Multivibrator circuit

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

The 555 timer IC is a very versatile and useful component and can be used for many things, from giving clock pulses to switch debouncing and as an output transducer. The basic 555 IC is housed in an 8-pin carrier, and these come in DIL and SOIC formats. They run from 3-15V, and are generally quite hardy devices. The frequency and mark-space ratio

Multivibrator circuit
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are defined by the values of R1, R2 and C1 only. For a roughly even (1:1) mark-spce ratio, R1 is usually set at 1K, and the other resistor (R2) and capacitor are changed to alter the frequency. If better control over the mark-space ratio is required, use the next circuit. This variation allow much easier control of the mark-space ratio without too much impact on the frequency. The only difference is a diode petween Pins 6 and 7, with the cathode at Pin 6. The effect of this is to shunt resistor R2 when charging C1. This means that C1 charges though R1 only. This removes R2 from the "high-time" equation, and make calculating the mark-space ratio easier and prevents the frequency from being altered excessively by changes in the mark-space ratio ( although this still happens to a certain extent). This astable uses fewer components than the basic astable, and requires only the IC, one resistor and one capacitor, plus the Pin 5 capacitor for final versions. This astable has a MSR of approximately 1:1, but this tends to increase under heavy current load, as the output does not swing fully to the power supply. This astable is not a reliable source of frequency, and should never be used where an accurate, stable clock is needed. Pin 4 is normally held high, and in this state it does nothing. However, when Pin 4 is brought low, the 555 is disabled, and the output is held low. This can be used to turn an astable on when desired. An...

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