Buzzer Games
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Buzzer games are a little tricky to make but they’re great fun and lots of different designs are possible.

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Parts list:
Foam block with battery hole
Elastic band
AA Battery
Long thin ‘sleeve’
Paper fasteners 4 minimum
Short thick ‘sleeve’
Long flexible red wire
Long single strand bare wire
Short single strand bare wire

Check that you have all of the parts then look slowly through the whole set of photographs and instructions to get an overall idea of how the parts go together. Then start from the beginning and follow each step in sequence taking your time to make sure each one is properly completed before moving on. Some of the steps are ‘fiddly’ and demand some care and patience!

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Check the polarity of the battery and insert it into the hole in the foam block with the + end (the end with the metal ‘bump’ or cap) facing out towards you and to the left side of the block as you look at it. It is important to remember which end of the battery is which because the buzz game ‘loop’ (see later) must make contact with the + end of the battery or the buzzer will not buzz! Now double the elastic band around the battery.

The buzzer wires are thin and fragile so do not pull on them or they will snap from within the plastic case and the buzzer will be ruined! Make 3 twists in the wires near to the plastic buzzer body to tidy the wires a little. Support the red wire by holding on to the main part of it in one hand then pull off the plastic insulation from the end of the wire with the other hand. This reveals 7 tiny strands of metal wire. Twist the strands together tightly in a straight line. Repeat this for the black wire. The purpose of this step is to strengthen the wires and stop individual strands from snapping off.

Join a metal paper fastener to the black wire of the buzzer as follows.
Slide the wire into the brown sleeve so that a tiny bit of the bare wire sticks out at the other end of the sleeve. Now bend over the tiny bare bit of wire so that it is visible overlapping the end of the sleeve to stop it from coming back out the way it came in. Then firmly push the prongs of the fastener down the sleeve to trap the wire and make a good electrical contact to it.
Look carefully at the photograph showing the fastener pushed all of the way into the sleeve and you will see the tiny bit of bare wire just sticking out at the side of the sleeve.
If the wire is pushed back inside the sleeve and cannot be seen at the end then it will have to be taken apart and the steps repeated to make a strong and secure connection.

Joining the red wire from the buzzer to the long red wire.
Prepare the ends of the wires just as in the earlier step for the black buzzer wire. Carefully support the wire and pull off the end piece of plastic insulation to reveal the bare strands. Twist the bare strands firmly into one straight line of wire. Do this for both wires.
Hold the bare ends of the wires in line with each other as in the photograph. Tightly twist the two bare parts of the wire into one so as to join them. This must be done really firmly so that they do not easily come apart.

Use two fasteners to fix the buzzer down on top of the foam block as shown.

Take care to make sure that the + end of the battery is at the front and to the left as you look at it in this photograph.

Wrap the two red bare wire ends which have been joined together around a paper fastener tightly so that it won’t come loose.

Coil the long red wire tightly around a thin rod such as a screwdriver or pencil so as to make what looks like a old fashioned telephone handset cable. This tidies the long wire up and makes it easier to operate as the game is played.

Push the fastener into the foam block as shown. This makes sure that the join in the wires doesn’t move about and cause them to loosen apart.

Use a board pen or other cylinder shape to help form the short single strand bare wire into a hoop shape.
You must hold the bare wire firmly against the end of the pen and slowly wrap it round
taking care with the very end of the wire which could be sharp!

The shape produced looks like a letter P. It can be bent over a little to make a more symmetrical hoop shape by supporting it at the neck and making a small bend.
You will have to bring your fingers up very close to the bend in the wire in order to achieve this.

The finished hoop looks better than the ‘letter P’ shape but you may wish to form a different shape eg. a square! A pair of pliers is best to help create more difficult shapes.

The metal hoop must become part of the circuit which makes the buzzer work.
Prepare the loose end of the long red wire as before and slide it up into the long green/yellow sleeve.
Just as with the black wire previously you must make sure that a tiny bit of the bare wire just peeps out at the end and then bend it over firmly to form a hook which stops the bare wire going back down the sleeve. Now carefully support the hoop wire and push it down the sleeve to trap it against the bare red wire so as to make a good electrical contact.

The fastener attached to the black wire is connected to the negative (-) of the battery. Simply hook it under the doubled over elastic band so that it is pulled onto the end of the battery and makes a good electrical contact.

The long single strand bare wire must be bent into an interesting shape to create the ‘loop’ part of the game. Take care with the ends because the wire is long and thin so it can be difficult to see the ends when you are bending your shape. Work at arms length when bending the wire so as to keep the wire ends away from your face!

Different objects such as pens etc. can be used as formers to help create neat bends in the wire.
Pliers are good for tight bends and right angles.

You must make sure that the hoop shape starts and finishes with a straight piece pointing downwards otherwise it will not be possible to fit it to the base!!!

The left hand end of the hoop must be made to touch the positive + end of the battery so it is best to make a small hook shape at the end so that more of the wire can actually be in contact with the battery.

The hooked end is placed under the elastic band to make the electrical connection to the battery. The elastic band pulls the wire onto the battery end.

The other end of the bare loop wire is pushed into the foam block at the other end.

This photograph shows the elastic band pulling the hooked end of the loop wire onto the + end of the battery. If it does not make a proper contact then the circuit will not work so check this carefully if problems arise.

The game is often called ‘buzz off’ and is played in a number of ways eg. you could time how long it takes to move the hoop around the loop from one end to the other or you could allow a certain number of touches etc.

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The final stage is to design your background using card held in place by a couple of paper fasteners. You could add a graphical design to the card and cut the card into a suitable shape which is related to the shape of the wire. There are lots of possibilities for the final appearance of the game.

Well, what are you waiting for?



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