555 timer design contest

The 555 Timer IC is an integrated circuit (chip) implementing a variety of timer and multivibrator applications introduced in 1971. The 555 part is still in wide use, thanks to its ease of use, low price and good stability.

555 Contest claims to be biggest, newest, most-independently conceived 555 timer design contest the world has ever seen! The organizers of the contest are interest in seeing new designs and creativity blossom. Now it is time to act because all entries must be submitted by March 1st, 2011. Yeah, it’s quick, but the world moves fast. And remember that “You’ve got 8 pins…and one shot.” So visit http://www.555contest.com/ for more details.

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22 Comments

  1. 555 AM radio « Tomi Engdahl’s ePanorama blog says:

    [...] AM radio I have earlier written about 555 timer design contest. The contest is over and winning circuits have been found. Here is one very interesting contest [...]

    Reply
  2. Wanda Bean says:

    Logo design contests have grown into one of the most feasible ways for companies to have their brand identities designed at an affordable price range while at the same time also getting high quality, creative concepts. Those who participate in these projects find it to be a great platform for them to display their skills and also earn a good amount of money by winning. Though all this sounds pretty easy, there are certain issues that you must be aware of. Take a look at some of the guidelines below and increase your chances of winning a logo design contest.

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hans Camenzind remembered
    http://www.edn.com/electronics-blogs/anablog/4394211/Hans-Camenzind-remembered?cid=EDNToday

    Hans Camenzind, the Swiss emigre analog guru who invented one of the most successful circuits in electronics history and introduced the concept of phase-locked loop to IC design, passed away in his sleep at the age of 78 on August 15, 2012.

    During his career at four different companies he designed the first integrated class D amplifier, introduced the phase-locked loop concept to ICs, invented the semi-custom IC and created the 555 timer. He had designed 151 standard and custom ICs.

    Hans also wrote books: “Much Ado About Almost Nothing”, A history of electricity and electronics and “Desigining Analog Chips”

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Atari punk stick puts a synth in a joystick
    http://hackaday.com/2012/11/07/atari-punk-stick-puts-a-synth-in-a-joystick/

    The Atari Punk Console, a tiny synthesizer based on the ubiquitous 555 timer chip, is the first build de rigueur for any budding electronic wizard wanting to build musical devices. With just a handful of caps, resistors, and a pair of pots, the APC is a fabulously fun and easy build made even cooler by [Pat]‘s addition of a joystick.

    Atari Punk Stick
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Atari-Punk-Stick/?ALLSTEPS

    Reply
  5. Open 7400 Logic Competition « Tomi Engdahl’s ePanorama blog says:

    [...] If you found this Open 7400 Logic Competition interesting, you might also want to check my posting on 555 timer design contest. [...]

    Reply
  6. free samples says:

    Some truly interesting details you have written.Aided me a lot, just what I was searching for :D.

    Reply
  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    http://www.edn.com/design/analog/4408135/4/Slideshow–Analog-Aficionados-2013-sees-old-relationships–new-mentoring

    Eric Schlaepfer built a discrete, working NE555 timer to honor Hans Camenzind in the style of one of Jim Williams’ analog electronics art projects

    Reply
  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    http://www.edn.com/design/analog/4408135/6/Slideshow–Analog-Aficionados-2013-sees-old-relationships–new-mentoring

    A working 555 timer electronic piece of art (In the style of Jim Williams) by Eric Schlaepfer atop a giant 555 timer in memory of Hans Camenzind

    Reply
  9. ministeredelecologiededroite.fr says:

    Good site you’ve got here.. It’s difficult to find high-quality writing like yours nowadays.

    I truly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

    Reply
  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    What’s inside a 555?
    http://hackaday.com/2013/09/22/whats-inside-a-555/

    The 555 timer chip is a ubiquitous piece of technology that is oft-considered the hardcore way of doing things. Of course, the old timers out there will remind us that discrete transistors are the badass way of doing things, and tubes even more so. It’s not quite at the level of triodes and transformers, but Evil Mad Scientist’s discrete 555 kit is still an amazing piece of kit.

    Instead of transistors and resistors etched into silicon as in the OG 555, [Windell] over at EMS turned the basic circuit inside a 555 into a mega-sized version using discrete components.

    Reply
  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The “Three Fives” Discrete 555 Timer Kit
    http://www.evilmadscientist.com/2013/555-kit/

    We’re pleased to announce our newest kit, the “Three Fives” Kit, a kit to build your own 555 timer circuit out of discrete components. Here’s a way to re-create one of the most classic, popular, and all-around useful chips of all time.

    The kit is a faithful and functional transistor-scale replica of the classic NE555 timer integrated circuit, one of the most classic, popular, and all-around useful chips of all time.

    adapted from the equivalent schematic in the original datasheets for the device

    The kit is designed to resemble an (overgrown) integrated circuit, based around an extra-thick matte-finish printed circuit board.

    To actually hook up to the giant 555, there are the usual solder connection points, but there are also thumbscrew terminal posts that you can use with bare wires, solder lugs, or alligator clips.

    you can actually hook up probes and monitor what happens at different places inside the circuit.

    Reply
  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A 555-Based, Two-Channel Remote Control Circuit
    http://hackaday.com/2013/12/04/a-555-based-two-channel-remote-control-circuit/

    The great thing about this circuit is its simplicity. It’s often so easy to throw a microcontroller into the mix, that we forget how effective a setup like this can be. It could also be a great starter circuit for a kid’s workshop, demonstrating basic circuits, timers, and even a NOT gate.

    Reply
  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    555 based AM radio transmitter
    http://hackaday.com/2011/01/10/555-based-am-radio-transmitter/

    Bust out that 555 timer and use it to build your own AM radio transmitter.

    Reply
  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Surface-mount 555 PWM circuit
    http://www.benkyo.nl/lab/surface-mount-555-pwm-circuit/

    I wanted to dim my room LED lighting with a potentiometer, and decided on creating a solution from scratch to make it more fun and educative. I decided to go with the fairly well-known 555 PWM circuit. To decrease size and for learning purposes I decided on using surface-mount components for the first time. The reason I wanted to make this 555 PWM circuit is actually just to see if I could solder SMD components on home-etched PCB’s, and to see how hard it actually is.

    This was very fun for a first etching and SMD-soldering project, but there are plenty of improvements to be made.

    Reply
  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mega-Cool Transistor-Level Classic Chip Kits
    http://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?section_id=216&doc_id=1324222&

    I was just meandering my way around the Adafruit.com website — as you do — when I ran across something that made me gasp with awe and admiration (I’m just thankful I didn’t squeal with delight).

    This is such a cool idea — it’s a XL741 Discrete Op-Amp Kit from those little scamps at the Evil Mad Scientist Labs. As it says on the Adafruit website: “This is a faithful and functional transistor-scale replica of the µA741 op-amp integrated circuit, the classic and ubiquitous analog workhorse.”

    But wait, there’s more, because I then ran across this Discrete 555 Timer Kit, which also comes from the little rapscallions at the Evil Mad Scientist Labs. In this case, we’re talking about a functional transistor-scale replica of the classic NE555 timer integrated circuit, which the Adafruit website correctly describes as “One of the most classic, popular, and all-around useful chips of all time.”

    Reply
  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    555 Teardown and Analysis
    http://hackaday.com/2016/02/23/555-teardown-and-analysis/

    If you are even remotely interested in electronics, chances are the number ‘555’ is immediately recognizable. It is, after all, one of the most popular IC’s ever built, with billions of units sold to date. Designed way back in 1970 by Hans Camenzind, it is still widely available and frequently used for various applications. [Ken Shirriff] does a teardown and analysis of a 555 and gives us a look at the internal structure of this oldie.

    555 timer teardown: inside the world’s most popular IC
    http://www.righto.com/2016/02/555-timer-teardown-inside-worlds-most.html

    Reply
  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Celebrating Hans Camenzind’s other achievements
    http://www.edn.com/electronics-blogs/anablog/4442542/Celebrating-Hans-Camenzind-s-other-achievements?_mc=NL_EDN_EDT_EDN_review_20160819&cid=NL_EDN_EDT_EDN_review_20160819&elqTrackId=e3abc7caa4274ef39729e067dcca157f&elq=d27a3d3650094a98a9590dcfb80af14b&elqaid=33523&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=29306

    On this fourth anniversary of Hans Camenzind’s passing on August 15, 2012, I wanted to highlight some of the other technical achievements he had besides the ubiquitous 555 timer.

    Camenzind’s paper for the IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits in December 1978, entitled A Low Voltage IC Timer, co-authored by Richard Kash. Kash joined Fairchild after he got his BSEE in 1976 and later joined Interdesign in 1977. By the time that this paper was presented in 1978, Camenzind had founded Interdesign in 1970 to further his revolutionary ideas for IC design and was President there until 1977 when he founded Tridar to develop a phone that would function as a handheld phone and a speakerphone. Unfortunately, this company did not succeed.

    In this design, Camenzind used a neat sensing circuit to achieve the lower threshold and demonstrated that the 555 could function with a supply voltage of under 1 volt with good precision.

    It’s all about the current source design. In n-p-n diode-based current sources like in his original design and other existing IC designs at that time, designers needed to keep the transistors out of saturation so as to not steal current from the other current sources in the architecture of the current source design. Camenzind fashioned a saturation detector from n-p-n transistors because lateral p-n-p transistors would not function properly in sensing a saturation occurance.

    Back in 1966, ten years after the first issue of EDN, Camenzind determined that pulse width modulation (PWM) had great potential advantages in ICs, especially in a conventional audio amplifier which, at that time, was not really suitable for an IC design because of poor efficiency and high power

    Camenzind mentions that the maximum theoretical efficiency of a class B amplifier was 78 percent and, in practical circuits, it was difficult to reach an efficiency of more than 60 %. For

    Integrated class A and B amplifiers would not follow the trend of decreasing costs of that time.

    Camenzind showed in breadboarded models, using complementary transistors, an efficiency of 89 % was reached at 1W

    Reply
  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Building a computer out of 555 chips
    https://hackaday.com/2011/08/05/building-a-computer-out-of-555-chips/

    [M. Eric Carr] started off implementing Boolean logic with a 555. After building a universal gate, he moved onto putting one bit of memory in a single 555. This design uses the 555 as a latch and is one of the craziest off-spec uses of a 555.

    Reply
  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    What’s All This 555 Timer Stuff, Anyway?
    http://electronicdesign.com/analog/what-s-all-555-timer-stuff-anyway?NL=ED-003&Issue=ED-003_20170118_ED-003_800&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_1_b&utm_rid=CPG05000002750211&utm_campaign=9311&utm_medium=email&elq2=153434c9a60b473980342b6754b619b8

    Back in 2011, Jeff Hamilton contacted Bob Pease, asking for Bob’s experience with the classic 555 timer IC.

    Pease replied in his characteristically straightforward way. He noted:

    “Hi, Jeff H., I have almost never used a 555. Maybe never? I use op-amps, LM324′s, LM311′s, LF356′s. I use 74HC04′s and 74C14′s but not 555′s. I’ve used ECL fast logic, and discrete transistors. But the 555 just does not do anything precise, or even semi-precise, that I need done. So that’s one thing I can “share” – my favorite circuit to use a 555, is: a blank piece of paper. Never touch the things. Go ahead and print that. / rap”

    I agree with Pease, and have always regarded the 555 timer as more of a hobbyist IC. By that I mean it can get you in trouble in any volume application where repeatability and consistent performance is critical. Pease’s comment about the 555 not being precise is true.

    Furthermore, maybe you designed in the knock-off CMOS version, and the purchasing agent decided to be a hero and substitute some third-world-sourced, original bipolar part. After all, both parts have 555 in the part number, so they both must work, right?

    Other problems I have had with 555s involve their power-supply sensitivity.

    Then there are the problems we create with the components in our 555 circuits. If you use high-value resistors, you start to get problems with leakage.

    If you use large-value polarized capacitors, well, they not only have high leakage, but they are also very poor in reliability. Ceramic capacitors are microphonic; they will change the circuit frequency when you tap on them. The acoustic nature works both ways—the ceramics will emit sound if the circuit frequency is in the audio range.

    Thankfully, just like Maxim solved your power-on reset problems, Linear Technology has solved your 555 timing problems with its line of TimerBlox chips.

    http://www.linear.com/products/timerblox

    Reply
  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    You Know You Can Do That with a 555
    http://hackaday.com/2017/08/10/you-know-you-can-do-that-with-a-555/

    Hardly a week goes by that we don’t post a project where at least one commenter will lament that the hacker could have just used a 555. [Peter Monta] clearly gets that point of view. For a 555 design contest, he created both digital logic gates and an op amp, all using 555 chips. We can’t quite imagine the post apocalyptic world where the only surviving electronic components are 555 chips, but if that day were to come, [Peter] is your guy.

    Using the internal structure of the 555, [Peter] formed a basic logic gate, an inverter, latches, and more. He also composed things like counters and seven-segment decoders. He had a very simple 4-bit CPU design in Verilog that he was going to attempt until he realized it would map into almost 400 chips (half of that if you’d use a dual 555, but still)

    An op-amp made from 555 chips
    http://www.pmonta.com/555-contest/op-amp/op-amp.html

    Reply

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