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Weekend Project: The “Three Fives” Discrete 555 Timer

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My 6-year-old is a Circuit Playground fan. Although Adabot is by far his favorite character, Hans 555 is a close second. A colleague of mine thought The “Three Fives” Discrete 555 Timer by Evil Mad Scientist would be a fun project for my son and I to put together.

Although this kit isn’t geared towards 6-year-olds, there were plenty of things he was able to do. There was quite a bit of soldering, which meant there were quite a bit of resistors and transistors (43 in all!) to put into place on the circuit board. I let him take the lead on this portion of the project and he placed them all correctly! I then did all the soldering and let him clip the leads.

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Once the soldering was complete, he installed all the thumbscrews and assisted me in installing the IC Legs. Installing the IC Legs was a bit tricky so it was nice having a pair of extra hands!

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In less than 2 hours our 555 timer was finished and I have a very happy boy!

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Featured Adafruit Products!

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“Three Fives” Discrete 555 Timer Kit; The “Three Fives” Discrete 555 Timer kit from Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories is a faithful and functional transistor-scale replica of the classic NE555 timer integrated circuit, one of the most classic, popular, and all-around useful chips of all time. (Read more)


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Hans 555 Timer IC – Circuit Playground Plushie; Hans is the ‘old man’ of the group. He tends to be nervous and is often indecisive. Hans frequently changes his mind, and is a little fidgety (he oscillates) when he’s not moving around. He is very meticulous and precise in other ways; Hans does not like to compromise, preferring to be in a steady state until a dramatic change is called for. Hans speaks with the voice of a kindly old man with a Swiss-German accent, though his voice can become more nasally when he’s upset or feels strongly about something. His catchphrase is “maybe so, but perhaps not.” (Read more)


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