Jeopardy style quiz games are favorites for creating excitement and educational instruction at the same time.  Teachers, summer camp counselors, and even industry educators find this type of game to help generate interest and involvement from the participants.

The idea behind the game is simple, but sometimes finding a device that will perform the "first to respond" lockout function can be problematic.  Here is YAQGC (Yet Another Quiz Game Controller :) based on some pretty neat lighted buzzers and an Arduino put in to a project box.

While the "Lights and Sounds Buttons" from Learning Resources were designed as "stand alone" devices, a few modifications allows them to be connected to and controlled by an Arduino controller.  The "Lights and Sounds Buzzers" make a professional looking and fun implementation of a Quiz Game controller.

The buzzers are modified to plug into a base unit and provide "button press" signals and accept an "activation" signal.

The control box houses the Arduino Uno, the reset button, and four LEDs.

While the button modifications are a little tedious, intermediate soldering skills and patience will produce a nice looking and fun to use Quiz Game Controller.

In addition to capturing the first to respond "winner", the controller also captures 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place in order of button press.  The order is indicated on the control box LEDs.  Of course the beauty of having a programmable controller is tuning it to just the way you want it.  Other game modes are possible, including "Wheel of Fortune" modes, although this version of the Arduino program only implements the "Jeopardy" style game.

Let's get started!

YouTube demo of completed system

Background and instructions on www.projectnotions.com

Step 1: Components

Here are the required parts:
- (quantity) Description
- (1) Set of "Lights and Sounds Buzzers" by Learning Resources
- (4) Mini Reed Relays (Radio Shack 275-0232 or similar)
- (1) Arduino Uno
- (1) Project Box
- (4) LEDs, one each in Red, Blue, Green, Yellow (with included resistor or similar)
- (5) resistors, 2.2K (RS 275-1301 or similar)  (or any value you have from 220 to 2.2K should work)
- (8) 2.5mm stereo mini phone jacks
- (1) Reset Button, Normally Open, Momentary Contact (RS 275-609 or similar)
- (2) 3 feet 2.5mm Male To 2.5mm Male - Stereo
- (2) 6 feet 2.5mm Male To 2.5mm Male - Stereo
- (1) Project Box
- hookup wire

Tools include:
- Soldering iron
- screwdrivers (phillips and flat head)
- Dremel type tool for cutting and countersinking holes
- (computer to load the Arduino code)


<p>I used this project for music quizz. I made it the first time with the &quot;lights and sounds buzzers&quot; but when playing, people are very excited and tend to push hard on buttons and I started to have reliability problems with them as they are just tiny buttons for kids. </p><p>So I looked for more robust buttons and stumbled upon these ones: <a href="https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9181" rel="nofollow">https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9181</a></p><p>(I actually couldn't find better ones)</p><p>They exist in all needed colors: red, yellow, green and blue. A led (with resistor) is included and the wiring is much easier. </p><p>Sure it is a little bit more expensive (10$ each button + 8$ each enclosure because they come &quot;naked&quot;) and there's no sound (I personally didn't need it and disabled it on the lights and sounds buzzers) but it's really worth it:</p><p>- you won't need batteries for each button anymore</p><p>- you can skip the tricky step of &quot;rewiring&quot; and &quot;hacking&quot; the lights and sounds buzzers</p><p>- you can control the button lights</p><p>- they have a better look and feel for buttons</p><p>The only changes made to the code was on setting up the buttons, i used INPUT_PULLUP instead of INPUT. Thus you only need two wires to plug the button and can also remove the resistor between &quot;press&quot; and &quot;activate&quot; lines. </p><p>Everything works great! I even made a small app with <a href="https://github.com/sofroniewn/electron-johnny-five-examples" rel="nofollow">Electron/Johnny-five</a> to have a basic interface for players (displaying a countdown to answer, etc.) and move the logic part to javascript. </p><p>Thanks a lot to the author of this tutorial, I couldn't have go so far without it. </p>
<p>mr coding for my</p>
<p>We're having some trouble connecting the relay- specifically the switch connections. On the schematic, the top side connects to the board- but where? And the bottom side that connects to the speaker- have you detached one speaker wire from the board for this, and if so, which one? A clear photo of the button guts could give us all the info we need.</p><p>This project is probably way beyond our newbie level, but it would be so cool if we could make it work!</p>
Yes, one of the speaker wires is cut. One side of the cut wire goes to one side of the relay switch. The other side of the cut wire goes to the other side of the relay switch. It won't matter which side is which.<br><br>The fact you made it this far is suggestive that you won't be a &quot;newbie&quot; for long. Don't give up.<br><br>Here are some additional pictures.<br>
<p>Nice instructable! I made the quiz game controller with a little bit of pain (because I'm a total newbie to electronic and hardly read a schema) but finally succedeed.</p><p> I'd like to move the quiz logic (and modify it to suit my needs) to a computer software using javascript based programming node/johnny five/electron. The button leds seem to have a built-in time out, is there a way to remove it? </p>
<p>I haven't found a way to remove the internal time-out for the lights and sounds. </p>
<p>Thanks for your reply!</p>
<p>Note: I didn't use the compact relay as I didn't want the button sounds.</p>
<p>I made it without using any reed relay switches, which would save about $20 and make playing sound not an option (which was a goal for me - I didn't want the sounds going off every time a question was answered!). The only modification that means to the circuit is where the reed relay switch goes, cut the wire that connects to the switch half of it (i.e. one of the wires running to the speaker in the button), and leave the wire that connects the inductor half of it intact (the wire grounding the inner jack and the circuit-board side of the connection).</p><p><u>Here's the parts list I used:</u> (prices listed are total costs, not per-part)</p><p>4 x <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017XS4M28" rel="nofollow">10 ft, 2.5 mm mini stereo cable</a> $12.81</p><p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00N51OOJE" rel="nofollow">A bunch of 26 gauge hoookup wire</a> $20.25</p><p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002BSRIO" rel="nofollow">Project box</a> $7.51 (this ended up being larger than needed, but gave me plenty of room for shoving in wires)</p><p>Pack of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005H8MWOW" rel="nofollow">5 mm LEDs (and resistors)</a> $5.99 (you only need 4 LEDs; also make sure you have a drill bit that's the same diameter as the LEDs)</p><p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B2FNHB6" rel="nofollow">Learning Resources Lights and Sounds buzzers</a> $16.90</p><p>Arduino Uno <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006H06TVG" rel="nofollow">here </a>or <a href="http://www.banggood.com/UNO-R3-ATmega328P-Development-Board-For-Arduino-No-Cable-p-964163.html" rel="nofollow">here-at-your-own-risk</a> (should work, but I haven't tried it yet - <a href="http://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-USB-2-0-Cable--Male/dp/B00NH11KIK" rel="nofollow">may need a cable too</a>)</p><p>8 x <a href="http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/SJ-2509N/CP-S2509N-ND/500859" rel="nofollow">2.5 mm STEREO (not mono) jacks</a> $7.60</p><p>1 x <a href="http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/RP3502ARED/EG1930-ND/280448" rel="nofollow">Red pushbutton</a> (any button works, but I like large red buttons) $1.80</p><p>4 x <a href="http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/CF14JT2K20/CF14JT2K20CT-ND/1830358" rel="nofollow">2.2k-ohm resistors</a> $0.40</p><p>Solder</p><p>... plus some shipping costs</p><p><u>Tools:</u></p><p>5 mm drill bit (to create a snug fit with the stereo jacks I used)</p><p>Soldering iron</p><p>Wire stripper/cutter</p><p>Multimeter</p><p>A Dremel tool helps a lot</p><p>Screwdrivers</p>
<p>Nice job. Your finished project looks nice and clean.</p><p>Thanks for posting your parts list, I'm sure that will be helpful to others.</p><p>And thanks for the comment and feedback!</p><p>Kenny</p>
<p>Here's the button circuit diagram, modified to show my changes. Note that the inner connection of the jack is NOT grounded like I said above.</p>
Nice modification, and thanks for the feedback and instructions for those that might not care about the sound!<br><br>Kenny
<p>Nice project!</p><p>Didn't you have any problems with the voltage? I think the buzzers work with 3V and the Arduino with 5V.</p>
<p>No, I haven't had any problems with the voltage on the relays. There is usually enough margin in the relay design so it should not be a problem.</p>
<p>Hi! I haven't read the whole instructable,but I wanted to suggest you could program Simons Says on this for 4 players. </p>
<p>That is a good idea... If you implement your idea, perhaps you could give us an update!</p>
<p>Very cool. I also used an Arduino board but I had a little different setup. I used construction helments and placed the button and the light on it. So it has the silly factor when people play at weddings and such. Check it out on youtube.<br><br>http://youtu.be/XgiphMVUaQ0</p>
I would like to duplicate this project with around 15 buzzers instead of four. What's the limiting factor on the number of buzzers I can use?
<p>Sorry for the delay in responding. For this particular implementation, almost all the I/O on the Arduino is used for the 4 buttons. 4 Input to check for a button pressed. 4 Output to control the lights/sounds on the buttons, and 4 more output to control the local LEDS. So it's pretty extravagant in use of 3 I/O for every color. The advantage was that pretty much all the components are in the Arduino. Certainly there are ways to multiplex, but usually that will add extra components. I considered for a next project, going wireless, and as a part of that enabling more buttons / colors. Thanks for your comment.</p>
Hi I was just curious, do the button still work alone? Like flash and make the sound or are they now tethered to the control?
As you suspect, the buzzers no longer work alone.
Thanks for the great Instructable. The &quot;Lights and Sounds Buzzers&quot; seem better than the Staples Easy Buttons that others seem to use. I haven't tried to follow your directions yet, so it's hard to tell how it will go. Parts are on order. <br> <br>But I did have trouble following the way you used the jacks. I'll take a look at your website. Some pictures of the jack placement within the buzzer would help a lot.
I am working on a project with 12 buttons and was struggling with timing of button presses. After taking a similar approach as yours, it looks the Arduino Keypad library can do all the hard work for you. My initial sketch looks like you do simple reads and the function tells you the order of presses.
Nice! The Keypad library looks perfect for keypads, keyboards, or similar &quot;matrix&quot; type of arrangements. In the case of the four physical buttons, they are not connected in a matrix without creating one in the control box, and, they each have individual +V voltage levels due to having their own batteries. Also since I'm &quot;hacking&quot; the buttons, I have to live with the fact that a button press is providing +V when pressed. So, I feel fortunate that the Arduino had enough I/O pins where I could just bring in each button press line individually. It does present problems for expanding past 4 buttons, but that step is probably wireless anyway. Sorry for the long winded reply, and thanks for the tip about the Keypad library!
If you are looking for an easy way to do schematics for Arduino, check out the free Open Source program called Fritzing.
Thanks for the tip, I will check it out! It was a pain doing the schematics with Power Point!
have you thought of using interrupts? <br>using a queue data structure, so the first interrupt push inside the queue the winner and so on for the others, it sounds easy peasy to me. <br> <br>btw nice work
Thanks for your comment. The Arduino UNO only has 2 interrupt inputs so it isn't an obvious one button per interrupt line solution. Thanks again.
the &quot;Arduino&quot; platform only has 2 interrupts, not the atmega uC. :)<br>btw what i was trying to tell you is to share a single interrupt bus and then with something like a simple resistor array (DAC like) convert the voltage drop on those pull-up resistors to recognize which button has been pushed.<br><br>ex: first 4 buttons working on 5 volt, split this voltage by 4, and size resistors for each step, then wire those point to each button.<br>so the first one will be at 1,25V the second at 2,5V and so on.<br><br>the only pitfall is how you store this voltage drop after the rise of the interrupt, and to answer that you can use a latch or a dirty trick like a cap with a high-Z path to ground.
Nice project. Good job. I'm learning now how to play with an Arduino. I hope someday I'll publish Arduino projects too. :D
Thank you. We will look forward to seeing your project!

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