Cameron Coward

Everyone knows that all of the best game shows utilize buzzers, and it’s highly likely that you want to be able to use them for your home or pub games, too. While there are certainly buzzers on the market, they often lack some important features, are too expensive, or aren’t expandable. Fortunately, you can build your own. Flute Systems has designed a set of game show buzzers that can be easily built at home using 3D-printed parts, Arduino development boards, and wireless modules.

This system is comprised of two kinds of devices: the base station and the individual buzzers. Right now, it’s setup to have up to eight buzzers, but that can be expanded if you have a bit of programming knowledge. You can make all eight buzzers, or just however many you plan on actually using. Both the buzzers and the base station are fairly affordable, and no network connection is required, so you can use it anywhere. The range through open air is approximately 30 meters, which should be enough for games in even a large space. That range can also be increased if needed by using a PA+LNA (Power Amplifier + Low Noise Amplifier) module.

The affordability is thanks to the system utilizing simple nRF24L01+ radio transceivers that operate in the 2.4GHz frequency. You can purchase those for just a dollar or two a piece, and they can communicate with each other without a network connection. The base station is controlled by an Arduino Pro Mini 5V, and is powered by a 2000mAh LiPo battery through an Adafruit PowerBoost 1000C. Two 4-digit 7-segment displays are used to show the order in which players buzzed in. The buzzers are controlled by Arduino Pro Mini 3.3V boards, and run directly off of smaller LiPo batteries. They don’t have their own LiPo circuits, so you’ll have to remove the batteries to charge them. All of the enclosures were designed in Autodesk Fusion 360, and are 3D-printable with the provided files.

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