LM3909 replacement with low power consumption

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Brooke Clarke, Aug 8, 2003.

  1. Hi:

    Since the LM3909 flasher chip is long out of production is there a
    replacement chip or circuit that has the same or lower power consumption
    (assuming the same LED was used on both)?
    I did find a web page that implemented the schematic from the LM3909
    using discrete components. Is this the lowest power consumption approach?

    Thanks,

    Brooke Clarke, N6GCE
     
    Brooke Clarke, Aug 8, 2003
    #1
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  2. On Fri, 08 Aug 2003 09:03:46 -0700, the renowned Brooke Clarke
    <> wrote:

    >Hi:
    >
    >Since the LM3909 flasher chip is long out of production is there a
    >replacement chip or circuit that has the same or lower power consumption
    >(assuming the same LED was used on both)?
    >I did find a web page that implemented the schematic from the LM3909
    >using discrete components. Is this the lowest power consumption approach?


    Looks easy enough- all the values are given on the schematic. Just
    have to replace that mutant dual-collector transistor with two
    discretes with emitter-ballast resistors. Probably fit it on a PCB not
    much bigger than a DIP-8. ;-)

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
    --
    "it's the network..." "The Journey is the reward"
    Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
    Embedded software/hardware/analog Info for designers: http://www.speff.com
     
    Spehro Pefhany, Aug 8, 2003
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Brooke Clarke

    Rolavine Guest

    >From: Brooke Clarke

    >Since the LM3909 flasher chip is long out of production is there a
    >replacement chip or circuit that has the same or lower power consumption


    There is so much talk of this chip maybe someone should bring it back to life,
    I can't believe it was hard to make?
     
    Rolavine, Aug 9, 2003
    #3
  4. Brooke Clarke

    S. Pefhany Guest

    "Rolavine" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > >From: Brooke Clarke

    >
    > There is so much talk of this chip maybe someone should bring it back to

    life,
    >I can't believe it was hard to make?


    Probably more of a market size thing. It won't work on a blue LED either.
    There are more power-hungry (3V and more current) chips that do a similar
    thing for very cheap (no electrolytic cap) available. See, for example, the
    flasher on some (Logitek?) mouse boxes.

    SP
     
    S. Pefhany, Aug 9, 2003
    #4
  5. Brooke Clarke

    Jim Thompson Guest

    On Sat, 9 Aug 2003 12:13:37 -0400, "S. Pefhany" <>
    wrote:

    >
    >"Rolavine" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> >From: Brooke Clarke

    >>
    >> There is so much talk of this chip maybe someone should bring it back to

    >life,
    >>I can't believe it was hard to make?

    >
    >Probably more of a market size thing. It won't work on a blue LED either.
    >There are more power-hungry (3V and more current) chips that do a similar
    >thing for very cheap (no electrolytic cap) available. See, for example, the
    >flasher on some (Logitek?) mouse boxes.
    >
    >SP
    >


    The LM3909, originally called "The Miser", was designed by fellow MIT
    class of 1962 grad Robert A. Hirschfeld back in the '60's.

    Then he went on to become a lawyer, espoused father's rights in child
    custody cases, and was ultimately disbarred here in Arizona a few
    years ago ;-)

    One of my own lawyers is married to Hirschfeld's daughter.

    John F. Banzhaf III was also an EE graduate of the class of 1962.
    He's now the lawyer behind all the suits against junk food. Gives you
    an idea what a weird graduating class that was ;-)

    Back to the LM3909...

    The data sheet schematic is a reasonably good representation of the
    actual circuit... seems you young bucks might copy it as a discrete
    circuit and embellish it for blue LEDs.

    ...Jim Thompson
    --
    | James E.Thompson, P.E. | mens |
    | Analog Innovations, Inc. | et |
    | Analog/Mixed-Signal ASIC's and Discrete Systems | manus |
    | Phoenix, Arizona Voice:(480)460-2350 | |
    | Jim-T@analog_innovations.com Fax:(480)460-2142 | Brass Rat |
    | http://www.analog-innovations.com | 1962 |

    For proper E-mail replies SWAP "-" and "_"

    Why is it that Democrats can't debate politely?
    And are only rude and interruptive.
    Lack of mental capacity?
     
    Jim Thompson, Aug 9, 2003
    #5
  6. Brooke Clarke

    Ben Bradley Guest

    In sci.electronics.design, Jim Thompson <Jim-T@analog_innovations.com>
    wrote:

    >Back to the LM3909...
    >
    >The data sheet schematic is a reasonably good representation of the
    >actual circuit... seems you young bucks might copy it as a discrete
    >circuit and embellish it for blue LEDs.


    I recall seeing several brands of microcontrollers available in
    8-pin packages, or other packages about the same size as an 8-pin DIP
    (fully self-contained, flash-programmable, internal R-C oscillator)
    that could be easily programmable as a "LED flasher", perhaps even
    with flash speed controlled an external capacitor. Perhaps the best
    for low current consumption would be the MSP430.
    These are less than a dollar each. What did the LM3909 cost?
    One possible problem is these things work at lower and lower
    voltages, perhaps too low to light a blue LED.
    How would this compare with a 555, either bipolar or CMOS version?
    How many ways are there to skin a cat?

    > ...Jim Thompson
    >--
    >| James E.Thompson, P.E. | mens |
    >| Analog Innovations, Inc. | et |
    >| Analog/Mixed-Signal ASIC's and Discrete Systems | manus |
    >| Phoenix, Arizona Voice:(480)460-2350 | |
    >| Jim-T@analog_innovations.com Fax:(480)460-2142 | Brass Rat |
    >| http://www.analog-innovations.com | 1962 |
    >
    > For proper E-mail replies SWAP "-" and "_"
    >
    > Why is it that Democrats can't debate politely?
    > And are only rude and interruptive.
    > Lack of mental capacity?
     
    Ben Bradley, Aug 9, 2003
    #6
  7. Brooke Clarke

    Rob Paisley Guest

    Brooke Clarke <> wrote in message news:<>...
    > Hi:
    >
    > Since the LM3909 flasher chip is long out of production is there a
    > replacement chip or circuit that has the same or lower power consumption
    > (assuming the same LED was used on both)?
    > I did find a web page that implemented the schematic from the LM3909
    > using discrete components. Is this the lowest power consumption approach?
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Brooke Clarke, N6GCE


    You can reduce the curent draw of this circuit -
    http://home.cogeco.ca/~rpaisley4/LM3909.html - by increasing the
    values of the resistors in the circuit.

    The circuit worked fine when R3 and R4 were doubled.

    Rob.
     
    Rob Paisley, Aug 10, 2003
    #7
  8. Brooke Clarke

    Jim Thompson Guest

    On 9 Aug 2003 17:52:19 -0700, (Rob Paisley) wrote:

    >Brooke Clarke <> wrote in message news:<>...
    >> Hi:
    >>
    >> Since the LM3909 flasher chip is long out of production is there a
    >> replacement chip or circuit that has the same or lower power consumption
    >> (assuming the same LED was used on both)?
    >> I did find a web page that implemented the schematic from the LM3909
    >> using discrete components. Is this the lowest power consumption approach?
    >>
    >> Thanks,
    >>
    >> Brooke Clarke, N6GCE

    >
    > You can reduce the curent draw of this circuit -
    >http://home.cogeco.ca/~rpaisley4/LM3909.html - by increasing the
    >values of the resistors in the circuit.
    >
    > The circuit worked fine when R3 and R4 were doubled.
    >
    >Rob.


    Q2 should be diode driven (which is what that lateral PNP
    representation is equivalent to). The website implementation may be
    prone to leakage problems at high temperatures.

    My attempt at ASCII:

    ---------------(5)
    | |
    \ | | /
    >|---+----|<

    | | |
    /| | | \
    |_____| |
    | |
    (B) (C)



    ...Jim Thompson
    --
    | James E.Thompson, P.E. | mens |
    | Analog Innovations, Inc. | et |
    | Analog/Mixed-Signal ASIC's and Discrete Systems | manus |
    | Phoenix, Arizona Voice:(480)460-2350 | |
    | Jim-T@analog_innovations.com Fax:(480)460-2142 | Brass Rat |
    | http://www.analog-innovations.com | 1962 |

    For proper E-mail replies SWAP "-" and "_"

    Why is it that Democrats can't debate politely?
    And are only rude and interruptive.
    Lack of mental capacity?
     
    Jim Thompson, Aug 10, 2003
    #8
  9. Brooke Clarke

    dan williams Guest

    an 8 bit microprocessor is more efficient flashing a led than a 3909
    was!!!???!!
    somehow I have doubts...

    dan

    Ben Bradley wrote:
    >
    > In sci.electronics.design, Jim Thompson <Jim-T@analog_innovations.com>
    > wrote:
    >
    > >Back to the LM3909...
    > >
    > >The data sheet schematic is a reasonably good representation of the
    > >actual circuit... seems you young bucks might copy it as a discrete
    > >circuit and embellish it for blue LEDs.

    >
    > I recall seeing several brands of microcontrollers available in
    > 8-pin packages, or other packages about the same size as an 8-pin DIP
    > (fully self-contained, flash-programmable, internal R-C oscillator)
    > that could be easily programmable as a "LED flasher", perhaps even
    > with flash speed controlled an external capacitor. Perhaps the best
    > for low current consumption would be the MSP430.
    > These are less than a dollar each. What did the LM3909 cost?
    > One possible problem is these things work at lower and lower
    > voltages, perhaps too low to light a blue LED.
    > How would this compare with a 555, either bipolar or CMOS version?
    > How many ways are there to skin a cat?
    >
    > > ...Jim Thompson
    > >--
    > >| James E.Thompson, P.E. | mens |
    > >| Analog Innovations, Inc. | et |
    > >| Analog/Mixed-Signal ASIC's and Discrete Systems | manus |
    > >| Phoenix, Arizona Voice:(480)460-2350 | |
    > >| Jim-T@analog_innovations.com Fax:(480)460-2142 | Brass Rat |
    > >| http://www.analog-innovations.com | 1962 |
    > >
    > > For proper E-mail replies SWAP "-" and "_"
    > >
    > > Why is it that Democrats can't debate politely?
    > > And are only rude and interruptive.
    > > Lack of mental capacity?


    --
    Dan Williams, Owner
    Electronic Device Services
    (604) 741 8431
    RR8 855 Oshea rd
    Gibsons BC Canada
    V0N 1V8
     
    dan williams, Aug 10, 2003
    #9
  10. In article <>, Jim-
    T@analog_innovations.com mentioned...
    > On 9 Aug 2003 17:52:19 -0700, (Rob Paisley) wrote:
    >
    > >Brooke Clarke <> wrote in message news:<>...
    > >> Hi:
    > >>
    > >> Since the LM3909 flasher chip is long out of production is there a
    > >> replacement chip or circuit that has the same or lower power consumption
    > >> (assuming the same LED was used on both)?
    > >> I did find a web page that implemented the schematic from the LM3909
    > >> using discrete components. Is this the lowest power consumption approach?
    > >>
    > >> Thanks,
    > >>
    > >> Brooke Clarke, N6GCE

    > >
    > > You can reduce the curent draw of this circuit -
    > >http://home.cogeco.ca/~rpaisley4/LM3909.html - by increasing the
    > >values of the resistors in the circuit.
    > >
    > > The circuit worked fine when R3 and R4 were doubled.
    > >
    > >Rob.

    >
    > Q2 should be diode driven (which is what that lateral PNP
    > representation is equivalent to). The website implementation may be
    > prone to leakage problems at high temperatures.
    >
    > My attempt at ASCII:
    >
    > ---------------(5)
    > | |
    > \ | | /
    > >|---+----|<

    > | | |
    > /| | | \
    > |_____| |
    > | |
    > (B) (C)
    >
    >
    >
    > ...Jim Thompson



    I think he ought to rename it Dis-integrated Circuit.

    One Q. I've seen the LMC555 (or other CMOS 555) working off a 1.5V
    cell. How far below 1.5V does it work?


    --
    @@F@r@o@m@@O@r@a@n@g@e@@C@o@u@n@t@y@,@@C@a@l@,@@w@h@e@r@e@@
    ###Got a Question about ELECTRONICS? Check HERE First:###
    http://users.pandora.be/educypedia/electronics/databank.htm
    My email address is whitelisted. *All* email sent to it
    goes directly to the trash unless you add NOSPAM in the
    Subject: line with other stuff. alondra101 <at> hotmail.com
    Don't be ripped off by the big book dealers. Go to the URL
    that will give you a choice and save you money(up to half).
    http://www.everybookstore.com You'll be glad you did!
    Just when you thought you had all this figured out, the gov't
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    @@t@h@e@@a@f@f@l@u@e@n@t@@m@e@e@t@@t@h@e@@E@f@f@l@u@e@n@t@@
     
    Watson A.Name - 'Watt Sun', Aug 10, 2003
    #10
  11. Brooke Clarke

    Fred Bloggs Guest

    Spehro Pefhany wrote:
    > On Sun, 10 Aug 2003 06:19:48 -0700, the renowned Watson A.Name - 'Watt
    > Sun' <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>One Q. I've seen the LMC555 (or other CMOS 555) working off a 1.5V
    >>cell. How far below 1.5V does it work?

    >
    >
    > TI has some that are (loosely) spec'd at 1.0V.
    >
    > http://www.scanti.ru/docs/datasheets/slfs044b.pdf
    >
    >
    > Best regards,
    > Spehro Pefhany


    There are also those wall-clock chips produced by the gazzillions-
    overkill for a LED flasher but will do the job nicely- and low voltage too.
     
    Fred Bloggs, Aug 10, 2003
    #11
  12. Jim Thompson <Jim-T@analog_innovations.com> wrote in message news:<>...
    > On Sat, 9 Aug 2003 12:13:37 -0400, "S. Pefhany" <>
    > wrote:
    >
    > >
    > >"Rolavine" <> wrote in message
    > >news:...
    > >> >From: Brooke Clarke
    > >>
    > >> There is so much talk of this chip maybe someone should bring it back to

    > life,
    > >>I can't believe it was hard to make?

    > >
    > >Probably more of a market size thing. It won't work on a blue LED either.
    > >There are more power-hungry (3V and more current) chips that do a similar
    > >thing for very cheap (no electrolytic cap) available. See, for example, the
    > >flasher on some (Logitek?) mouse boxes.
    > >
    > >SP
    > >

    >
    > The LM3909, originally called "The Miser", was designed by fellow MIT
    > class of 1962 grad Robert A. Hirschfeld back in the '60's.
    >
    > Then he went on to become a lawyer, espoused father's rights in child
    > custody cases, and was ultimately disbarred here in Arizona a few
    > years ago ;-)
    >

    That name sounded familiar, and my memory was saying he wrote
    an article about the LM370 for one of the ham magazines. But
    being too lazy to try to find the article, I did a websearch,
    and I was right, he apparently designed it and the others in
    that sequence like the LM373.

    I found a webpage about him and his legal battles, here:
    http://www.nolawyer.com/badjudge/rahbio.html

    My memory says the LM3909 didn't become available until some
    years into the seventies, like maybe 1974. I had no idea
    there was that much time between design and actual production.
    But that webpage mentions he left National and founded Lithic Systems.
    producing "the first radio transmitter on a chip". I remember
    that, it was the LP2000, and I know I read about it in the fall
    of 1972. I know I've mentioned the IC, for historical reasons,
    a few times in the newsgroups, but apparently not by number.
    I see you did post a detailed email from Bob about his designs,
    back in 1998, which I don't remember reading before.

    Michael
     
    Michael Black, Aug 11, 2003
    #12
  13. In article <>,
    mentioned...
    >
    >
    > Spehro Pefhany wrote:
    > > On Sun, 10 Aug 2003 06:19:48 -0700, the renowned Watson A.Name - 'Watt
    > > Sun' <> wrote:
    > >
    > >
    > >>One Q. I've seen the LMC555 (or other CMOS 555) working off a 1.5V
    > >>cell. How far below 1.5V does it work?

    > >
    > >
    > > TI has some that are (loosely) spec'd at 1.0V.
    > >
    > > http://www.scanti.ru/docs/datasheets/slfs044b.pdf


    Thanks for the info. So the CMOS 555 can serve as an alternative if
    you don't mind the extra parts. But then, everyone knows the 555
    astable circuit.

    > > Best regards,
    > > Spehro Pefhany

    >
    > There are also those wall-clock chips produced by the gazzillions-
    > overkill for a LED flasher but will do the job nicely- and low voltage too.


    But don't they need a xtal? Not something that you can come by
    easily.


    --
    @@F@r@o@m@@O@r@a@n@g@e@@C@o@u@n@t@y@,@@C@a@l@,@@w@h@e@r@e@@
    ###Got a Question about ELECTRONICS? Check HERE First:###
    http://users.pandora.be/educypedia/electronics/databank.htm
    My email address is whitelisted. *All* email sent to it
    goes directly to the trash unless you add NOSPAM in the
    Subject: line with other stuff. alondra101 <at> hotmail.com
    Don't be ripped off by the big book dealers. Go to the URL
    that will give you a choice and save you money(up to half).
    http://www.everybookstore.com You'll be glad you did!
    Just when you thought you had all this figured out, the gov't
    changed it: http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/binary.html
    @@t@h@e@@a@f@f@l@u@e@n@t@@m@e@e@t@@t@h@e@@E@f@f@l@u@e@n@t@@
     
    Watson A.Name - 'Watt Sun', Aug 11, 2003
    #13
  14. In article <>,
    mentioned...
    > an 8 bit microprocessor is more efficient flashing a led than a 3909
    > was!!!???!!
    > somehow I have doubts...
    >
    > dan


    Yeah. Don't you just _love_ these short-sighted people that suggest
    using a uC for a LED flasher? They have absoluely no consideration
    for the roadblocks others would have to overcome with a uC. He said,
    "..less than a dollar each." Did he _ever_ consider what the person
    would have to pay for a programmer? No! And then the time the person
    would have to spend programming, debugging, and burning the chip?
    Didn't consider that either.

    And there's the overkill factor. Like why to people insist on using
    something like this to do such a simple job? I takes a couple
    transistors and a few parts to flash a LED, not a microcontroller!

    > Ben Bradley wrote:


    [snip]

    > > I recall seeing several brands of microcontrollers available in
    > > 8-pin packages, or other packages about the same size as an 8-pin DIP
    > > (fully self-contained, flash-programmable, internal R-C oscillator)
    > > that could be easily programmable as a "LED flasher", perhaps even
    > > with flash speed controlled an external capacitor. Perhaps the best
    > > for low current consumption would be the MSP430.
    > > These are less than a dollar each. What did the LM3909 cost?


    --
    @@F@r@o@m@@O@r@a@n@g@e@@C@o@u@n@t@y@,@@C@a@l@,@@w@h@e@r@e@@
    ###Got a Question about ELECTRONICS? Check HERE First:###
    http://users.pandora.be/educypedia/electronics/databank.htm
    My email address is whitelisted. *All* email sent to it
    goes directly to the trash unless you add NOSPAM in the
    Subject: line with other stuff. alondra101 <at> hotmail.com
    Don't be ripped off by the big book dealers. Go to the URL
    that will give you a choice and save you money(up to half).
    http://www.everybookstore.com You'll be glad you did!
    Just when you thought you had all this figured out, the gov't
    changed it: http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/binary.html
    @@t@h@e@@a@f@f@l@u@e@n@t@@m@e@e@t@@t@h@e@@E@f@f@l@u@e@n@t@@
     
    Watson A.Name - 'Watt Sun', Aug 11, 2003
    #14
  15. > Since the LM3909 flasher chip is long out of production is there a
    > replacement chip or circuit that has the same or lower power consumption


    BTW, did you know that there is a sub? (NTE876). Mouser carries it,
    and it's in stock, though I dunno if it's in production.
     
    Lewin A.R.W. Edwards, Aug 11, 2003
    #15
  16. Brooke Clarke

    Tim Shoppa Guest

    Watson A.Name - 'Watt Sun' <> wrote in message news:<>...
    > In article <>,
    > mentioned...
    > >
    > >
    > > Spehro Pefhany wrote:
    > > > On Sun, 10 Aug 2003 06:19:48 -0700, the renowned Watson A.Name - 'Watt
    > > > Sun' <> wrote:
    > > >
    > > >
    > > >>One Q. I've seen the LMC555 (or other CMOS 555) working off a 1.5V
    > > >>cell. How far below 1.5V does it work?
    > > >
    > > >
    > > > TI has some that are (loosely) spec'd at 1.0V.
    > > >
    > > > http://www.scanti.ru/docs/datasheets/slfs044b.pdf

    >
    > Thanks for the info. So the CMOS 555 can serve as an alternative if
    > you don't mind the extra parts.


    Sort-of. The neat thing about the LM3909 is that when you run it off of
    1.5V it delivers two-volt pulses to the LED. And when the battery is down
    to 1.0V it's delivering about 1.5V to the LED, enough to be visible.

    While on a fresh 1.5 cell a LMC555 will be blinking the LED, by the time
    the cell voltage is down to 1.0V you won't be able to see the LED blink.
    (Using a low-voltage incadescent bulb may do the trick, though.)

    Tim.
     
    Tim Shoppa, Aug 12, 2003
    #16
  17. Brooke Clarke

    Mitch Guest

    Both Mouser and B.G.Micro show stock availability on the LM3909. Be
    prepared to pay a fortune for them though.

    Mitch
    "Brooke Clarke" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hi:
    >
    > Since the LM3909 flasher chip is long out of production is there a
    > replacement chip or circuit that has the same or lower power consumption
    > (assuming the same LED was used on both)?
    > I did find a web page that implemented the schematic from the LM3909
    > using discrete components. Is this the lowest power consumption approach?
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Brooke Clarke, N6GCE
    >
     
    Mitch, Aug 21, 2003
    #17
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