Anyone who has been in any way involved in electronics is aware of the venerable 555 timer integrated circuit (IC), which first saw the light of day circa 1972.
Despite being more than 50 years old, this little beauty continues to pop up in designs because it can be employed in a wide variety of timer, delay, pulse generation, and oscillator applications. As a result, countless billions of these little scamps have been sold across the years.
The 555’s awesome utility has also spawned all sorts of interesting spin-offs, such as a ginormous 555 kit constructed using discrete components (transistors and resistors) and a humongous vacuum tube realization.
The reason I’m waffling on about this here is that I just received an email from Matt Pulzer, who is the publisher of Practical Electronics magazine in the UK. Matt pointed me to a simple but tasty video on YouTube showing a 555 timer strolling down a solderless breadboard (see also my blog on Arduinos and Solderless Breadboards).
Also of interest are the comments associated with this video. One person beat me to perform the calculation to determine that—based on the duration and tempo of the music coupled with the length of the 555’s stride—the breadboard would have to be ~42” (or ~1m) long. That’s a big breadboard.
One of my favorite comments so far is the one that says, “As a hobby electrical engineer, I can say that this is the exact reason why most chips are usually soldered in.” Having said this, there are 3,226 comments and I’m still only at the beginning, so please feel free to share any of your favorites in the comments below.