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The original Simon game was one of the first to use a microcontroller. This much smaller pocket version is following that up with a more modern microcontroller and not much else.
The microcontroller used in this design appears to be a trsp5080a made by Tritan Technology, and incorporates a speech/sound replay facility that is used for sound effects. The chip is probably an OTP (One Time Programmable) version for cost optimisation.
I'd guess this chip is intended for use in toys and greetings cards.
The circuitry is notable for not having any resistors, with the LEDs being driven directly from the microcontroller pins, and the input buttons are based on conductive rubber pads being pressed across tracks. The buttons are interesting because of the way they attach to the PCB. Each silicone rubber dome has two pins with a narrow and wide section along their length. The narrow end is placed through a hole in the PCB, and then the wider section is pulled through the hole to grip onto it. It's an attachment system that works well.
The game itself has the same weakness that many others have, in that it doesn't get progressively faster in its replay of the button sequence. That means the game gets progressively slower to play as the colour sequence increases in length.
This game came from One Below in the UK. It could form the base module for a scaled up version of the game with PNP transistors used to drive larger LEDs. (The outputs pull low to turn the LEDs on.) The buttons pull the inputs high, so for extending wire length to larger buttons an extra pull-down resistor might be required.
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13 thoughts on “Inside a modern simon memory game”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars MD4564 says:

    I had one of the original ones (round one), use to play it all the time, back in the 90s, I wish i still had it.

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars KJ6EAD says:

    The coolest small electronic game I had was Nemesis Factor. It had a ball-in-cage tilt sensor that got flaky over time. I wanted to upgrade to a better mercury-wetted component but don't have the game anymore. 😔

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Tom Eubank says:

    BangGood has an inexpensive Roomba-like device that actually "cleans" the floor, but primarily serves as a cat toy.

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Sunny Solutions says:

    I was expecting a glob, but those are becoming less common

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Rene Kaminski says:

    Use a trashmail account for those datasheet sites?

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Celtic Bear says:

    Omg I like the old version better. Won on highest setting.

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Curtis Hoffmann says:

    Hmm. Is that how the kids are all saying that now?
    "Aww, he's so *specialist*?"

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars RS says:

    Did you know it will explode if you accidental push in the secret launch code !

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars IT says:

    I am programming one in c#. Its playable as is, but I have plans for it!

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars nigozeroichi2501 says:

    Having A.D.D. as I think back I hated games like Simon they were totally uninteresting to me as a game, I took them apart THAT was more interesting and could hold my attention, seeing what made things tick, my parents were reluctant to buy anything costing more than $10-15 because I'd take it to bits by the end of the week. They would get some educational type like a Radio Shack 150 in 1 electronics projects that was cool but my parents couldn't be bothered to help me with some of the more complicated ones. pre internet😠 so I gave up

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Šimon Dobeš says:

    I read the memory as mercury…

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars madpom2 says:

    Thanks Clive you just ruined my most favourite game from when I was a kid

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Laurie Seto says:

    Cheers to you. ..

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