My First Circuit: a Blinking LED

Introduction: My First Circuit: a Blinking LED

About: A geek traveling the world!

I am really thankful for Instructables and JameCo for the opportunity to learn an be part of such an awesome community!

When I received my bag of goodies, I had no idea what to do with them. I did know that LEDs would be involved add there were quite a few of them. I also learned a little bit about the 555 timer, so I went on a hunt to find simple circuits I could build both with and without the 555 timer. These three instructables were incredibly enlightening and only served to make me wasn't to learn more!

For Mt first one, I did s nice and simple blinking LED and it all started with a breadboard and a 555 timer

Step 1: The Parts

I found this nice and simple video on a blinking circuit. Here is a screen capture of the diagram and parts list.

Step 2: First Step, Jumper 1

Place a jumper from pin 2 to pin 6.

Step 3: First Resistor

Place a 33K resistor from pin 2 to pin 7.

Step 4: Second Resistor

Place a 100K resistor from pin 7 to + power

Step 5: Add in the Capacitor

Add the capacitor from pin 2 to - ground.

The instructions called for a 10uF capacitor.  Best I could do was find a 33uF.  The only difference is the speed at which the LED blinks.  If you want to see the blinks, don't do much higher than this as the rate slows down quite a bit at 2300uFs :D

Step 6: Add the LED

Add the LED from pin 3 to any open line.  More connections to be added to this.

Step 7: Resistor #3

Add a 1K Resistor from the LED to the ground.

Step 8: Jumper #2

Huh, I just realized that I have no idea why I added this jumper.  It doens't connect to anything.  I'll just chalk this up to simple mis-reading of the diagram that luckily, didn;t blow anything up :)

Step 9: Jumper #2 (for Real This Time)

Add a jumper from pin 1 to ground.

Step 10: Jumper #3

Add a jumper from pin 8 to + power

Step 11: Adding Power, Almost

I'm not sure why the Positive line is added first from the 9V battery but I decided to follow the instructions verbatum.  In my automotive days, I always ha the ground hooked up first, just in case something connected and the power had some place to go.  Someone will hopefully comment on this.

Step 12: Power!

And now we all connected!  Ain't she a beaut!  Uhh....hmmm....maybe this Red LED ain't so bright on camera....hang on.

Step 13: Let's Try This

Swapped in a white LED that I got a few years back but never did much with them.

Step 14: Another Angle of the Setup

Looks about right, save that random jumper.

Step 15: Ah HA!

Success!  We have light!

And video to prove it works too.  yay!

(In case the vid doesn't work, you can see it here

Thank you Instructables and JameCo(!

Step 16: Video

Here is the video of the working circuit. Nothing blew up :)

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    John PaulS
    John PaulS

    8 years ago on Introduction

    the capacitor is 10 microfarad but what volts is the capacitor? 10uf / ? volts whaaat is the volts of the capacitor!!!!!!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    In this circuit a 9 Volt battery is used to power the circuit. So, you
    need a capacitor with a maximum voltage of 9 Volts or higher. The
    capacitor you see in this instructable has a maximum voltage of 50


    9 years ago

    As to hooking up the positive first. On a car you should always connect positive first. If you connect ground first you have the possibility of shorting out the positive to the chassis or some other part while tightening connectors.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    This may be true but the logic makes no sense. If the positive is NOT hooked up, how could you possible short out the positive by connecting the negative first? Since you need a completed circuit, unless you have power already inline, this 'rule' is, at best, a habit. Taking this circuit I did, it would literally be impossible to short out a circuit if I connected the ground first.

    I had something horribly connected wrong, absolutely nothing would happen TILL I had connected BOTH connected, in any order.

    The video made an interesting point, which I can only guess is a good idea. He mentioned about soldering on a resistor to the ground lead to the battery as an overload protection. Did that make sense to you? Is it worth always keeping in mind for future projects?


    9 years ago on Introduction

    The 555 timer IC is a great first component to build a circuit with. As far as I know the 555 is the most produced integrated circuit of all time. That says something about the popularity, and usefulness of the little chip.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, that what I have read too. It seems that for beginners, adding a 4017 chip expands it's usefulness quite a bit. Sadly, those weren't included in the JameCo loot bag. Will have to order some.

    Thanks for reading!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I made this exact circuit with a solderless breadboard when I was 17. I still have the same solderless breadboard and recently rebuilt the circuit just for the heck of it.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks the comment Phillip! I have a bunch of ideas that I want to build :D