Want to learn about the 555 Timer IC? In this Instructable I'll show you how to add a 555 to your collection of Snap Circuits blocks and build circuits you can use to experiment with the following:

Build an optical Theremin

Build practical joke lie detector.

Does adding salt to water decrease it's resistance?

Use a magnet to alter the pitch of the 555 timer circuit.

Make a pencil lead (graphite) organ.

Use the 555 circuit as a cable tester.

Build a tone generator

Test Pusle Width Modulation (PWM) with combination centrifuge/magnetic stirer.

Operate a Lego grabber arm

Currently there are no Snap Circuits sets that have the 555 Timer IC. So, you will need to purchase a 555 Timer IC from Allied Electronics or your favorite electronics supplier. If you don't have the Snap Circuits Extreme SC-750 set you can purchase the Snap Circuits Eight-Pin IC Socket block from C&S Sales. Adding these two components to your set of Snap Circuits blocks will allow you to create dozens of circuits built around the 555 Timer IC.

Snap Circuits is an educational toy that teaches electronics with solderless snap-together electronic components. Each component has the schematic symbol and a label printed on its plastic case that is color coded for easy identification. They snap together with ordinary clothing snaps. The components also snap onto a 10 X 7 plastic base grid analogous to a solderless breadboard. There are several Snap Circuits kits that range from a few simple circuits to the largest kit that includes 750 electronic projects.

All the kits include manuals printed in color with easy to follow diagrams to assemble the projects. The illustrations for each project look almost exactly like what the components will look like on the base grid when finished. Because the electronic symbol is printed on each electronic component, once the project is completed, it will look almost exactly like an electronic schematic.

Step 1: Insert the 555 timer chip into the Snap Circuits IC Socket block

The 555 Timer IC was introduced by a company called Signetics (later bought out by Philips) in 1972 and was designed by Hans R. Camenzind in 1971. The 555 chip has 25 transistors, 15 resistors and 2 diodes in an 8 pin DIP (Dual In-line Package) and looks like a square bug with eight legs. It has a notch at the top and Pin 1 is in the top left corner. (See picture 1) (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Signetics_NE555N.JPG)

The Snap Circuits Eight-Pin IC Socket block is picture 2 (source: http://cs-sales.net/eiicso6u8.html)

Insert the 555 timer chip into the Snap Circuits Eight-Pin IC Socket block. Make sure that the notch in the top of the 555 timer chip is aligned with the diagram of the chip pictured on the IC socket block. (See picture 3) (Source: http://www.snapcircuits.net/learning_center/designer)
<p>Note that the Snap Circuits Extreme SC-750 no longer contains the 8 pin IC socket block so you will need to purchase the additional part.</p>
who will use this anyway?
Makers, people who want to learn electronics, K-12 teachers, post-secondary educators, scientists, technologists, engineers, mathematicians...

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Bio: You can try my projects AT YOUR OWN RISK. There's infinite ways to damage or destroy persons and property. I can't think of ... More »
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