555 Araneae Junkboxius

I've been a bit stuck for ideas on what I can do for an art entry in the 555 Contest, having not a single artistic bone in my boring-techie-geek body. I sat down in the lab today to do some more tinkering and saw the few remaining 555s I have left sitting on my bench. The eight legs of a 555 just screamed spider to me, so suitably inspired I went to work.

All of the components (except the legs and palps) are part of the blinking circuit. The circuit is your basic astable 555 oscillator driving a few LEDs. Abdomen is the 3V lithium cell powering the critter. Cephalothorax is the 555 chip. Spinnerets are the Tantalum timing capacitors, book lungs are the timing resistors. Red and yellow LED eyes, blue LED mouth-parts and limiting resistor fangs.

Photo of AJ on my desk.

I think he needs a web to live on, don't you?

If nothing else, he is a fun project to teach children how to solder. I used blu-tac and steady hands to hold components in place, but no other special tools just my fingers, small pliers and side-cutters. A pair of helping-hands or a PCB vice might be helpful. I started by super-gluing the 555 socket to the lithium cell holder, but once completed everything is held in place by the wiring (which is largely just off-cut leads from the legs and eyes). The eyes and fangs were assembled as separate modules using blu-tac for positioning before the first soldering. A piece of waste component-tape cardboard implements the on-off switch, by placement under the +ve terminal of the battery holder.

Detail of the underside hiding all the ugly wiring...

I have a few other art category ideas in various states of completion, but this is by far the most "artistic" I've had so far.

Still plenty of days left to see what else I can come up with...