For one of our College open evenings, I decided to make a traditional buzz wire game. The components I used for the project are given below:
- Adafruit Diffused 10mm LED Pack – 5 LEDs each in 5 Colors – 25 Pack £2.50
- Switched Battery Box 4xAA (6V) £1.80
4 X AA batteries
Toggle Switch (SPST) X 2 £6
- ABS BLACK PLASTIC ELECTRONICS PROJECT BOX ENCLOSURE 150 X 100 X 60MM £7.35
- Adafruit Silicone Cover Stranded-Core Wire – 2m 26AWG Red £1
- Adafruit Silicone Cover Stranded-Core Wire – 2m 26AWG Black £1
- Piezo Transducer – 12V Buzzer (5200Hz) £1.50
- Delivery £2.99
- The PiHut’s Jumper Bumper Pack (120pcs Dupont Wire) £6
- Wednesbury Compression Copper Pipe (Dia)15mm (L)2m, Pack of 1 £5.40
- Hook from a wooden coat hanger £2 Poundland stores
- Handle – cut from an old broken broom handle
- Solderless Prototype Breadboard 400 or 830 Tie Points + optional 65 Jumper Wires £3.25
- Resistor 330 ohm £1.99
- A piece of wood about 1m long
- Soldering iron
- Wire strippers
- Hot Glue gun & glue rods
- Double sided tape pad
- Insulation tape black.
- Copper pipe bender
- Drill, drill & router bits
The copper pipe used for the project was supplied by Ali in the plumbing department who also kindly bent the pipe into a buzz wire game shape. I then drilled two holes into a piece of scrap 2 x 4 wood from the carpentry department and pushed the ends of the copper pipe through the holes. The holes were tight enough that this actually holds the pipe nicely in place although you could also attach end caps and/or hot glue the pipe in place if necessary.
At first I assembled the electronics and tested they worked before fitting into the projects components box. I could have wired everything properly and soldered all the connections but I quite liked the diy project look you get from using a bread board and dupont wires. It can also be easily dismantled and repurposed for future projects.
The circuit is simple and uses a battery box with 4 x AA batteries providing 6 volts. Voltage is supplied from this to the breadboard and then to a toggle switch then a pizeo speaker across to the negative rail of the breadboard which is connected to the handle with a hook.
The positive rail also supplies voltage to another toggle switch, a resistor to limit current and then to a 10mm bright LED and again back to the negative rail and handle/hook.
One end of the copper pipe is then connected to the negative battery terminal with a soldered wire.
The two toggle switches mean that the light and the buzzer can be independently switched on/off i.e if someone touches the copper pipe with the handle/hook then the buzzer will sound only, the led will light only, both will buzz and light or nothing will come on at all.
Once the wiring was complete, I drilled a hole through the wooden base and brought the black lead that attaches to the copper pipe up through it. I also drilled a hole into the black box and pulled the wire through the bottom of this and then screwed the black box to the wooden base to secure it. The breadboard was then stuck to the inside of the box using its self adhesive tape and the battery box was secured inside using a doublesided tape pad.
Two holes were also drilled into the lid of the black box and the toggle switches were pushed through and secured using their nuts. Another small hole was made for the piezo buzzer wires to pass through the lid inside the box and one more hole for the legs of the large LED to pass through. The buzzer and LED were then hot glued into place and the wires were attcahed to the undserside of the lid. The lid could then be closed and secured using its four screws.
The handle was made by cutting an old broom handle down to about 5 inches length and drilling a hole through the middle at both ends. I then took a wooden coat hanger, and removed its hook and soldered a cable to this which then passed through the hole in the handle and attached to the project components box and breadboard. I used a small amount of hot glue to help hold the wire securely in the handle. Crude but it works.
Total project time around 2 hours. I made use of some parts from the College but if you had to buy everything from scratch it would only cost around £30 in total. The final size was about 1m wide (0.75m for the actual pipe part) and about 0.5m tall.