Console Projects >> You Don't Know Jack Controls v1 (retired)

Hand Buzzers

This is the part of the project that I borrowed the heaviest from the Build Your Own Arcade Controls site. I just made modifications to their plans to suit my needs a bit better.

The buzzers themselves are made out of 1/2" PVC cut into 4" lengths with PVC endcaps on each end. On the bottom endcap I drilled a 1/4" hole, and on the top endcap I drilled a 1/2" hole. Once the PVC was cut and the holes in the endcaps were drilled - you guessed it - I spray painted everything black.

Hand buzzer wiring.

I took the bare end of a Radio Shack Shielded 6-Ft. Audio Cable with 1/8" mini-plug and ran that up through the bottom PVC endcap. I then took a Radio Shack SPST Momentary Pushbutton Switch and screwed it into the top endcap. I ran the cable through the PVC length, attached the bottom piece to the PVC, soldered the bare ends of the audio cable to the pins of the pushbuttons, and then attached the top endcap to the PVC. It sounds a lot more complicated than it really is. This picture should hopefully help explain what I'm trying to say here.

The Console Box has three Two-Conductor 1/8" Mini Phone Jacks as inputs on the front of it that the audio cables plug right into. Since they're audio jacks and cables, that means that you have two connections...perfect for wiring up a button! So when the leads get closed by pushing the button on the hand buzzer, it goes through the stereo audio cable and into the mini jacks on the Console Box, to the terminal blocks and then to the 25-pin parallel connector that's in the console box. The signal then runs across the length of cable that I have connecting the two boxes, into the D-SUB 25-pin connector in the Encoder Box, and then finally to the terminal blocks and to the LP24 in the Encoder Box. Whew! That sounds like a lot of traveling around for the circuit to do, but really I haven't noticed any kind of lag. They work like a charm, and they have a very quick response time.

And I have to admit that there's nothing quite like having actual hand buzzers for the Jack Attack at the end of the game.

Up close.
All three buzzers.
In action.


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