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game show buttons Flex Your Brain Muscle With Game Show Buttons

Welcome back to Weekend Projects, fun, mostly beginner-friendly electronics projects you can make in a weekend! Throughout the year, every other week, we’ll introduce a new project for those either looking to get started learning electronics or slightly more advanced projects to build upon what you know. For example, last year, we explored circuit bending (Add Volume, Jack), AM/FM radio (Aircraft Band Receiver), and even touched on cybernetics (555 Timer Ball Whacker). Our big hit was the Light Theremin project, which dozens of users built variations of, from touch-sensitive to motor-driving theremins, using breadboards, Snap Circuits, even “Manhattan-style” circuit design.

This year, we’ll begin with Game Show Buttons, a moderately involved circuit that’s easy to build and understand – no soldering required, so all that’s needed is to drop components in place on a 6″ modular IC breadboard. More on this circuit and a video after the jump!


game show buttons contestants Flex Your Brain Muscle With Game Show Buttons

Challenge your friends to rounds of geeky jeopardy with Game Show Buttons, a two-person quiz circuit built using the legendary 555 timer and a Quad 2-input OR gate IC (we recommend the 74HC32). Along with momentary push buttons and corresponding LEDs (and some resistors and capacitors thrown in for good measure), the first player who thinks they know the answer and pushes his or her button will turn the circuit on, locking out the other player.

This circuit is built using an OR logic gate, which as the name implies is true (on) if either input A or input B is true. The OR is one of seven common types of logic gates, the others being AND, NAND, NOR, XOR, XNOR, and NOT (or as most call it, an Inverter). Watch the video below to see the circuit being built and operated. If you build this project or a variation of it, be sure to send us an email with pictures of your build!

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Nick Normal

I’m an artist & maker. A lifelong biblioholic, and advocate for all-things geekathon. Home is Long Island City, Queens, which I consider the greatest place on Earth. 5-year former Resident of Flux Factory, co-organizer for World Maker Faire (NYC), and blogger all over the net. Howdy!


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