Support for Chain-Link Lockout Systems

The CM-400 chain link deluxe quiz game player box with hand button.
The Chain-Link Player Box


Our Chain-Link Lockout System has been known by several different names:
* Tournament Master
* Series 100 (1994 — 2 team capacity)
* Series 200 Deluxe (1995-2001 — 2 team capacity)
* Series 300 Deluxe (2002-2019 — 4 team capacity

The functionality and features of these iterations is essentially the same – players are connected together with short cords (in a “daisy chain” layout), and one long cord connects each team of players to main control console.

These systems featured hand-held buttons, and the player boxes were connected with ethernet-style plugs.

quiz lockout RJ45 ethernet plug SC400 SC500

As noted, these systems were manufactured between 1994 and 2019, and it was recently replaced with our Line-Up Lockout System.

Even though we no longer make the Chain-Link system, we continue to support these systems in several ways. The purpose of this page is to present the various options for owners of the Chain-Link system.

If you have an older system and you have questions, please call or email!

Touch or click on any of the
following blocks for more information!

Support & Maintenance – FAQs

Our Chain-Link system is a fairly complex system, but with a little understand of the system, you can keep your system running. If you’re having trouble with your system (or your not sure what the problem is), please review these comments/suggestions … and if you’d prefer to talk with us, give us a call! We’d be glad to assist.

* Important! Problems with our Chain-Link system can be difficult to diagnose. The most-important thing to remember is that the cause of the problem is probably not where you’re seeing the problem. That is, if you’re having a problem with a player box, there’s a good chance another box (or cord) on that team is malfunctioning and causing the other boxes to fail. Just because a box is malfunctioning doesn’t mean it’s broken!

When we diagnose a broken system, our goal is to isolate the problem: is it a cord, a hand button, or a player box? Assume anything can be broken, then slowly assemble the system and watch for a malfunction.

* All cords going between player boxes must click securely into each connector. Each cord has two plugs, and the latching tab on each plug must hold the plug in-place. The cord carries eight signals, and a loose plug will cause various signals to “drop out” (which causes that that team of boxes to malfunction). Suggestion: Replace loose or worn cords.
* Hand-Held Buttons take a lot of abuse and will eventually wear out. Suggestion: Replace (or have us repair) your worn-out buttons.

* More than one player comes on when a player rings in. It is possibly a problem with a cord or a connector on a player box is broken. PLEASE CALL US FOR ADVICE!
* Some player boxes don’t respond. It is possibly a problem with a cord or a connector on a player box is broken. PLEASE CALL US FOR ADVICE!

* If your system resets unexpectedly, you have a Power Issue. It can be caused by a worn-out power pack or a worn-out power jack on the control console. Suggestion: Isolate the problem by firmly holding the power plug as it enters the control console. Press one of the BONUS buttons. Now, while firmly holding the power plug (so that it doesn’t move), wiggle the entire length of the power cord. If the system clears its BONUS mode, you know the power cord is intermittent (and the power pack needs replaced). If you don’t find any issues with the power cord, gently wiggle the power plug and see if that causes the system to reset. If so, the problem is likely the plug, but it can also be the console’s power jack.
* Other Power Issues:
Hot Power Pack. Some older power packs can get very warm. If your power pack seems unreasonably warm (or if it “smells hot”) the power pack should be replaced.
Wrong Power Pack. We have had several customers who have accidentally used the wrong power pack with their system! All of our products work with the same power pack, so as long as you’re using one of our packs, the system will work fine. HOWEVER, if a power pack from another product is being used, it could cause problems. Suggestion: make sure the power pack you’re using has DC output (not AC), and the output voltage must be between 10 and 16 volts.


Parts – Social Distancing (new September 2020)

We – like you – can’t wait for the phrase “social distancing” to disappear from daily conversation. Until then, we’re offering 8-foot cords to go between player boxes (to easily allow you to distance players on the same team). If you need a longer length (or a custom length) cord, please let us know.

Parts – Routine Maintenance

All parts for your Chain-Link system are available at our Parts/Accessories page. Please visit the page and look for the picture of the parts you need.

We offer economical repairs of cords and hand buttons!

And we also have a popular option where we overhaul/refurbish these systems. It’s not unusual for us to overhaul a system that’s over 20 years old! See more details on this page.

Adding Players (and teams of players)

You can add players to your existing teams, and if you want to take advantage of your system’s capacity, you can add complete teams of players to your system. Here are the options:

Overhaul/Refurbish Options

No system is too old or too beat-up to benefit from our overhaul service!

A very popular (and economical) option to extend the life of your Chain-Link system is our overhaul/refurbish service. Very comprehensive, and no surprise fees. Our goal is rejuvenate your system to like-new operating condition … it gives us a chance to inspect and replace parts we know will wear out. Best of all — your buttons are updated, and all of your cords are serviced.

If your system is having occasional issues and
it’s been awhile since it’s had an overhaul, this is a great option.

Fixed price: $15 per player
e.g., a system with 2 teams with 5 players per team is $150.
For complete details, see our service page.

Upgrade your system to the Line-Up System – great value!!

The system that replaced the Chain-Link System is our new Line-Up System. Functionally, these two systems are very similar, but there is one very significant difference: we have upgraded the system to use the sturdiest connectors we can find: industrial DIN connectors.

quiz game lockout cable 8-pin DIN yellow lineup

Other Improvements:
* Our original electronic circuitry was very good (it went unchanged for 20 years), but our new circuitry is CONSIDERABLY more robust.
* Our new Light Bulbs will likely last forever (no need to have replacements on-hand).
* Player boxes can be swapped between teams and systems without problems.

Bottom Line:
If you like your Chain-Link System, you’ll love our new Line-Up System.

We are offering an upgrade path for Chain-Link System owners. If you’d like to upgrade your Chain-Link System, you can do so for approximately half the cost of a new system (see below). Your existing system has value … we can save you money by reusing many of the components from your old system.

Price: $375 for a system with 2 teams, 5 players per team (other configurations are available — please call for more information. We will update this web page as that information becomes available). Bear in mind that a new system is $675.

What you get: your old system is completely upgraded to a Line-Up System (with the yellow DIN cords). All buttons are updated, rubber feet replaced, etc. Worn-out power packs are replaced, too (no extra charge!).

“Can I upgrade a system that’s problematic (or not working)?” — Believe it or not, yes! The important thing is that you have all the parts (boxes, buttons, etc). And the best part is that the upgrade price is the same regardless of the operating condition of your old system.

“Will my upgraded system look like a brand new system?” — Not quite. Cosmetically, the pieces from your upgraded system will have all the blemishes and scars from your old system, but with brand-new cords and electronics. Remember, you’re saving money by allowing us to reuse parts from your old system.

What you need to do: Call us and we can discuss. This is a new service we’re offering, and we anticipate questions. Eventually, you’ll need to send us your old system along with a purchase order or payment information.

“How Long Does It Take?” — Please allow 2 weeks for the upgrade.

Please call with questions!


Carry Case
Player Box Enclosures (plastic boxes)
Control Console Enclosure
Hand Buttons (they are the same, but they are refurbished)
Power Pack (unless it needs replaced)

All electronic circuitry (inside the boxes)
All cords (no more cords with ethernet plugs!)