Figure 1 shows the Discrete 555 Timer Kit designed by Eric Schlaepfer ( https://shop.evilmadscientist.com/ productsmenu/652). It replaces all the integrated components in the smaller IC version with much larger
discrete through-hole parts. Included are 13 2N3904s, 13
2N3906s, 17 resistors, and a board that is A WHOLE LOT
BIGGER than the normal die inside a 555 IC — all for $35.
The quality of the circuit board is excellent, and it went
together without a hitch. The electrical connections are
made through eight knurled knobs instead of the handsome
aluminum “pins” which act as legs for the board. All in all,
it’s a classy piece of work.
After finishing the kit, I cobbled together a little flashing
LED circuit to see if it would actually work like the real thing.
Blink, blink, blink it went. Success! I found a prominent place
on my treasure shelf and it has since impressed everyone
who has seen it. Of course, someone had to ask, “It sure
looks nice, but what is it good for?” So, I wracked my brain
for a suitable application. Figure 2 is the light-hearted result.
The Biggest and
You’ll Ever See!
I have a shelf in my
office where I display my
treasures, old and new.
There are some neat 3D
printed parts, old Nixie
tubes, and a vintage HP35
RPN calculator. I just added
a new plaything to my
collection: the discrete 555
timer from the Evil Mad
Scientist Laboratories. Figure 1. The giant “discrete 555 timer” soldering kit replicates the integrated circuitry
in the smaller DIP version.
Figure 2. The Gigantor 555 Shield ushers in a new era of robotic
safety with warning LEDs and beeper.
58 SERVO 09/10.2018
By David Goodsell