All the young school students learning electronics from me are given with a project to start with 555 chip with a thermistor,IR Tx Rx LED's,piezo buzzers,LDR and multi color LED's. This is such a great chip always works correctly and gives the kids a strong motivation to learn electronics.Thanks to the inventor.
I remember the 555 fondly too. However, in my experience, when I was designing circuits in the 80s and 90s, there was a stigma attached to using this chip. I was told by numerous older, experienced engineers that the 555 was "glitchy" and unreliable, and that a REAL circuit designer would NEVER use the 555. I wonder if there were problems with the original design, or were there other reasons for this attitude? I personally loved using this chip and never had any problems, but I was hesitant to use it in new designs for fear of being laughed out of the design review.
Back in 1978 I was also learning electronics with valves, plate voltages and grid control. A bit outdated already.
Next year, the new Electronics teacher introduced us to the transistor, the diode, the op-amp and so on, and pushed us to think analog and to devise ways to combine them with capacitors, resistors and other components to build useful things.
He also introduced us to the 555, among other IC's, and proved the wizardry of analog design could be mastered and made to seem even easy.
Now that I know who was the wizard capable of casting the first spell, I can't help but regret his passing. We need many of those wizards, even more now.
I'm sure his designs will keep being used in the future and many people will benefit from them. Mr. Camenzind has a place in Heaven. May he rest in peace.
Anyone else remember the e-mails that claimed that the 555 would cease to function when Y2K rolled around on 01 01 00? As usual with these e-mail originators, they had total ignorance of how they worked.
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