- October 1, 2015 at 3:03 pm #1266melcusParticipant
A while ago I remember you posted a video about using a 555 timer to create a beacon, I couldn’t find it but I though I would have a go anyway. As the local electronics stores was charging the same amount for a 556 timer as a 555 timer I decided to just get the 556.
So after a bit of goggling I got the pinout for the 556 and a few example circuits for a flashing led a long with a calculator to work out the flashing rate, everything was going well until I actually tried to make it :).
So according most websites I have looked at the high time for the circuit = 0.693 * (R1+R2) * C
I have tried a number of different values but for now lets just say
R1 = 10K ohms
R2 = 4.7K ohms
C = 0.1uF
which should give me up time of approx 10 seconds and down time of approx 3 seconds.
In my circuit all I get is up time the led never goes out.
So I played around with different resistors but the led never flashes and then by accident I found out the resistors and capacitor aren’t having any effect on the led at all, infact the only pins that are having any effect are the power and reset pins. In the example circuit I am using the power and rest pins ate both mean to be connected to the battery, well I found when I build the circuit as long as one of those is wired up the led connected to the output pin will light up.
Any ideas on where I have done wrong here?
I have tried both side of the 556 timer.
My battery pack is 4 AA bateries.
The circuit I am using can be found at
MelOctober 2, 2015 at 11:02 am #1267RC Tractor GuyKeymaster
Hi, I put those values into this calculator and it say’s that frequency would be around 750 Hz which I’m pretty sure is too fast for the human eye to perceive so it would probably just look like the LED was on all the time. Try to chose some values that would be under 20 Hz and you should be able to see the LED flashing, maybe a 10uF cap if you had it. I think that’s the problem anyway.
October 4, 2015 at 5:13 pm #1271melcusParticipant
- This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by RC Tractor Guy.
Thanks for that, slightly embarrassing that I don’t know where my decimal point goes, but to make matters worse I realised I was using a .01 uF capacitor rather than .1. Anyway change of capacitor and resistors and I now have a flashing led.
Mel.October 4, 2015 at 10:10 pm #1286RC Tractor GuyKeymaster
An easy mistake to make, glad it’s working for you.
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