Construction of a Competition Buzzer Set

An article in The Physics Teacher (JR Dennison, and Richard Davis, "Building a Competition Buzzer Set," The Physics Teacher 34, December 1996.) described the construction of a contest buzzer set. Additional reference material and parts are available, as described below:

Assembled competition buzzer set

  • A downloadable version of the unit schematic diagram is available in JPEG format.

  • A JEDEC file containing code to program the PLD-22V10-25 programmable logic device can be downloaded by clicking here.The file is in ASCII text format.

  • A downloadable version of the Parts placement diagram is available in JPEG format.

  • A downloadable version of the PCBoard Mask is available in JPEG format.

  • There are two options of purchases through Utah State University:

    Buzzer Set Wall Display

    1. A kit includes an etched, undrilled printed circuit board, a programmed PLD, a 556 timer, miscellaneous mounting hardware, and a more detailed assembly manual. The kit costs $35. You will need about $25 to $30 in additional parts, available from standard electronics supply stores. I estimate about ten hours total assembly time is required, using this kit. If you are good at fairly simple electronics projects (or can talk to an electronics teacher or student into helping you) this is a good way to save money.

    2. The fully assembled and tested unit is just like the one pictured here. It comes with assembly and operations manuals. The unit looks good, is well constructed, and is durable (even when used by high school students). While it is not a commercial unit (we assemble and test it ourselves), it is a nice unit at an attractive price of $250. We do not keep these units in stock, so there is a delay in filling orders. This delay can be from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, depending on the availability of good student labor here to assemble them.

    3. A detailed assemble manual is available for plans for a modification to the contest buzzer set to add a large LED wall display to make the display visible to a large group. A schematic is also available. This was developed by Richard Levergood at Londonerry High School.

Please send your request for material to the addresses below. Be sure to include your mailing address and phone number. Thank you for your interest.

JR Dennison
(435) 797-2936

Event Coordinator
(435) 797-2857

  • Updated 2/28/2014 - Utah State University Physics Department
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