# Recommend interesting chips?

#### jaygatsby

Joined Nov 23, 2011
182
I am having fun making circuits with TTL and CMOS chips. Are there any really neat chips that I would have fun taking a look at?

Thank you

#### mamundip

Joined Dec 17, 2011
1
yes you can also look at the HTL,DTL,MOS,IIL and RTL chips. these logic families will also help you to do whatever you are trying to make. The RTL was the first commercial family. DTL is been replaced by TTL. IIL chips are now used to construct LSI functions.

#### jaygatsby

Joined Nov 23, 2011
182
Thanks. Are there any specific chips that you can recommend that would be fun to play with? I am starting to get bored with the 555+counter+7 segment thing.

#### thatoneguy

Joined Feb 19, 2009
6,359
Did you mean different families of logic ICs, or different logic ICs that do interesting functions?

The 4066 is a favorite, it is a switch for analog signals.

The SIPO/PISO is also a cool chip (forgot the number), it can function as a serial to parallel shift register, and as a parallel to serial shift register, bi-directional.

4060 is a counter and oscillator in one IC

There's also a partial ALU, again, I forgot the number

The address encoders/decoders for bus lines are interesting and can be re-purposed for other stuff.

I guess look at the 4000 family on wiki and read the descriptions of operation. Lots of them can do interesting tasks that probably weren't in the designer's minds at the time they were made.

#### jaygatsby

Joined Nov 23, 2011
182
I mean ICs that do interesting or fun things. Thank you for your recommendations, I'll check them out!

#### thatoneguy

Joined Feb 19, 2009
6,359
Well, a PICKit2, Sourceboost C, and a demo board with a PIC18F4550 is the ultimate "Chip that does interesting things". ($40 startup,$0.75-$5.00/IC afteward) If you don't know C, try out a PICAxe on a PICAXE board. ($8)

#### jaygatsby

Joined Nov 23, 2011
182
I know C, but I'm wanting to work 'lower level', on simple chips for now. I'll move up to microcontrollers when I understand gates and simple chips better

#### SgtWookie

Joined Jul 17, 2007
22,226
Microcontrollers are the way to go nowadays. Certain brands are dirt cheap once you get the startup costs over with - like the programmer.

Microchip has a huge assortment of 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit microcontrollers. They have so many individual products that it's really quite bewildering at first. Their newer offerings have many more whistles & bells than the older products.

You can use a single microcontroller to replace dozens of 74-series or 4000-series ICs, along with almost all of the extra components those would require. If you make a mistake on a discrete logic IC circuit board, you either have to throw the board away, or spend time trying to cut traces and add jumpers to make things work. More often than not, you can fix such problems if you're using a microcontroller by changing a few lines of programming code.

There are still some very useful 74-series and 4000-series ICs though.
The 4093 quad Schmitt-trigger NAND is very handy to have. The Schmitt trigger inputs help a great deal to square up waveforms that have long rise and/or fall times; it can be used as a gated square wave generator, or an astable multivibrator, timer, and NAND gates can be used to replicate the function of any other gate.

The 74HC595 8-bit serial in, serial/parallel out w/latching/3-state output shift register is handy to have when you're working with uC's; it can be used as a port expander. The TPIC6B595 is somewhat similar (different pin configuration) but can sink (only) up to 100mA per output. This is handy for driving higher-current LEDs or even relay coils.

#### jaygatsby

Joined Nov 23, 2011
182
I'm looking at the pic thatoneguy suggested -- it looks like there is a pickit3 now... is it preferable over pickit2? Why pic over arduino, or another microcontroller?

#### bertus

Joined Apr 5, 2008
21,896
Hello,

The pickit3 can program more chips as the pickit2.
Also the pickit3 can work with the new Matlab-X software wich is cross-platform by the use of java.

The arduino is a pre-programmed AVR chip, that contains a bootloader, so can be directly programmed over USB, no seperate programmer is needed.

Bertus

#### Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,833
Another interesting chip is the 74192 or 74193. The CMOS equivalent is the 4029. It is a decade/binary up/down counter, perfect for digital clocks or stopwatches.

The mux/demux switches are also pretty handy, such as (but not limited to) the 4555 or 4556. Thing about CMOS mux/demux chips is they are true analog switches. No current capacity, but great for analog signals of all types.

You can't go wrong with µC as the other people have suggested, mainly due to the fact they are the nearest thing we have to universal electronics, they can do many jobs depending on your programming skills.

#### MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
26,076
One of the coolest chips is the Complex Sound Generator SN76477 from Texas Instruments. I don't know if you can still find one. I have one somewhere... maybe in my Halloween robot costume.

Good news. Here is a listing for ICS76477:

http://www.bgmicro.com/ICS76477.aspx

#### t06afre

Joined May 11, 2009
5,934
I'm looking at the pic thatoneguy suggested -- it looks like there is a pickit3 now... is it preferable over pickit2? Why pic over arduino, or another microcontroller?
The PICKIT2 or 3 is a programmer/debugger. some PICs my require a header(extra hardware) for debugging. But by selecting a 18F series PIC, you do not need header for debugging. The Arduino is programmer only. By using a PICKIT you are more free to do what ever you want. I do not think it matters which MCU vendor you select. But I think Microchip and the lowcost PICKIT programmer/debugger offer more for less regarding functionality and startup cost. Compered to say Atmel AVR

#### MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
26,076
Another interesting chip is Winbond ISD4002/3/4 series Voice Record/Playback memory. You can record and play back voice quality sound, with up to 16-minute recording times.

I have used this chip in my telephone Caller ID annunciator. When the phone rings, the telephone number is searched in a table and the name of the person calling is announced. If the number is not in the lookup table the phone number is announced. Now I know who is calling and I don't have to jump up from the dinner table to read the call display.

#### jaygatsby

Joined Nov 23, 2011
182
Well, a PICKit2, Sourceboost C, and a demo board with a PIC18F4550 is the ultimate "Chip that does interesting things". ($40 startup,$0.75-$5.00/IC afteward) If you don't know C, try out a PICAxe on a PICAXE board. ($8)
Is there a specific place you'd recommend buying a PICKit3? The couple of places I've looked have it in the $100+ range #### t06afre Joined May 11, 2009 5,934 #### KJ6EAD Joined Apr 30, 2011 1,581 Let's include the LM3914, LM3915 and LM3916 dot/bar drivers in the list of interesting and useful ICs. #### jrm Joined Oct 11, 2011 38 I'm an AVR fan, but if you are on a budget you can't get any better than the deal Ti has on their "Launchpad" MCU development platform.$4.30 including a sample chip.

http://www.ti.com/tool/msp-exp430g2

#### bloguetronica

Joined Apr 27, 2007
1,521
The LM1036 is an interesting chip to add to the collection. Basically, it is a stereo audio control with volume, balance, bass and treble. The MAX232 and MAX485 are interesting chips used for RS-232 and RS-485 communications.

#### thatoneguy

Joined Feb 19, 2009
6,359
Is there a specific place you'd recommend buying a PICKit3? The couple of places I've looked have it in the $100+ range I'd suggest the PICKit2, since you'll mostly be dealing with PIC16 and PIC18 devices. The PICKit2 will programall but the DSP PIC chips, which needs the PICKit 3, and will debug all of the PIC10, PIC16 and PIC18 chips ('mid range'). It's$35 and also has a logic analyzer, UART tool, and standalone program to run all those extras. The PICKit 3 only has the standalone program to program, and nothing else, but it can program and debug the dsPIC and PIC 32 bit uCs, which are MIPS (Quite advanced, whats used in the Sony Playstation 2 and PSP)

So, I'd suggest the PICKit 2 and "Low Pin Count Demo Board" direct from Microchip for under \$50 now.