Picture of Jeopardy Ring-in Buttons with Built-in Rules
2012-12-31-21;26;07-sam_3587 - Copy.jpg
There are several good Jeopardy/Game Show lockout buttons/buzzers, but none incorporate the timing rules of Jeopardy. I am learning about the Arduino and I thought that this would be a great project to practice with.

The rules include a question reading period with no timeout to reading the question. During this period, any player who tries to ring in receives a 250 ms penalty. When the question is finished, players have a five second window to ring in and a five second timeout to answer. After an answer timeout or a wrong answer, there is another five second window to ring in and the flow proceeds until a player answers correctly or all players have rung in and have answered incorrectly or the ring-in window has timed out.

Initially, I built my project on a solder-less breadboard. When I got the connections worked out I moved to a Radio Shack Universal Component PC Board with 780 Holes which I happened to have bought several years ago. My intention was to use as much from my junk box as possible. I recommend that, if you plan to make this, you consider using the MakerShield Kit from Maker Shed. It is more expensive but it will have the parts you need and save time.

I have not included a lot of detailed instructions on wiring the PC board, since I don't recommend that you use the same board as I did and the circuit is fairly simple. The circuit and the breadboard layout are included.
evox4 months ago

Not sure if anyone is still active with this but im having a few issues that I would love some help with if possible. Thanks.

This is awesome and I'm about to embark on building it. One quick question about the 5-second timeframe the contestant has to answer the question... If the contestant gives the answer within 5 seconds but it takes the game show host a couple of seconds to hit the "correct" button, does the contestant automatically get the question counted as wrong (i.e., as if it was a timeout)?

rredard2 years ago
Would it be possable to add the LCD kit to the Arduino to do the Count Down Timer?
artwell (author)  rredard2 years ago
If you are talking about the Serial Enabled LCD Kit from Sparkfun, then I am pretty sure that you can. This LCD Module requires only one pin besides the 5v supply and ground. Whether you use the four player or six player version, there should be sufficient resources.

I wish I had more time to experiment but I don't see that happening for a while. Good luck if you are going to try & let me know what successes you have.
jasonkh2 years ago
Could it be possible to add two more players? If so how and what do I need to modify so I have a total of 6 players playing? Thanks.
artwell (author)  jasonkh2 years ago
I have not given this much thought, but It should be fairly simple.

Move the player switches to the analog pins. This frees up contiguous pins for LEDs, See the forum answer at . There is a bad link in the answer to a button tutorial, which should be http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/Button.

Actual changes should be, define MAX_PLAYERS as 6, TOP_SWITCH as 19. Move the player switches to analog pins A0-A3 and add switches to A4 and A5. Add LEDs for players 5 and 6 to pins 8 and 9.

It may be quite a while before I have a chance to test this, Let me know if you are able to try it and please, tell me if I got anything wrong.
Nice job. I recently finished a similar project for a friend to use in his classroom. I think it has a lot of the same functionality just made out of different things, well, that and mine is a stand alone device.  Adding sound was a fun challenge- well, at least getting the sound to play why the controller did other things. You can check it out on my website:

artwell (author)  Kurt E. Clothier2 years ago
Kurt- Wow! Your project is very impressive! I really like it.

In mine, I tried to keep it simple and in a relatively small package. I like your timer display. I had wanted to include a timer display, probably LCD, but needed a ROUND TUIT.

As for the stand-alone property, if you leave the computer at home, mine can be powered by a nine volt battery. The computer display is not necessary.
Thank you. Sometimes I have problems with keeping things simple... My imagination runs away and takes my logic with it.
zv_odd2 years ago
Does any one else think the buzzers look like pipe bombs?
gritschel2 years ago
Very nice work.
billhorvath2 years ago
Excellent! Nice work. For bonus points, try carrying this with you on your next flight. TSA has all kinds of fun with things like this.
M3talhead2 years ago
Very nice! Years ago, I built a set of buzzer controls for "You Dont Know Jack" on my arcade and made a tutorial that got passed around the community quite a bit. You've gone above any beyond with this ible! A little spit and polish and you could sell them!
brucecannon2 years ago
Pretty cool! Next project idea for you: hack the Duo Pop product to create a wireless version of your project. Toy hacking is fun!
Scerion2 years ago
Nice tutorial - you could actually omit the pull-up resistors on the switches though, as the ATMega chip on the Arduino already has pull-ups on the ports. So you can just set them high as inputs!
artwell (author)  Scerion2 years ago
Thank you. It had not occurred to me since the only examples I could find, with input switches, used pull-ups. I don't think I will change my project, but other viewers should take note of your suggestion.
artwell (author)  artwell2 years ago
A quick trip to the interweb gives a nice explanation of the necessity or lack of necessity of pull-up resistors here.(https://sites.google.com/site/qeewiki/books/avr-guide/digital-inputs).
CatalinRO2 years ago
Nice project :)
glonch2 years ago
That is awesome - great job