Electronics > Beginners

Help with ICs

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I'm 17 and I decided that I want to be an electric engineer. I've learned a lot from purchased books, kits, etc. At Radioshack I stumbled upon their Electronics Learning Lab kit and, with the help of internet, I've achieved a basic understanding of what a lot of the parts do. To get to the point, the only parts that I'm having trouble understanding is how to use the ICs that it came with and what they each specifically do. The names of which are below. The 555 Timer is the only one I've been experimenting with, (making the simple astable and monostable circuits) but I don't get how to use these applications in broad situations. I know it's a very expansive question, but if ya'll can help me out, even a little bit of helpful information is greatly appreciated.

1) Quad Op Amp 324
2) CMOS Quad 2-input NAND Gate 4011
3) CMOS Quad 2-input NOR Gate 4001
4) Dual-D Flip-flop 4013
5) Decade Counter/Decoder 4017
6) Phase-Locked Loop 4046
7) Hex Inverting Buffer 4049
8) CMOS 4-bit Presettable Up/Down Counter 4029
9) Quad Bilateral Switch 4066
10) BCD to 7 Segment Decoder 4511
11) Exclusive OR-Gate 4070
12) Dual Op Amp 272
13) Power Amp 386
14) Quad Comparator 339
15) Regulator 7805
16) Timer 555

Go online and download the data sheets for the ICs.  Many data sheets have good typical apps and reference circuits.


A lot of your questions can be answered by reading books written by Forrest Mims III. Also, the book "Make: Electronics" is very good for beginners as well.

You've been given a lot of good advice here.

You can have a lot of fun with the 555 & the 4017,plus some LEDs,resistors & capacitors,making an LED follower,where the LEDS flash in succession.
Google for 4017 LED follower(or flasher),for a circuit diagram.

These ICs have been around for years,so you might pick up some old magazines,Text books,or IC "cookbooks" at swapmeets,second hand bookshops,or Hamfests.


You are new and you just want to play with electronics?

I suggest you may be looking at it from the wrong stand point. Maybe you should come up with a problem and then find an electrical solution. This is usually the case I get at work someone asks me can you do this and the journey begins.

E.g. Lets say something easy for you to do as a beginner that you can achieve Lets make a Led flash - Boring how boring is that. 555 timer, led and blah blah. Now lets say I want to design something so when I drive past my letterbox I can tell if there is Mail in it or not buy putting a flashing led on the back of the box.

Now you need to spec the job out from the start.

* Needs Cool name ""
* Do you want simple yes there is mail or know how much mail there is?
* Detection of mail ?  Simple switch by weight or load cell/ Distance sensor For analog input
* What sort if display? LED, Flashing LED, LED bar graph, Servo with pointer attached or It will sms you when mail arrives
* Is the display going to be on the letterbox or remote? Wired or Wireless?
* How am i going to power this thing? Solar and Battery
* Is my mail box big enough to fit all this crap into?
Once you have your list of stuff you want to achieve it will be easier to get your head around. If you do decide to go ahead and do a Intelligent  Mail Receptacle or whatever you want to call it make sure you post design and photos for us.

If you just ask google how to do everything is that really learning?  Yes it is


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