Most people believe, including me, that programming is a powerful technique, and a lot of things in everyday life are realized by programming. However, being taken away this skill, what can still be achieved?
In this project, a logic circuit with complex functionality is built using only simple IC chips and circuitry. A 7-segment LED displays numeral from 0 to 9 with adjustable frequency using a potentiometer, and the number can be reset anytime to 0 by pressing a reset button. For programmers utilizing a simple development board such as Arduino, this seems like a piece of cake. However, it requires a certain degree of knowledge for digital circuit and IC chip control in order to accomplish it without coding.
Here, two simple IC chips are used: a 4024 counter and a 4511 BCD to 7-segment converter. An oscillator circuit with square wave output and potentiometer-controllable frequency is constructed, and the signal is fed into the 4024 counter, which outputs bitwise data to the 4511 converter, and eventually sends to the 7-segment display. A latch circuit and button is connected to the reset input of the 4024 counter for adding the reset function.
I was fascinated by the wide applicability of digital circuits, which can achieve low-cost and stable hardware features such as this project.
Here’s a video demonstration of this project (note that the Arduino on the left is just for power supply):