555 Timer Hacks: Cable Testers, Magnetic Stirrers, and Lego Grabbers Oh My!

Picture of 555 Timer Hacks: Cable Testers, Magnetic Stirrers, and Lego Grabbers Oh My!
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.


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.

who will use this anyway?
KRA5H (author)  Newell_Jalynn1 year ago
Makers, people who want to learn electronics, K-12 teachers, post-secondary educators, scientists, technologists, engineers, mathematicians...