Steady Hand Game

Ever been to a State Fair?
You know those carnival games?  Yeah, those.
Most of them statistically are there to just take your money in hopes of impressing your potential/significant other by winning them a giant prize.
Well, I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve been suckered more than a just a few times.

But recently, at the Cal Expo in July

California Exposition & State Fair

I stumbled upon a new game, that I believe is actually conquerable.
You must have played with it at some point in your life as well.

It is the: Steady Hand Game

The goal of this game is to touch the bottom of the spiral with that hoop without touching the spiral.

The hard part?
That spiral is spinning against the way you’re trying to go.

You touch the hoop to the metal, the buzzer rings, and you lose.

Sounds simple enough right?
Wrong.  I played this game at the Cal Expo 2012 about 8 times.  I lost each and every time at the last rung.
Why?  The bottom is a 180 degree angle parallel to the base plate.
While not impossible, it’s still pretty hard.  Take my word for it, or look up a youtube video.

So…  this game really intrigued me.
And as a researcher at heart, I wanted to know more about it.
What better way to conquer something, than practicing until you’re proficient?

And so, I looked online to see if I could buy one and potentially turn it into a drinking game.  Well..  There were none commercially available.
Due to my  interests and piqued ego having lost at so many times at the Cal Expo to the game…

I decided to build one.

Not knowing where to start, I consulted a knowledgeable Engineering buddy of mine because I believe it required some electronics and circuitry.

After a crash course in electrical engineering courtesy of my good buddy:

Went to Fry’s Electronics.
Got some equipment.
And the experiment begins!

Basic wiring of resistors.  Powered on my light.
Learned that without resistors the bulb shines brighter, but also decreases life expectancy.

Broke some parts along the way.
Shit happens.
Whatever, they were like $1~$2 a piece from Frys.

Some logic derivations.  Mock Ups.
The real fun commences after learning how to wire circuits!!
Head scratchers along the way, but nothing a little time, effort, and creativity can’t solve.

Bam.  It works.

The Hoop, made of copper wire I bought from ACE Hardware.  Copper is Expensive!!
That tiny hoop was a mock-up made of stripped wire.
The spiral, ugly I admit, but it’ll have to do for now.
Mock up of spiral made with foil.  Foil does not work.
A lot of alcohol was consumed in the creation and design of this game.
Great things were achieved with Alcohol.
I love Stella Artois.

A lot of ingenuity and creative problem solving was applied here to arrive at this design of a simple motor.
That copper is actually a piping connector.
That plastic piece from some random packaging serves as an insulator for the electrical interference as well as conductivity in making the game work.
Ghetto fabulous at its best.
As long as it gets the job done the form can be touched up after wards.

Completed.  The form is disastrous, but the game works just the way I want.  This is the bare-bones model, no-frills yet.  Big plans.

Added a Reset button for easier playing.

Ghetto Rigged with C-Clamps to mount motor to the table.

Discovered the wonders of an smaller form factor…
Big changes.
The whole game.
A cleaner form factor.
Production stages being explored after learning how to solder for even smaller form factor.

Work in Progress.
Postponed until I decide where I wish to take it.

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