The 555 Footstool - Everyone Has to Have One!
Does that black rectangle ring any bells? Truth be told, I used to have a love-hate relationship with this chip. Back in the day – when I still had the misguided notion that I would thrive as an electronics engineer – I would spend hours and hours with this little black chip. On a good day, whatever circuit we were working on would do what it was supposed to do. On more days than we wanted, though, Murphy was our companion and even this most basic of chips would not work as it is supposed to.
The 555 Integrated Circuit is definitely a familiar item to electronic enthusiasts/professionals and DIY-ers (I think I am neither now). It was designed in 1970 and was released in 1971. The chip is used in various applications as a timer, a pulse generator, and an oscillator. There are many different variations of the 555 chip, but the standard one contains more than 20 transistors, 2 diodes, and 15 resistors on the silicon chip.
Now I won’t bore you with the technical details that I barely remember myself (only the fond/not-so-fond memories remain with me), but here is something that I am pretty sure you will find cool – a footstool modeled after the 555 chip. Mind you, it’s not a simple 555-look alike. The makers of the 555 footstool took great pains to ensure that the piece of furniture has the real look of the chip. They even examined some datasheets before making an attempt to create the furniture version of the chip.
Armed with some plywood, a CNC router, wood glue, dowel rods, a sanding disk, paint, and I suppose, a host of other things that DIY-ers always have handy, the guys started out with some slabs like these.
And ended up with something that will take you (if you’re like me, that is) back to those good old days of long sleepless nights so that you can have a working circuit to show your professor. The 555 footstool is 12.5 inches long and a little more than 8.5 inches high, and more importantly, it is supposed to be sturdy enough to support your weary feet.
Needless to say, I want one! For more photos and a more detailed description, pay the Evil Mad Scientist a visit.