The 555 timer IC is often considered one of the most successful integrated circuits of all time. That success stems not only from its sheer production volume — with approximately a billion made annually — but also for its ease of understanding and the diversity of its applications. Over at Weekend Projects, we’ve used the 555 in everything ranging from beginner-friendly breadboard experiments to advanced weekend-long builds. Continue reading after the jump for some fine examples of the 555 in action.

Projects in Motion

One of our best introductions to the 555 timer IC, Projects in Motion will show you how to build and control drivers for three very different types of motors using a range of components – and of course the 555 timer!


555 Timer Ball Whacker

“This project uses a simple 555 timer chip and a feedback loop to control a servo-controlled wooden arm. Whenever an object comes close to a photosensor mounted on the end of the arm, it blocks the amount of light detected, which triggers the arm to swat the object away.”


Game Show Buttons

Two 555 timers – one for each player – along with a 74HC32 quad OR-gate IC, combine to form a simple quiz circuit we call Game Shot Buttons. Challenge your friends to geek trivia, and expand the circuit to include as many players as you want.


10-Rail Model Rocket Mega-Launcher

A true “weekend project,” the 555 timer was cleverly used as an addition to the complex circuit driving 10-Rail Model Rocket Mega-Launcher. The 555 is used to extend the audio timing of the Lego sound brick, and to light up the LED to inform the maker the circuit is ready to fire!


The Light Theremin

Last but certainly not least, the Light Theremin has proved to be one of our most successful Weekend Projects yet. The simplicity of this circuit has been modified many times over, and yet the original design takes only one hour to build!

See all of the posts for 555 Week.

12 thoughts on “555 Timer Weekend Projects

  1. I have lot of interest on projects based on 555 timer. Could you please provide the circuit diagrams with detailed explanation for each project.

Comments are closed.


I'm an artist & maker. A lifelong biblioholic, and advocate for all-things geekathon. Home is Long Island City, Queens, which I consider the greatest place on Earth. 5-year former Resident of Flux Factory, co-organizer for World Maker Faire (NYC), and blogger all over the net. Howdy!

View more articles by Nick Normal