Introduction: Buzz Wire Game With LED Timer for Arduino UNO

This buzz wire game allows the user to challenge their steady hand against the LED timer. The goal is to get the game handle from one side of the maze to the other without touching the maze and before the LED turns off. If the game handle and the maze do touch a loud buzz is emitted from the piezo. The idea for this game came from a favorite childhood game, Operation, my students‘ love for a challenging puzzle, and FABLABJubail's buzz wire game.

This project is great for beginning Arduino users who are familiar with the basics of coding.

Materials and tools needed:

  • 1 Arduino Uno
  • 1 Breadboard
  • 1 USB Cable
  • 1 Piezo Buzzer
  • 1 LED Light
  • 1 560 Ohm Resistor
  • 4 Long Jumper Wires
  • 1 Short Jumper Wire
  • 2 Alligator Clip Jumper Wires (1 male/1 female)
  • Aluminum Wire
  • Pliers
  • Wire Cutters
  • 1 Small Box
  • Electrical Tape

Step 1: Arduino UNO and Breadboard Setup

    LED -- Place the LED as shown. The 560-ohm resistor connects the cathode (short leg) to the negative rail of the breadboard. The green jumper wire connects the anode (longer leg) to port 13.

    Piezzo Buzzer -- Place the piezo buzzer as shown. Using a short jumper wire, connect the negative lead of the buzzer to the negative rail. Using an alligator clip jumper wire connect the positive lead of the buzzer to the game handle. Secure with electrical tape if needed. **To make the wire longer use a male to male jumper wire and an alligator clip jumper wire with a female head.**

    Breadboard to Game -- Using an alligator clip jumper wire with a male header, connect the positive lead of the buzzer to the game. Secure with electrical tape if needed.

    Breadboard to Arduino -- Finally, connect the negative and positive rails of the breadboard to the ground and 5V ports. The red jumper wire connects the positive rail and the 5V port. The black jumper wire connects the negative rail and ground port.

    Power on Arduino -- Connect the USB cord from the Arduino to the computer.

    Step 2: Create the Buzz Wire Game and Handle

    1. Using wire cutters cut a section aluminum wire. How big of a section depends on how crazy you want your maze to be and the box that is being used as a base. My buzz wire game used about a one and a half feet of wire.
    2. Using pliers, bend the wire into various curves (see pictures).
    3. Get another piece of wire, about 9 inches long, to create the handle.
    4. Bend one end into a loop (see picture). The smaller the diameter of the loop the harder the game will be.
    5. Put the maze ends through the side of the box.
    6. Before securing the maze to the box, put the loop of the handle on one side of the maze (see picture).
    7. Secure the maze on the inside of the box by bending the wire (see picture).
    8. Secure the maze on the outside of the box with electrical tape.

    Step 3: The Code

    The code is very simple. The setup function is used to initialize the pin modes for the buzzer and the LED. The loop function sets the buzzer tone to 1,000 hertz and turns the LED on and off. In this code, which can be accessed at this link, the LED is on for 60,000 milliseconds or 60 seconds.

    Step 4: Play the Game

    To start the game, run the code and wait for the LED to turn on. Once the LED is on you have 60 seconds to get the handle from one end of the maze to the other without making the buzzer go off. If the LED turns off before you get to the end your 60 seconds is up, but don't give up. Restart the LED and try again. To restart the LED you can wait the 30 seconds for the LED to turn back on per the code or you can hit the reset button on your Arduino to restart it now. This game can be extremely addicting, so have FUN!

    Step 5: Changing the Difficulty of the Game

    Here are some ideas on how to challenge yourself once you have mastered the game:

    1. Change the time for how long the LED is on. Instead of 60 seconds, can you complete the maze in less time? Try 45 seconds (45000 milliseconds) or even 30 seconds (30000 seconds.
    2. Change the diameter of the loop on the handle. See if you can still complete the maze without setting off the buzzer with a smaller loop.
    3. Change the maze. Add more curves and make them closer together to change the difficulty of the game.

    FABLABJubail. (October 4, 2016). Buzz Wire Game [website]. Retrieved from