Every now and then, I run into people trying to organize some kind of quiz show somewhere, either at my local scouting or somewhere else. I always imagined a quiz like that would be a bit more lively with big-ass red buttons you have to give a whack before giving your answer, like the ones you see on TV. Recently, I was actually asked to look into making something like that for 14 persons, so I decided to give the problem some thought.

Whipping up a nice schematic to tie a bunch of buttons to something that generates some sound, that isn't that much of a problem, and wouldn't be worth an article in itself. The problem is that the nice mushroomoid buttons you see at quizshows are fairly hard to find. Even if you can get one that approximates what you want to have, the price of these things is easily in the EUR30-EUR50 range. For 14 buttons, that would add up to half a thousend euros, which was a bit much for something being used maybe once a year. Maybe something could be made on a much smaller budget?

That's where I started thinking... a button like that is mostly a dome-shaped bit of plastic, mounted on a base. It generates some kind of signal when you whack at it, and if you want to get fancy you can illuminate it when it detects that. That shouldn't be too hard to make cheaply.

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