|President or CEO||Durwin Nigus|
Buzzersystems.com (formerly Novel Electronics) is a company based in Chillicothe, Illinois which produces buzzer systems. Unlike most companies, they do not have one simple system, and have a variety of systems to fit a variety of needs. Mr. Durwin Nigus runs the company.
One of the hallmarks of the company is innovation. The company does research with quizbowl players and coaches, and has created new products to fill needs. The company also handles maintenance, spare parts, and repairs.
In general, each of their systems comes with a large black nylon carrying case, a troubleshooting guide as well as a one year warranty on all parts.
Since 1996, Buzzersystems.com has provided free loaner systems to the IHSA State Championship Tournament in Peoria. In 2010, the company partnered with the North Carolina Association for Scholastic Activities.
The Deluxe System (also called The Series 300) is perhaps their best know product. Depending on the exact system purchased, the system can handle between one and four teams, with each team handling up to seven players. Each player has a handheld "stick" pushbutton, and each player has an individual light box on the table in front of them.
The advantage of the system is that there is no ambiguity as to which player has signaled (to moderator or players). This differs greatly from systems where the only indicator is at a central console which the moderator reads. The system is easily expandable, should a team later choose to (rather than purchase an entirely new system).
As of July, 2007, the two team system with four player modules per team (2x4) costs $575. A 4x4 costs $795.
The standard system is similar to the Deluxe System, except that instead of each player having an individual light box, there is a single light box for each team. While player and moderator can easily see which team has rung in, the only way to tell the individual who has rung in is to observe a string of lights on one side of the moderator, (typically on the side facing the moderator). Thus, players do not know who has rung in until the moderator confirms it. Also, unless players are sitting in a single row, and holding the buzzers in the order of the lights on the module, it can become confusing for moderators to determine who has rung in first.
This system can be configured for up to four teams of five players each. The two team system (up to five players per team) costs $450. The four team system (up to five players per team) is costs $670.
The 10-Player System permits only two teams of up to five players to play. Each player has a handheld "stick" pushbutton with a 20 foot cord which plugs into a central console. The console has five red lights on one side, and five green lights on the other, permitting players and moderators to instantly see which individual has rung in. There is a single pushbutton used by the moderator for clearing.
This system costs $295.
System 1-2-3 is a newer system that would have limited use in most states' quizbowl programs, but could have some use in other quizzing venues, and perhaps as a practice tool.
System 1-2-3, depending on how it is set, will indicate the order of the first three players to ring in (either overall, or the order of up to three teams).
This system also comes with individual handheld player boxes with both button and light. By selecting a button on the console, the moderator can light up the box of the player who rang in first, second, or third.
Prices, depending on the number of players it is configured for, range from $199-$499.
The 4-in-1 Console is a single console with four buttons built in (one for each player). There are jacks that allow pushbuttons to be attached in lieu of using the buttons on the console itself. Consoles can be connected to expand the number of competing players. The basic system costs $125.
Recently, the company has begun offering "slam switch" (smaller, yet similar to the controllers used in The Judge). They can be used on any system (except System 1-2-3).
The Timer 300 is a tabletop timer that can be plugged in to any system. When time runs out, it automatically locks out the system, but is also carefully designed to handle a second team ringing in after time has run out while a first team is answering incorrectly. The clock has a large face on one side, making it visible to teams even at a distance.
The time has three countdowns. Two are preset for 10 and 30 seconds. The third can be easily set for times in increments of fifteen seconds up to one minute, and in 30 second increments beyond that up to 9:59. This current configuration is designed around Illinois Scholastic Bowl, however there are rumors that a system that conforms to the NAQT format is in the planning stages.
The timer retails for $199.