Electronic Dice With Slowdown - 555 & 4017




Introduction: Electronic Dice With Slowdown - 555 & 4017

Have your dice ever fallen off the table after you rolled them when playing a board game? Yes? Say no more because in this instructable I will show you how I made electronic dice with the famous integrated circuits 555 timer and 4017 johnson counter!

Step 1: Demonstration

I found these cheap chinese ebay kits and thought that some people might be interested in their schematic or PCB therefore I "cloned" their PCB so that anyone can make it themselves. Oh and I manage to do so without buying any of their kits, just from the pictures.

Step 2: Parts List

For this instructable you will need:

Electronic Dice PCB or perfboard

1x - 4017 johnson counter

1x - 555 timer

2x - BC557 or any other small signal PNP transistor

3x - BC547 or any other small signal NPNtransistor

6x - 5MM LED

1x - 1N4148 or any other general purpose diode

1x - tactile switch

1x - 9V battery clip (6f22)

1x - 3AA battery holder

1x - 1µF electrolytic capacitor

1x - 100nF ceramic capacitor

3x - 470Ω resistor

1x - 1kΩ resistor

9x - 10kΩ resistor

1x - 3.3MΩ resistor

1x - 4.7MΩ resistor

1x - 10MΩ resistor


1x - 16pin DIP socket

1x - 8pin DIP socket

Step 3: Schematic and PCB

This circuit has to be powered by approximately 5V in order to work properly. 9V battery didn't work for me. This circuit offers plenty of features for the amount of components it consists of. I think that there are no more features needed(correct me if I'm wrong).

To make the schematic and the PCB I used a free program Cadsoft Eagle which I would recommend to anyone making schematics or PCBs.

Step 4: Etching the PCB

I did not make the video.
I etched the PCB with i guess "photographic method" - that would be the direct translation from my language. I printed out the PDF file from previous step on transparent foil and then shone through it on photosensitve PCB, then developed it in solution of sodium hydroxide and then etched it in ferric chloride. If you find it confusing just watch the video, It's very well explained. Also don't forget to orient the transparent foil on the PCB so that you can read the words written on it.

Step 5: Conclusion

Now you should have all the knowledge necessary to build your own Electronic Dice. Good luck and don't forget to post your results into the comments.



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13 Discussions

Hello a question, how would the circuit if instead of a die I want two dice?

Great Project, but on the board Layout i see 16 resistors in the description only


1 reply

I see, now it should be correct. You need 3x - 470Ω instead of 1x

It not working

It not working

This may be a stupid question, but as far as I understand , when you push the button you charge the capacitor which keeps the transistor open so 555 can send clock signal and 4017 cycles through the outputs and shows numbers.. But what if the transistor closes when output Q1 is high and stops there? No number will be shown? / Why is Q1 disconnected?

2 replies

I have found the answer. When the counter stops at Q1(Q1 is HIGH) and there is only one output HIGH at a time then Q5 must be LOW. 0 volts on the base of PNP transistor(T4) will turn it on so LED2 and LED6 will be lit.

actually I am not sure about this one. Though it has never happend to me that it didn't show any number.


1 year ago

refreshing to see something simple done with discrete components, not always with arduino :)

Dice are considered random. How may you consider/evaluate this as also random?


1 reply

Well, I haven't tested the "randomness" in much depth, just did a few rolls to see if all six states are working but seemed random enough for me.

I've seen some apps you can use on your phone, but I think this would be more fun :)