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In your opinion, what is the most useful intergrated circuit ever prod

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I am just getting into solid state electronics, and I would have to say that not much beats the 555 IC timer chip... I mean, it seems like you could use it for everything.

:P

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I am just getting into solid state electronics, and I would have to say that not much beats the 555 IC timer chip... I mean, it seems like you could use it for everything.

:P

When I read your header, the 555 was what came to my mind. Of my limited knowledge, that is a great chip.

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Yeah, to bad I am having a hard time understanding it... >_>

I need to make a driver circuit for a project I am doing, using the TLC555 as it can reach frequencies up to about 2.4Mhz... but I want to understand it first.

Any one here pretty good with 555s?

Anyway, yeah the 555 IC is pretty damn flexible chip.

EDIT:

Also, is there anyway I could design an accurate and cheap circuit that produces freqs around or above 24Ghz? Sorry, this wasn't a post asking for help, but I am trying to get into HAM radio and, well, HVHF electronics in general. My guess is I would have to make my own capacitors for a job like that. Basically, I want to be able to hear what is going on at 175Ghz and above... not that you can do that with a 555 timer IC... Anyway, I have a feeling that either 1) Nobody cells equipment like this to civillians 2) this equipment is expensive to buy, ship and maintain 3) phucking around at such high freqs will get the attention of certain govenrment agencies (not that I care) 4) this is just not attainable with the current technology that is available to the public or even most private organizations.

I think it would be pretty sweet for an amature to get up and above 500Ghz or even 1Thz (wait a second that's just infrared light... oops lol).

Edited by baby-Hackribs
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When I read your header, the 555 was what came to my mind. Of my limited knowledge, that is a great chip.

Same here

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555's are pretty easy to use, but id have to say a transistor a led or a diode since they are in almost all integrated circuits and transistors make amps and sound is good

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Also, is there anyway I could design an accurate and cheap circuit that produces freqs around or above 24Ghz? Sorry, this wasn't a post asking for help, but I am trying to get into HAM radio and, well, HVHF electronics in general. My guess is I would have to make my own capacitors for a job like that. Basically, I want to be able to hear what is going on at 175Ghz and above... not that you can do that with a 555 timer IC... Anyway, I have a feeling that either 1) Nobody cells equipment like this to civillians 2) this equipment is expensive to buy, ship and maintain 3) phucking around at such high freqs will get the attention of certain govenrment agencies (not that I care) 4) this is just not attainable with the current technology that is available to the public or even most private organizations.

Old K-band police doppler radars can be used as a source for 24 GHz gunnplexers. X-band ones operate in the 10.5 GHz range and the Ka-band ones around 34 GHz. Another source for X-band gunnplexers is from old automatic door openers or Solfan microwave alarm systems.

To receive millimeter waves, all you really do is keep downconverting them. Use the harmonic from a 77 GHz vehicle parking radar as a local oscillator to feed a millimeter wave rated mixer. If you can get the IF down into the 11-12 GHz range, you can use an old digital satellite low-noise block converter to further downconvert that into the 1 GHz range, which you can hear on a Radio Shack scanner.

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The 555 is pretty useful, but it's old school. The most useful IC is of course the microcontroller. You can get a tiny AVR of PIC for about $1 or $2 that can do everything the 555 can do and much more. With a reliable clock source, it's also much more accurate than the 555, not to mention the 555 is nearly impossible to tune, especially with low frequencies. You can program a microcontroller to do the same types of things, it's almost as cheap and not even very difficult.

Although a microcontroller can replace a variety of chips, it's not always appropriate. For example, if you really wanted to you could make an AND gate, but it would be really slow. The delay time for a typical gate IC will be in the microseconds. The microcontroller will have a lead time to detect the rising signal on the input pin, trigger an interrupt, wait for the CPU to finish previous instructions (short pipeline == good), flush the pipeline and load the interrupt handler, run the interrupt instructions until IRET, etc. It's obscenely complicated if all you want is an AND gate, but it will work. The AVR also supports ways to change output pin state automatically based on input pins without ever touching code, but that's pretty limited (though much faster).

My AVR is a swiss army knife, and like my swiss army knife it's not a great at some things but you still won't catch me without it.

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