Sunday, February 27, 2011

555 Contest Entry

Update: Big thanks to Hack A Day and Matrixsynth for writing this up. :)

This post will serve as my official entry into the 555 timer design contest. More info on the contest can be found at

The project is a sculpture of a creature with the circuit components embedded into the body.

In a post apocalyptic world life takes on new meaning. In an effort to compensate for the lack of food and nutrients some living things integrate electronic components into their organs and tissue. Hearts are replaced with oscillators, eyes with phototransistors, etc.

This is an artifact brought back from an exploratory mission to the blasted planet. It's a kid toy! What you do is capture one of these little bugs, keep it in the dome, then ZAP it with various frequencies to see what it does.

Here is a sampling of images documenting the circuit and build process.

More images are available in the Flickr Set.

555 contest entry block diagram

basic astable oscillators

output node

555 contest entry

555 contest entry

Thursday, February 17, 2011

555 project hardware fitting.

555 project hardware fitting.
Originally uploaded by drOffset
Latest 555 contest progress shot.

The hardware fits!
The custom knobs are made from rubber grommets and green stuff.

Next stop, nest and habitat building.

See more info at

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

555 dome progress

555 dome progress
Originally uploaded by drOffset
I'm happy with this one. I cut off more of the stem and found a cap for it. My wife said it looks like an aquarium without the water or a snow globe without the globe. Perfect, my plan is coming together.

After this I need to:
Paint the cap to match the body,
Build the nest that she'll live in,
Do the wiring, test the circuit,
Build the knobs
Finish the bug sculpt
Paint the bug.

All before March... Can it be done? Stay tuned

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

555 dome test

555 dome test
Originally uploaded by drOffset
Finally found a clear dome for the 555 bug to live in. I'm worried that it might look too much like a wine glass turned upside down with the stem cut off.... which is what it is. I'll need to come up with some kind of cap for it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

555contest progress 03, Slowly but surely.

Soundcheck 01

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My computer's hard drive is toast!

Decision time:

A. Try to salvage 5+ year old laptop. It's still a good set of parts, maybe I just need a hard drive.
B. Buy a new laptop. Then not be able to buy any other toys for a few months.
C. Buy some sort of tablet or mobile thing. But then my content creation options become limited.