Hobby-Circuits (Page 3)

The 555 Astable generates a clock for this circuit, an oscillator giving a square wave output at pin 3 which is counted by 4017 to give a running lights effect.

Digital Timers Counters and Clocks

The decade counter-divider CD4017 has 10 outputs, for every low to high transition at the clock input, rising edge, the counter advances one LED. After going one full circle the the first LED lights again and it goes on. You can vary the value of R2 100K Linear potentiometer to make LEDs run fast or slow.

Running Lights with CD4017

The frequency of oscillation of astable 555 is given as f = 1.44 / ((R4 + 2 * (R2 + R3)) * C3)

The 10 outputs have 10 green LEDs. The current thru the LED is limited by R1, the current can be calculated like this (9V – 1.6V) / 1K = 7.4mA this is within 20mA which is the danger limit of the CMOS output. You want it to be bright use transistors for every output.

The cap C1 is a filter and C2 is to prevent noise at pin 5 influencing the output as it is a control voltage point.
You can cascade or chain many more counters with the CO or carry out pin 12 of 4017. The pin 15 reset is kept at low for counting, on high it will reset the counter but is not used in this circuit.

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Here is a Neon Flasher circuit (untested) for a user request at Circuits FAQ. This can be built into a switchboard or a gadget for indicating Live Power.

D1-C1 form a simple half-wave rectifier, The Cap charges to peak voltage and can store charge for a long time if there is no bleeder. So while building it take extra care. This forms a DC supply across C1. C1 is a Plastic High-voltage cap, IN4007 has a 1KV rating, so it is ok for 230V rectifier.

R1 Charges C2 and when C2 reaches 60-80V depending on Neon, the neon breaksdown. C2 Discharges, Neon Recovers, The C2 starts charging again and so on and on. It Oscillates, probably in a Ramp Waveform. But do not use your Scope on this, you will regret it a lot. This is a live circuit and needs a special probe.

“Oh, i will put the probe it in 10M mode” will not do. The ground clip of the probe goes to Electrical Earth which is ‘connected’ to Neutral in the mains wiring. So you put the earth crocodile clip on the live point. There will be flashes and fireworks. So you need to isolate both terminals of scope. Please use your costly equipment with great care.

For the 1 Meg use two 470K in Series for 230V AC, that is safer. The circuit is live, so take precautions. The 0.47 Micro Farad can be increased if you want a slow flash. If the Mains 50/60 Hz Flicker is too much, the 1 uF can be made 2 uF, or use 4 – 1N4007 as a bridge rectifier.

From Schematics of delabs

User Feedback –

R1 of 4.7M and C2 of 0.47uF Works well at 230V AC. Try your own Combination. Less than 1M may damage Neon.