Jeopardy, Family Feud, Press Your Luck...all game shows, all with buzzers. But what do you need to know about the automation applications for buzzers to make sure you have "No Whammies"?
A buzzer is an audio signaling device, which may be mechanical, electromechanical, or piezoelectric. Typical uses of buzzers include alarm devices, timers and confirmation of user input such as a mouse click or keystroke. Lets explore each type of buzzer and their use.
First, the simple mechanical buzzer, also known as a joy buzzer. A joy buzzer is a practical joke device that consists of a coiled spring inside a disc worn in the palm of the hand. When the wearer shakes hands with another person, a button on the disc releases the spring, which rapidly unwinds creating a vibration that feels somewhat like an electric shock to someone not expecting it. Not much to it. Use: practical jokes, plus those little wind-up chattering teeth, and, though funny, not much else.
Next, comes something a bit more complex: the electromechanical buzzer. Early devices were based on an electromechanical system identical to an electric bell without the metal gong. Similarly, a relay (we'll cover relays and what they do in another post - for now just think of them as a switch) may be connected to interrupt its own actuating current, causing the contacts to buzz. Often these units were anchored to a wall or ceiling to use it as a sounding board. The word "buzzer" comes from the rasping noise that electromechanical buzzers made. Use: something along the lines of a firehouse or alarm clock.
Last, the piezo electric buzzer. A piezoelectric element may be driven by an oscillating electronic circuit or other audio signal source, driven with a piezoelectric audio amplifier. Sounds commonly used to indicate that a button has been pressed are a click, a ring or a beep. Use: think of any button you push to make a buzzer go off. A pressure activated buzzer is a piezo electric buzzer.
But what is piezo electricity? If you're like me when I first learned about piezo electric buzzers, you though piezo was a brand name from Italy that also makes cool super-futuristic race cars. That, however, is wrong - very wrong! The word piezoelectricity means electricity resulting from pressure.
Marshall Wolf Automation is an industrial automation distributor in Algonquin, Illinois. Make MWA your go to stop for all buzzer needs. We offer a wide range of solutions for all your automation problems.
Another step on the path to Knowledgetown...keep following along on journey to 'My Automation Education'!