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555 Timer Blinky

The 555 timer blinky is a simple circuit that makes two LEDs flash in an alternating pattern. (Drawings by Shawn Wallace, based on artwork from http://fritzing.org)

555 Timer Blinky

In this project, you’ll learn how to solder together a battery-powered, 555 Timer-driven blinky toy.

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Steps

Step #1:

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555 Timer Blinky

Check the kit to make sure you have two LEDs, the 555 timer, a capacitor, the four resistors shown, and a battery box. You\'ll need to supply a small amount of hookup wire.

Step #2:

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555 Timer Blinky
  • Place the protoboard in the helping hands in the orientation shown here.
  • To solder each component, you'll keep the board in the helping hands and roll it over, away from you so that it's reversed and upside down.
  • In this guide, we'll show the top view of the board on the left and the reversed view of the board on the right.
  • Place the 555 timer into the protoboard as shown, paying attention to the notch in the 555 timer (it should be pointing up).
  • Flip the board over and solder the pads shown on the right-hand side of the image.

Step #3:

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555 Timer Blinky
  • Place the 1 megohm resistor (Brown, Black, Green) into the board as shown.
  • The orientation of the resistor doesn't matter.
  • Flip the board over and solder the resistor into place. Trim the leads when you're done.

Step #4:

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555 Timer Blinky
  • Place the second 1 megohm resistor into the board.
  • Flip the board over, solder the resistor in place, and trim the leads.

Step #5:

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555 Timer Blinky
  • Insert the capacitor into the board as shown.
  • Like the resistors, the orientation of this kind of capacitor doesn't matter.
  • Solder the capacitor into place and trim the leads.

Step #6:

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555 Timer Blinky
  • Prepare a short length of red hookup wire. This wire will be hooked up to the positive side of the battery and provide power to the chip.
  • Cut it so it's a little longer than the length shown.
  • Strip the ends to about 1/2 an inch.
  • Tin the ends of the wire.
  • Insert the wire into the board as shown, flip it over, and solder it into place. If you have any excess, trim it.

Step #7:

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555 Timer Blinky
  • Prepare a length of green wire (or blue or yellow) as shown.
  • Insert it into the board as shown.
  • Solder it into place and trim any excess.

Step #8:

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555 Timer Blinky
  • Insert a 100 ohm resistor as shown.
  • Solder it into place and trim the leads.

Step #9:

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555 Timer Blinky
  • Insert the second 100 ohm resistor as shown.
  • Solder the resistor into place and trim the leads.

Step #10:

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555 Timer Blinky
  • Insert the LED as shown.
  • You must orient the LED as shown. The long (positive) lead needs to be on the side marked with the + symbol and the short (negative) lead on the side with the - symbol.
  • Solder it into place and trim the leads.

Step #11:

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555 Timer Blinky
  • Place the second LED into the board.
  • The long (positive) lead needs to be on the side marked with the + symbol and the short (negative) lead on the side with the - symbol.
  • Solder it in place and trim the leads.

Step #12:

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555 Timer Blinky
  • Prepare another length of red jumper wire.
  • Place it in the PCB as shown.
  • Solder it into place and trim any excess.

Step #13:

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555 Timer Blinky
  • Connect the battery box and blue wire as shown.
  • Remove the batteries before you solder it into place.
  • Solder the battery box and blue wire into place and trim away any excess wire.

Step #14:

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555 Timer Blinky
  • Connect the battery and watch it blink!
  • The LEDs blink in an alternating fashion because one is connected "backwards". When the 555 timer's output pin goes "low", electricity flows through that LED. The other LED is connected normally.

Brian Jepson

I'm a tinkerer and finally reached the point where I fix more things than I break. When I'm not tinkering, I'm probably editing a book for Maker Media.


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