Instructables
Picture of Wire Loop Game
This is one lesson from a Simple Circuit Unit that I created for middle school and high school students. It is fun and involves hands-on learning. For more cool hands-on engineering projects check out Machine Science (This is where I work).

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Step 1: Simple Circuit Games Unit 1: Wire Loop Game

If you have ever been to a carnival or an amusement park, you may have seen or played a simple hand-eye coordination game involving a metal loop on a handle and a length of curved wire. In this game, the player holds the loop in one hand and attempts to guide it along the curved wire without touching the loop to the wire. In the carnival version, shown in Figure 1, the handle delivers a mild electric shock to the player when the loop and the wire touch, signaling that the game has been lost.

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

Picture of Challenge 1: Using the Buzzer
Challenge 1 will give you a chance to experiment with the buzzer that will signal when players lose the game. Along the way, you will learn about electric circuits.


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

Picture of Tools
You will also need the following 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
I'm trying to make a similar project that both buzzes and shocks. Could you, or anyone on this thread point me in the right direction? I'm assuming that the buzzer would use less power than the shock, so this may be out of my electronic knowledge.
ashwani162 years ago
what type of wires should i use....copper or alumunium
tesla man2 years ago
you could probably wire a 120v to 9v wall wart in reverse, using a 9v battery and deliver a mild shock to the person. It would be low amperage though so it would be safe, and also it would only be passing through your hand.
Nice graphics on the game. I made one of these and put in an SCR which, when triggered by one lead, stays on until the current is interrupted. This way you can avoid the inevitable "You touched - the buzzer went" - "No I didn't" arguments! Once you touch , even for a microsecond, the SCR is on until an off-switch is pushed. I also put in an jack connected to the shaped wire so one could plug in another free wire probe. This way you can use the board to "beep out" various items - ie What kinds of things conduct electricity ?" form of investigation.
It's been a while since this post so hopefully you will be able to respond! How did you wire the SCR into the circuit? Thanks much!
Thank you. Those are some great ideas.
ginger200372 years ago
This may be evil (Muhahahahaha!) but it'd be funny to set it up to give the player a nice little shock when the touch the wire and the loop. (I've been getting a lot of evil thoughts/prank ideas this month) xD
Just as a curious question, when the wire loop hits the side and the buzzer goes off, would it also be possible to have an LED go off when the buzzer does. And when the buzzer stops, the LED goes off?
yes, when you complete the circuit with the loop the power goes to the buzzer. All you would need to do is put the LED into the circuit and make sure that you have the proper voltage.

I recomend using a resistor (the right ones will usually come with the LED) before the led and putting the speaker first so that the resistor dosn't mess with the sound. remember, current flows from negative to positive

Sorry if i went into too much detail, after having to prove to my friend that there is no "Any" key on a keyboard i've started to lose faith in people
I was thinking of adding a shocker pen circuit to this so they get shocked instead of buzzed.
That will be totally AWESOME ^^ ahahahhahah =))
i'd like to see a variation that shocks you when you hit the wire (noticed the lightning decal)- the only problem is that enough voltage to shock you without a ground connection would be enough to jump the gap between the loop and the wire!
not if it where low amps. I built a a tazer that puts out 1,200 volts and it wont even jump 1/16 in, and its pretty painful.
1,200 volts should be able to jump about a millimeter- it's the potential (voltage) that makes it jump, 30kv at 0.1mA can jump just as far as 30kv at 5A.

The issue is having to ground the person you're shocking vs using the human's ability to leak charge and act as an effective enough ground.

your taser has 2 terminals right? i'm talking enough voltage to tase somebody with only 1 terminal.

read about it here: http://www.instructables.com/id/SP6MCPCF6B7T1OG/
why not connect the wire you hold back to the circuit, then you can use 2 terminals. not into electronics, but seems pretty simple to me.
oh my word enough to taze with one terminal is a loadof volts
About 20 years ago my dad purchased just such a device form an electronic component store. It was a circuit board project that you assemble your self. It was very cool. The harder you squeezed the piece you hold onto, the harder you got shocked so I would tell my friends that they need to squeeze it between their finger real hard in order for it to work. I conveniently for got to tell them they would get shocked if it touched the wire.
I just lol'd
Thanks, I try. :D
MaDiSoN.G.G5 years ago
I think this is confusing
trlgal5 years ago
hey, what battery did you use?
steven.folkins (author)  trlgal5 years ago
i used a battery pack with 4 aa batteries...all available at local electronics stores or machinescience.org
Doctor What6 years ago
I've seen these in science fairs before, and you did a good job!!! I might use some thicker wire, and a larger loop-stick thing, since the ones I remember were big enough to have a handle.
Very simple, easy to follow Instructable. great for anyone just learning about electronics. Love it, just a little to simple for me. Maybe consider adding an LED, shouldn't be too hard (two more components). Great Instructable (+)
steven.folkins (author)  technodude926 years ago
thanks...the next two project continue to add more components...I will put them up eventually.
whiteoakart6 years ago
This is very nice. Your Instructable is clear and easy to follow. Congrats. I would like to make two craftsmanship suggestions. 1. Glue the gameboard image to an oversized board first, then cut to the edges of the image with a very sharp x-acto or utility knife. This makes it easier to align and gives you a nice clean finish. It also makes it easier if you want to use spray adhesive. With foam board it is important to use a fresh, sharp blade. Otherwise, you will get a lot of chatter in the foam. It is unsightly, but more important, it can cause the blade to jump up out of the board and snag your finger. Believe me, I speak from experience. 2. I see that you used one, but please add that you should always use a metal straight edge for cutting with a blade. A plastic or wood straight edge has the unfortunate tendency to catch the blade and make it jump out at you like a rabid cat with an attitude. I should own stock in Johnson and Johnson for my extensive use of band-aids. Thanks. I enjoyed this Instructable and will use it with my kids.
steven.folkins (author)  whiteoakart6 years ago
Thank you. Your suggestions were great and I added a note about using a metal straight edge and sharp utility knife. I also have experience working with foam core & spray adhesive, but decided that using spray adhesive in classrooms with poor ventilation would be a bad idea. Glue sticks are much easier to obtain and easier to use. Hope you have fun doing this project...I will be adding more soon!
Cool, at first i thought it made the lightning haha