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Life Size Game and Watch Game – Retro Style


Note – this little post seem to have gone a bit viral. If you google it now, there seems to be more than 39,000 pages linking here already.  Very cool indeed – Tobie

A while back a little hack I put together was featured on HackADay. Here is the original proof of concept video

I recently spoke to some very interesting people over at 21tanks.
They are a progressive company and the two guys Don and Trevor afforded me some face time to introduce the arduino to them. They play in many fields including sound, video, the arts etc. Since they operate in those fields and the arduino (sort of) originated within that context I thought it might be of interest to them.

They found it intriguing and we started bouncing some wacky ideas around.

One of the ideas Don put forward was for they new offices. They want a massive LED TV that is connected to the web, and specifically the retro games you can find over at

They want this TV in their reception room, with two massive buttons. The idea is that waiting people can play a quick game or two standing up while they wait.

I then quickly put this proof of concept together. It reads to buttons from the arduino.
The arduino debounces the keys in software and then sends a serial command to the PC.
The buttons are connected low to the arduino and pulled up high via a resistor when the button is pressed.

Was the left of right button pushed? The python script would then intercept this and mimic a key press.

The game is loaded into the browser and started, and the fun begins.

Well we have now completed the massive game. It is not only a proof of concept anymore.  Tobie did the inside of this game with an arduino and Chris from CubedModels. Here is some photos of the finished product



Python integration done with Sendkeys

 About the author

Some more links:

fixed the game within a game view issue

– post at Engaget 


– post at HackADay 










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The house is now in full swing, with most of the admin issue sorted out and a successfull couple of intro Arduino courses and presentations to GTUG and a very cool Software Freedom day. We have come a long way since our idea took shape at Startup Weekend a couple of months ago.

We are no ready to step it up a notch.

Here is some dates of what we are planning for Oktober

1 October 2011            Arduino Basic Course 

8 October 2011           ZACON

15 October 2011         Arduino Energy Logger Build

22 October 2011         Arduino Advanced(SPI, I2C, RF Comms etc)

29 October 2011         Stats 4 Hackers

Please watch this space for more details closer to the time.

Also the groups will have the latest updates – See Top Right of this page under “Get Involved”


Posted in: Arduino, Builds

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H4H Arduino Course Resources


House4Hack have completed a couple of very successful Arduino Courses at our headquarters. In an attempt to improve the course, I thought that we could add some resources and links that participants can use in preparation for the day,  and also on the day.

 Course Contents

The course is currently presented as a half day course at H4H.

  • Components supplied with course (Arduino, Breadboard, USB cable, Resistors, LED’s, RGB LED, transistor, relay, diode, hobby servo, light dependent resistor, switch, variable resistor(pot) )
  • The course aims to be an introduction to Arduino only. More advanced courses will be held soon i.e LCD displays, Logging data to SD card etc…
  • The presentation below shows what contents will be covered during the morning

Course Presenters

The course is currently being presented by Schalk Heunis and Tobie Nortje. If you are interested to get involved please let us know. We can do with more facilitators.


We currently charge R600 for the half day introduction course. This includes all the components needed aswell as an Arduin Uno. If you provide your own kit, the cost of the day is R200.

How to get there

The course is presented at the House4Hack premises at 4 Burger Ave, Centurion 0157, South-Africa

Getting Started

When we start the course in the mornings, not everyone has the Software (IDE) installed. This can be downloaded for your platform in advance and installed on your system. Some platforms also requires a driver to “see” the Arduino Board connected to you PC via USB. If you do not have an Arduino board you obviously can’t do this yet.

Electronics theory useful for Arduino 
Not everyone will have an electronics background when you come to our course. The beauty of the Arduino platform is that you DO NOT really need any background. The video resource below, however will show you everything that is important for basic Arduino tinkering.
Course Contents
When I started out I obtained a little kit, with all the equipment provided in this course. A little booklet came with the kit, and some of the resources is given below. This should make it very easy to build some of these circuits yourself and have an handy backup point to visit should you get stuck. It also have very handy breadboard layout sheets and a video tutorial. You can print these little breadboard layouts before hand. They might help if you get confused in the beginning.

 Where to buy your equipment

  • Netram – very fast delivery, stocks shields, arduino’s etc
  • Electronics123 – do not stock arduino but get your resistors, caps, etc here
  • RS-Components – not the cheapest but will get it for you!
Usefull Stuff
  • small side cutter to cut breadboard wires and lead leads etc
  • small long nose pliers for bending and holding inserting wires into breadboard
  • wire stripper — well to strip wire with if you look after your teeth, or you don’t have a sidecutter
What do Buy
The following components will be used in the course. You are welcome to bring your own, or buy a goodie bag on the day

Energy Logger Course

Arduino Advanced Course

Posted in: Arduino

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