Pin numbersThe pins are numbered anti-clockwise around the IC (chip) starting near the notch or dot. The diagram shows the numbering for 8-pin and 14-pin ICs, but the principle is the same for all sizes.
IC holders (DIL sockets)ICs (chips) are easily damaged by heat when soldering and their short pins cannot be protected with a heat sink. Instead we use an IC holder, strictly called a DIL socket (DIL = Dual In-Line), which can be safely soldered onto the circuit board. The IC is pushed into the holder when all soldering is complete.
IC holders are only needed when soldering so they are not used on breadboards.
Commercially produced circuit boards often have ICs soldered directly to the board without an IC holder, usually this is done by a machine which is able to work very quickly. Please don't attempt to do this yourself because you are likely to destroy the IC and it will be difficult to remove without damage by de-soldering.
Removing an IC from its holderIf you need to remove an IC it can be gently prised out of the holder with a small flat-blade screwdriver. Carefully lever up each end by inserting the screwdriver blade between the IC and its holder and gently twisting the screwdriver. Take care to start lifting at both ends before you attempt to remove the IC, otherwise you will bend and possibly break the pins.
|Antistatic bags for ICs|
Photograph © Rapid Electronics
It is usually adequate to earth your hands by touching a metal water pipe or window frame before handling the IC but for the more sensitive (and expensive!) ICs special equipment is available, including earthed wrist straps and earthed work surfaces. You can make an earthed work surface with a sheet of aluminium kitchen foil and using a crocodile clip to connect the foil to a metal water pipe or window frame with a 10k resistor in series.
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Sinking and sourcing currentIC outputs are often said to 'sink' or 'source' current. The terms refer to the direction of the current at the IC's output.
If the IC is sinking current it is flowing into the output. This means that a device connected between the positive supply (+Vs) and the IC output will be switched on when the output is low (0V).
If the IC is sourcing current it is flowing out of the output. This means that a device connected between the IC output and the negative supply (0V) will be switched on when the output is high (+Vs).
It is possible to connect two devices to an IC output so that one is on when the output is low and the other is on when the output is high. This arrangement is used in theLevel Crossing project to make the red LEDs flash alternately.
The maximum sinking and sourcing currents for an IC output are usually the same but there are some exceptions, for example 74LS TTL logic ICs can sink up to 16mA but only source 2mA.