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In this circuit, we will show how we can build a clock circuit with a timer. A clock circuit is a circuit that can produce clock signals. These signals are digital square waveforms, which alternate between on and off. This is important because many different types of chips need clock signals in order to operate. Many chips such as counter chips, digital potentiometers, and many other types of ICs need clock signals in order to operate. The clock provides a way that a master and slave device can act in synchrony with each other.
Either on the falling or rising edge of a clock signal, the 2 devices will work in synchrony so that they can produce a desired outcome. With a timer, we can produce clock signals of varying frequencies based on the values of the external resistors and capacitor that we choose.
We can produce clock signals of any frequency needed. A 1Hz clock signal will cycle once every second. A 2Hz clock signal will cycle every 0. A KHz signal will cycle every 0. For the timer to work, it must be operated in astable mode. Astable mode is a mode in which there is no one stable state. The circuit switches constantly from low to high, which is representative of a digital square waveform that goes constantly high to low, high to low, high to low, over and over again.
This is in contrast to the other 2 modes, monostable mode and bistable mode. Bistable mode has 2 stable states that it can be in. Like astable mode, bistable mode has 2 states but they're stable; in astable mode, they constantly fluctuate back and forth between the 2 states. A timer is a very versatile.
In this circuit, we will build a clock of about 60Hz. This cycles 60 times every second. The timer can be obtained very cheaply from pretty much any electronic retailer.
The timer is an 8-pin chip. If you want to know all the pinout of the timer, what each pin is and what each pin does, see Timer Pinout. In this circuit, we will connect the timer to be in astable mode. The connections are shown below. Clock Circuit Using a Timer The clock circuit that will produce 60Hz clock signals using a timer is shown below.
The breadboard schematic of the above circuit is shown below. This timer is in astable mode. So we have a signal with a frequency of about 60Hz. You must realize with tolerances that resistors have, it may fluctuate a little above or below this level. And this is how clock pulses can be created with a timer. If you want to measure the output directly and you have an oscilloscope, all you have to do is connect the positive terminal of the oscilloscope to the output pin 3 of the timer and the negative terminal to ground.
Then you should be able to get a picture of the digital square waveforms on the oscilloscope. And then you can see the frequency and time period that a cycle lasts. So there's multiple ways you can test this circuit. If you were to change the resistor or capacitor values so that you created a much higher frequency signal, then it wouldn't make sense to connect it to an output such as an LED because the human eye wouldn't be able to catch it.
It would seem like it's on all the time. If you're dealing with frequencies in the kilohertz range or the megahertz range, then it would not make any sense. The only thing you can do to measure the circuit would be to connect it to an oscilloscope. And only if you have an oscilloscope that can measure such high frequencies.
To create a 1. To see how to build this same circuit, with the added features of adjustable frequency and adjustable amplitude of the output square wave, see How to Build an Adjustable Square Wave Generator Circuit with a Timer.
To see how this circuit works in real life, please see the video below. How to Build a Clock Circuit with a Timer In this circuit, we will show how we can build a clock circuit with a timer.