LED Dice Kit Tutorial

We are so excited that you have decided to join us on this journey of electrifying tech fun!  In this box you will find everything you need to make your own LED Dice Simulator!  Just like any 6-sided die in any board game you have played, this simulator has 6 possible outcomes!  This kit uses a timer and a counter to cycle through the 6 options, just like rolling a die!  When you press the pads on the bottom, your finger helps to complete the circuit.  This causes the onboard capacitor to charge until you let go.  The simulator will then cycle through the 6 options until the capacitor is fully discharged.  The longer you keep your finger on the pads, the longer it will take the capacitor to discharge, and the longer the simulator will “roll” your die.

First, you should refresh yourself on soldering safety!

Timer → The onboard timer is called a 555 Timer. The 555 Timer sends electrical pulses that control how quickly the simulator changes die options, or how quickly your die rolls.

Counter → The 555 Timer sends its pulses to a CD4017 Decade Counter. This counter controls which pin is turned on for each of the die options. Each pulse received from the 555 Timer causes this counter to switch pins. There are 6 pins, so each pin represents a different die outcome.

Capacitor → The onboard 0.1uF capacitor is used to store electrical energy for as long as your finger is on the pad. When you let go, the capacitor begins to release the energy to the 555 Timer so that the die simulator can begin cycling through options!

For your reference, here is a copy of the resistor color code.  The resistors in this kit use the 4-Band Code.
Resistor Color Code


Count all of your parts and verify everything is in your kit.

Resistor, 1K
Brown Black Red
Resistor, 330
Orange Orange Brown
Resistor, 10K
Brown Black Orange
Resistor, 5.1M
Green Brown Green
Capacitor 1.0uF Electrolytic
Can-Shaped Component
Capacitor 0.1uF
Yellow Bead
Transistor BC547
Black, 3 Legs (BC547)
Transistor BC557
Black, 3 Legs (BC557)
Socket DIP-16
16 Pin Socket
Socket DIP-8
8 Pin Socket
Red and Clear (Long Pin Positive)
555 Timer
8 Pins Black IC
CD4017 Decade Counter
16 Pins Black IC
Battery Clip / Wire
Battery Clip Red/Black Wire
9V Battery
9V Battery

Step 1

Take your 1 k Ohm resistor (Brown Black Red) and install it into R14. Bend the legs until the spacing fits into the two holes. Orientation does not matter on resistors.

R14 is located near the top of the board. Once the legs are through the board, bend them outward to hold in place. Flip the board over, and solder to the pads. Do this for each component in the list.
LED Dice Kit - Step 1

Step 2

Take your three 330 Ohm resistors (Orange Orange Brown) and place those into R15, R16, and R17.

These are on the top row next to the 1 k Ohm resistor that you just installed.

LED Dice Kit - Step 2

Step 3

Grab the nine 10 k resistors (Brown Black Orange) and place these into positions R4, R6, R7, R8, R9, R10, R11, R12, and R13.

LED Dice Kit - Step 3

Step 4

Now you will install the four 5.1 Mega Ohm resistors (Green Brown Green). These go into locations R1, R2, R3, and R5.

Step 5

The 1.0uF Capacitor will be installed next. This component goes into location C1. Be sure to line up the stripe on the side of the capacitor with the white mark on the board.

Step 6

The small 0.1uF yellow capacitor installs next into location C2. Orientation does not matter for this component.

Step 7

You have three BC547 Transistors to install next. These will go into locations Q2, Q3, and Q4. These are shaped like a D, so be sure to install them in the correct orientation to match the drawing on the circuit board.

Step 8

Next there are two BC557 transistors. They are at positions Q1 and Q5. These are also D shaped, and need to match the drawing on the circuit board.

Step 9

Locate the two DIP sockets. One is a 16 pin, and the other is an 8 pin. The 16 pin socket will be installed at location U2, while the 8 pin socket will install at location U1. Be sure to line up the notch on the end of the socket with the drawing on the circuit board. This notch is important on the ICs that will be installed later. Solder each pin carefully and quickly as to not melt the plastic socket itself.

Step 10

Time to install the LEDs!

Locate the seven red LEDs and install them into locations D1, D2, D3, D4, D5, D6, and D7. Orientation is key with LEDs as if they are installed backwards they will not work. The long leg is positive (+) and the short leg is (-). These are marked on the circuit board for the correct orientation.

Step 11

IC Installation

Find the 555 Timer and the CD4017 Decade Counter. Be very careful handling the pins as they can bend very easily. The 555 Timer will be installed into the socket at location U1 with the notches matching. The CD4017 Decade Counter will install at location U2 with the notch matching the socket.

Step 12

The last item you should have is the 9V Battery Lead. Slide the tip of each wire into it's corresponding hole at location BT1 which is at the bottom left corner of the board. The red wire will go into the positive (+) hole, and the black wire will go into the negative (-) hole.

Step 13

Install the 9V battery by clipping the lead onto the battery.

Use your finger and touch the pads at location SW1, bottom center of the circuit board. The longer you hold your finger here, the more charge the capacitor receives and the longer it takes for the die to roll.

Thanks for coming on this adventure with us!

Schematic of the Kit