These buttons have a high quality feel, resonably loud sound effects and bright LEDs that light when the button (or buzzer if you will) is pressed. That's it. Pretty simple. They are not connected to each other in any way. And if you want to use them for a "Quiz Game" or "first to respond" game, you'll have to use human judgement to determine who was first.
But, the quality and features of these buttons captured our imagination for our own do-it-yourself Quiz Game controller, and we found a way to modify them.
Each button takes 2 AAA batteries, and the batteries are held in a standard enclosure on the bottom of the button. A small phillips head screwdriver is used to open the battery compartment.
After installing the batteries, they are ready to go! Press the button and 3 LED's light up and show through the translucent colored button cover. At the same time, a distinctive sound is played for each button. The Red button makes a "Siren" sound, the Green a "Laser" sound, the Yellow a "Buzzer" sound and the Blue a "Charge!" sound.
The LED's light and the sound plays for approximately 2.5 seconds, and then it automatically shuts off.
The box says it's for children ages 3+, and typical of toys that make noise, we imagine that unconstrained button pushing might get annoying.
In our case we were more interested in the buttons, not for their stand alone use, but for a component in a do-it-yourself Quiz Game controller. For that purpose we were very happy with them. We DID find a way to flash the lights without the sound, although that is definitely a "warranty voiding," "hacker" type of modification.
If you want the "Lights and Sounds" buzzers you should be aware that Learning Resources also sells "Answer Buzzers" that only make sounds, they do NOT have LEDs. So make sure you are ordering the product you intend.
Happy buzzing and lighting in your projects!
2013-05-01 - We didn't find this combination "Jeopardy" AND "Wheel of Fortune" style game controller until after our DIY version was completed. We might not have embarked on the DIY version as this product is pretty impressive for the cost.
While the buttons are not as substantial as the "Lights and Sounds Buzzers" and it has a little bit of a "cheaper" feel to it, nonetheless, it's a nicely packaged game controller for up to six players with flexible playing modes.
The unit can be powered by four AA batteries (not included) or an external DC power supply. (You might save those AC to DC supplies that seem to come with phones, CD players, etc. and you may already have one on hand that works!)
After supplying power, the unit is turned on by an "on/off volume" style rotary switch. Each color has a switch on the base unit. Setting the switch to the left means do not use this color, center means "use this color" and right means "select this color when in 'scrambled eggs mode'." Only one button can be set to the "right" position.
In the "first to respond" or "Jeopardy" game mode, the system waits for a button to be pressed. The first button pressed causes the corresponding light to flash. Pressing the white button resets the system and it's ready to do it again!
Sliding the "Timer" switch from "off" to "5", "10", "20", or "30" changes the mode of the controller to "Wheel of Fortune" mode. In this mode, when the white button is pressed the lights begin to flash and they slow down until finally a single random button is lighted. That color team has to answer, and they have the "5, 10, 20 , or 30" seconds before their time is up.
In this "Wheel of Fortune" or "Scrambled Eggs" (as it's called on the box" mode, there is another switch that selects "Tone/Voice." When set to "Voice" the count down is done with folksy saying to go aong with the count down, and at "times up" says something like "Times Up!" To not be too repetitive, there are several sayings that the controller rotates through so it's not too tiring. (We were impressed it has that much memory capacity in it!) In the "Tone" mode it uses tones rather than a voice.
The various pictures on the manufacturers page and on the box generally show younger children using the system. The design of the "eggs" and the "light weight" feel to the components probably makes it feel like a system for younger children. In one way that is too bad, because for the features and the price with a more "adult" industrial design it could be used in a variety of educational settings. A corporate educator might feel reluctant to bring it to an education session just because of the way it looks.
It's a neat system though, and we are glad it's in our collection.
Happy Quizing, Scrambling, and progressing in projects!
Sometimes a project involves trying different components or products. Along the way we find products we'd like to review in their own right, independent of whether we used them or not.
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