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# Help for a beginner / 555 timer.

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#### johnnyseven

##### New Member
Hi, i've been circuit bending for a while now, as i'm a musician and seemingly fell into creating these wonderful machines.
I bought some 555 timers recently for a new project, but the introduction of ICs seems to have gotten me out of my depth.

Here's my question. On this circuit board, there are 2 contacts, and when these contacts are joined (push to make switch etc), a sound is played.

So my question is, can I, using a 555 timer, make it so this sound can be triggered at very fast speeds, preferably using a potentiometer to vary the speed in which it is triggered. And if so, could someone please explain it to me in the simplest possible terms, and maybe even a super simple diagram. I cannot 'read' circuit diagrams.

I've read loads of stuff online about 555 timers, but still can't get my head around doing this, so any help would be very much appreciated.

Thanks!

EDIT: And if a 555 timer is not the best/easiest way to do this, what is?

Last edited:
ok im no engineer like alot of people are here but heres my 2 cents:

i can only answer the edit question. The best way to do this is with a transistor. we made these in my electronics 11 class you turn a potentiometer to change the frequency of a sound and high pitch basically means VERY fast vibrations which are made by turning a switch on and off VERY quickly. now i dont recall using a 555 timer we just used transistors.

so basically the potentiometer has resistance. picture a water pipe and a bucket. the more resistance to the water pipe you have the water flowing slower into the bucket which in this case is a capacitor therefore it takes longer to fill up. then when the bucket (capacitor) is full it empties the water into a switch (transistor or 555 timer) . and this happens hundreds of times per second. Less resistance = water flowing faster into bucket = bucket gets full quicker = bucket empties faster = switch turns on faster. in electronic terms potentiometer less resistance adds water faster = capacitor fills up faster = switch gets pushed faster. now if you want higher pitched tones then turn the potentiometer to lessen the resistance. if thats not enough switch your capacitor to something smaller. me and my friends switch the required capacitor with a really small farad one like 0.01 micro farads and the sound was like those annoying tones only kids can hear? well now lastly the 55 ic timer will work too i forgot to mention that i think we DID use a 555 timer in class. but i guess theres my circuit explanation or theory . any more questions just ask

Do you want the 555 to create a different sound as you rotate the poteniometer, or do you want the 555 to turn of and off a existing sound at a fast speed?

Hi, i'm a beginner like you and i have had lots of fun with a 555 chip, but i'm not shure i understand what you want the circuit to do?

It sounds to me like you want a kind of tremolo effect.

I think he has an existing sound source that makes the sound when the switch is pressed or contacts closed.
He wants to trigger this using a 555 probably faster than his hand can but the big question is how fast?
Its pretty easy to do what you want johnnyseven but how many times per second would you want to have the contacts closing. For example 10 times per second with the potentiometer all the way left to 100 times per second with the potentiometer all the way turned right.

To switch the signal completely on and off very fast won't sound very good.
Tremolo does almost the same thing, but it doesn't shut the signal completely off and on, it's the volume that goes up and down in the desired rate.
Tremolo sounds awesome in circuit bendt toys.

You can also make a vibrato effect (pitch goes up and down in a similar fashion) with a 555. I've made it modulate a second 555 square wave oscillator (connecting it to pin 5) and it sounds quite cool, but there is an annoying clicking sound in the background i don't seem to be able to get rid of.

Is this guy even going to bother coming back here to see what people have said???

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