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Buzzer Systems

Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:43 pm
by skkid11
Me and a friend of mine are in the process of creating a new buzzer system from scratch. The high cost of today's buzzer systems prompted us to do so, and to see if we could create a buzzer system of our own at a more reasonable price. So far, we've been very successful. However, getting farther into the project, we have decided that it is necessary to understand what really makes a buzzer system desirable.

It would be much appreciated to anyone out there who is familiar with all the different types of systems to give their opinion. Do you prefer box style buzzers? The hand-grip style? The box style with each buzzer chained to the next? Basically, when you walk into a room prepared to play, what makes you say to yourself, "Oh no, not these buzzers", or "Yes, we have these buzzers!".

To all the coaches out there--What do you look for in a buzzer system? Reliability? Endurance? Price? Warranty/Guarantees?

Any opinion will be helpful, and also much appreciated. Thanks! :grin:

Re: Buzzer Systems

Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:10 pm
by Matthew D
Easy setup/take down
Easy Maintenance in that order for me

Re: Buzzer Systems

Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:28 am
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
My suspicion is that most players prefer hand-held buzzers to table-top buzzers. I know that I really like buzzers with long cords, so that I can hold them in my hand while sitting in whatever position is most comfortable for me.

Of course, there are two kinds of hand-held buzzers: the tube-like ones where you press the button with the thumb, and the paddle-like ones where you squeeze it with your hand. I don't think there is any consensus on which one players prefer. Personally, I have had phases of my quizbowl career where I preferred one, and then phases where I preferred the other.

The best thing to do is to build a modular buzzer system where you can connect whatever kind of buzzer you like to the system. Not even everyone on the same team has to have the same kind of buzzer.

Re: Buzzer Systems

Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:06 pm
by Everything in the Whole Wide World
My team also much prefers the handheld ones to the tabletop buzzers. However, durability is a big issue, especially if you're going to have a lot of freshmen who aren't very focused and start playing with it. Our last system started with 12 buzzers, but by the time we replaced it had just 9, because our underclassmen would play with them when they weren’t getting many answers to the point where the caps fell off and they couldn't buzz anymore. Make sure you glue those caps on well.

Re: Buzzer Systems

Posted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:45 am
by rchschem
USB connectivity. I am hearing good things about these "computers."


Re: Buzzer Systems

Posted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:41 pm
by jonpin
From the moderator side, the most useful feature a system can have is personal lights. Ideally a system where there is an individual part with a light, whether it be a thumb-push connected to a light

or the trigger and the light in one.

Other systems where there are lights visible but all on one unit or one unit per team (like the Judge, for instance) to everyone are second-tier in this regard, but as long as a buzzer check before hand can let each player know which buzzer is his/hers, it's OK. Systems like the Knot or any other where the moderator is the only person who can tell who buzzed in should not be purchased or made.