The premier destination for fun science projects & experiments for kids grades K-8 since 2010!

BLINK, BLINK…

Build an integrated circuit oscillator

Suitable For

Grade 8

Difficulty

3

Time Required

 <1 Week

Supervision

Required

What’s it about?

The first complex electronic appliances were all made up of various single components such as tubes, capacitors, coils and resistors and transistors. Today ‘integrated circuits’ may contain thousands of these single components built into a much smaller single unit, that require a lot less power, such as a micro chip found in computers.

An oscillator is a type of electrical circuit where the voltage output can be switched to be high or low, or on and off at a determined tempo. A capacitor is a critical component necessary to control the swing rate (rate of oscillation) of the output voltage in such a circuit. In this science experiment, build an integrated circuit oscillator to make a LED light blink on and off:

Topics covered

Integrated circuit, Oscillator, Capacitor

What will I need?

  • SMALL ELECTRONIC BREADBOARD
  • 8-PIN CIRCUIT SOCKET
  • 8-PIN INTEGRATED CIRCUIT (ECG-876)
  • LED LIGHT
  • 9-VOLT BATTERY
  • INSULATED WIRE WITH ALLIGATOR CLIPS
  • WIRE CUTTERS
  • 100 UF, 35V CAPACITOR
  • 400 UF, 35V CAPACITOR
  • SOLDERING IRON
  • SOLID CONDUCTOR HOOK-UP WIRE

Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

In this science experiment the value of a capacitor connected to the integrated circuit oscillator determines the rate of oscillation or the rate at which the voltage output is altered. The lower value capacitor will result in faster oscillation and shorter flashes of the LED light. The higher value capacitor will result in slower oscillation and longer flashes of the LED light.

Like the sound of it?

Why not check out the full worksheet in one of our popular e-books?

This particular science project can be found in any of the following Experiland e-books:

Experiland e-books contain detailed steps, including illustrations, to complete the science projects from start to finish.

Science project ebooks for kids

Experiland's science e-books contain a diverse range of several hundred of exciting science projects, ideas and experiments.

A project introduction and background, complete listing of required materials, step-by-step instructions on how to carry out the project, why it works, learn more section, as well as a science glossary with all the relevant terms make up each of the all-inclusive science project worksheets in our e-books!

Get your e-Book!