Irby Electronics

Irby Electronics

6.      Cut a piece of link wire and, using pliers, bend it to form a shape like a staple, as shown below. Push this staple through the top surface into holes C9 and I9 and bend the ends of the wire link slightly apart. Solder the wire link to the track surface.

Take a second piece of link wire, push it through holes A10 and F10 and solder.

Take a third piece of link wire. Use pliers to bend it so that it fits into holes D11 and E16 and solder (this link connects pin 2 and pin 6 together).

Take a fourth piece of link wire, push it through holes A16 and C16 and solder.

Check that none of the link wires are touching each other on the top surface and that there are no solder splashes across adjacent tracks. Trim excess wire from the links using wire cutters.

close-up of track

surface showing

soldered joints

Skill level:      * * *           ADVANCED
Project constructed on track board.
Precision soldering required to avoid solder on one copper track coming into contact with an adjacent copper track.


This circuit contains two light-emitting diodes which flash alternately on and off. The rate of flashing can be varied. The circuit diagram is shown below.

Think  SAFETY.  Act  SAFELY.

You're important . . . so also read through the safety guidance sheet provided with the kit.

close-up of top

surface showing D1,

D2, R1, R2 and C1

9.      Identify resistor R3 with bands of brown, black and red. Limited space, again, means that R3 must be positioned vertically. Push one lead of R3 through D18 and, using pliers, bend the other lead to fit though A18. Spread the ends of the leads of R3 slightly apart and carefully solder.

10.     Resistor R4 has bands of red, red and yellow and will be positioned vertically. Push one lead of R4 through H19 and bend the other lead to fit though E19. Spread the ends of the leads of R4 slightly apart and carefully solder. Trim excess wire from the leads of R3 and R4 using wire cutters.

11.     Variable resistor VR1 has 3 pins. Position VR1 so that the top, single pin fits through hole D22 and the other two pins fit through holes H21 and H23. After pushing through the holes, bend the pins slightly so that the variable resistor does not fall off when the board is turned upside down. Make a track break at position H22 between the two pins and then solder the pins of VR1 to the track surface.

12.     Make a track break at position H17 to isolate R4 and VR1 from the left‑hand side of the circuit.

(Check - there should now be a total of 7 track breaks on the track surface.)

13.     Identify the two cables for the slide switch, S1. Push the end of one of the cables through the hole in the central tag of the switch, gently twist together and solder. Push the end of the second cable through the hole of either one of the remaining tags, twist and solder. Make sure that solder does not bridge the gap between these two connections on the switch. (The third tag on the switch is left unconnected.) Your switch should now look like that shown in the picture below:

Colours

Push the negative lead through C7 and the positive lead through D7. Spread the ends of the leads of C1 slightly apart and carefully solder. Trim excess wire from the leads of C1. The pictures below show this stage of construction:

negative lead of a capacitor

close-up of IC1 showing

the notch and recessed dot

next to pin 1

1.      Choose one of the l.e.d.s and identify its positive and negative leads. A light-emitting diode will not work if it is connected the wrong way around and so correct identification of the leads is important! Push the positive lead through hole A2 and the negative lead through hole B2. Spread the ends of the leads slightly apart and carefully solder. Push the positive lead of the second l.e.d. through H2, the negative lead through I2 and solder. Avoid solder splashing across the copper tracks where you have soldered the l.e.d.s. Trim excess wire from the leads of the l.e.d.s using wire cutters.

2.      Identify resistors R1 and R2 which have bands of yellow, violet and brown. Since space is limited on the track board, R1 and R2 will be positioned vertically rather than lying flat on the board. It does not matter which way around a resistor is connected in a circuit.

Push one lead of R1 through E5 and, using pliers, bend the other lead to fit though B5. Spread the ends of the leads of R1 slightly apart and carefully solder.

Push one lead of R2 through H6 and bend the other lead to fit through E6. Spread the ends of the leads of R2 slightly apart and carefully solder. Trim excess wire from the leads of R1 and R2.

3.      Identify capacitor C1. This type of capacitor has a positive lead and a negative lead. The negative lead is marked with a minus sign on the side of the canister as shown:

This construction uses an integrated circuit known as a 555 timer which comes in a plastic package with 8 pins. The way these pins are connected determines how the 555 operates. The rate of alternately switching on and off the light-emitting diodes D1 and D2 is controlled by capacitor C1 and resistors R3, R4 and VR1. VR1 is a variable resistor which can be adjusted using a small screwdriver (not supplied in this kit).

Resistors R1 and R2 are connected to l.e.d.s D1 and D2 to reduce the amount of current flowing through them. Too much current can cause an l.e.d. to burn out.

This project requires one PP3 battery (not supplied in this kit). In a test of this circuit, a Duracell Plus Power battery was still producing a good output of light after 30 hours of continuous use.

To construct this project you will need to use the following tools (not supplied):

  • small, low power soldering iron, e.g. 15 watt, 18 watt or 25 watt
  • small pliers for bending component leads and link wire
  • small wire cutters for cutting component leads and link wire
  • 3 mm drill bit or sharp craft knife for breaking copper tracks.


Assembly Instructions for Project 13: Alternately Flashing L.E.D.s Using An Integrated Circuit
Please refer to the wiring diagram and read through these instructions very carefully before starting assembly.

example of a

link wire "staple"

switch S1 and cable connections

Gently push the integrated circuit into its socket. It is often necessary to bend the pins slightly on the integrated circuit to ensure a good fit.

16.     Assembly is now complete. Carefully compare your circuit with the wiring diagram and the pictures above. Check, again, that there are no solder splashes across adjacent tracks and that the tracks are completely broken in the correct positions.

Connect a new PP3 9 volt battery to the battery clip and switch on. Adjust the rate of flashing by turning a small screwdriver (or bent paper clip) in the slot of VR1 to alter its resistance.

Enjoy!

  • If your circuit doesn’t work and the batteries become hot then you have made a short‑circuit. This is a potential fire hazard! Switch off immediately, remove the batteries  and check your circuit to find the problem before continuing.
  • If the problem isn’t a short‑circuit, please recheck your soldering and your batteries.

PROJECT 13:   ALTERNATELY FLASHING L.E.D.S USING AN INTEGRATED CIRCUIT

close-up of track break

at A22 and terminal pins

before soldering

close-up of track surface showing four track breaks and soldered socket

close-up of track break

at A22 and soldered

terminal pins

Twist the free ends of the cables attached to S1 around the terminal pins at A21 and A23 and solder them together. Make sure that a stray wire or excess solder does not bridge the gap between the two terminal pins.

14.     Twist the red lead from the battery clip around the terminal pin in position A25 and solder them together. Twist the black lead from the battery clip around the terminal pin in position
I25 and solder them together.

15.     It is essential that the integrated circuit is correctly positioned in its socket. Identify pin 1 of the integrated circuit by the notch on the surface and the recessed dot:

7.      Push terminal pins from the track surface through to the top surface in positions A25, I25, A21 and A23. Terminal pins are a tight fit and pliers are usually needed to squeeze them through the holes. (Terminal pins have a habit of jumping off the table and are never found again - two spare terminal pins are provided in the kit.)

8.      Make a track break position A22 and then solder the four terminal pins to the track surface. The pictures below show the track break and terminal pins on track A before and after soldering:

4.      The integrated circuit socket has 8 pins and its correct positioning on the track board is crucial. Position this socket so that the top left pin (pin 1) fits through hole C12. After pushing the socket pins through all eight holes, bend the pins slightly so that the socket does not fall off when the board is turned upside down.

5.      The copper tracks between the pins of the integrated circuit socket need to be broken so that pins on the same horizontal row are not connected. If the track was not broken between pin 1 and pin 8, for example, then a hazardous short‑circuit would occur when the battery was connected. Current would flow from the positive of the battery, along the copper track between pin 8 and pin 1 and back to the negative of the battery.

It is much easier to break the copper tracks at C13, D13, E13 and F13 before attempting to solder the i.c. socket into place. A copper track can be broken by carefully scraping the copper away with a sharp craft knife or, more easily, by pressing a 3 mm drill bit (not supplied in this kit) into a hole on the track surface and gently twisting the drill until all of the copper track at that position has been removed.

After the four breaks in the copper tracks have been made, carefully solder the socket pins to the track surface. Do not allow solder to splash across adjacent pins. The picture below shows the soldered i.c. socket and track breaks: