Help with a simple breadboard project...

Thread Starter


Joined Mar 16, 2014
This will likely make me look like a fool, but, I need some highly simple help...

So, I have all the parts needed, and I can't get this circuit to work.. or any for that matter.

I wanna say it's me [likely], or the components [not sure], or just the breadboard.

So, using that schematic, and brand new parts;
1 Breadboard [RadioShack Cat No. 276-001]
1 pack of assorted 1/4th watt metal film resistors [Cat. 2710309]
2 TLC555 timer ICs [Cat. 276-1718]
The LEDs are RadioShack as well, but, I dun have the package handy, nor do I think it's relevant here; they light up at 1.5 volts, that's all they are supposed to do... or is it?

For other projects, that I still can't get to work, pack of NPN Transistors [Cat. 276-1617]

And, sadly, a few capacitors I got out of a radio and other places, I tried to build multiple projects, mainly this one... and that LED just won't light up.

For power, I was using a model train ratifier to supply the voltage needed, after verifying the correct output/polarity via a mutimeter. [Tech4 MRC260 for make/model]

Is that my main mistake? Should I be using *shudders* batteries? I rather supply power via something I can plug into the wall, if possible.

So, simply put, is there something I said that stands out, or can anyone just build this circuit in an easy breadboard, take a picture for me or... what would you all advise?



Joined Apr 24, 2011
I would suspect it's the... believe it or not... model train rectifier.

Model trains don't meed a steady DC to run, they actually run better on pulsed DC.

A 555 runs not so good on pulses, so go get that battery and fire it up again.


Joined Sep 9, 2010
I use an old train transformer to power a car radio on my bench. But I had to add a diode and a big capacitor to filter it a bit. Otherwise the hum was excessive.

Thread Starter


Joined Mar 16, 2014
Well, seems it's actually a lot simpler then that; the capacitors I have gotten out of the radio, etc, the terminals are a bit thin. Took out the 'ol multimeter, and connected it to the breadboard where the capacitors are connected... no reading. So, that tells me they are not connected. Seems I'll just have to go buy some.

Thanks for the input, though!