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555 Timer

This is a common 555 timer/oscillator from TI. A classic for all of those first year circuits projects where you need to blink an LED, generate tone, and thousands of other great beginning projects. Google around for a huge list of resources and example projects.

  • 4.5V to 16V supply
  • 8-pin DIP package
  • Timing from microseconds to hours
  • Astable or monostable operation
  • Adjustable duty cycle
  • TTL compatible output
  • Sink or source up to 200mA


555 Timer Product Help and Resources

Beginner Parts Kit Identification Guide

March 22, 2019

The essential parts for beginning (or even experienced) hobbyists that gives you all of the basic through-hole components you will need to get started playing with embedded projects. We'll identify a few parts in the kit and provide a few basic circuits to get started!

Boss Alarm

March 30, 2016

Build a Boss Alarm that alerts you of anyone walking into your office and automatically changes your computer screen.

LED Light Bar Hookup

September 24, 2013

A quick overview of SparkFun's LED light bars, and some examples to show how to hook them up.

Core Skill: Soldering

This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.

2 Soldering

Skill Level: Rookie - The number of pins increases, and you will have to determine polarity of components and some of the components might be a bit trickier or close together. You might need solder wick or flux.
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Core Skill: Programming

If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.

2 Programming

Skill Level: Rookie - You will need a better fundamental understand of what code is, and how it works. You will be using beginner-level software and development tools like Arduino. You will be dealing directly with code, but numerous examples and libraries are available. Sensors or shields will communicate with serial or TTL.
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Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

3 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Competent - You will be required to reference a datasheet or schematic to know how to use a component. Your knowledge of a datasheet will only require basic features like power requirements, pinouts, or communications type. Also, you may need a power supply that?s greater than 12V or more than 1A worth of current.
See all skill levels


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • The 555 timer can be used for a boost converter to take the 5V from a USB port and boost it up to 400V-600V! What's this useful for? Well, you could power a Geiger-Muller tube and detect radioactive hits. And maybe use that signal to pulse some Christmas lights on and off, visualizing the heartbeat of the cosmos as cosmic rays hit your Christmas tree: http://knek-tek.me/index.php/2018/01/09/radiation-controlled-christmas-lights/

  • It's amazing what you can do with this little IC, and very simple to use. For some demonstrations have a look here: The 555 Precision Timer IC

  • Dear: Sparkfun I am thinking about buying one of these to use it instead of your typical FM oscillator but I have a question. You see I am trying to build a pirate radio station but in order to do that I need an FM oscillator to do that. Here's my question can a 555 timer be used to emit 30 MHZ to about 300 MHZ because I am stuck on this question. Thank you if you do help. From: Noah

    • About a year late, but whatever. I read somewhere that these can only put out a hand-full of kHz. I can't find anything in the datasheet. I've been wanting to test one with an o-scope to see what I can get out of it. I'll edit this post when I finally get off my lazy butt and do it.

      • If you look at the datasheet specific to the TLC555 it states it will run up to 2MHz. When you let us know the results of your test, be sure to include the operating temperature and voltage in addition to the component values.

        • I found it--hiding in plain sight, of course. I also didn't notice it was a TLC555. I was thinking of the NE555, which its datasheet implies that 100kHz is the maximum. I won't be able to test it for a bit because, apparently, I didn't plug in my o-scope before piling a bunch of stuff where I can't get to the power strip :P

          • Take a close look at what Sparkfun sent to you. There is a difference in max oscillation frequency between the TLC555 and NE555 which will impact your testing. Looking forward to your results.

  • One of these, a small value cap, two large value pots, and a small speaker make interesting sounds. I got one to sound like a theremin.

  • So, I bought a couple of these, found schematics online, built the circuits, the LED turned on for the expected amount of time, then it does't work. I took the circuit apart and re-did it and the LED no longer turns on... I powered the whole thing with a 9V battery and has a resistor going to the LED to keep from frying it (learned that one the hard way a while ago) any suggestions?

  • Are these consistently a NE555 or a TLC555 low one? I prefer the TLC version but a book I once read said not to use it for general applications where the NE would work.

  • Here is another cool tutorial on the 555

  • It'd be nifty if you had the CMOS version (for lower voltage applications) National makes one in an SO-8 package, you've already got the SOIC breakout for it :D

  • The picture shows a tlc555cp. I received a ne555p. Are they the same?

  • Rather than using an entire microcontroller setup, I used 555 and 556 chips to make blinking Christmas cards this past year for friends and family. They loved the cards and the circuits were simple and fun to make. This chip is great both starting point for beginners and a powerful tool for experienced builders alike.

  • This is a great little chip. If you are thinking of purchasing or have already or just want some info here is a link for a video [HD] That will take you through step by step with HD pictures. This isn't spam it's just I had trouble finding a well done video with minimal components however i found this one it really helped: > Youtube Video

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