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November 17, 2013 AT 7:41 am

Hans! The 555 timer!

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Hans is one of our more popular Circuit Playground characters! Here’s a bit about this wonderful chip :)

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Hans is the ‘old man’ of the group. He tends to be nervous and is often indecisive. Hans frequently changes his mind, and is a little fidgety (he oscillates) when he’s not moving around. He is very meticulous and precise in other ways; Hans does not like to compromise, preferring to be in a steady state until a dramatic change is called for. Hans speaks with the voice of a kindly old man with a Swiss-German accent, though his voice can become more nasally when he’s upset or feels strongly about something. His catchphrase is “maybe so, but perhaps not.”

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About the 555:
The 555 timer IC was designed by Hans Camenzind in 1971. It consists of two threshold triggers, an RS flip-flop, and an output buffer. The 555 provides an easy, reliable way to create rectangular waveforms of adjustable pulse width and frequency by using different external component values.

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