The only electronic website that replies to every comment, and addresses all circuit related issues.

How to Understand IC 4017 Pin Outs - Explained in Simple Words

The IC 4017 can be considered as one of the most useful and versatile chip having numerous electronic circuit applications. Technically it is called the Johnsons 10 stage decade counter divider.

The name suggest two things, it’s something to do with number 10 and counting/dividing.

The number 10 is connected with the number of outputs this IC has, and these outputs become high in sequence in response to every high clock pulse applied at its input clock pin out. It means, all its 10 outputs will go through one cycle of high output sequencing from start to finish in response to 10 clocks received at its input.

So in a way it is counting and also dividing the input clock by 10 and hence the name.

Let’s understand the pin outs of the IC 4017 in details and from a newcomer’s point of view:

Looking at the figure we see that the device is a 16 pin DIL IC, the pin out numbers are indicated in the diagram with their corresponding assignment names.

The pinout which are marked as outputs are the pins which become logic high one after the other in a sequence in response to clock signals at pin#14 of the IC.

Therefore with the first clock pulse at pin#14 the first output pinout in the order which pin#3 goes high first, then it shuts off and simultaneously the next pin #2 becomes high, then this pin goes low and simultaneously the preceding pin #4 becomes high...... and so on until the last pin #11 becomes high. After this the sequence the IC internally resets and reverts the logic high at pin #3 to repeat the cycle.

Please note that the word “high” means a positive voltage that may be equal to the supply voltage of the IC, so when I say the outputs become high in a sequential manner means the outputs produce a positive voltage which shifts in a sequential manner from one output pin to the next, in a “running” DOT manner.

Now the above sequencing or shifting of the output logic from zero to high and back to zero, happens only when a clock signal is applied to the clock input of the IC which is pin #14.

Mind you, if no clock is applied to this input, it must be assigned either to a positive supply or a negative supply, but should never be kept hanging or unconnected, as per the standard rules for all CMOS inputs.

The clock input pin #14 only responds to positive clocks or a positive signal and with each consequent positive peak signal, the output of the IC shifts or becomes high in sequence, the sequencing of the outputs are in the order of pin outs #3, 2, 4, 7, 10, 1, 5, 6, 9, 11.

Pin #13 may be considered as the opposite of pin #14 and this pin out will respond to negative peak signals, if a clock is applied to this pin, producing the same results with the outputs as discussed above.

However normally this pin out is never used for applying the clock signals, instead pin #14 is taken as the standard clock input.

However, pin #13 needs to be assigned a ground potential, that means, must be connected to the ground for enabling the IC to function. In case pin #13 is connected to positive, the whole IC will stall and the outputs will stop sequencing and stop responding to any clock signal applied at pin #14.

Pin #15 of the IC is the reset pin input. The function of this pin is to revert the sequence back to the initial state in response to a positive potential or supply voltage, meaning the sequencing comes back to pin #3 and begins the cycle afresh, if a momentary positive supply is applied to pin #15.

If the positive supply is held connected to this pin #15, again stalls the output from sequencing and the output clamps to pin #3 making this pin-out high and fixed.

Therefore to make the IC function, pin #15 should always be connected to ground. If this pin out is intended to be used as a reset input, then it may be clamped to ground with a series resistor of 100K or any other high value, so that a positive supply now can be freely introduced to it, whenever the IC is required to be reset.

Pin #8 is the ground pin and must be connected to the negative of the supply, while pin #16 is the positive and should be terminated to the positive of the voltage supply.

Pin #12 is the carry out, and is irrelevant unless many ICs are connected in series, we will discuss it some other day. Pin #12 can be left open.

Application LED Chaser Circuit using IC 4017 and IC555

The following example GIF circuit shows how the pinouts of a IC 4017 is usually wired with an oscillator for obtaining the sequential logic high outputs. Here the outputs are connected to LEDs for indicating the sequential shift of the logics in response to each clock pulse generated by the IC 555 oscillator at pin14 of the IC 4017.

You can see that the logic shift happens in response only to the positive clock or positive edge at pin#14 of the IC 4017. The sequence does not respond to the negative pulses or clocks

•  Stumble

1. for which purpose IC 4017 is used .

thank u..

1. It depends on the user how he wants to use it...basically it is used for generating sequencing output pulse and for generating decorative LED light patterns, it is also used in timer applications.

2. hi,i just want to ask,how many voltage power that's in the pin 7(vss),pin 10 and 11(ac power)if my vdd is 12v?if cd4047 just could make the ac signal without amplify so it's not useful than an ac circuit?

2. really you have a fantastic blog ^_^
thank you so much :)

3. ......welcome dear :D

4. Hi Swagatam,

can you make a diagram to check if this IC 4017 is working?

for testing purposes only of the IC.

Regards,

1. You will have to make a 16 pin socket arrangement with the relevant pins assigned to the appropriate positions, and LeDs fixed at the output pins.

The circuit should have an oscillator stage also for feeding pin#14 of the socket.

Then we just need to insert the IC into the socket, press the oscillator button, and check the led sequencing. This will confirm the IC working.

Regards.

2. Hi Swagatam,

can i use 555 as a oscillator?

Regards,

3. Hi Swagatam,

thanks a lot for your quick response.

just to clarify the connection of IC 4017:

pin# 16 = positive
pin# 8 = negative (ground)
pin# 14 = connected to pin# 3 of IC 555
pin# 13 = ?
ten output = LED's

Regards,

4. That's perfect!

pin#13, pin#15 = ground

ten outputs = LEDs with 1K series resistor for each led to ground.

5. sorry, correction:

ten outputs = LEDs with their free ends (cathodes) made common and terminated to ground via a single 1K resistor.....

6. 555 oscillator will be great!

7. Thanks a lot Swagatam...

i already made one, its like a toggle switch but i use a solenoid for locking and unlocking my gate.

keep up the good work :)

more power to you!!!

Regards,

5. can you explain pin#12, carry out pin...what is the purpose of it?

6. pin#12 is for supplying and forwarding the clock pulses to the following ICs if there are any....

7. Hi Bro Swagatam, just curious to know if the 4017 can be made to count down as in shifts from high (#11) to (#3)without placing the led to look like its counting down arrangement? Or is there any other similar IC for this not a uController? Thanks I think you can provide me the answer to this question. Thanks bro swagatam.

8. Sorry Bro, just stumbled upon your other post http://homemadecircuitsandschematics.blogspot.com/2011/12/simple-reverse-forward-led-light-chaser.html :P Thanks again. great post and nice explanations Bro Swagatam.

1. You are welcome Bro!!

9. I am attending ITT tech for an electronics degree and I came up on a request the other day to build a circuit that can count down the days till christmas... could the 4017 ic possibly do this?

1. You may have to incorporate three ICs, 4060, 4040 and also 4017 for acquiring precise results....

10. I'm working in electronics workbench in school and it doesn't have 4017, can i change it with some other IC?

1. What do you want to make???

2. me too there is no 4017 in our hometown
this is our project:
Requirment of 2 traffic lights.
Red is high for minimum of 5s
Orange/Yellow/Amber is high for 3s fixed
Green is high for minimum of 10s
Also have an indicator that will show where the cars can go (which way)
can you suggest a substitute for 4017?
THANK YOU!! :)

3. you can try IC 4022

11. I want to know why led at pin 2 is on and pin is of for checking?

12. Thank you

13. Sir plz contact me.09990333434,9991333434,9992333434. My email id. babaledboard@gmail.com

14. sir,my name is karthie...i need to know where where this was used...?

1. Hi Karthik, one example can be seen in light chaser circuits, just type "light chaser" in the search box above, you will find the related articles.

15. Hi I am going to be using this IC in the LED dice with slow down project and I'm looking to connect a sound generator circuit with a flip flop to produce a sound when the LED's come to a stop. I wanted to know what pin on the 4017 will have a positive output once the LED sequence has come to a stop? Hence so I can connect the input of the second circuit (the flip flop) to that pin.

1. The output will be random and never fixed to a definite pin. It will depend on how many clocks are applied at pin14 of the IC. It will begin from pin3 and sequence by one pinout in response to every positive pulse at its pin14, as soon as it reaches pin11, the sequence returns back to pin3 for repeating the cycle.

16. Hi I'm making a dice circuit with a cd4017 and a 555timer but I can't get the LEDs that are connected to different outputs on the 4017 to light at the same time. For example, I connected four corners together to make 4, and two middle to make two, but I don't know how to make them both light to make six! It seems like the cd4017 can only have high output on one pin at once? Anything will help, thank you

1. You can use scrs at the output of the 4017 for latching the switched pinouts of the IC, please refer to the first diagram in this article:

17. Hi Swagatam

I want to use this IC for 10 random outputs.
According to my understanding, the CD4017 would keep on repeating its output cycle as long as the clock is fed at pin#14. My idea is to use a push-switch, which when pressed momentarily should send clock signals to CD4017. Ten LEDs are so connected that during the counting process no LED should light up. When the clock is disabled and the counting process stops, any one LED should light up randomly.

If the push-switch is used to trigger an monostable oscillator, which in turn activates a clock oscillator, the monostable would always stop the clock at fixed time which ultimately cause the CD4017 to stop it counting process at a fixed output pin.

1. Hi Abu-Hafss,

Yes it is possible, the monostable would also be responsible for feeding the negative to the common ends of the LEDs after it stops the oscillator stage, this would illuminate the particular LED at the end as required by the application

2. Hi Swagatam

Thanks for such a simple solution. But as I mentioned earlier, the monostable would always stop after a specific time hence, the clock would also stop after that time which ultimately would always light up only one particular LED. How to resolve this issue?

3. Hi Abu-Hafss,

"Ten LEDs are so connected that during the counting process no LED should light up. When the clock is disabled and the counting process stops, any one LED should light up randomly"

That's exactly what will happen if we implement the method suggested by me in the previous comment.

You present question is contradicting the previous question, I did not get it.

By "one particular LED" are you assuming that the 4017 would get reset and pin3 LED would always light up??
No, that wouldn't happen, as soon as the clock stops a random LED could be seen lit up

4. Hi Swagatam

I mentioned in my very first post, "According to my understanding" which could be wrong. What I assumed is that in an electronic dice circuit, we have to press the ROLL-ON-DICE push button to send the clock signal to CD4017, which will start the counting process until the push-button is released. And during this counting process, the LEDs would turn ON/OFF in the counting sequence until the push switch is released, and then finally one set of LED would light up.

IN SIMPLE WORDS, THE RANDOM SELECTION DEPENDS UPON THE DURATION OF THE TIME FOR WHICH THE PUSH BUTTON IS PRESSED.

Whereas, in my case, if we deploy a monostable oscillator to trigger the clock signal to the CD4017 then the monostable would always stop the clock signal after FIXED TIME PERIOD as set by the timing components. This means the clock signal would always be fed for that fixed time and ultimately the CD4017 would always stop the output at a specific pin.

5. Hi Abu-Hafss,

OK now I got it, but why do we need a monostable anyway? We can use an astable instead.

6. ...I mean the push button would charge a capacitor, whose level of charge would determine for how long the astable could supply the clocks to the 4017.

7. Again......., the level of charge of the capacitor will be directly proportional to the time for which the push-switch is pressed.

Monostable oscillator was just my idea as a starting line of action.

I just want a push button to be pressed momentarily which should (somehow) trigger clock signal to the CD4017, always for variable length of time !!!

8. The capacitor should charge relatively slowly, it should be dimensioned such that it takes about 10 seconds to get fully charged, Since nobody would hold the switch for so long would allow different charge level for the subsequent pressings.

Also the astable whose switch ON time would depend on the charge level of the above capacitor should be dimensioned for producing a very high frequency.

Together, the configuration would force perfect random results from the 4017 outputs, this is what I assume.

9. may be I misinterpreted your requirement, you don't want the pressing duration to be influencing the result....in that case it will require some thinking and it would make the circuit a bit complex for achieving that.

10. Hi Swaagatam

Yes, now you got it.....I "don't want the pressing duration to be influencing the result"....:)

11. Hi Abu-Hafss,
One easy way would be to use another set of 4017/oscillator stage fixed at 1 or 2 Hz sequencing rate, then use these sequencing outputs to provide randomly selected capacitors for the monostable.
This would continue for as long as the system stays powered, that means the monostable would be producing slightly different delays randomly for each flick of its pushbutton.

18. HMM, AB GURU JEE AAYE RIGHT TRACK PAR ;)

Firstly, for the 1st set (of 4017+oscillator), we have to deploy a non-555 configuration to achieve such low frequency oscillation......right?

Secondly, where the push-button will be deployed?

Lastly, can a Random Bit Generator Circuit be used to achieve the goal instead of your above-suggested configuration?

1. Thank you Bigboss,

I have seen a circuit of a Random Bit Generator using a few 2N3904 transistors and a TTL NOT gate, but not sure how it would perform for our application.

Another idea is to use an ordinary multicolor LED which generates quite a random automatic blinking rates, this could be integrated to the 4017 pin14 while the monostable output attached with pin13 (after inverting) of 4017 and directly with the common cathodes of the LEDs.

I would be publishing it soon in my blog for you to see.

2. Hi Swagatam

You didn't replied the first two questions.

Actually, I planned to integrate this circuit in a larger project (LED dance floor) which will illuminate LEDs in different configuration/colors, randomly in response to a foot-tap.

3. Hi Abu-Hafss,

we can use a 4060 oscillator to facilitate the use of smaller timing capacitor.

The push button could be across pin2 and ground of the monostable.

Can you please explain how you would want to implement the same in your application (LED dance floor)??

19. Hi Swagatam

Here are the LED dance floor modules (tiles) stacked.
http://i01.i.aliimg.com/wsphoto/v2/568475299_1/tricolor-rgb-led-dance-floor-sale.jpg

Here they are assembled as floor:
http://www.nprentertainments.co.uk/DSCF0215.jpg

Each tile or module has its complete circuit. Multi-colored LEDs are arranged in various fashion/designs. The circuit can be operated in two modes:

1) AUDIO INPUT: The LEDs will be illuminated in response to the music signals received at the input of the circuit.

2) MANUAL INPUT: Each module is installed with a tap/weight sensor. The circuit will illuminate LEDs in different combination (randomly) in response to a tap or weight change detected by the sensor.

For the 1st option, an audio spectrum circuit can be used. For the 2nd option, I was considering to use the 4017 circuit.

The original circuit is based on microcontroller but, I am trying to do without it.

1. That's interesting Abu-Hafss, I'll try to include the idea in my blog soon.

20. Sir how to ensure whether the output pins of 4017 carries the voltage equal to the supply voltage ?

1. configure the IC as per its standard layout, don't put any clock at its pin14, keep pin14 connected to ground, and measure the output at pin3 or whichever pin may be high at that instant.

2. ...you can also refer to its datasheet for the same...

21. hello sir how are you now i am a big fan of yours
pls tell me sir how these ic are checked can this be done my multimeter then pls tell me how to check whether ic is faulty or not

1. Hello Puneet thanks!, there's no easy way of checking ICs such as 4017, the only way is to build a standard configuration and see if all the pins are responding as per the specs.

22. will there be other ic that can substitute 4017? we cant find 4017 at our town here is our project
Requirement of 2 traffic lights.
Red is high for minimum of 5s
Orange/Yellow/Amber is high for 3s fixed
Green is high for minimum of 10s
Also have an indicator that will show where the cars can go (which way)
THANK YOU!!

23. WHAT IS THE RESULT IF WE CONNECT 15 TH PIN TO THE 4TH PIN?

24. How do I get tri color less to run off a cd4017 if ? I need 20ma to leds

25. I am using a 555 with 4017 to make tri color less with a common cathode dance. How would you do this ?

1. use the pins 3,4,7 for the LEDs and connect pin7 with pin15

2. ...sorry correction:

use the pins 3, 2, 4 for the LEDs and connect pin#7 with pin#15

26. Hi Swagatam
Some time ago I built your police light flasher circuit: http://www.brighthubengineering.com/diy-electronics-devices/65936-easy-construction-of-strobe-lights-as-used-in-police-vehicles-explained/
I would like to modify this circuit to flash 7 times and then all lights should stay on while power is supplied.
I do not need it to chase so N2 should be eliminated.
I think that the 8th (pin 6)output should be connected to pin 13.
Is that correct?
Do you have a circuit like this?
How do I connect pin 15?
Thank you
Max

1. Hi Max, the 4017 and N1 are responsible for the chasing action, N2 is used for producing multiple strobe flashes on the LED while it is chasing.

If you are intending to allow the LED to chase upto 7 sequences, in that case you eliminate the N2 output connection with the LED, and connect the LeD cathode ends to ground.

for stopping the chasing after 7 sequences could be done by connecting pin#6 with pin#13...pin#13 being removed from ground

connect pin15 directly with ground

2. Hj again Swagatam
I really appreciate your patience and extensive knowledge.
I don't think I made myself too clear in my previous post.
What I would like to do is to make 7 outputs strobe very fast for 1 cycle and then all 7 outputs should stay on while a positive voltage is present.
I wish to use 20 leds.
Should pin 15 be grounded via a 100R resistor?
Thanks again and keep up the good work. I learn more every time...
Max

3. Thanks Max,

In that you can simply connect pin#15 with ground through a 100K or any high values resistor, and also connect a 0.1uF capacitor from pin#15 to positive supply for ensuring that the LEDs always light up from pin#3 whenever the circuit is switch ON

27. Hello sir
I make this circuit with 10 led.
I want to use this circuit in fence guard for when anyone traped in fence then count 10pulse after than it is off using 555 timer for small time and after than it continuous to work.

But problem is that I give 12v supply using battery.and using second battery I turn on fence guard .but I don't connect fence guard with any connection with counter circuit but every pulse it counts.as I remove 13pin from ground then also counter circuit counts.
As we know fence guard is generate 10kv pulse so due to mutual induction counter circuit start count.

Counter circuit and fence guard machine is totally isolated and keeping distance with 1feet but it counter starts and one by one led glow.
There is no connection between them.

How to remove this effect.

1. Hello Vikas, I cannot suggest until I see the entire schematic and how you have integrated the two stages with each other.

Anyway, pin#13 must be connected to the positive supply in order to stop the counting, just by removing it from the ground might not correctly inhibit the 4017 from counting....you can do this by connecting pin#13 with pin#11...so that as soon as 10 sequences are over the output locks at pin#11

28. Hii
I used 4017 to lit 8 rows of led. So I connected output 8 to reset pin . But I doesn't see any sort of output/result. Is it the correct way to connect output 8 directly to reset pin

1. Hi, the sequence order of the IC is in the following way

#3, 2, 4, 7, 10, 1, 5, 6, 9, 11

Therefore for getting 8 channel effect, you must connect pin#9 with pin#15.

2. Pin#8 is the ground pin of the IC...

29. hii Swagatam
i was trying to build an 8x8 LED display board using 74HC595 shift register to send data to eight anodes. and CD4017 to make sure that only one column is active at time. since 4017 is connected to cathodes of LED matrix, i need active low outputs from 4017 . so i used 2N3904 transistor as driver circuit and as inverter. but i doesnt find any useful outcome. whatever the input at base of transistor the output at collector is grounded ,litting all the leds in the matrix if all anodes are high. .... can you figure out and suggest the changes that should be made in the circuit. im using 5v supply

1. Hi Ramchandra,

It looks like your IC is faulty or the transistors are faulty,....because all the NPN cannot stay ON together when connected to an oscillating IC 4017 circuit.

You can put LEDs in series with the base of each transistor and check the response..if still you find the base LEDs also ON then definitely that would indicate a faulty IC 4017..make sure you have a 10K resistor at the bases of the transistors

and also make sure the 4017 sequencing is slow enough so that the LED response becomes viewable if it's too fast all LEDs would appear to be glowing together...

30. Hello .
I am tryingto build a Device by using 555 +4017 as an sequencers . Btw I have many questions but the later I'll discuss first I would like to know what ll be the voltage in 4017 outputs​. This question is because , I am building a device in which every pins of 4017 outputs have been connected 3-4 LEDs and as well several ICSof 4017 are connected in series with the same outputs configurations​ so please let me know or if you have any better simple solution for me thankful for your concern ..

1. Hello,
the output from a 4017 IC will be almost equal to the supply voltage connected to its pin#16...