List of your favorite IC's

first off im not sure if this should be here or perhaps under Bar sport, the mods would know best sorrry.

any who i always seem to find some sort of IC that i only wish i would have discovered earlyer , like right now i just found out the existence of a 16 channel PWM IC , the TLC5940. I have a little text file i keep adding new ICs i come across , some i do not know how to use but still i add them. My discovery of Shift registers was love at first site i love it. and now the TLC5940! i think a minaj is in the making. but i just wanted to see some of your favorite ICs or something you would like or what you find you use the most.

Rather then specialized function ICs, my favorite chip is that all too familiar op-amp. While one can pursue specific specifications in selecting a op-amp (rail to rail, ultra low noise, etc), the amazing thing is how many specialty circuits one can create with this most unsung of chips, behold the mighty op-amp. If you were stuck on a tropical island with only batteries and passive components, the op-amp is the chip that would save your sanity and possibly your life. ;)

Lefty

Funny you should mention op-amps this Fat book i am trying to conquer has a rather long chapter on them which is what i am up to right now. i do not know why but I have always associated op-amps with Audio type of circuits but perhaps this chapter will debunk that. I know little about them .

I think it is because when i hear amplifier i think of speakers.

I think it is because when i hear amplifier i think of speakers.

No, that has limited your imagination. Op-amps are such a universal building block component that it's application spans all parts of the electronic spectrum. Did you know that the basic digital inverter function is indeed a amplifier in that it has a high input impedance and a low output impedance, making it a current amplifier, so all amps aren't for just making sound.

Lefty

You are right i am probably stunting any possible growth by shallow assumptions. I have many years ahead of me to learn and op amps are up next .
Like the saying goes " i know enough to know i dont know much" , but right now i am also enjoying the many different type of ICs there are it seems there is one for just about everything. I need to go find a list or buy a grab bag and start experimenting

In the not so distant past big distributers had catalogues you could flick through reading about what ICs they had. My favourite section was always the specialist ICs. You can do the same thing on line but it is a bit more tricky.

In the not so distant past big distributers had catalogues you could flick through

I thought they'd stopped print real paper cattle dogs but apparently my Farnell (sorry, Element14) one is in the mail.

That will be hours of fun for the whole family when it arrives, it's almost enough to make a bloke wish he had grand kids to read to :)

BTW Grumpy, stella performance on that Maker Fair video.


Rob

Back in the '80s I think the answer would have been the Z80B microprocessor - I know I pretty much memorised the hex codes for all the instructions(!).

These days I'd go for sneaky specialist ICs like the LTC3588 energy harvester, one of those MEMS gyros or the AD98xx/AD99xx DDS chips - although for instruction-set fun nothing these days beats the Parallax P8X32A Propeller I think.

TI still has a great book - The Logic Pocket Data Book http://www.ti.com/lit/ug/scyd013b/scyd013b.pdf

When I was a young engineer (in the mid 80's) we used to have bookshelves full of things like this from TI, National Semiconductor, Intel, IDT, Motorola, AMD, Atmel, etc. Now everything is online and there are lot more choices, so you need a better idea of what/where to look for. I still have my National Semi Linear Applications Handbook, but usually I just look up online what I need. Application notes are really helpful too - Atmel has a bunch, as does Maxim, TI, and others.

I have a couple of huge printed catalogs at home - Mouser and Digikey I think.

Wow fantastic book CrossRoads! That one's going to the top of my bookmarks...

CrossRoads: TI still has a great book - The Logic Pocket Data Book http://www.ti.com/lit/ug/scyd013b/scyd013b.pdf

When I was a young engineer (in the mid 80's) we used to have...

When I was a young engineer (in the mid 50's) we used to have... cool multifunction stuff like 6SN7's Data Sheet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/6SN7

(Later, George Philbrick made an Operational Amplifier out of something like 3 6SN7's)

But today, right after the Operational Amplifier, I'd suggest a comparator like the LM339 (4 comparators) or LM393 (2) You can do SO much with a comparator.. all kinds of cheapo resistor-capacitor timing, easy oscillators, pulse generation, etc etc. Datasheet: http://www.national.com/ds/LM/LM139.pdf

[Hey thanks, Crossroads, that TI book's in my Library now!]

"That one's going to the top of my bookmarks..." I would download and keep a local copy - at 5-6 MB, way faster to open & search on local hard drive.

Every once in a while you see tube op-amps on e-bay. Always end up going for more than I am willing to pay tho.

I'm not knowledgeable like the veterans, but I've seen lots of stuff done with the 555 and 556.

CrossRoads: When I was a young engineer (in the mid 80's) we used to have bookshelves full of things like this from TI, National Semiconductor, Intel, IDT, Motorola, AMD, Atmel, etc.

Someday, maybe I'll post pics and tell the longer story, but on Independence Day, at a group picnic, a couple ladies showed up with boxes of books, and I acquired the lion's share of the stuff on electronics. No space available to sort through it all, but one day, maybe I'll get to it somehow and post a photo. Gobs of app. manuals, etc., from RCA, Sylvania, Fairchild (I think), on and on. Plus tube guides, HAM, RC, ... too much to list really.

maybe I'll get to it somehow and post a photo. Gobs of app. manuals, etc., from RCA, Sylvania, Fairchild (I think), on and on. Plus tube guides, HAM, RC, ... too much to list really.

If some of those are old tube manuals, they tend to be pretty collectable and can sell well. Maybe check out E-bay for prices?

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trkparms=65%253A12%257C66%253A2%257C39%253A1%257C72%253A5212&rt=nc&_nkw=RCA+tube+manual&_sticky=1&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_sop=3&_sc=1

retrolefty:
If some of those are old tube manuals, they tend to be pretty collectable and can sell well. Maybe check out E-bay for prices?

I’ve no doubt there’s some collector value there. Not that I have a huge collection, but I’m a book hoarder. Also, when I look at collectibles, I wish I had my school lunch boxes from the 60’s. :slight_smile: (And comic books, and …)

you guys taking about these?

reminds me of those russian nixie tubes

i was just about to get a pair when i saw how much voltage you have to work with and eh i still dont feel im quite there to be working with anything that high. but one day, if i can find them

Ok, i'm trying to decide on about a dozen very useful/popular Ics (mostly analog / Interface) that i can source from China at low cost. Probably sell a kit of all part numbers also??

Lefty, you have the Eagle spec. eye.. what's the best low-cost single supply, rail-to-rail opamp, 8-pin or 16 pin DIP?? There must be some recent goodies.

I'm also looking at the obvious: LM339 / LM393 comparators NE5532 opamp for low noise, audio, general purpose LM324 for historical circuits?? ULN2003 / 2803 power drivers L293 power driver / H bridge LM386 Little Audio Amp 555 Of course

Some optocouplers: 4N35 oldie, cheap 6N139 ( VERY sensitive)

OK, more to come..

Everyone, what are your favorites or ones you'd like easily available??

Here is what I keep handy...

General Use: LM335, TIL431, LM78(L)05, LM317, 74147, 74148, 7400, 7404, 7405, 7414,7472, 7474,74192,74595,CD4040, LF351, LM833, LM311, LM339, LM555

Special Use: LM35DZ, AD592, TIL311(well out of production), TLC272 (Single Supply Op amp that works at 5V)

Lefty, you have the Eagle spec. eye.. what's the best low-cost single supply, rail-to-rail opamp, 8-pin or 16 pin DIP?? There must be some recent goodies.

So many to choose from, I couldn't recommend anything specific, just go with price and avaliblity. My real fear is anything in the 'recent goodies' catagory will not be avalible in DIP package.

I like you list so far.