Buzz Wire (A Fun
Project in Electricity and Conductivity)
Buzzwire is a
steady hand game that is well known to many as a table top
amusement. Buzz wire is a challenging and competitive game where you
are playing the number of touches against time. The player has to
get the right balance between speed and skill in order to obtain the
For those of you who donít know the game, the aim is to guide the
grip mounted loop through the wire maze without touching the loop
against the metal maze all the way to the end.
If the metal loop touches the maze, even for a fraction of a
second, the alarm will sound and the player must start again. The
winner will be the player who reaches the end of the maze in the
In this project you will make your
own buzz wire game. Below are the list of materials and step by
support and supervision is required for using tools and sharp
List of Main Materials
(2.5-V ~ 3-V)
Insulated copper wire gage 24,
26 or 28
List of Optional Materials
Wood base or wood frame
(Depending on your design)
If you don't have access to a wood base or wood frame you may
use foam boards, empty carton boxes or empty plastic boxes. Any
of these can be used as a base or frame for your buzzwire.
Glue, adhesive tapes,
screws and electrical tape
Your buzzwire can work even if all the components are sitting on
a table and connected to each other properly; however, it is
best if you install everything on a wooden structure or heavy
duty cardboard box. In this way your buzzwire will be portable
and you can move it around as needed. Tape, glue and screws are
needed to connect things together.
Some tools such as scissors
screw drivers. Complex designs may also need drills, nails and
a hammer for wooden structures.
Some of the materials needed for
making a buzzwire game are pictured below:
all of these materials can be replaced by similar products.
For example you may use a metal lamp holder, plastic lamp
holder or porcelain lamp holder. Just make sure that the
light bulb you use has the same size screw base as your lamp
All the light bulbs and
lamp holders sold by MiniScience (in kits or separately)
have 10-mm screws and are compatible with each other.
The light bulb, buzzer
and battery pack you use must all have the same voltage.
If you buy a kit from
MiniScience, all components are certified to work at
If you are buying the
materials separately, you may choose to buy 6-volt
components or 9-volt components.
You will decide about the
design of your buzz wire maze and the stand or frame. You
will also decide about the start point and end point of your
In this example the bottom
of the maze is covered with blue masking tape or electrical
tape. This is the place where the loop can rest without
touching the maze. Player may start from this point and
bring the loop up and follow the maze until the loop exits
the maze. Alternatively the player may start from the top
and lower the loop to the bottom of the maze.
You can be very creative in
designing vertical mazes which stand on one or two legs.
Some of the interesting ideas are the outline of the human hand
or human body.
Make the frame and the maze
Make your own design of
buzzwire frame or stand. Twist your own creative design for the Copper tube maze
to match the size and the design of your frame or stand.
The difficulty level of the game is decided during construction by choosing the diameter of the wand loop, and by choosing the number of curves and corners in the wire.
of the frame
Make the circuit
Start by identifying the positive and negative side of all components. Look for + signs and - signs that mark the positive and negative sides. Red wires indicate positive and black wires indicate negative. (The diagram in the right is showing all connections with red line.)
Decide about the location of the components based on your design and install them securely on the board or frame you have prepared. If you are using a wooden base or frame, you can use screws to mount the components such as lamp holder, battery holder and buzzer.
Note that only bare wire can create an electrical contact. Carefully remove the wire insulation from the contact points as needed.
The Loop Wand
You can use your own idea about the design of the loop wand. You can even use a wood dowel or wood handle for it.
Conductivity is Important
Wash the maze wire and loop wand with dish washing detergent. Scrub the surface while washing. Then clean or polish them with sand paper. This will help to remove any oxide or other unwanted materials from the surface of the wire. Then apply some mineral oil or baby oil to protect them from rusting again.
A clean surface on the maze and the loop wand wire will result in a better or more sensitive operation of the buzzwire.
In this project the buzzer and the light bulb form a parallel circuit.
The model in this video is slightly
different than the one shown above.
Tube for maze
copper wire for loop wand
with alligator clips
If you don't
have this kit, you can order it now! It is
available both as a single pack and class pack. The material in the kit provide you with all you
need to make the maze, the wire loop and all the electrical parts.