Step 1: Simple Circuit Games Unit 1: Wire Loop Game
In this project, you will build your own wire loop game, using wires and batteries. In your game, players won't receive shocks if they lose. Instead, a buzzer will signal whenever the metal loop touches the curved wire. The wire loop game has two challenges. In Challenge 1, you will learn how electricity from a battery can be used to make sounds. In Challenge 2, you will build your own wire loop game and then play it.
Step 2: Challenge 1: Using the Buzzer
Collecting Your Components
In order to complete this challenge, you will need the following components:
Part Quantity Description
A 1 Battery pack
B 1 Buzzer
C 1 Foam core
D 4 Machine screws (1/2", 4-40)
E 4 Machine screw nuts (4-40)
F 4 Washers
G 2 Insulated wire (12" lengths, 24 gauge)
H 1 Battery lead extender
Step 3: Tools
Tool Quantity Description
A 1 Utility knife
B 1 Cutting mat
C 1 T square
D 1 Wire stripper
E 1 Scissors
F 1 Screwdriver
Step 4: About Circuits
In circuits with batteries, electricity always flows from the end of the battery marked with a minus sign (-), called the negative or ground end, to the end marked with a plus sign (+), called the positive or power end. In most cylinder-shaped batteries, including the AA batteries used in this project, the power end has a small raised tip, whereas the ground end is flat. Figure 3 shows a simple circuit, with a battery and a light bulb.
Step 5: Making the Buzzer Sound
1. Make sure the power switch on the battery pack is in the OFF position.
2. Insert the buzzer's red lead into the red wire side of the battery pack's wire harness.
3. Insert the buzzer's black lead into the black wire side of the battery pack's wire harness.
4. Move the switch on the battery pack to the ON position. The buzzer should make a sharp sound. If it does not, make sure that the buzzer leads are inserted far enough into the battery pack wire harness and check to make sure the red and black wires are not reversed.
Step 6: Challenge 2: Build the Wire Loop Game
Step 7: Cutting Out the Base
1. Mark your measurements on the foam core.
2. Make your cuts with a sharpened utility knife, using the cutting mat to protect your work surface, as shown in Figure.
*note: It is best to use a metal straight edge
Step 8: Applying a Game Board Image
1. Apply a thin layer of glue to the back of your image, as shown in Figure. Be sure to cover the entire surface evenly.
2. Press the image into place, aligning the bottom edge of the image with the bottom edge of your top panel, as shown in Figure. REMEMBER: There should be about 2 inches of uncovered space at the top of the panel.
Step 9: Adding the Path Wire
1. Choose one of the two lengths of insulated wire to be the path wire.
2. Strip all of the insulation from the path wire.
3. Twist the path wire into a challenging but navigable shape.
4. Using two machine screws, secure the two ends of the path wire to the foam core base, as shown in Figure.
Step 10: Adding the Loop Wire
1. Strip about 1 inch of insulation from one end of the loop wire, and strip about 3 inches of insulation from the other end.
2. Secure the shorter stripped end to the game base with a machine screw, as shown in Figure.
3. Make a loop in the other end of the loop wire, encircling the path wire, as shown. (NOTE: Do not make the loop too small, or your game will be very difficult to win!)
Step 11: Adding the Buzzer
1. Using the buzzer as a template, trace the component's rectangular shape onto the game base, between the two machine screws at the top of the game board.
2. Carefully cut out the rectangle and push the buzzer into the hole. If it feels loose, secure the buzzer with tape.
Step 12: Making the Electrical Connections
1. With the game board upside down, identify the buzzer's power lead (the red wire) and ground lead (the black wire).
2. Loosen the nut anchoring the loop wire, wrap the buzzer's power lead around this screw, and retighten the nut.
3. Find the screw that is connected to neither the path wire nor the loop wire, wrap the buzzers ground lead around this screw, and retighten the nut, as shown in Figure.
4. Secure the battery's power lead to one of the two screws anchoring the path wire.
5. Secure the battery's ground lead to the screw with the buzzer's ground lead, as shown in Figure.
6. Connect the battery leads to the battery pack, making sure to align the red and black wires.