Introduction: Life Size Operation Game

As a child I loved the Milton Bradley Operation game, the buzzer always scared me when it went off, but it was fun. The object of the Operation game is to remove a body part with out touching the tweezers to the metal sides that surround the object for removal. If you touch any metal sides you make his nose light up and a buzzer will sound and startle you. This year the Church I attend was having a new Harvest Festival or Halloween function this year called Trunk O Treat. Truck O Treat is where you play a game or activity out the trunk of your car. For my life size Operation game I would put candy in the pockets for the kids to pick out with salad tongs and put a Bible Armor of God theme for the pockets. I used a microcontroller to detect when the tongs come in contact with the metal sides and flash the red nose and make the buzzer sound.

Step 1: The Picture

To build the life size over 5ft tall game board. I took a digital picture of the original Operation game board and in a photo shop edited the picture to add clipart and removed the yellow background to save on printer ink. The picture is glued down on cardboard front and a wood frame is made to give it a structure. I printed out the picture on banner paper to make it easier to assemble it in strips. The picture is overlapped about half inch when printed out so you can align and glued down the image. I taped together two the cardboard project display boards with a white background. I used the display boards from Michaels Crafts and there size is 36in wide by 48in long. To glue down the picture I used 3M Supper# 77 spray glue to adherer the picture (banner paper) to the cardboard and trimmed the cardboard to size. The finished Operation board size was 34in wide by 62in long and 4in thick.

Step 2: Wood Frame and Red Nose

I constructed the wood frame out of 1in by 2in wood strips that I had around the house. The wood frame as seen in picture the wood frame is 4in thick and stapled cardboard on the sides. I nailed down with thumb tacks to mount the picture cardboard front. I used white duct tape to go around the edges to give it a finished look.

Step 3: Red Nose

The light bulb used for the nose was a 120VAC bulb that is red color. I removed the filament and socket base and glued it to the front poster board with four white LED's for illuminating the inside the nose.

Step 4: Make Boxes

The size for the pockets and constructed them out of cardboard and taped together. The pocket sizes are all two inches deep; Sword 2in x 3.50in, Feet 1.75in x 3.50in, Shield 3inx 3in, Belt 1.75in x 2.75in, Breastplate 3.75in x 3.75in, and Helmet 2.75in x 2.75in. I made a template out of paper to fit inside the box so I can use it for cutting out the correct size hole on the picture. I cut out all the pockets on the picture and hot glued wings to the pocket boxes so they will sit flush with the bottom and hot glued them to the back of the picture cardboard.

Step 5: Aluminum Foil in Boxes

I glued 1 inch strips of aluminum foil on the front edge of all the boxes. I took the cutout cardboard pieces and used it as a template for the front aluminum metal pieces. I cut out a disposable aluminum oven liners for the front mount seen metal. This was used for better lower resistance to detect contact with tongs. I glued the aluminum to the front 1/8in to 1/4in to go around the opening on the front picture and bent it inside the boxes 1/4 inch to 1 inch.

Step 6: Box Contacts

I now ran two wires in each side of each box and foiled in and glued it in the aluminum metal that was going into the side of each box. On the backside I soldered the two wires (black wires) together to one wire 4 feet long and labeled it with the box name/number to be connected to the microcontroller to detect signal.

Step 7: Box LED's

Box LED's
To illuminate the box locations so you can play the game in the dark I installed three white LED's (green Wires) per box that are always on. I bough white LED's Christmas lights and cut them in groups of three in a string of lights. I punched holed in each box and glued them in position on the sides and soldered with a 330 ohm (1/2W) resister to be powered by 12VDC. I will do this same this to all boxes for the game board. The white LED's light will be on all the time the game is powered on.
I also include color LED's (White Red Wires) in ever box also that will turn on and flash when it is detected by the microcontroller. I punched three 5mm holes on sides of all the boxes and glued the LED's in place. I used groups of red, green, blue, yellow, and green etc. Three are wired together in serial with a 220 ohm (1/2W) resistor that is connected to the MOSFET on the main circuit board that will be controlled by the microcontroller.

Step 8: Microcontrollers and Circuit

I used a breadboard to put all components on and run wire to connect.
The game board is controlled by a PIC (Microchip) microcontroller PIC16F877. The grab tongs have (salad tongs) have a flexible wire attached that is connected to 5VDC. When the grab tongs comes in contact with one of the aluminum sides of any object pickup boxes it will produce a High (5Vdc) bit that is read by the microcontroller and will run a faction for that object. The microcontroller code is in a loop comparing the bits in PortB for a high (5vdc) signal to any of the object pickup area. The code is written when a high (5vdc) signal is detected it will call the box functions for that object pick-up area detected. The box functions will turn on the flashing nose light PortA (Bit0) and PortE (Bit0) buzzer, then it will flash the colored three LED's in that detected box area and then at the end for the function we turn off (clear all inputs and outputs) and the game is ready to play again. This box function will take 3 to 4 seconds to complete and then the game is ready again.

The buzzer (PortA Bit0) is using the TI DRV101 solenoid IC driver that turns on with a high bit on pin1 and the voltage is adjusted by the 10K ohm trim pot connected to pin3. The flashing nose LED (PortE Bit0) is controlled by a high bit on pin4 tunes on the 555 Timer IC and makes the LED flash with the use of the OnSemi power MOSFET MTP10N10EL to increase the current to make the LED's bright. The buzzer is from Radio Shack part #273-55 that runs of 12VDC. The buzzer is mounted on the top positioned toward the players.

The microcontroller will flash the LED's on the detected box by the output in PortD by the Power MOSFET to increase the current to flash the LED's.

Step 9: Circuit Schematic

See PDF File Operation Game.pdf

Step 10: Wire It All Together

I mounted the breadboard on a hinged to pull down for troubleshooting.
I connected all the wires from the boxes to PortB from Bit0 to Bit5 (six bits used).

Step 11: Complete

I wired the color LED's lights from each Box to the MOSFET IC per Bit form the output of PortD. I wired the LED nose to the MOSFET form the LM555 timer. I wired the buzzer to the TI driver IC for operation. 12VDC fan is to keep all IC's cool.

I hope you enjoyed the idea.....

Step 12: The Code

The code is MPLAB assembly code. See for free compiler program.

Step 13: The Video

The Video of Operation in action..

Step 14: PDF Image File

I created on October 20, 2007. The PDF file size is 9.07MB. In a PDF format you can print it any size you wish and because it is large file size the print quality should be fantastic. Today you can make is simpler with an Arduino for just a battery, buzzer, and a light bulb like the real game. I will add the image file of the Life Size Operation Game on the instructables web site.