Evil Mad Scientist 555SE Surface-Mount Edition

USD $35.00

Take a venerable 555 IC, stick it through a transmorgrifier process, and then you have this clever 555 kit, with the internals broken down to individual components. BUT this is the smaller, surface-mount version kit!

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The "555SE" 555 timer kit is a surface-mount soldering kit that lets you build a faithful and functional transistor-scale replica of the NE555 timer integrated circuit, one of the most classic, popular, and all-around useful chips of all time.

Like its larger sibling (the "Three Fives" soldering kit), the 555SE is an easy soldering kit that results in a working 555 timer, styled like an integrated circuit. While the "Three Fives" kit is a traditional through-hole soldering kit, the 555SE is a surface mount soldering kit, styled to look like a smaller "SOIC" packaged (surface mount) integrated circuit. This particular kit is called the "555SE" because it is our Surface-mount Edition, SOIC Edition, SMD Edition, and Small Edition of the 555 soldering kit. But don't fret the small-stuff: We're using easy-to-solder BIG surface-mount components!

The 555SE kit was designed by Eric Schlaepfer, working in collaboration with Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories. The kit is lovingly designed to resemble an (overgrown) integrated circuit, based around a black circuit board with clear solder mask so that you can see the wiring traces between the components. It comes complete with a beautiful aluminum display stand that gives the circuit board eight legs in the shape of SOIC-packaged integrated circuit pins. If you're familiar with our larger DIP-IC styled Three Fives kit, you'll find the 555SE to be smaller and built to the same scale, with half the lead pitch, and all surface-mount components.

Building the kit

The 555SE is an easy-to-build surface-mount soldering kit. It includes the circuit board, resistors, and transistors that make up the electrical circuit as well as printed assembly instructions. The kit also comes complete with the "IC Leg" stand, and 8 color coded thumbscrew terminal posts.

Building the 555SE requires basic electronic soldering skill and tools are required, but no additional knowledge of electronics is presumed or required. You provide standard surface-mount soldering tools: a soldering iron, solder (wire or paste), small metal tweezers, as well as a Phillips head screwdriver. The kit features relatively large surface mount components (1206 and SOT-23), and is a great first surface-mount soldering kit if you're just getting started. However, if you are experienced at surface mount soldering and have tools like a hot air rework station or other equipment, you're welcome to use them for assembling this kit.

Using the 555SE Discrete 555 Timer

The 555SE circuit is a direct implementation of the "equivalent circuit" from the NE555 datasheet, built up using resistors and individual 2N3904 and 2N3906 transistors. It comes with terminal posts and solder points so that you can actually connect to it and build up any number of 555 timer and oscillator circuits. Using those terminal posts and solder points, you can hook up with with bare wires, lugs, alligator clips, and/or solder joints - however you see fit to use it! And unlike the chip version, you can even hook up probes to monitor what goes on inside the circuit.

There are a remarkably large number of excellent 555 example circuits available on the internet (for example, over 100 here), as well as on other sites across the internet.

While the 555SE will work without modification in the majority of example circuits, some performance characteristics are different than those of 555 integrated circuits; please refer to the Absolute Maximum Ratings and Electrical Characteristics in the datasheet for additional details.



The 555SE printed circuit board is 2.559 × 2.047 inches (6.5 × 5.2 cm) in area, and (nominally) 0.062" (1.6 mm) thick.
Including the "Integrated Circuit Legs" stand and terminal posts, the overall size of the assembled kit is nominally 2.559 × 3.066 × 0.800 inches (6.5 × 7.8 × 2.0 cm).

Materials and construction:

  • The decorative stand is smooth to the touch and made of anodized aluminum.
  • The circuit board in the kit is black, with gold plated contacts, a clear solder mask finish, and four countersunk mounting holes.
  • Eight 4-40 surface-mount threaded inserts for the terminal posts are included with the kit.
  • The included terminal post screws are stainless steel thumbscrews with color-coded plastic caps (1 red, 1 black, 6 gray).
  • All materials (including the circuit board and stand) are RoHS complaint (lead free).

Evil Mad Scientist is a trademark of Bantam Tools, used under license.

Additional information

Weight 0.195 kg
Dimensions 16.5 × 10.5 × 6 cm


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Warning: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.
Please visit www.P65Warnings.ca.gov for more information. This item was manufactured prior to August 31, 2018.

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