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.



  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Implementing A CPU Using 555 Timers And Logic Synthesis

    There is many a comment on these here pages along the lines of “Why did you use a microcontroller, when you could just have easily used a 555 timer!” And, yes, we sometimes agree with the sentiment, but when a chance comment seen by Hackaday.io user [Tim Böscke] suggested turning it around and building a microcontroller out of 555 timers, the gauntlet was well and truly thrown down. Now let’s be clear, this is not the first time we’ve come across this idea, there was a breadboard 555 based build ten years ago, but this is the first time we’ve seen it done by leveraging open source synthesis targeting a PCB!

    The first logic element was a simple inverter, constructed by tying the TRIGger and THReShold pins together.

    From there it was a simple matter of adding a few diode-resistor networks to the input, to effect a NAND2 gate and a NOR2 gate.

    [Tim] has previously created a minimalist CPU called MCPU, with a mere four instructions, designed to fit in a 32 macrocell FPGA, so was able to reuse that design for this project. The fun part was to leverage the PCBFlow toolchain [Tim] maintains, which implements a Yosys synthesis flow with a custom place and route (PnR) backend. A liberty file was produced describing the circuits (macrocells) [Tim] wanted to make use of, then a synthesis script implemented the flow using Yosys/GHDL to elabourate the design, map it into the technology defined earlier, and write out a netlist the PnR tool could use. Helpfully Yosys also writes out a PDF of the design as well as a spice netlist. What a tool!

    The PnR tool [Tim] created for PCBFlow was written in python, and outputs the XML format that Eagle can use.

    555ENabled Microprocessor
    A Microprocesser made in a digital logic family based on the NE555

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    All Hail Your New Giant 555 Timer Overlord

    You asked for it, and now you’ve got it. It’s taken more than a decade of accumulated complaining, but this gigantic 555 timer IC has finally gathered enough psychokinetic energy to take corporeal form and demand fealty from the readers of Hackaday.

    Or not. The less exciting explanation is that creator [Rudraksha Vegad] was looking for a way to combine his interests in discrete electronic components and woodworking. The result is an incredible build that’s more than just a conversation starter; this desktop-sized version of the iconic integrated timer circuit is fully functional. You can even hook it up to a breadboard, assuming you’ve got some alligator clips handy.


  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ATtiny555 Replaces 555 Timers with a Microcontroller That Simulates 555s
    Why use a timer when a microcontroller will do?

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    CD Player Powered 555 Piano Goes Accordion To Plan

    Ah yes, the 555 piano project. Be it the Atari Punk Console, or some other 555 based synthesizer, Hackers just love to hear what the 555 can do when attached to a few passives and a speaker. It’s a sound to behold. But for [Berna], that wasn’t quite enough! Below the break, you can see his creation, called the Acordeonador.


  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Dumping Firmware With a 555

    Put aside your FPGAs and high performance oscilloscopes – Here’s a two-chip solution to your reverse engineering needs

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Work The World On A 555

    Over the years the humble 555 timer has been used in so many unexpected places, but there’s a project from [Frank Latos] which we think may be a first. On a piece of stripboard sit a pair of 555s, and instead of the usual passives there are a set of LC circuits. This is no timer, instead it’s a CW (Morse) transmitter for the 80 metre amateur radio band.

    One 555 is configured as a feedback oscillator through a toroidal transformer with a tuned circuit to set the frequency of oscillation. The other takes an inverted input from the oscillator to produce complimentary push-pull outputs from both 555s, which are fed to another transformer that in turn feeds a low-pass filter and thus the antenna.

    Free-running squarewave oscillators of this type are not unusual for the lower HF bands, but we think this is the first 555 design we’ve seen.

    555 Contest: 4MHz (80 meter band) CW Transmitter
    A simple RF transmitter using only (2) LMC555s

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Surprise at what appeared to be a flaw in the design of the NE555 led to an interesting experiment and to the even more interesting history surrounding the #chip and its #designer.
    Read the full article: http://arw.li/6184KcoCO
    #EDN #IndustryNews #Engineering

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Informed Analysis Picks Better 555 Timer To Drive Power MOSFET
    Dec. 4, 2013
    The venerable 555-type timer makes an effective driver for power MOSFETs, but you have to understand the drive situation when selecting the correct variation of the basic timer. This idea shows how the wrong choice led to unreliable operation and failure, and the basic analysis that points to the correct choice.
    Michael Covington

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    555 Timer – Timer
    We’ve come full circle. Here’s a timer made up of timers…

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    This Magical Potion Rack Uses 555 Timers for Its Effects

    Built by Andy West from element14 Presents, this magical potion display integrates a pair of 555 timer circuits to create some neat effects

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Should’ve Used A 555 — Or 276 Of Them

    When asked to whip up a simple egg timer, most of us could probably come up with a quick design based on the ubiquitous 555 timer. Add a couple of passives around the little eight-pin DIP, put an LED on it to show when time runs out, and maybe even add a pot for variable timing intervals if we’re feeling fancy. Heck, many of us could do it from memory.

    So why exactly did [Jesse Farrell] manage to do essentially the same thing using a whopping 276 555s? Easy — because why not? Originally started as an entry in the latest iteration of our 555 Contest,



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