a little more expanded. I quite enjoy the old retro video games…

ADC using a digital port pin.

The idea for experimenting with Analog to digital conversion came from an old Atari game – Grand Prix. The game was played with an analogue controller where you could twist the controller clockwise or anti-clockwise to guide the car through the race track. The car’s position is relative to where the controller is positioned which…

32×64 Pixel Spinning RGB POV Display

Unfortunately this project did not work out as well as I had planned. I could not get it to do animations. It would happily display one individual frame but when I wanted it to scroll through a number of frames, I ran into all sorts of problems. Having said that, I did come up with…

The Great Race

The great race is a very addictive and easy to build little game. It is made from readily available and inexpensive components and was actually the first game I designed with a microcontroller. The idea of the game is to drive your car (the red dot) to the left and right of screen to avoid…

8×85 Pixel RGB Spinning POV Display

This was my first attempt at an RGB LED POV Display.  POV stands for persistence of vision. This type of project works with our eyes relatively ‘slow’ refresh rate. When we flash some LED’s with certain information and then spin those LED’s, our eyes don’t see the fast flashes, but rather sees a complete picture…

Super Pixel Bros

This game is based on the 1985 Nintendo classic – Super Mario Bros. Super Mario Bros is one of my all time favourite games. I liked it so much in fact that I decided to make my own version, but restricting the graphics to just 64 pixels! I have given it the name ”Super Pixel Bros”…

BJT Biasings for iOS

Please note – I stopped paying my Apple developer subscription and as such, this app is no longer available for download. This is an iOS app that I originally made to help students in my electronics classes to better understand the inner workings of various BJT circuits. I will often ask the students “What will happen…

The PICnDuino

The PICnDuino is an Open Source dual microcontroller development platform built into a tiny direct to USB device. It is compatible with both Arduino and Amicus18 which have an already established fan base giving you instant access to hundreds of tutorials, code examples, project designs and support forums. For the more adventurous users, you can even use…

Microcontroller Oscillator Experiments

Tonight I decided to do a few experiments with an 18F2550 and PLL settings to see exactly what effect it would have on the operation of the microcontroller. More specifically, I just wanted to fix firmly in my head what the data sheet was telling me and also to see how long an instruction took…

Gameboy to VGA Converter (In Progress)

I made mention a few weeks ago in the forum that I was working on some VGA experiments. Well, I decided to see if I could get an old Nintendo Gameboy from 1989 working on a VGA monitor. This page documents my experiments and progress in achieving this goal. As I make more progress, I…