Category Archives: Audio Adventures

Audio Adventures in Science, Pseudioscience and Nonsense with Tim Pickup.

Audio Adventures: 555 Timer

Once again, Tim explores the sonic possiblities of everyday electronics:

“The 555 is an integrated circuit (chip) implementing a variety of timer and multivibrator applications. The IC was designed and invented by Hans R. Camenzind. It was designed in 1970 and introduced in 1971 by Signetics (later acquired by Philips). The original name was the SE555/NE555 and was called “The IC Time Machine”. It is still in wide use, thanks to its ease of use, low price and good stability. Still today, Samsung in Korea manufactures over 1 billion units per year (2003).

The 555 timer is one of the most popular and versatile integrated circuits ever produced. It includes 23 transistors, 2 diodes and 16 resistors on a silicon chip installed in an 8-pin mini dual-in-line package (DIP). The 556 is a 14-pin DIP that combines two 555s on a single chip. The 558 is a 16-pin DIP that combines four, slightly modified, 555s on a single chip (DIS & THR are connected internally, TR is falling edge sensitive instead of level sensitive). Also available are ultra-low power versions of the 555 such as the 7555. The 7555 has a slightly different wiring using less external components and less power.” – (Source: Wikipedia)

Audio Adventures: VLF

Very low frequency or VLF refers to radio frequencies (RF) in the range of 3 to 30 kHz. Many natural electrical phenomena such as storms and lightning produce VLF emissions, and these can be recorded and enhanced using simple radio receiving equipmment.