Chips, Ahoy!

Chapter 4. Chips, Ahoy!

Make Electronics Book Learning by Discovery
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Make Electronics Book Learning by Discovery

  • 4147Chips, Ahoy!Before I get into the fascinating topic of integrated circuit (IC) chips, I have to make a confession: some of the things I asked you to do in 110,Chapter 3 could have been done a bit more simply. Does this mean you have been wasting your time? No, I firmly believe that by building circuits with old-fashioned components—capacitors, resistors, and transistors—you acquire the best possible understanding of the principles of electronics. Still, you are going to find that integrated circuit chips, containing dozens, hundreds, or even thou-sands of transistor junctions, will enable some shortcuts.Shopping List: Experiments 16 Through 24ToolsThe only new tool that I recommend using in conjunction with chips is a logic probe. This tells you whether a single pin on a chip has a high or low voltage, which can be helpful in figuring out what your circuit is doing. The probe has a memory function so that it will light its LED, and keep it lit, in response to a pulse that may have been too quick for the eye to see.Search online and buy the cheapest logic probe you can find. I don’t have any specific brand recommendations. The one shown in Figure 4-1 is fairly typical.SuppliesIntegrated circuit chipsIf you buy everything on this shopping list, and you bought basic parts such as resistors and capacitors that were listed previously, you should have everything you need for all the projects in this chapter.As chips are quite cheap (currently around 50 cents apiece), I suggest you buy extras. This way, if you damage one, you’ll have some in reserve. You’ll also have a stock for future projects.Please read the next section, “Fundamentals: Choosing chips,” before you begin chip-shopping. Chips should be easily obtainable from all the major electronics retail suppliers, and sometimes are found on eBay shops. Look in the appendix for a complete list of URLs.Figure 4-1. A logic probe detects the high or low voltage on each pin of a chip, and re-veals pulses that may occur too quickly for you to perceive them with the unaided eye.In thIs chAPter 162,Shopping List: Experiments 1 162,6 Through 24 168,Experiment 16: Emitting 168,a Pulse 177,Experiment 17: Set Your 177,Tone 185,Experiment 18: Reaction 185,Timer 196,Experiment 19: Learning 196,Logic 212,Experiment 20: A 212, Powerful Combination 220,Experiment 21: Race to Place 226,Experiment 22: Flipping 226,and Bouncing 229,Experiment 23: Nice Dice 238,Experiment 24: Intrusion Alarm 238,Completed