Simple Timer Using IC 4060

In this post we learn how to build a simple yet accurate timer circuit using the IC 4060 and some ordinary passive components.

Main Advantage of using IC 4060 as the Timer IC

I have already discussed this IC comprehensively in one of my previous articles, everything regarding its pin outs have been discussed there in detail. We studied that the IC 4060 is specifically suited for timer applications and also as an oscillator. In this article we’ll study how a simple versatile timer can be built using the IC 4060.

Other than the IC you would require just a couple of resistors, one pot and a capacitor for making this timer.

Referring the figure, the simplicity of the design becomes evident and therefore this circuit is perfectly suited for all electronic newcomers, who can easily build this project and enjoy its useful service.

As explained earlier in one my articles, the IC has an in built oscillator that needs just a few passive external components for making it tick.

Depending upon the values of the external RC components, the oscillation periods can be varied right from a few fractions of a second to many hours.

RC components refer to the values of the external time determining components consisting of a resistor or a pot and a capacitor.

The outputs produce a varied rate of time periods; each output generates time periods that’s exactly double to that of the previous output in a certain order of the IC pin outs.

Since here we want to use this unit as a timer we have selected the pin out which is last in the order as far the length of the time period is concerned, meaning we have selected pin #3 which generates the highest delay period.

The biggest advantage of making a timer using IC 4060 is that the involved timing capacitor cam ne kept as small as possible by increasing the complementary timing component value, which is the resistor.

This helps to keep the circuit simple, smaller and very sleek, unlike other timer IC like 555 which require high value electrolytic capacitors for generating even ordinary time delays.

How the Circuit is Latched when Time is Elapsed

In the figure you can see a diode being introduced from the output pin #3 to one of the oscillator pin #11. This diode acts as a latching component, which latches the IC once the set time lapses and the output of the IC goes high.

If this diode is not inserted, the output would go freewheeling from logic high to logic low and keep repeating the time delays.

The circuit may be powered from a small 9 volt battery which will last almost for ever.

A buzzer is fitted at the output for the required indications of the timer output after the time delay has elapsed.

How to Reset the Timer

The IC may be reset simply by pressing the reset button or alternatively the circuit gets automatically reset when switched off and powered again.

simple accurate timer circuit using IC 4060

How to Calculate Frequency or Time Delay of IC 4060 - The Formula

formula for calculating IC 4060 time delay frequency

PCB Design

PCB design layout for IC 4060 timer circuit

Understanding the Basic ON/OFF sequence of IC 4060 pinouts

The following video shows how a basic timer circuit may be configured using an IC 4060 and a few supporting passive components.

The schematic for the circuit discussed in the video can be visualized in the following diagrams:

timer LED connection diagram for IC 4060

The following image shows how to latch IC 4060 output by adding a diode across the selected output pin and pin#11

latching with a diode to lock the output delay in IC 4060

As we already know that the timing output or delay across all the shown output pins of the IC 4060 depends on the product of the values of R1 and C1, here pin#3 can be seen going after 32 logic pulses from pin#14 of the IC. Meaning when the LED at pin#14 completes 32 pulses, the LED at pin#3 switches ON, and switches OFF after another 32 pulses from pin#14. Identically you may find different equivalent rates at the other output pins of the IC.

This timing proportion is observed when R2 and C1 are selected to be 10K and 0.1uF respectively.

Need Help? Please send your queries through Comments for quick replies!


Swagatam said…
Hi, thanks,
through trial and error find an appropriate resistor value and replace R2/P1 with it. You can also try higher values for C1, increasing them to some higher level would give you the required timing.
NomadAU said…
I've modified the circuit to run off 12 volts and it works just great. Thanks for putting up the post. I am using this to illuminate a switch panel - the idea is that you press a momentary button and the switch panel back lights will turn on for a period of time...enough time to find the switch you want and turn it on/off. I was also thinking of adding another momentary switch that would turn the lights off even if the timer hadn't expired. However, I haven't managed to figure out how to do this. Another way of describing this is that I want the Q14 (pin 3) to go high (and stay high) when I toggle the second switch.
Any ideas on how this could be done?
NomadAU said…
Thanks for publishing this circuit. I'm using it on a boat to turn on the illumination for a switch panel, running at 12V. I've replaced the buzzer with a PNP transistor that switches the real load (the panel back lights) when Q14 (pin 3) is low, and turns it off when the pin goes HIGH...and this works just fine.
So, when I push the momentary (reset) button, the lights come on for a period of time, long enough for me to find the panel switch I am interested in and turn it on or off.
Now I am wondering if there is a way of turning off the lights BEFORE the timer expires? What I'd like is a second momentary switch that would drive the Q14 (pin 3) HIGH and keep it HIGH until the first button was pressed again.
Any ideas?
Swagatam said…
You are welcome!

You can try putting a push-to-on momentary switch across the end terminals of P1/R2.

When you press this, C1 will quickly discharge making pin3 go high and latch the circuit....I think this would work
Dear Swagatam, my name is Stevan and I spend more than 20 hours on your site, searching for a circuit I need... My knowledge is not enough to figure which circuit I can use and I tried with many of them... If you have time, I would be very grateful if you could help me and design circuit. I need timer circuit which will allow me to chose for how long it will stay ON (3-10 sec) and how many times it will repeit that action during 7 days (1-7 times / once in a week, twice in a week, every day etc). I need it for controling 9-12V electro motor. Thank you very much in advance!
Swagatam said…
Dear Stevan,

Thanks! I'll try to do it for you soon and post it in this blog.
Devan Shah said…
Dear Swagatam,
If you have time, I would be very grateful if you could help me and design a circuit.

I need a circuit which will allow a speaker to play a Jingle using a COB at a fix or a pre set time, for example i want to set he speaker to play jingle at 9 AM than at 1 PM and so on.
It should work on a 3V Button cell ( 2032 )
Swagatam said…
Dear Devan,

the circuit is possible but it cannot run on 3V, there's no IC that would run comfortably on 3V
Devan Shah said…
I m ok if it can work on 9 volt battery too
Swagatam said…
you can try the circuit shown in the following link, it's a 10 stage programmable timer, you may reduce the number as per your requirement:

The relay may be replaced with the COB alarm
kikira said…
Dear sir,
I want to start a 12v /500mA max dc motor after 40-60secs of switching on and will stop after switching off.
Please refer any ckt.
I wrote u on saturday and also writing u on today. Sir please help......
Thanking you,
Swagatam said…
Dear Kausik,

you can try the circuit shown in the above link.

remove the shown buzzer and connect a TIP122 base to pin3 of the IC via a 1k resistor, connect its emitter to negative of the supply, and connect one wire of your motor to the collector of the transistor and the other to the positive supply.

Now if you switch ON power, the motor will start after a predetermined period of time depending upon the value of P1
Swagatam said…
correction: try the circuit that's given in the above article.
Mike said…
Dear Swagatam, I am trying to build a timer circuit to control an automatic fish feeder.
It needs to operate on 12 volts. It needs to operate two relays. Both need to come on at
the same time. The first relay needs to shut off after 5.2 seconds. The second relay needs to shut off after 7 seconds. Then the process needs to repeat in 24 hours. Also can you convert 18 volts ac into 12 volts dc.

Thank you
Swagatam said…
Hi Mike, I'll try to design it soon and post it in this blog, I'll provide you with the link once it's done...please be in touch.
Mike said…
Dear Swagatam, Thank you for considering my circuit. I will wait for the design. However, the transformer that I have has an output of 16 volts ac not 18. Sorry. Hope this will not be too much trouble.

Thank You kind Sir/
Ron said…
Hi swagatam
I have made circuit using 4060 timer
But getting different on and off timings
M using 470nF capacitor 1M pot Rs-10M
Please help me out
Swagatam said…
Hi Ron,

check all the outputs of the IC, you'll find the one which is may be most desirable to your need....pin3 will give highest delay, pin7 the lowest between the ON/OFFs
Aadith Shaji said…

Can you please say the part list pls..
Swagatam said…
it's already given in the circuit diagram....all resistors are 1/4 watt rated.
radioman5097 said…
Hi MIke
im looking into building a timer to replicate a broken siren at work for breaks and lunch times.
Will this circuit serv the perpose? I would need it to sound for 30 seconds at 10:00am, 12:00 and 3:00 pm each day of a 5 day work week.
if so can you provide a component rating for me?
Swagatam said…
You can try the following design

and assign the different outputs of the IC2 uniquely for the required intervals.

or probably the following one
Hi Swagatam,

Thank you for your fast reply.
I need to calculate the 4060 to give a 1 second interval, but have trouble to understand your formula.
Could you please help to get it right with the 2 resistors at pin 10 & 11 and the capacitor at pin 9?

Thank you
Swagatam said…
Hi Henrik,

for solving the equation for "seconds" you will need to use the T(out) equation which will provide you the ON/OFF delay in seconds from the selected output pin of the IC.

Rt is the resistor involved with pin#10, Ct is the capacitor at pin#9..."n" is the serial number of the preferred output pin which you can find from the datasheet of the IC....for example the first pinout in the sequence is pin#7 (Q3) while the last is pin#3 (Q13)....if you selected pin#3 then N will correspond to "13"

and Ct will be in Fradas
andrea said…

Hi swagatam,
I have read this post on cd4060 and other on its pinout, but i am sorry i not understand how it work.
I get it that pinout 9,10,11 set the frequency, but how it can counter the time?
With an capacitor and two resistors i have an frequency signal at these pinout.
Now,this frequency how come used for counter?
I hope that you can to explain this.
Thank you so much and congratulations for your job.
Swagatam said…
Hi Andrea,

the counting is in the form of pulses generated across the different output pins of the generates the pulses at the slowest rate while pin#7 the fastest...others do it at other specified frequency rates.

these rates of frequency are determined by the charging and discharging period of the capacitor, through the internal CMOS gates...however how these different speeds or frequency rates are attributed across the pinouts of the IC is a little complex to understand and will need a thorough study of the internal structure of the IC.
Rishabh said…
Hi sir,
my name is Rishabh. Sir can you please make a timer based on 4060 ic that can turn on and off a relay for 10 to 30 sec twice in 24 hours, once in morning and at evening.
Swagatam said…
Hi Rishabh, you can try the following circuit
Unknown said…
Is possible in this 4060 to generate nonsymetrical on/off timings. For example 16hours on and 8hours off?
Swagatam said…
for two unique time sequences, you may have to employ two 4060 IC s instead of one as discussed in the following article
Eduardo said…
I need to make a timer circuit wich will works with 3 times options (10min 15min and 20min)

It will receive a pulse from differents relays, by the required time.
For example:

If the required time is 10minutes, the correspondent relay of 10 minutes turn on, and the timer need to turn on a DC Motor, count 10 min, then turn off a DC Motor.

The Dame with the other times (15 minutes, and 20 minutes).

Could you help me?
Swagatam said…
Hi, to achieve this you can simply build three separate IC555 monostable timer modules with preset level of timing output, and attach the triggers to the respective 555 inputs.
Eduardo said…
I need to make a timer circuit wich will works with 3 times options (10min 15min and 20min)

It will receive a pulse from differents relays, by the required time.
For example:

If the required time is 10minutes, the correspondent relay of 10 minutes turn on, and the timer need to turn on a DC Motor, count 10 min, then turn off a DC Motor.

The same with the other times (15 minutes, and 20 minutes).

Could you help me?
Swagatam said…
Hi, to achieve this you can simply build three separate IC555 monostable timer modules with preset level of timing output, and attach the triggers to the respective 555 inputs.
Kesav.N said…
Pls tell the reason for using capacitor c2 0.1uf...

And tell how to calculate both resistors and capacitor for time delay
Swag said…
Kesav, it is called a decoupling capacitor, this is normally recommended for all CMOS ICs and should be connected directly across their supply pins (Vcc/Vss)...It is required to ensure a healthy functioning of the IC and prevent voltage transients from affecting the IC functioning during power switch ON periods

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