Sunday, July 17, 2011

Light Detector

This circuit detects light falling on the Photo-cell (Light Dependent Resistor) to turn on the 555 and create a tone that is delivered to the speaker. Pin 4 must be held below 0.7v to turn the 555 off. Any voltage above 0.7v will activate the circuit. The adjustable sensitivity control is needed to set the level at which the circuit is activated.  When the sensitivity pot is turned so that it has the lowest resistance (as shown in red), a large amount of light must be detected by the LDR for its resistance to be low. This produces a voltage-divider made up of the LDR and 4k7 resistor. As the resistance of the LDR decreases, the voltage across the 4k7 increases and the circuit is activated. 
When the sensitivity control is taken to the 0v rail, its resistance increases and this effectively adds resistance to the 4k7. The lower-part of the voltage-divider now has a larger resistance and this is in series with the LDR. Less light is needed on the LDR for it to raise the voltage on pin 4 to turn the 555 on. 



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