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The EASA-Phone « Kevin's Projects

The EASA-Phone

I found this great old speaker phone at the bottom of a box somewhere. The charm comes not only from the fact that it’s funny to require a separate, huge device to use a speakerphone function, but also because it is wood-paneled for crying out loud. It was just begging to be used as an enclosure for something.

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The Panasonic EASA-Phone

I decided that it would be fun to build a quick ‘n dirty game buzzer system, which could re-use the built-in speaker and take advantage of the fact that there are a couple RJ-11 telephone jacks on the back of it.
Ideally, the project would have three contestant buttons, which would both trigger a timer for the answer, and give some indication of which button was hit first. It would also include a way to change the length of the timer without reprogramming, and a button for stopping and resetting the countdown once the correct answer has been given.
As for the contestant buttons, I found these great old arcade buttons on eBay for cheap:

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Lighted arcade button

They’re lighted with an internal LED/resistor pair, and include a momentary SPDT switch, which is perfect. Looking around for enclosures for these things, I was a little disappointed by how expensive basic ABS plastic boxes are, until I realized I could just use a single-gang interior electrical box and a blank face plate from the hardware store as an enclosure. Sure, it doesn’t look great, but it cost me less than $2 a piece, so it’ll work for now. I can always upgrade the enclosure later.
I installed an RJ-11 phone jack in the box and connected the wires to the momentary switch and to the LED. The phone cord will run back to the EASA-Phone and logic will be controlled by the Arduino. Here are the three finished boxes:

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Buttons with cheap enclosures

Categories: Quiz Game System