Introduction: What's the Buzz on Series Circuits?

Picture of What's the Buzz on Series Circuits?

The following information is a single lesson in a larger project. Find more great projects here.

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Lesson Overview:

Now we'll learn about circuits in series.

Step 1: Introduction

You have probably heard buzzers in a variety of places. They are usually used as some kind of alert, like the sound of an alarm clock, a doorbell, or a warning signal if your car seatbelt isn’t on.

The buzzer contains a film that vibrates in response to an electrical voltage. Notice that the buzzer in the Workplane has a PLUS (+) and MINUS (-) sign. The buzzer only works in one direction.

  1. Press the "next" button below to continue.

Step 2: Making a Series Circuit

Picture of Making a Series Circuit

Using the components in the Workplane, try drawing a circuit with a buzzer and LED in series.

  1. Click the Modules + button. New parts should appear at the bottom.
  2. With this menu open, drag an LED into the Workplane.
  3. With the LED module highlighted, press “R” or the Rotate button to orient the module vertically.
  4. Arrange the modules so the battery and LED are across from each other and the Buzzer is above in the center.
  5. Press the "next" button below to continue.

Step 3: Connecting the Series Circuit

Picture of Connecting the Series Circuit

In this step you will wires up the series circuit

  1. Click the on the conductive ink pen button.
  2. Use your cursor to connect the positive (+) foot of the battery to the positive (+) foot of the buzzer.
  3. Now connect the negative (-) foot of the buzzer to the top foot of the LED.
  4. Finally connect the other foot of the LED to the negative (-) foot of the battery.
  5. Press the "next" button below to continue.

Step 4: Simulating the Circuit

Picture of Simulating the Circuit

Simulate your circuit to see it come to life!

Click the “Start Simulation” button at the top of the screen and watch what happens. The simulator doesn't make noise, but the buzzer has wave icons on it when it is running.

  1. Click the "Start Simulation" button to try out the circuit.
  2. Press the "next" button below to continue.

Step 5: Testing Your Circuit

Picture of Testing Your Circuit

Components in series share one connection between two of their terminals.

In this step, see what happens when you remove a component from the circuit.

  1. Stop the simulation.
  2. Click on the buzzer and drag it away from the circuit.
  3. Click the "Start Simulation" button again and watch what happens.
  4. Stop the simulation and replace the buzzer
  5. Try dragging the LED away and simulate the circuit again.
  6. Press the "next" button below to continue.

Step 6: Adding Another Component

What can you deduce about components in series? (See hint.)

Can you figure out how to place one more component in series with the rest of the circuit?

  1. Stop the simulation.
  2. Delete the Circuit Scribe line connecting the LED and battery
  3. Bring another LED into the Workplane and place it in series with the other components
  4. Make the remaining connections between components to complete the circuit. You will need to draw 2 lines.
  5. Finally, simulate the circuit! The buzzer and both LEDs should turn on.
  6. Press the "next" button below to continue.

Step 7: Printing Out Your Circuit

Picture of Printing Out Your Circuit

Your final circuit should be similar to the example below. Did the buzzer and two LEDs turn on when you simulated the circuit?

Next, try out this circuit using the conductive ink pen and modules from your kit.

  1. Click the download PDF button in the simulator
  2. Save the PDF to your computer.
  3. Print out this PDF, fill in the dotted lines and try out your circuit!
  4. Remember to try removing the buzzer and LEDs one at a time to see what happens.
  5. Press the "next" button below to continue.

Step 8: How Will You Use Your Buzzer?

Congratulations on completing your first buzzer circuit with components in series!

Can you think of any more electronic devices where buzzers are used? In the next lesson you will use buzzers and LEDs again, in parallel.

Next Lesson:Working in Parallel

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