18 LED sequencer timer

Posted on Mar 11, 2013

The question sometimes comes up of how to cascade 4017 decade counters for more than 10 sequencial stages. The LED sequencer below shows a possible solution using a few extra parts. When power is applied, the 15K resistor and 10uF cap at pin 15 will reset the counters to the zero count where pin 3 is at +12 and all other outputs are at zero. The 2 diodes (1n914) and 15 resistor form a AND gate so the clock pulse will be passed to the right side counter when the sequence starts. When the right counter reaches the 10th count, pin 11 will move high enabling the AND gate on the right to pass the clock pulse to the left side counter.

18 LED sequencer timer
Click here to download the full size of the above Circuit.

As the left side counter advances, pin 3 will be low so that clock pulses cannot advance the right counter. When the left counter turns over and pin 3 again moves high, the sequence will repeat. Thus we get 18 total counts, 9 from the first counter, and 9 from the second. Note that the 4017 counter will not deliver much current, and so the LED current is set to about 6mA using a 1.5K resistor in series. For more current, you could use transistors on each output as shown in the drawing above, (10 Channel LED Sequencer). But some of the newer bright LEDs are fairly bright at 6mA.

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