How It Performs

Originally the idea was to go for a 650k ohm resistor and a 150k ohm resistor with a 100uf cap.  This of course was no good as my first ever electronics pile (thank you ebay) did not include those exact values, thus I basically just kept trying combos to see what worked.  It is on for a few seconds and off for not -exactly- a minute but it’s extremely close–within a few seconds.  It’s a purposeful design in order to allow time for the user to refill for the upcoming round as well as a few seconds to consume the contents (buy that?).  The goods:

Prototyping Issues Abound:

As this is my first ever electronics project, I decided to skip crawling, walking, running and even skipping and went straight to driving at 145mph (hey, it’s how I like to do things).  Naturally I ran into issues (finding the right R1, R2 and C1 combo that I actually had on hand for one) with soldering connections, power management and the minimal space available.  Also, I didn’t (and still do not) understand the concept of duty cycles so I had to get my hands a little dirty with NPN transistors to invert the signal.  Using a breadboard I built the circuit at first using 2 555s so that it would be flashing rather than just on.  However, realizing that I would not have enough space I settled on the one but included a single flashing LED for some extra ‘attention-grabbing’ factor.  Here are some videos of my successes and my hurdles as well as a link to my thread looking for advice on the Hackaday Forums:

Forum Thread


First of all I must say that this community is an unique one full of a multitude of people from every call and group, all of whom are supportive and eager to help.  I must say a special thanks to the hosts and sponsors of the 555 contest for making this challenge a reality.  I’ve been a fan of the Hackaday Blog for a while (hey, nothing better to do at work than teach myself something eh?) but never had a push to just go buy some stuff and try it out till this contest.  A very special thanks to PhilKll for all of his great and persistent help throughout my trials.  This was a lot of fun and I’m glad I took the plunge.  I look forward to creating many more projects, most of which will likely improve drinking in some way or another.


  1. #1 by Spacefighter on March 1, 2011 - 3:49 pm

    First off this is awesome!! I dont know much about building a circut but this is one of those projects i know would be alot of fun to learn and to have at the end. I really want to try and put one together but I dont really know a lot about 555 timers. Could you perhaps list the parts used? I have looked online and there are many differnt styles and types of 555 timers. anyways.. great work!

  2. #2 by poweredpowerhour on March 2, 2011 - 1:38 pm

    Thank you so much! It was a lot of fun to make and I learned a ton. The schematic should be all you need to complete one. Just need the 2 resistors, 6v (i used 2 coin cells, maybe theres a better option), battery holder, LM555 timer (if it’s really a 555 any one should work the same), some LEDs, 22gauge copper solid wire and the capacitor.

  3. #3 by Spacefighter on March 5, 2011 - 9:18 pm

    Hey two questions. Did you use PNP transistors ? and is Pin 3 and Pin 4 connected together and then connected to the middle transistor pin? Wouldn’t that just give it full volts and keep it on?

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