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Prototype an Electronic Coin-toss Step 4: Complete the Circuit
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Prototype an Electronic Coin-toss Step 1: Connect the IC to Power

Creating an electronic version of a coin toss is a good electronics project for beginners. It doesn’t literally toss a coin. Instead, when the user removes his finger from two metal contacts, one of two lights will stay lit, indicating whether the result of the coin toss is heads or tails. Which light stays lit will be essentially random.

The instructions that follow identify specific holes in the terminal strip area of the breadboard using numbers and letters. If you're breadboard is different, you might encounter a different numbering system. If so, you can use a template to translate the numbers given in the steps for the breadboard you're using.

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Follow these three steps to insert the IC and connect it to power:

  1. Insert the 555 timer IC.

    Take a close look at the 555 timer IC. On the top, notice a small dot in one corner; this dot marks the location of pin 1. Carefully insert the leads of the 555 timer IC into the breadboard near the middle of the board, inserting pin 1 into hole E14 and pin 8 in hole F14. The IC will straddle the groove that runs down the center of the board.

  2. Connect pin 1 of the 555 timer IC to the ground bus.

    Insert one end of a small jumper wire into hole A14 and the other end into the nearest available hole in the bottommost bus strip.

  3. Connect pin 8 of the 555 timer IC to the +9 V bus.

    Insert one end of a small jumper wire into hole J14 and the other end into the nearest available hole in the topmost bus strip.

  4. Connect pins 2 and 6 of the 555 timer together.

    Insert one end of a small jumper wire into hole C15 and the other end in hole H16. The jumper wire will reach over the top of the 555 Timer chip.

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