Introduction: Remix: Build Your Own 555

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Disclaimer: why buy one when you can make one? It costs a lot more to make a 555 then it does to buy a 555 timer, so if just want a 555 then go out and buy one, but if you want to learn how one works and gain the satisfaction of building one yourself then go ahead and spend the extra money because trust me it's worth it.

This is a remix of an instructable that was made by Teslaling, his page can be found here. He has made many cool electronics instructables like the one that I'm about to remix which can be found here. the only difference is mine goes in depth on how to make it permanent on a perf board, while in his he goes in depth on how to build it on a breadboard. In his instructable he also does an excellent job at explaining how it works, from the compatriots to the flip flop. I give all credit to him for drawing up the schematic to putting the circuit together. I would like to thank him for the inspiration to build my own.

Hello everyone anders625 here with my thirtith instructable. today I will be showing you how to build your own 555 timer chip, but what is a 555. Well it's a small 8pin chip that is able to create electronic pulses without an oscillator. These chips have been in everything from radios (future instructables idea) to the Apollo rockets. What are some of the uses for this? You can use one to make an Annoyatron by hooking an Astable circuit to a speaker, set to a very low frequency. Another example is hooking an Astable circuit up to an LED and setting the circuit to a high frequency to create a DIY strobe light. If you don't know what an Astable circuit is then I recommend you look it up.

This build is incredibly difficult so I recommend that you have some basic soldering skills before attempting this project. For simplicity I will list a coordinate to place the wire in and another coordinate to solder it to I will also be specific on the direction of the of the transistors wether it be left of right based on the picture. I apologise in advance for such a long instructable, I now know why Teslaling didn't go in depth on how to make the circuit permanent.

To celebrate my thirtith instructable I will be giving away a 3 month instructables pro membership to the first person who can successfully answer a question at the end. To submit your answer you must first be following me, any answer from someone who is not following me will be rejected. Second you cannot currently have a pro membership, the whole point of this mini contest is to help others move up in the ranks. You can submit you answer by sending me a private message. Once the winner has been found I will remove this section of my instructable and announce them publicly. The winner will be notified immediately after winning and will have the code for the pro membership will be privately sent to them, good luck.

I hope you like this one, be sure to subscribe to me for many more instructables like this one coming soon, also if you like this then be sure to favorite it. If you have any questions or comments then be sure to leave them below, I'm very good at responding and if I don't right away then just be patient and I will respond to you soon. Please be sure to vote for me, thank you.

Step 1:

all the following items can be found at your local Radio Shack, or online. To build this you will need:

  1. Wire and lots of em
  2. 2x 1k ohm resistors
  3. 2x 10k ohm resistors
  4. 11x 4k7 ohm resistors (4k7 means 4.7k)
  5. 11x 2n3904 NPN transistors
  6. 9x 2n3906 PNP transistors
  7. 100uf capacitor
  8. A Radio Shack brand perf board (25 by 15) holes


  1. Soldering iron
  2. Solder
  3. Pliers
  4. Wire cutter
  5. And a wire stripper
  6. Solderless breadboard w. Jumper wires. (Optional)

Step 2:

Here's the schematic that I followed. It's the same one that Teslaling made and used when he made his. If you want to try and make this just by looking at the schematic then go right ahead, but if you do then I recommend that you print it off so you can add notes as you go, after all that's what I did.

Step 3:

Another thing that I did was Mark where each of the individual pin circuits go by drawing boxes on the perfboard to help keep the every thing organized.

Step 4:

here is the trigger comparator circuit on the breadboard. If you want a better demonstration on how to build this on the breadboard look at Teslaling instructable.

Step 5:

Solder a pnp transistor to the board in row 4, 5, and 6 in column B. The flat edge will be facing the left.

Step 6:

Add another pnp transistor on the rows 5,6,and 7 in column C facing the same direction as the first one. Solder 6b to 6c.

Step 7:

Add another pnp to column B, rows 7, 8, and 9 with the flat side facing the right side. Solder 7b to 7c

Step 8:

Add another pnp transistor to column C row 8, 9, and 10 facing right. Solder 8b to 8c

Step 9:

Add an npn transistor to column D row 5, 6,and 7 facing left. Solder 5c to 5d to 6d.

Step 10:

Add another npn transistor to column E in row 7, 8, and 9 facing right. Solder 7e to 7d, 6e to 6d, 8e to 8d.

Step 11:

another npn, column f rows 8, 9, 10 facing right. Solder 8f to 8g, 9f to 9e, 10f to 10g. Also add a jumper wire from e6 to 8d. Solder e6 to d6, 8d to 8e.

Step 12:

Now we will add the some wires and a 4.7k resistor. First wire is at b10 and is soldered to c10, second a9 soldered to b9, third at g10 and is soldered f10, fourth f7 and is soldered to e7. All don't add the one at a4 because it goes to ground and because ground is next to it. On that note all the wires go to ground except for a9, this wire connects to another part of the circuit. The risistor is soldered from g8 soldered to f8. The other end goes to vcc.

Step 13:

Add a 10k risistor that goes from 7a soldered to 7b to 7h soldered to 8h.

Step 14:

now we will make the flip flop. Here is what it looks like on a breadboard. Like I said earlier, if you want better directions for the breadboard set up then go see Teslalings instructable. The link for that is in the intro.

Step 15:

Add an npn transistor to column B in rows 13, 14, and 15 facing the left.

Step 16:

now add two more npn's. The first is in row 17 and columns d, e, f facing up towards the trigger comparator. The second is also in row 17 and column g, h, I facing down in the opposite direction of the trigger comparator.

Step 17:

now add two ground wires on both sides of the transistors. One at 18 d and the other at18 I the wires are solders to the ends of the transistors that they are closest to.

Step 18:

now add a pnp transistor to column C in rows 13, 14, 15 facing the right side. Solder 15b to 15c and 14b to 14c.

Step 19:

solder two wires to the transistors. One will be 13a and is soldered to 13b. The other wire is In 12c and is soldered to 13c.

Step 20:

next we will add a 1k resistor. Put one end in 14d solders to 14c and the other end to 13e.

Step 21:

now add a wire at 12e ans soldered to 13e.

Step 22:

next we will add a jumper wire from 15d soldered to 15c to 16f soldered to 17f.

Step 23:

Add a 4.7 resistor from 18e soldered to 17e to 21c.

Step 24:

Add another 4.7 resistor at 19e soldered to 18e and for now we won't touch the other end.

Step 25:

Add another 4.7 resistor at 16e soldered to 17e and run to 16g soldered to 17g.

Step 26:

to change the recent trend of 4.7s let's change it up a bit with a 1k resistor at 15g soldered 16g and goes to 13f and is soldered to 13e.

Step 27:

Add another 4.7 resistor at 14e soldered to 14d and goes to 15h soldered to 16h.

Step 28:

Add another 4.7 resistor at 15I and runs to 16h which is soldered to 17h. A wire is added at 14I soldered to 15I runs to 8h and is soldered to 8g.

Step 29:

now add an npn transistor In Column d at rows 21, 22, 23 facing the left. 21d is soldered to 21c.

Step 30:

a1k risistor is added to 22 b and c soldered to 22d.

Step 31:

a wire is added at 24d soldered to 23d

Which runs up to 12f soldered to 12e.

Step 32:

More pictures for last step.

Step 33:

A 4.7 resistor is added at 13g and is soldered to 13f, the other end is at 6n. In this step you also need to add the capacitor with the negative lead at 1m and positive lead at 1n.

Step 34:

now we need another npn transistor, this one will face the left and will be in rows 5, 6, 7 and in column n. 6n solders to 6m.

Step 35:

a wire is added at 7o soldered to 7n.

Step 36:

now we move on to building the threshold comparator. Here is the circuit on a breadboard. If you for some reason decided to start here I mentioned earlier in this instructable you can find an excellent description on setting it up on the breadboard at Teslaling's instructable. I have provided a link in the description.

Step 37:

start by soldering an npn transistor to the circuit facing right in rows 16, 17, 18 and column N.

Step 38:

solder a wire to the board at 16o and solder that to 16n.

Step 39:

now let's give the little lonely transistor a friend, another npn transistor will go in rows 17, 18, 19 and will be in column M facing to the right. 18m will be soldered to 18 n.

Step 40:

now add two more npn's both facing left. One will be in column M and in rows 20, 21, 22. The other one will be in column N and in rows 19, 20, 21. 19n solders to 19m, 20m solders to 20l.

Step 41:

Add a 10k risistor at 19o soldered to 19n. The other end is soldered at 8o and connects to 7o.

Step 42:

now add a pnp transistor at column l in rows 17, 18 ,19 facing the right. 17l solders to 17m, 18l solders to 18m,

19l solders to 19m.

Step 43:

Add another pnp transistor in column K, rows 19, 20, 21 facing left. 19k solders to 19l.

Step 44:

Now Add the final pnp transistor to the circuit, it will go in column j and in rows 14, 15, 16.

Step 45:

solder jumper wire on 15k soldered to 15j, the other end is on 17k soldered to 17l.

Step 46:

another jumper wire is added at 21o soldered to 21n then runs to 21l and is soldered to 21k.

Step 47:

we will now add another jumper wire to go from 20l soldered to 20m and runs to 18k soldered to 18l.

Step 48:

Add two wires to the board, the first one will be at 22l soldered to 22m, the other one goes in 24n soldered to 21m.

Step 49:

Add a 4.7 resistor in 5h and runs to ground.

Step 50:

solder another 4.7 resistor to 5I attached to 5h and runs to 5j soldered to 4j.

Step 51:

Add another 4.7 resistor at 4j soldered to 5j and the other end goes to vcc or the supply terminal.

Step 52:

now take the other end of the wire at 24n and solder it to 6j, connect 6j to 5j.

Step 53:

now solder the other end of the wire at 9a to 6h, solder 6h to 5h.

Step 54:

now take all the positive lead wires(see scamatic) to vcc.

Step 55:

solder the ground lead wires to ground (see scamatic).

Step 56:

now we will add eight wires to where all the pins are: 2o, 5o,17o, 24o, 2a, 5a, 15a, 22a.

Step 57:

As you can see I hooked the wires up to a breadboard set up in an Astable configuration to test it out and it worked, but not on the first try I had to switch around some wires flipped some transistors and had to really double check my work which was a pain and then it worked. What I'm trying to say is if at first you don't succeed try try again. That's the reason why some of my pictures don't match up with my words is because I made some small mistakes, but hey what can you do except fix it.

I hope you like this one, be sure to subscribe to me for many more instructables like this one coming soon, also if you like this then be sure to favorite it. If you have any questions or comments then be sure to leave them below, I'm very good at responding and if I don't right away then just be patient and I will respond to you soon. Please be sure to vote for me, thank you.


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