The Perfect Buzzer System

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The Perfect Buzzer System

Postby ashantidw » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:32 pm

Question for all my Ohio QB peers...

If you could design the perfect buzzer system, what would it look like? What features would it have?
I see so many different buzzer systems at each of the tournaments we attend, and I see strengths and weaknesses to each of the buzzer systems we play on. Curious as to your thoughts...


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Re: The Perfect Buzzer System

Postby ThePocketProtector » Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:32 am

I was hoping someone with more experience would go first.

I feel like the 2 biggest things are durability and ease of setup. There are multiple pieces to each.

Durability comes in 2 forms for me. Does it break? Can you fix it, if it does? The ones that are put together with telephone wires and connectors are very easy to fix, if you know what you are doing. The downside is that they break often BECAUSE THEY USE HOT GLUE INSTEAD OF PROPER CONNECTIONS! (The capital letters are ,because I am, in fact, screaming.) Some sets seem to not break near as often, but they are much harder to fix. For me, ease of setup trumps the ability to fix it yourself. I may be alone in that.

Ease of setup has become huge for me. That is why I have Anderson System buzzers. I can put them up in a minute. When you are going to league matches of an evening or you are setting them up and taking them down for practice by yourself, this is super important. The telephone wire sets aren't intuitive and take way too much time for me.

I zero care about handheld buzzers versus boxes. I'm just not that guy.

I feel like buzzers are a personal thing for many coaches and there are others that just don't care as long as they work. I find it interesting when a team rolls in with 3 different kinds.

Did I mention that my dream set wouldn't be put together WITH HOT GLUE TO HOLD THE WIRING TOGETHER?!?!?!

In the 90s, we played on buzzers that wouldn't even be legal now.

I hope I just managed to post something here that isn't controversial, which would be a nice change of pace.
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Re: The Perfect Buzzer System

Postby BobKilner » Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:23 pm

I miss the Judge.

But I do agree with Josh. We have two sets of Anderson Buzzers and recently picked up a set of handheld buzzers with triggers. While they are awesome and work great - they take forever to set up and I'm already regretting buying that type.

I always liked the kind with a light on each individual unit rather than on the master unit. I think it eliminates a lot of "conferral penalties" when a kid speaks out thinking he has the buzz but doesn't actually.
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Re: The Perfect Buzzer System

Postby trbenedict » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:36 pm

For the ease of setup & storage (as well as the relatively good value), the connected Anderson black boxes with flashing individual lights are my favorites of the ones I've seen in real life...the first set I bought when I started coaching was an Anderson with the hand-held buttons, but there were too many parts (and the bottoms of the hand-held pieces would sometimes detach). For the Anderson boxes, the little lightbulbs sometimes fall inside the boxes and I've had a couple power cords die over time, but otherwise they seem pretty sturdy.

If I were designing my "perfect" buzzer set, I'd retain the Anderson box design, but make the light on each box much bigger and raised up higher, sort of the size of these ones that I've seen around.
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Re: The Perfect Buzzer System

Postby crbirdx1 » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:41 pm

My vote is for Anderson.
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Re: The Perfect Buzzer System

Postby tomoore » Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:37 pm

There's a couple manners in which I'll respond to this. This is a good topic, as it is transferable between not just preferences/qualms but also what is good for quiz bowl now and what is good for quiz bowl in the future. N.B: I am not as well-versed in the sciences that underlie the engineering and composition of a buzzer system as I would like to be, so I'll refrain from touching on that.

To me, the perfect buzzer system, in terms of 'What I Think QuizBowl Needs' is one that...

- provides distinct toning/signaling as to what side has the buzz upon a ring-in;
- has a transponder where females, made possible with an adapter, are cross-compatible with various males (e.g. ethernet/telephone cables, USB, the type of connector that Anderson systems use - not sure what those are called???);
- is 100% accessible; if I ruled the world, pistol grips would be phased out in favor of pads/large buttons.
- can be easily deconstructed for the purposes of on-site repair, and can be easily reconstructed upon repair; should also include a kit of repair pieces and a manual. (No more "our buzzer system broke" or "our buzzer system only has [n] buzzers working", no more "ope, team X's buzzer system has crapped out in room 204... lets switch them out").
- doesn't cost the entry fee of four tournaments (we're all good actors: but, we should have a discussion on the whole "that buzzer system will pay for itself" rhetoric, and why there are some problems with that!)

Now, as to what I personally like/dislike and what a buzzer system of my own craft would be cosmetically/aesthetically...

- I like the buzzer systems that feature the strobe within a cylinder, which from my experience are most commonly found at Northeastern Ohio events such as Copley OAC/No Frills. I believe I am referring here to the QuikPro Deluxe model. Yeah, those are sweet! I would make a design a model with both blinking strobes and, in case a student is prone to epileptic seizures, stationary lights. I like that QuikPro model, except for the fact that I wish they came with pads/boxes but also...

- NO ANNOYING SOUNDS! Yes, yes you - reader: you know EXACTLY the cringe-worthy buzzer tones I am referring to found across several QuikPro models that beleaguer quiz bowl matches... what with the shrill "steak knife gleaming across porcelain" shivery with the opposing buzzer that lets out the equally noxious "eeeeeeeep" (I know not the perfect metaphor to describe such). I'm personally a fan of the obvious light and simple "single tone vs double tone" indicators, such found on Zeecraft Systems.

- The case would have a refrigerated component/ice pack container, that way I can keep my Red Bull cold, but, more importantly... so I could store and then facilitate candy(!) to pass out to participating students in my room. I suppose I could do without the refrigerator component and still do candy ("Fisher, hello! Have some possibly melted Hershey's kisses!").
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