Connect with us

555 timer and 3V DC motor

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by John Popelish, Feb 16, 2004.

Scroll to continue with content
  1. Not necessarily. You also have to consider the bias current
    requirements of the 555. If the capacitor charging current approaches
    the bias current, the timing accuracy will also be degraded. If you
    adjust the time with a variable resistor, electrolytic caps can be
    pretty good for a long time. What timing accuracy are you needing?
    There is also a timing trick for electrolytics that improves the
    leakage situation for long times. Stack to wo similar capacitors in
    series across the supply, and use the center point as your timing
    node. This method passes the average leakage straight through and
    only the difference in leakage current shows up at the timer.

    No. The relay just has very low DC drop, compared to a transistor.
    If you can spare a few tenths of a volt, the transistor is fine. Keep
    in mind the current capability of the 555 output and the saturation
    current gain of the power transistor.
    The capacitor may help with radio frequency interference, but for good
    circuit operation, a bypass capacitor across the supply right at the
    points where the motor current leaves the area of the power switch is
    more important. That would be from the emitter of the power switch to
    the positive supply point where the motor connects. You also need a
    diode from collector to positive supply rail to carry the motor's
    inductive current when the switch first turns off, cathode band to the
    positive rail.
    Simplest and most efficient are two different solutions. A series
    resistor that sets the speed to about what you need is probably the
    simplest. The most efficient would be a something like a second 555
    timer set to mid ot high kilohertz frequency , gated on by the slow
    555 described, above, to act as a pulse duty modulator to lower the
    average voltage applied to the motor. If it puts out a pulse width
    that is about 1/3 of the total cycle time, the average voltage to the
    motor will be about 1/3 of the supply voltage, with no intentional
    losses. And the battery current will average a little more than 1/3
    of the motor current, extending the battery life, considerably. But
    you will have ot pay more attention to transistor turn on and turn off
    times and use a fast diode (Schottky) across the motor to keep the
    switching losses low.
  2. Jamie

    Jamie Guest

    using the range of caps that you have suggested may not work so well
    with the 555 timer considering the 15 sec's your looking for.
    you must look at the bias current the 555 timer needs to properly
    calculate the highest value resister that you can use.
    the Cmos type 555 may allow for much higher value resisters.
    as far as the motor being switched on via a transistor? the answer is
    obviously yes. you should use place both a Electrolytic and .o1 Ceramic
    type Disc Cap across the terminals of the motor for reduce both the
    RF Skin effects ( disc cap) and brush pulse noise and possible
    inductive regen ( Electrolytic)..
    adjusting the voltage is not a problem if you bias a NPN transistor
    from the output of the 555 with a voltage divider or a resister with
    a zener to regulate the voltage for constant speed.
  3. Rubicon

    Rubicon Guest


    I'm building a little 555 timer circuit that turns a small geared 3VDC
    motor on for an as yet undetermined time (estimated max 15seconds).

    When calculating the RC for the timing is it best to keep the
    capacitor at or under 1uF with larger resistor values so as to avoid
    using electrolytics? I thought they were leaky with wide tolerances
    and not good for timing applications.

    Most of the suitable monostable circuits I have seen so far have an
    NPN transistor with resistor on the 555 output controlling a relay
    with its protection diode. Is their a particular reason why a power
    transistor, eg BD139, can't be used to switch the motor and eliminate
    the relay?

    Also are there any special circuit requirements when using a motor
    apart from perhaps a 0.01 - 0.1uF suppression cap across the motors
    terminals? A reverse voltage diode placed somewhere?

    At the moment the V+ on my proto-board is regulated 5V and I'm using
    three diodes to drop the voltage for the 3V motor but eventually it'll
    be battery powered with the motor being activated once or twice a day
    for the max 15secs. The battery will possibly be a PP3 9V type. What
    is the simplest and hopefully most efficient way of reducing a much
    higher voltage for the motor? Dropping resistor, LM317 or... mmmm... a
    zener regulator of some sort?



    Remove the ZZ from E-Mail address to contact me.
  4. Rubicon wrote:
    I did say that it was simple. A series resistor does a poor job of
    regulating the motor resistance. Better than a series zener might be
    a linear adjustable voltage regulator like an LM317 on the positive
    side of the motor. You can tie the reference pin divider to the
    switch, so that the regulator compensates for the switch drop, too.
    3.3 volt zeners have no sharper knee than a series string of silicon
    diodes, and it is easier to find diodes rated for your motor current.
    But they all will provide regulation that is poor, compared to an
    active regulator.
  5. Rubicon

    Rubicon Guest

    Thankyou both for replying to my post.


    In answer to your question on timing no it's not critical and a 100uF
    electro with a 120K resistor and 50K trimmer is giving me a good range
    to work with. One thing I've found is when the circuit is first turned
    on the timing is more accurate to my calculations than if the
    temporary 10K resistor & switch for negative triggering is pushed
    again immediately afterwards. I suspect without any understanding that
    the electro isn't fully discharged. It's not a problem really, just an

    I had tired the transistor replacing the relay before asking here and
    now I know why it didn't work the first time. Not easy for it to with
    a 100K base resistor! 150 Ohms works fine at the proto-boards 5V+

    Using a dropping resistor.
    Never very good at maths but with a wouldn't it go like this?
    9V supply, 3V motor
    0.5A startup current drawn
    9V - 3V - 0.6V (transistor) = 5.4V
    5.4V / 0.5A = 10.8 ohms 2.7Watts


    0.23A constant current drawn.
    5.4V / 0.23A = 24 ohms 1.24Watts

    Which means that if I used the 10.8 ohm resistor the voltage would be
    O.K for the initial startup current but rise to almost 6V when the
    current drawn falls. At 3V the gearing provides 0.5rps, under 3V and
    the rpm falls and the torque drops sharply while much over 3V and I'm
    afraid of damaging the motor.

    Not sure but with a zener regulator using a 3V3 zener the series
    resistor would be.
    R = (Vin - Vzener) / I
    R = (9 - 3.3V) / 0.5A Max
    R = 11.4 ohms

    P = E * I
    P = (9V - 3.3V) * 0.5A Max
    P = 2.85 Watts


    Pzener = Vz * ILoad
    Pzener = 3.3V * 0.5A Max
    Pzener = 1.65 Watts

    As the 3V3 zener doesn't come in 5W I'd have to go higher to 5V1 or
    something and lose some voltage via diodes?

    If the Zener goes in reverse bias mode from the V- to before the
    switching transistors base resistor and the zeners resistor goes from
    that junction to V+ is the transistors 0.6V and motor diode included?
    ie 3V motor + 0.6 transistor + 0.6 diode = 4.2V or 4V3 closest zener?

    I shall read up on pulse duty modulators before asking about them.



    Remove the ZZ from E-Mail address to contact me.
Ask a Question
Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?
You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Electronics Point Logo
Continue to site
Quote of the day