TeleBall is an Arduino-based retro handheld game console. You cannot buy it. You need to build it by yourself. It lets you play Breakout in single-player mode using one device and Tennis for Two in multi-player mode using two devices communicating via radio.
TeleBall is pretty retro and very minimalistic: It features an 8x8 pixel LED matrix display, a paddle as game controller and one button. Therefore, the range of possible games is limited but you will be surprised how much fun and even zenlike meditation this kind of gameplay can bring you, particularly when you play Tennis for Two with a friend.
The videos shown here are both using the beginner-friendly slower game modes. When playing Tennis for Two, you might want to switch TeleBall to much faster modes. The Play section of this documentation is telling you how.
TeleBall runs on 4 AA batteries. It features a Mini USB port for software updates, that means, you can either run and update the build-in games on TeleBall or you can create your own games using the Arduino platform. The source code provided with the standard package is heavily documented, so it is a perfect starting point for learning how to develop for TeleBall.
Building your own TeleBall device is a multi-discipline DIY project that can be done during one weekend, given that you have all the hardware parts available and some basic soldering equipment and skills. Building your own TeleBall is about:
- 3D Printing
- Software Development
Depending on your choices when it comes to 3D printing, the PCB and the actual electronics parts, one device will cost you something between $100 and $150.
The TeleBall GitHub Repository contains all necessary files, schematics and source code. It also contains this documentation as an offline version, so just open index.html in the package’s root folder to have it always handy.
In a nutshell, these are the five steps to build your own TeleBall:
- Download the TeleBall package from GitHub or Fork it on GitHub.
- 3D print the case with your own 3D printer or using an online 3D printing service. Have a look at the Case section to learn more.
- Order a printed circuit board (PCB, there are plenty of online services that are offering this) and order all other hardware parts. Admittedly, this is the most cumbersome - and possibly lengthy - part of project, as you will need to query more than one vendor to find all parts. The Electronics section shares all the details, including a bill of material.
- Solder and wire everything. The case and PCB design guarantee, that no additional screws or fittings are needed: Everything fits together thanks to the custom 3D printed case and soldering the 8x8 LED display on the PCB will hold the PCB and the case together.
- Flash the TeleBall firmware as described in Software.
Go to www.teleball.org for more information including all schematics, bill of material for the electronics components, 3D printing files and software.