One of the most common clichés here is that equipment chosen for a project is always too advanced. If a Raspberry Pi was used someone will say they should have used an Arduino. If they are using an Arduino, it should have been an ATtiny. And of course, if an ATtiny was used, there should simply have been a 555 timer. This time, however, [Tim] decided to show how this can be done by removing some of the ICs from an electronic die and relying entirely on the 555 timer for its construction.
The electronic dice that [Tim] a in hand uses two main integrated circuits: an NE555 and a CD4017 which is a decade counter / divider used to step through states. In order to bring the 555 to the forefront of this build, it drops the CD4017 and adds a range of 555 timers. These are used to generate the clock signals necessary for this construction but can also be arranged to form logic circuits. This comes at a high cost, however. 555 chips take up unnecessarily large area on the PCB (even though they are small surface mount chips), consume an incredible amount of power, and are very slow. This is fine for an electronic dice rolling machine like this, but this is probably where [Tim] will leave this idea.
The 555 timer is a surprisingly versatile chip, and this project shows that there is some truth to people who claim that projects only need a few 555s. We’ve seen entire processors built using only 555s. 555, and even a classic project that uses a 555 timer to balance a robot.