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The objective of this experiment is to design, build and test an analog to digital converter built using Timer IC

Pin Diagram OF IC 555

The focus will be on the timer IC 555 which is an 8-pin IC. For power supply, +5V is used. Resistors,
capacitors, and diodes of appropriate values are used. The power supply is bypassed on the prototyping board,
using a parallel combination of a 100µf tantalum or electrolytic capacitors or 0.1µf low inductance ceramic
capacitor. For measurement, a two channel oscilloscope is used. Decade counter IC 7490 is used to produce a
digital display. LEDs are used for displaying the digital output. For generating clock pulse, a function generator
is used.


3.1 Circuit diagram

PWM Circuit - 2009
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Decade Counter Circuit

3.2 Circuit operation

When the PWM circuit is powered up, the C1 capacitor will initially be in a discharged state. Thus, the Trigger
(pin 2) will be LOW, driving the Output (pin 3) to go HIGH. Discharge (pin 7) goes HIGH and goes ground.
The cycle begins.

The HIGH Output will cause C1 capacitor to be charged through the R1 and D1 path. Upon C1 voltage reaching
2/3 of +V, the Threshold (pin 6) will be activated and drive the Output (pin 3) LOW. Discharge (pin 7) goes
LOW. The time it takes for C1 to charge depends on the position of R1.

Since Output (pin 3) is now LOW, capacitor C1 will start to discharge through the D2 and R1 path. When the
voltage of C1 drops below 1/3 of +V, Trigger (pin 2) will be LOW, driving Output (pin 3) to go HIGH, and
Discharge (pin 7) to go HIGH and shorts to ground. The cycle repeats itself. This generates a PWM signal. Pin 4
and 5 are not used, and pin 1 is simply tied to ground. The circuit can take between +3v to +18v.

The PWM signal generated using this circuit is fed to the reset pins of the decade counter IC 7490. The IC
consists of four master-slave flip-flops internally connected to provide a divide-by-2 counter and a divide-by-5
counter. The reset pins R1 and R2 are used to reset the counter and the set inputs S1 and S2 are used to set the
counter to 1001. Since the output from flip-flop 1 is not internally connected to the succeeding stages, the
counter can be operated in two independent count modes.

1. BCD counter

2. Divide-by-2 counter or Divide-by-5 counter

In this circuit, IC 7490 is used as a BCD counter to count the number of pulses during time equal to the Toff of
the PWM signal. This count is the digital equivalent of the analog input. The digital output is displayed using
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3.3 Anticipated waveforms/results

Waveforms for PWM circuit using IC 555

The above waveforms indicate the output voltage variation and the capacitor voltage variation of the PWM
circuit with time. Frequency of the pulse generated is always a constant. However, Ton and Toff depend on the
value of R1. Hence, using the above circuit, a pulse whose width depends on the value of the input voltage is

The PWM circuit is calibrated such that a pulse of Toff 1Hz is generated when the input voltage is 1V.

When this signal is fed to the reset pins of the decade counter whose clock frequency is 1Hz, it resets the
counter exactly after a count of 1. Hence, the binary equivalent of 1 is displayed.

Similarly, for input voltage ‘v’ volts, binary equivalent of ‘v’ is displayed. This way analog to digital conversion
is achieved. - 2009
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E 4.1 – Circuit Simulation scheme

Simulation Scheme for PWM circuit using Timer IC 555 - 2009
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Simulation Scheme for Decade counter using IC 7490

E4.11 – Simulation results - 2009
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PWM Circuit

Decade Counter

E4.2 – Design details - 2009
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where ‘f’ is the frequency of the pulse generated using the PWM circuit.

Let us take C1=1000µf.

Then R1=1.44K for f=1Hz.
This way R1 for other frequencies can also be computed.

E4.3 – Experimental set up

1. Connections are made for the PWM circuit using the designed standard values of resistors and capacitors as
per the above shown circuit diagram. The power supply is switched on.
2. The working of the PWM circuit is verified without connecting it to the Decade Counter IC 7490.
3. The supply is switched off and the output of the circuit is connected to the input pin of IC 7490.
4. The power supple is switched on and the digital output indicated by the flashing LEDs is observed and

E4.3.1 – Observations

Input Voltage Digital Output

1V 0001

2V 0010

3V 0011 - 2009
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E4.4 – Discussion

Using the above circuit, analog voltage up to 6V can be digitized. The digital output generated however resets
itself regularly. Hence, pulses of very high frequencies cannot be fed to the counter as the digital display of the
LEDs cannot be observed during such small time intervals.


1. Analog to digital conversion was achieved using Timer IC 555 PWM circuit and Decade counter IC

2. The frequency of the pulse generated by PWM circuit is constant. However, Ton and Toff depend on
the value of R1.

3. The decade counter counts the number of pulses during Toff and generates the binary equivalent of the
count. - 2009 - 2009
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