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555 Problem - New

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Jim Dye, Nov 18, 2005.

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  1. Jim Dye

    Jim Dye Guest

    As described previously, I have my first 555 project, a LED flasher that
    looks like (The one
    the 9V battery shown)

    I have found numerous examples of the same circuit around the net...but
    this one looks the clearest.

    I have C as 100uF, R1 as 1K and R2 as 22K. Using the calculator, that
    should have the LED flashing on and off for about 1.5 seconds each state.

    The LED is set to draw 10mA on 9V

    I got some solid core wire and was able to get things running....sort of.

    Using that diagram above, I have one LED/resistor connected from pin 3 to
    (+) and the other from pin 3 to (-).

    When I hit the juice, the two lights alternate on and off as expected at
    about 1.5 second intervals. However, after a few minutes the lights stop
    flashing and the LED connected to (+) remains solid on.

    If I remove the LED to (-). The other LED blinks for a while then goes
    steady on. If I put the (-) one back and remove the one connected to (+)
    it too blinks for a while then goes to solid on.

    Any ideas?
  2. Bill Bowden

    Bill Bowden Guest

    If I remove the LED to (-). The other LED blinks for a while
    I would check your battery voltage to make sure it's not dead or below
    6 volts. Also you are wasting power using a 1 K resistor for R1. When
    pin 7 goes low to discharge the capacitor, it supplies 9 milliamps into
    R1, so you have about a constant 4.5 mA loss in R1. I would use 10K for
    R1 and 100K for R2 and maybe 22uF for C. That will give you same times
    and save 5 milliamps.

    There is also another problem that the 555 output will not move all the
    way to +9. It will only get within 2 volts, or about 7 volts on a 9
    volt battery. This means when the 555 output moves high to 7 volts, you
    still have 2 volts across the LED and resistor connected to +9 which
    may turn it on. Also, you need a larger resistor for the LED connected
    to +9. For 15 mA current, the resistor will be 470 ohms, not 330.

    There is a CMOS version of the 555 (I forget the number) that moves all
    the way from ground to +V on the output. The dual LED circuit may work
    better with that part and both resistors can be 470 ohms.

    Another idea is to use 2 LEDs in series connected to +9 with a 330 ohm
    resistor. That way the two LEDs cannot light with only 2 volts applied.

    Another idea is to use ultra bright LEDs that are bright at a few
    milliamps so the little 9 volt battery lasts longer. Raise the LED
    resistor values about 5 times and the battery will last much longer.

  3. I'm using an AC adaptor.
    So, as a general rule is less capacitance/more resistance better here?

    What might be the down side of going to

    10K 1M 2.2uF

    I have some of those TLC555s. Might try them.

    I have also been fooling around with some 556 (dual 555s). However I get
    some funky results.

    I was using 1.2K and 12K to get a one second flash and running along side
    of the configuration mentioned previously. The 556 did not have the
    problem of the flash stopping. However, there was some "residual
    current". Every other flash of the 1 second LED gets followed by a very
    noticable dim period before final cut off. The same happens on 1.5 on/1.5
    off circuit but it is less noticable.

    As a general rule would one be better off with one 556 or two 555s?
  4. Bill Bowden

    Bill Bowden Guest

    So, as a general rule is less capacitance/more resistance better here?
    I like to stay in the range of 10K to 100K. If you go higher than 100K,
    you have insulationn problems and the resistance drops with any
    moisture on the circuit board. If you go lower than 10K, you waste too
    much power.
    I imagine a 556 would be better in most cases. But, there could be some
    feedback problems between the 2 circuits that might be cured by using
    two 555s with separate decoupling networks to the power supply. When
    you have several circuits on the same PC board that may talk to each
    other, it's sometimes helpful to run a small resistor from +V to each
    circuit and also a filter cap from the other side of the resistor to
    ground. That prevents any noise from one circuit getting into the power
    supply line of another circuit. Just choose the resistor so it drops a
    small percentage of the supply voltage. Maybe give up 1 volt on a 12
    volt supply and let the circuits run on 11 volts.

  5. Jim Dye

    Jim Dye Guest

    Is that both resistors in the range 10K to 100K or just R1.

    Would you see a problem with R1 == 10K, R2 == 1M, C = 2.2uf
  6. Jim Dye

    Jim Dye Guest

    Any idea what might cause this oddity....

    I tested

    R1 = 10K, R2 = 220K, C = 10uF as suggested (1.5S on, 1.5S off)
    R1 = 120K, R2 = 12K, C = 10UF (1S flash)

    on a 555 and all worked fine.

    However, I tried it on a 556 (dual 555) and first configuration looks as
    expected. However, the second looks like



    I switched the pairs of resistors and got the same result on both sides.
  7. Bill Bowden

    Bill Bowden Guest

    Any idea what might cause this oddity....

    Usually, the problems are associated with the power supply, or inputs
    not terminated.

    Try using a 1uF cap across the power terminals of the 556 and terminate
    all unused inputs to ground or +v. Pins 6,8,2,12 can be grounded if not
    used. Pins 3 and 11 can remain open unless you want to apply an
    external voltage to change the trigger and threshold voltages. Pins 4
    and 10 are resets and should be connected to +v if not used for the
    reset function.

  8. Jim Dye

    Jim Dye Guest

    Do you meen connect the input (+) and input (-) with a 1uF capacitor?
  9. Bill Bowden

    Bill Bowden Guest

    Do you meen connect the input (+) and input (-) with a 1uF capacitor?

    Yes, connect the capacitor from pin 14 to 7. Plus side goes to pin 14.

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