# Science Project BrainTeaser Question

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by tugalug, Jan 13, 2013.

1. ### tugalug

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Jan 13, 2013
Hey guys, Trick Question!! Build a house with two rooms. One bulb in each room.
With a battery, paper clips, paper holder punches, and wire.
There are two switches in each room.((Room A is on the left) In room A when the switch is turned to the left the light in Room A should turn on. When switched to the right, the light in room A should turn on and also the light in Room B should turn on. The same goes for Room B. When switched to one direction the light in room B goes on, When switched to the other direction lights in room A and B both should come on.

I cant figure out how to wire it up!! Went to lowe's and home depot and neither could figure it out!!!
We cant use any other material other that what has been given. Maybe adding another switch?
I have attached the pictures of the front of the house and backside and also a diagram that helps draw out the wires. Also the materials given.
Thanks for the help!! Let me know if you can figure it out asap! and if you can draw it out and attach it that would be awesome!! -Dave

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2. ### Laplace

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Apr 4, 2010
In the requirements as described it does not matter whether a switch is set to the left or to the right. For all combinations of switch settings (L-L, L-R, R-L, R-R) both lights are always on. Do you need to rephrase the problem?

One way to make it work would be to construct each switch where one pole is made with two paper holders placed close together but not touching so that the paper clip will be able to touch both at the same time. Connect each adjacent paper holder to separate bulbs.

Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
3. ### donkey

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Feb 26, 2011
I am failing to see the issue here without giving you the answer it is pretty straight forward the scond picture shows what the switches are suppose to do... and it is simple enough I figure.

4. ### Laplace

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Apr 4, 2010
It doesn't seem so simple to me. Gotta hint?

5. ### CocaCola

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Apr 7, 2012
If this holds true light A will not be off unless the switch is in a neutral (aka not connected) position, is this how it works? When you flip from using switch A to B to control the lights I assume you return the unused switch to neutral and not leave it in an left/rigth position? Because if you don't do this the lights will still be on...

I believe a further explanation of function is necessary...

6. ### donkey

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Feb 26, 2011
the explanation is very vague. but looking at the second picture showed it
there are 2 switches 1 in each room. each switch can be off, turn on only the light in that room, or both rooms.

so in room 1 the switch is off, room 1 light only or room 1 and 2 together
in room 2 the switch is off, room 2 only, or room 1 and 2 together

thats what I get from the photos.... now having said that I can sort of figure outthe diargram but I use 2 batteries not 1. give me time and I might be able to figure it out using the 1 battery. its a good thing to keep my mind occupied but I also think this is a school thing and I really don't want to give away the answer

Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
7. ### tugalug

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Jan 13, 2013
The directions are..if both paper clips are not touching at the start.. if one switch is turned on in one room only that rooms light comes on. When pushing the paper clip to the other side it turns on the light in that room and the light in the other room as well. the same thing should happen with the switches in the other room.

Donkey, Yes your right. there are 2 switches 1 in each room. each switch can be off, turn on only the light in that room, or both rooms. why do you say two batteries? The first problem I have run into is there is not enough functions with these types of lights since there is only a positive and a negative side. (Unlike LED's from what I hear?) So u have me thinking that by using two batteries I can use one on each switch and get more functions or variations with the wires?

8. ### (*steve*)¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥdModerator

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Jan 21, 2010
You could do it with a couple of diodes.

9. ### tugalug

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Jan 13, 2013
No, two batteries does not make a difference. Yes it makes it brighter, but Im not concerned about that. The reason I drew the picture was to be able to map out the wires to see if it functions properly before wiring it up. (because its time consuming) I've drawn this out so many times and every time I come across the same problem. Getting one side to turn on one light and having the other side of the same switch turn on both lights.

Steve, what the heck are Diodes?

10. ### tugalug

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Jan 13, 2013
here is the problem in a nut shell....

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11. ### (*steve*)¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥdModerator

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Jan 21, 2010
Things that allow power to only flow in one direction.

They allow, for instance, power to be applied to 2 lamps, but prevent power applied to one of them by a separate circuit from powering the other (as would happen if they were simply connected together).

A water analogy is a 1-way valve.

12. ### donkey

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Feb 26, 2011
tugalug 2 batteries would make a difference. it is about dividing the power so that you can make it work.
if you want to see it with 2 batteries I could make a diagram but if it has to be 1 battery than we may need to rig a dpdt centre off switch.
you could do that by NOT connecting wire to the "swivel" pin and have multiple connections on the other end.
every single way I see this as soon as you connect the AB light switch current will flow to both lights unless you seperate their power source

13. ### donkey

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Feb 26, 2011

rough idea. using the 2 thumbtacks space slightly apart so they aren't always connected might help it but not too far apart so the paperclip can't make a connection

just an edit.... paper clips are hard to freaking make in paint lol

14. ### donkey

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Feb 26, 2011
oh wait you can take the whole second battery out and just use the one but the paper clips were too hard to draw so to describe just remove the second battery and plug the wires to the same pole on the first battery

15. ### CocaCola

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Apr 7, 2012
Donkey I don't see how you get both bulbs on, I see you only switching from room to room with the above circuit, not A to AB and B to BA as described... Granted it is 5am and I have yet to sleep but I traced it out a few times with my fingers and didn't see it working...

16. ### donkey

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Feb 26, 2011
the idea is to bridge the 2 pins on one side using the paper clip

17. ### tugalug

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Jan 13, 2013
donk, so your saying we need 4 paper punches in each room? One to hold the p-clip, one for one light and two for both lights?...yes adding an extra paper punch would most likely work but thats not the directions that were given. what do you think?

18. ### tugalug

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Jan 13, 2013
paper tacks are the brass paper punches....just to be clear

19. ### Harald KappModeratorModerator

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Nov 17, 2011
I can't think of a solution using only three paper punches per room. I think donkey's idea is a clever solution . As you stated the task, there is nothing in it that prevents you from using the double-punch solution.

With a bit of rewiring the circuit works with only one battery. Hint: connect both lamps to the battery "-", connect the battery "+" to the two switches movable tap. Use the single punch / double punch technique to achieve the logical function of switching either one or both lamps.

20. ### tugalug

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Jan 13, 2013
Thanks everyone for there help! The double punch solution works pretty well. It allows there to be a break in the current to make the double light and single lights work. Ill upload a picture of what I mean..but I think you already know what Im talking about. Thanks again to everyone!! Ive been trying and trying and focusing all of my attention on only three tacks on each side. It was driving me bonkers! Love the site! I will be back if i have anymore questions!! ) David AKA "Tug"