A 555 Tester & Parts Bin- Steam Punk / Wood Punk Style -gift Exchange




About: I am, most definitely older than 00010101 and to put it simply, still curious about nearly everything :-) I then tend to read and/or experiment in those areas - when I have the time.. . My two "specialty...

Herein is an outline of how I built a parts holder bin (or whatever you'd like to use the bottom for) from a wooden craft box, and incorporated a 555 tester into the lid, with a pyrograph (well, actually two pyrographs) on the lid also.


Step 1: Parts, Etc.

While testing the 555 tester circuit, I noticed it wasn't very "loud" so I also included an amplifier stage with this, but it is not absolutely necessary. 


For the Tester circuit, see my instructable:  555 Tester

For the Amp:

IC1:  LM386 audio amplifier chip
R1:  10 ohm 1/4 w resistor
R2:  1 k 1/4 w resistor
R3:  10 K 1/4 w potentiometer
C1, C3:  220 uF electrolytic capacitor
C2:  10 uF electrolytic capacitor
Socket:  8 pin
One small on/off switch

Speaker (8 ohm for .3 watts of output)

2 small circuit boards (or one larger one if you wish to put the tester and the amp on the same board)

Socket:  one 8 pin wire wrap socket
1 wooden craft box
1 water bottle cap
1 spindle and rubber wheel to an old mouse
1 short section of a small plastic bottle
some spray and craft paints
misc. parts and pieces

One wood burning iron
one soldering iron
several files
a drill (preferably with a selection of bits; I also found a small "circuit board hand drill" to  
    be useful as well
continuity tester (or VOM)
a glue gun can be handy
artist's paint brush
wire brush (one should have one any way to use on the soldering iron tip now and then, but file cleaning makes one really useful).

Step 2: Building the Circuit

I built the circuits first, to make sure I could get them to work with the calculations I made on the resistors, etc.

The first picture shows how I was going to incorporate the 555 tester socket into a metal lid.  

I don't recommend this.  It is rift with problems (most of them concerning shorting out the 555 socket)

So, I took a "wire wrap" style 8 pin socket and put that into a hole I made in the lid of my  wooden box. The biggest difference in the wire wrap socket is that the pins are like an  inch or so long.

To make a square hole, I first drew the outline of the socket where I wanted it, and then, drilled a hole quite a bit smaller then the sides of the square I needed, but big enough to use a small file inside to shape the hole and make it square.  

But I am getting ahead of myself.   I tested the circuit, after building it on board.  Then I took the solder points of each of the pins of the small socket, and soldered a wire to it (the wires seen in the box actually).   Then I could remove the short legged socket and attach the wires to the longer legged wire wrap socket.

Since I had switched to the wooden box, the filing out of the hole became both easier and harder at the same time.  The pine wood is easier to file, but it clogged my file's teeth (this action is called pinning), and this is where having a small wire bristled brush close by being handy.

Step 3: Prepairing the LID

I pyrographed the streaming Matrix ® stream replica and the circuit (not the uninteresting 555 trace, but another one) onto the lid first.  This lost me some of the artwork when I went to cut the holes for the controls (two small round ones for the potentiometers, one larger round one for the speaker, and one very small square one for the on/off switch...I had already cut out the 555 socket hole). So you might want to cut your holes first.

A hint on the socket hole:  make it minusculey smaller then the socket case or you will be using something (regular glue, hot glue, caulking, or Rock Hard ®   to fasten it in. It is still a good idea to firm it up with something, but that won't be holding it "IN" but rather just keeping it from rocking about..

Once the circuit was up inside the lid and fully functional, I added some things to "dress it up" a little.

Step 4:

And there you have it.

You can now use your box to hold small parts while working on a project and / or you can attach a 9 v battery to the battery holder and plug in a 555 timer you are unsure of, and if you hear a clicking noise, which increases as you rotate the Mouse wheel knob, you can rest assured your 555 is functioning properly.

BTW:  that last picture is the Bottom of the box.  I added the Bad Wolf to it before printing it off and gluing it on.   I happened to have a wolf sticker too on hand, and then personalized the box with the name of the person I was sending it to, and of course, my signature and time it took to pyrograph it.

Participated in the
Woodworking Contest



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    10 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    This is so completely over my technical ability to understand (being a paper and glue sort of crafter). But your circuit diagram caught my attention and I am playing with a way to build a greeting card using it as a sketch for the different elements. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    If they are available, you can get the cards that have little recordable mechanisms in them that you can record your voice on (normally 10-20 seconds worth) and move the device to a card of your choice too. I've done a few of them, but lose my source for the cards (I was once able to get them for about $1 a piece).


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you Kent, the really hard part was getting the 555 socket to stay in the square hole I made in the lid AND not mess up the rest of the circuit....I fried a 555 timer and one speaker while doing this project.... *sigh*


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    meh, happens to everyone. Me, I just throw some e6000 at it while keeping my eyes closed and chanting to the Project Gods. Always seems to work out right. It is also my basic theory for academic papers.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Well, for me, it seems to happen much more often then it once did....so it is either a sign of my aging, or that my eyesight is effecting my work (which, come to think of it, is another sign of my aging).


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you. With my eyesight as it is, I couldn't get the detail I once was able to do a few years ago, but it turned out better (the Matrix stream did anyways) then I thought it would.