How can I make a cheap set of sound/light buzzers that you would use in a trivia quiz to know who buzzed first?

I want to make a set of quiz buzzers so that, for example: someone asks a trivia question and two other people have a button each, both connected to a sound and/or light buzzer. The question is asked and as soon as one person hits their button and makes their buzzer and/or light come on, the other person's button then does nothing until the other person's light and/or buzzer has turned off. (Basically, only one light can be on at any one time)

I have searched various sites on how to build one of these, but they never tell you how to make it like the title of it says, they just have links on the site that let you buy their product.

If anyone has any idea on how to make this work, then I would appreciate any ideas you have.

Thanks for your time.

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Download the iPhone app 'I Buzzed First!' - it does exactly what you want, might be easier.
frollard6 years ago
Hard solution:  http://www.bowdenshobbycircuits.info/page7.htm#game1.gif  Uses transistor logic to shut out the others once one is hit.

Another option:  Use a microcontroller.  Arduinos are cheap these days and it would be easy to make a quick program for input/output from many many buttons.
Thank you so much. This site is very helpful...... I just hope a electronic tard numpty like me can work it out. Wish me luck
just do lots of reading before you decide on a design, then do more reading :)

since then theres been a few quiz buzzer instructables:


http://www.arduino.cc/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1248228267/all *I hate no edit...
rickharris6 years ago

Is perhaps the easiest answer.

Only 2 contestants so a picaxe 08 will do the job

Even the programm is easy

'the programme waits fro an input to be active (+5 volts) the puts an Led ON for 10 seconds and sounds a buzzer for 2 seconds.
'pin 2 input A
'pin 3 input B ' may have Led and buzzer on it
Pin 4 out put A
'pin 1 output B

if pin 2=1 then gosub buzzA
if pin 3=1 then gosub buzzB
goto start

high 4 ' has an Led on it
high 0 ' has a buzzer on it
wait 2
low 0
wait 10
low 4

goto start


high 1 ' has an Led on it
high 0 ' has a buzzer on it
wait 2
low 0
wait 10
low 1

goto start
Jareadx (author)  rickharris6 years ago
Sounds like a good idea I haven't really done anything with microprocessors before, but I'm happy to try it Few questions: -How do I make the circuit? -What type of file would I save the program as? -How do I load the program to the microprocessor? Thanks again
You will find all your questions answered at http://www.picaxe.com

They have on-line PDF manuals covering everything you need to know for free!

Jareadx (author)  rickharris6 years ago
Would you be able to show me exactly where on picaxe the answers are to my questions? I had a bit of a look, but didn't have much success.
GrotBox6 years ago
You could get hold of an old/cheap PC keyboard, and wire your buzzer switches in parallel with a couple of the keyboard switches, so that when they are pressed, it's just like pressing a key on the keyboard. You could then write a simple PC program to respond to the keypresses in whatever programming language your a most confident.