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A total beginner needs help on a simple 'beat the buzzer' project.

Arctic Jack

Sep 23, 2011
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Sep 23, 2011
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I’ve been requested by my daughter to build her a ‘Beat the Buzzer’ game. The one where you try and manoeuvre a hoop around some metal wire without touching the wire. If they touch the wire a buzzer goes off.

I know nothing about electronics but this seems simple enough for me to try. I want this project to be of decent quality, not something that looks like it was put together in hurry. I have some questions before I start though…

1. Would there be any difference between using a 9v battery or AA’s?

2. What sort of wire would be best? I’ve seen copper wire, aluminium, something else?

3. Would thickness of the wire cause any problems?

4. I’m looking for a buzzer with a low pitch noise, some of the homemade sets I’ve seen on youtube have an annoying high pitch screech. How do I make sure the buzzer is loud and low pitch?

Any advice would be great!
 

Arouse1973

Adam
Dec 18, 2013
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Hi Jack, welcome to EP. To answer your questions.

1) No difference as long as oxidation of the wire you choose doesn't become an issue.
2) Tinned copper wire of suitable gauge would be my preference.
3) Not really, Choose wire thick enough so it maintains it's shape when being used and in storage.
4) Purchase the correct buzzer. Try one of the online tone generators to find a tone that you like. You may need a different browser to hear the tones.

Hope this helps.
Adam
 

Harald Kapp

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Nov 17, 2011
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Would there be any difference between using a 9v battery or AA’s?
Of course: size, voltage, capacity (endurance).
What kind of battery you need to use depends on the buzzer (and the electronics that may be required).

2. What sort of wire would be best? I’ve seen copper wire, aluminium, something else?
Anything electically conducting. I'd prefer copper as aluminum has a non-conducting surface which may not provice good contact when touched only lightly. The backside of copper is that it tends to corrode quite easily.
Stainless steel is another option that not only looks good but conducts current reasonably well for this application.

3. Would thickness of the wire cause any problems?
Too thin a wire will not keep its form well. Use wire thick enough to support the form you chose but not too thick to be easoly bent into that form.

4. I’m looking for a buzzer with a low pitch noise, some of the homemade sets I’ve seen on youtube have an annoying high pitch screech. How do I make sure the buzzer is loud and low pitch?
When buying an off the shelf buzzer you have to look at the resonant frequency. Alternatively you can use a small speaker instead of a buzzer and use a simple tone generator (oscillator) to create a pitch to your liking.

Here is a complete insrtuctional.

This simple electronic circuit goes a bit farther by stretching the buzzer's on time when the wire loop has been touched only fleetingly.

This "concentration test circuit" uses an oscillator made from two transistors and a small piezo speaker. You can adjust the pitch by changing the values of capacitors C1 and C2. Larger capacitor values create a lower pitch, smaller values a higher pitch.
 

duke37

Jan 9, 2011
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I would use galvanised iron wire such as is used to support the vines in your vineyard or for electric fences. There are two varieties, one soft which is what you want and one hard drawn which will be much more difficult to handle.
 

kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
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Wire coat hangers seem to work well. Cheap, easily available, stiff - connect them using 'choc-bloc' screw terminals - make the wand using the same stuff.
 
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