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Thread: Soviet pong

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    Peach (Level 3)
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    Default Soviet pong

    It Just arrived in the mail...

    As far as I can tell, this was the only home video game system ever released in the Soviet Union. There were arcade games, and there were multiple home computers that could play games, but no actual home consoles other than this. There was a Russian Famicom clone released in the early 90's called the Dendy, but this was after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    On the back it says it was built in 1980. It looks like a standard pong clone with detachable controllers, and it appears to play a couple different pong variations. I have no idea if the unit works or how I'm going to get video out of it, but I'll post any advances I make here. My plan is to crack it open and hook the composite video feed to the "synch on green" input of my NEC Multisync II monitor.
    Last edited by blue lander; 04-30-2010 at 03:49 PM.

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    If you play it, it will probably hypnotize you with party propaganda or something. After all, in Soviet Russia, Pong controls you.

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    Strawberry (Level 2) Dr. Dib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eyedunno View Post
    If you play it, it will probably hypnotize you with party propaganda or something. After all, in Soviet Russia, Pong controls you.
    Well that was fast, it only took one post for someone to crack a in Soviet Russia joke.

    Still, looks pretty interesting. I wonder if it actually works and how well it works.
    I have a sig?

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    Dude, that's pretty nifty!

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    How does that knob/button... the red thing even work? Is it just a button to select the game type or is it something more sinister?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dib View Post
    Well that was fast, it only took one post for someone to crack a in Soviet Russia joke.
    Well, but this thread sat around lonely for hours and hours without so much as a single reply. When I saw the post time on the main forum page, I figured I'd already been beaten to the obvious line.

    Edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by DefaultGen View Post
    How does that knob/button... the red thing even work? Is it just a button to select the game type or is it something more sinister?
    Oh, how long can trusty cadet blue lander hold out?
    How can he possibly resist the diabolical urge to push the button that could erase his very existence?
    Will his tortured mind give in to its uncontrollable desires?
    Can he withstand the temptation to push the button that even now beckons him ever closer?
    Will he succumb to the maddening urge to eradicate history at the mere push of a single button?
    The beautiful, shiny button.
    The jolly, candy-like button.
    Will he hold out, folks?
    Can he hold out?
    Last edited by Eyedunno; 04-30-2010 at 09:28 PM.

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    Pear (Level 6) Soviet Conscript's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dib View Post
    Well that was fast, it only took one post for someone to crack a in Soviet Russia joke.
    yhea, and it wasn't even me. i'm off my game tonight.

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    I'm not sure what that button does. I thought it was a knob that you turn to choose what game you want to play, but it doesn't turn. Maybe you press it and the KGB comes to take your opponent to the gulags.

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    Push the button, Yakoff Smirnoff jumps through your window, changes the game, says "What a country" and then jumps back out the window.
    gamesandgrub.blogspot.com - My blog about boardgames, and sometimes food.
    roomwithaviewmaster.tumblr.com - My blog about Viewmaster collecting

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    I could tell that a "in Soviet Russia" joke was coming when I first seen this thread. Very cool Pong clone though.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) Steve W's Avatar
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    I wonder what hardware is inside it. When they made computers, they used clones of Western processors. I wonder if they took the General Instruments chips used in a whole lot of those Pong consoles, reverse engineered it, and made a clone. I'm really interested in seeing what the games are like.

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    I'm curious about that too, but I can't get the case off. The big red button seems to be holding it togeather, and I can't get the button to pop off. I did open it enough to see a row of socketed chips, and what looked like some rather large capacitors.

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    There was also a pong console released here, in Poland.
    http://allegro.zapodaj.net/images/e263d24edfcc.jpg
    It was also possible to buy some Atari computers and consoles in Peweks (shop with western items), but they were just too expensive for ordinary people. Some people had of course NES, which were imported from Western Germany.


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    Cool! I've also wondered if there were any East German pongs. I know there were home computers by a company called Robotron, some of which could play games.


    I'm at a loss on how to open this thing. The plastic is cheap and fragile, I'm worried it'll crack if I pry too hard.

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    My guess about the select button is that it's a momentary which toggles the machine between the different game modes. I doubt the little icons around the button do anything other than provide a means of reference.

    @bluelander: Can we please see pictures of the video output and power cables, if any? If there aren't any cables, how about pictures of whatever connector ports exist on the sides of the unit?

    If it helps anything, I can sort of read the Cyrillic writing since it's mostly cognates. The main unit's label says "Yelsu Video". Perhaps "Yelsu" was the manufacturer? And the paddles obviously say "electronic". I can't quite make out what's on the lower-right switch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eyedunno View Post
    Oh, how long can trusty cadet blue lander hold out?
    How can he possibly resist the diabolical urge to push the button that could erase his very existence?
    Will his tortured mind give in to its uncontrollable desires?
    Can he withstand the temptation to push the button that even now beckons him ever closer?
    Will he succumb to the maddening urge to eradicate history at the mere push of a single button?
    The beautiful, shiny button.
    The jolly, candy-like button.
    Will he hold out, folks?
    Can he hold out?
    (/props for the R&S reference)

    "That's just it. We don't know! Maybe something bad? Maybe something good? But I guess we'll never know, because you're going to guard it!"
    Last edited by Pantechnicon; 05-03-2010 at 07:46 PM.

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    I think you're right. That "knob" is actually a button. I have a feeling there's a screw or something under the red dot, but I don't want to damage the button by attempting to remove it with a flathead screwdriver or anything. I'd like to open it up so I can see if there's a rectifier connected to the power supply. The power brick says 12 volts, but it doesn't say if it's AC or DC. I have a European-to-American power converter so I can use the original PSU, but the cables are very frayed at the end and I don't want to risk shorting anything out.

    I'll take pictures of the connectors, they aren't any kind I've seen before. The connector for the power and the two controllers are the same, so there's nothing to keep someone from plugging the power cable into the joystick port or vice versa.

    I believe the manufacturer is Elektronika. My wife speaks russian, I'll ask her to translate the writing at some point. The knob at the bottom says "Podstroika" and the switch says "VKL" on the top and "VIKL" on the bottom I think. No idea what any of that means...

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    Finally cracked it open!

    The big chip is K145IK17
    The little one is K561LE5


    By googling those chips I found a site with schematics and screenshots: http://zx.pk.ru/showthread.php?t=103...%EA145%E8%EA17

    Also, it looks like there was another Soviet pong unit from 1985 based on the same chipset: http://www.rw6ase.narod.ru/w/w/wideosport_m.html
    Last edited by blue lander; 05-04-2010 at 08:29 PM.

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    in Soviet Russia pong plays you!

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    I really like this picture. Neither kid looks like he's having the slightest bit of fun, and you can't even see what's on the TV due to glare. The kid on the left looks like he's going gray, too... Is that gun part of the game, or are they going to shoot themselves when they can't take the boredom anymore?



    Or maybe that's not glare. Maybe the game is to just stare at a white dot and whoever shoots themselves out of despair first loses?
    Last edited by blue lander; 05-04-2010 at 09:02 PM.

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    ServBot (Level 11) k8track's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pantechnicon View Post
    If it helps anything, I can sort of read the Cyrillic writing since it's mostly cognates. The main unit's label says "Yelsu Video". Perhaps "Yelsu" was the manufacturer?
    Pantech, I'm certain that actually transliterates into "Eksi Video." In fact, when I googled it, I found two pictures of the unit, one of which was posted in an earlier thread right here at DP.
    "As you traitors roast in your own juices, I will be safely ensconced three miles below the earth's surface, listening to my wax-cylinder player and enjoying a delicious phosphate!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by k8track View Post
    Pantech, I'm certain that actually transliterates into "Eksi Video." In fact, when I googled it, I found two pictures of the unit, one of which was posted in an earlier thread right here at DP.
    Just goes to show how little pa-russky I remember.

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    Not quite as imposing as my Soviet Atari


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    My ex-soviet wife did the translation, the buttons say On/Off, Volume, Open, and Manual/Automatic. Nothing too exciting, but at least I know how to operate the thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pantechnicon View Post
    Just goes to show how little pa-russky I remember.
    Aww, it's OK. I've forgotten most of my Russian myself, having been ten years since I really used it.
    "As you traitors roast in your own juices, I will be safely ensconced three miles below the earth's surface, listening to my wax-cylinder player and enjoying a delicious phosphate!"

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    Hiya!

    What you have there blue lander, is the "Elektronika Eski Video 01" which came out
    in 1978 in Russia. The K145HK17 chip is a clone of the AY-3-8500, the only difference
    between the K145HK17 and the AY-3-8500 is that the K145HK17 you select the game
    with only 1 push button. But the Eski Video 01 plays only 5 games compare to other
    Russian Pongs that came out which can play 7 games (all six AY-3-8500 games with the
    "Handicap" game).

    I know 10 Pongs consoles released in Russia (for now) and any Russian Pongs can be
    adapted with a composite video and audio output (same as ANY Pongs and Standalones released worldwide actually).

    P.S.: To anyone who wants to try out the 7th game "Handicap", just put the game switch
    between the SQUASH game and the HOCKEY/SOCCER game on a Pong console which
    has a AY-3-8500.

    Have fun! =)

    --- Sly DC ---

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