Electronic circuits that use the 555 Timer

555 Timer Circuits

555 Timers are fun and a great way to start learning electronics


The simplest 555 oscillator takes output pin 3 to capacitor C1 via  resistor R1.
When the circuit is turned on, C1 is uncharged and output pin 3 is HIGH. C1 charges via R1 and when Pin 6 detects 2/3 rail voltage, output pin 3 goes LOW. R1 now discharges capacitor C1 and when pin 2 detects 1/3 rail voltage, output pin 3 goes HIGH to repeat the cycle:


The amount of time when the output is HIGH is called the MARK and the time when the output is LOW is called the SPACE.
In the above diagram the mark is the same length as the space and this is called 1:1
This ratio can be altered by adding a diode and resistor as shown in the following diagrams. In the first diagram, the 555 comes ON with pin 3 low and pin 3 immediately detects this low and makes pin 3 HIGH. The 10n is quickly charged via the diode and 4k7 and this is why the MARK is "short." When the capacitor is 2/3Vcc, pin 6 detects a HIGH and the output of the 555 goes LOW. The 10n is discharged via the 33k and this creates the long-duration SPACE (LOW). The second diagram creates a long-duration HIGH:

Comment on this circuit or view the Electronic Circuits Community Forum.