Quiz game?

Hey all, I'm new to the world of microcontrollers, and I'm looking for a little help.

Basically, what I'm trying to do is make a quiz game with two contestants. I (the host) will read a question, and the contestants buzz in. A light on or near the contestant who buzzed in first's buzzer would light up, and the other person's buzzer would do nothing. Then a counter would count down (on a led number display) from 5, and an audio buzzer would go off when time is up. The lights would then reset. I'd also like a manual override for the buzzer.

So, what I'd like to know is if this is possible, the parts I'd need to get (I know what they are, more or less, but voltages and other specifics would be great), and which Arduino board would work the best.

Thanks for your time! Joseph

For some thoughts on "Which Arduino (or clone) see....

http://www.arunet.co.uk/tkboyd/ele1psac.htm

(Any of the devices there will be fine for your project... and many more to come!)

A Tiny2313 would also fit...

Thanks for everyone's input!

Here are the parts I'm thinking of using (all from sparkfun, links at the end):

2x Big Dome Push Button 1x 7-Segment Red 6.5" Display [out of stock] or 3x 10-segment LED Bar Graph (Red) 1x Push Button 33mm (Blue) 1x Rocker Switch 1x Buzzer (PC Mount 12mm 2.048kHz)

Links: Big Dome Push Button: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9181 7Seg Display: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8530 10Seg LED: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9935 Push Button: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9178 Rocker Switch: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8837 Buzzer: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=7950

Do the lights in the buttons need to be lit? I was just going to leave them unlit. The drag racing tree idea is a neat option too, and it would be easier to see from a distance. The scoring shouldn't be a issue, as the gameplay would be closer to Family Feud - 2 students each get a buzzer, I read a question, the students buzz in. The student who gets it right stays up and earns a point, the other sits down and is replaced by another student.

EDIT: I was thinking a DC transformer to the Arduino board placed in the console with the on/off switch and timer reset for the overall power.

That's a great idea! I didn't even think of that! (I was planning on a possession arrow type of thing with the timer, but that works a lot better.) I would probably, as you said, replace the incandescents with some LED's - how would that affect the voltage needed? What would you use to power this? I think the plastic is red, so white LED's should work fine.

Even better! So Dueomilanove would be the best choice for this project? What would you use to mount the power switch, reset button, buzzer, and 7 segment display?

I would need to program this via USB, which is not a problem, but what other cables might be necessary to put this together; are there any other supplies I need to get?

Thanks for all your help!

A little PITA fact about premade telephone cords (at least in the USA) is one end is put on backwards from the other, so account for that if you go that route

My scanner is currently down, so I can't scan my sketched idea, but basically, I wanted a host console with the Arduino board inside and the game power switch on the outside along with the timer reset and buzzer. I'm thinking of something that looks more or less like http://www.fair-play.com/products/controllers/scoreboard-controllers/mp-70/ . The display should be mounted facing away from the operator, towards the audience. The buzzers can just extend with phone cords. So, besides the parts I mentioned earlier, what should I get?

As I was looking for enclosures, I thought of an idea. What if I made the buttons wireless and they transmitted to an Arduino attached via USB to a laptop hooked up to a smart board? It would get rid of the need for the displays, the buzzer (it's hooked up to speakers), and the on/off switch. Then I'd have two buzz-in modules with batteries and on/off switches, connected via wireless to the Arduino. I would also have the timer reset button hooked up by wireless so I could pace the classroom.

Would this be possible (or practical)? Should I use Bluetooth, 2.4GHz, XBee, or something else?

What would I need for a reciever for these if I wanted it to interface with an Arduino? Straight to a computer?

I'm planning on getting two of the FOB's. I was wondering how to get them to interface with an Arduino and/or computer. I did a little more research and it looks like http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9034 would probably be my best option. Would I need 2 of those if I want to use 2 FOB's or can they be differentiated by the receiver?

OK, like I said earlier, I am just playing around with different ideas. What would I have to get for the buzzers and Arduino board in order to use telephone wire? Would that carry power and data or just data?

My style on most projects is a kind of "measure twice, cut once" kind of thing. It gets in the way sometimes, but it pays off too.

I'll scan my design as soon as I get my scanner working again, but basically the buzzers are on their own, "satellites," if you will. A main console with power, reset, and the Arduino is hooked to a computer via USB and uses the computer's screen in place of a built-in display.

OK, that makes sense to me. I had heard of a similar project being done with Arduino (I read an article about it a while back) and just jumped to that as the best way to do it.