simple programmable timer circuit - How to Make a Simple Programmable Timer Circuit

How to Make a Simple Programmable Timer Circuit

A programmable timer is a device which can be used for switching a load ON and OFF after predetermined delays as per the requirements.

The delay timings are adjustable according to the users personal specs. The ON time delay and the OFF time delay are independently settable and this facility becomes the most important feature of a programmable timer circuit.


In this page we will discuss a very simple yet reasonably useful timer circuit diagram whose ON time and OFF time settings are independently adjustable through ordinary pots.

The idea becomes so easily configurable due to the versatile IC 4060 which require minimal number of component for getting the unit running.

Looking at the CIRCUIT DIAGRAM below we can see that two inexpensive IC 4060 have been wired up as two independent timer modes.

However though the timing settings are independent for the two sections, these are coupled with other such that their initialization become very much interconnected.

Basically both the configurations are similar and have been rigged in the standard counting modes of the IC 4060 devices.

How the Circuit Functions

The output of the upper IC is coupled to the reset input of the lower IC via a transistor in such a way that once the upper IC's output goes high, it triggers the lower timer into operation.

The lower IC then starts counting and when its output goes high, it halts the upper ICs counting and resets it to its original state and the process is initiated back from the start.

It simply means that as long as the upper ICs timing does not lapse the lower IC remains idle, however once the upper ICs timing lapses and its output becomes high, it switches the output load as well as the lower ICs operation.

The pot associated with the upper IC can be used for determining after how long the load will be switched ON, while the pot associated with the lower IC is used for determining how long the load remains in the switched ON position or simply after what time it should be switched OFF.

simpleprogrammabletimercircuit - How to Make a Simple Programmable Timer Circuit

278 thoughts on “How to Make a Simple Programmable Timer Circuit

  1. Have questions? Please feel free to post them through comments! Comments will be moderated and solved ASAP.
  2. Hi engineer,
    am interested with programmable timer circuit is affordable and it simple to build.
    but would like to know, can this circuit to control my house lights load off and on when i need it?
    regards moses

  3. Hi, sir can you design a circuit for me to control water pump with timer, i want my water pump switched off at given time e.g. 30 min
    my elder brother always forget to switch off the water pump which resulting a water tank over flow and water runs down into uper portion rooms 🙁

    plz guide me with complete parts list circuit design and diagram as assuming i am not an expert in electronics but i know how to solder:D

    water pump picture and tech details link is below for ref

  4. hi,

    i need a circuit for my auquarium where it do following

    it switch off the lights at 10:00 pm and starts at 7:00 am daily + off the light at 12:00 pm daily and up at 6:00 pm .

    this will help me to live my fishes live longer. 🙂

    Thanks in advance.

    Amit desai {amitad7 at}

  5. Hi,

    I m sure you must be busy but this is my gentle reminder…..
    this will help me to save power & to my fish to live longer.

    it switch off the lights at 10:00 pm and starts at 7:00 am daily + off the light at 12:00 pm daily and up at 6:00 pm .

  6. Hi,

    can we make simple watt meter { like "kill a watt" but that device works only on 110 V. } that measure our daly Watt usage for specific device?

    Amit Desai.

  7. Hi! I built the circuit but it doesn't function. Could you please give me a specifc part list because I think I bought the wrong parts. How many watts should be the resistor and what type the capacitor?

    • All the resistors are 1/4 watt rated, caps at pin#9 should be strictly non polar type.

      Rest of the caps are ceramic disc type.

      Connect an Led across pin#15 and ground via a 1K resistor of the upper IC.

      This LED should produce different flashing rates at different pot positions indicating the proper functioning of the circuit.

      For the lower IC do the above thing at pin #7

    • Sorry to bather you again. The circuit is still not working. I changed the by-polar caps to non polar 1uf100v that would be a problem? The variable resistors have 3 pins, do I have to use them all or just the 2 of them? I find a difficulty to read the circuit at this point. Thanks for your help!

    • I suggested you to connect an LED at pin#15 of the upper LED, which would provide an instant indication of the circuit response.

      1uF/100V non polar is fine!

      the center and any of the outer pins of the variable resistor should be used. Make the 100K resistor to 1K, this will make possible to get very low delays.

      Please read the following post for understanding how the IC 4060 functions:


  8. Good day Mr Swagatam, i please need a circuit that will switch 6 lights on individually at certain time and then the 6 off individually its for my marine tank.Example light 1 ON-09H00 Light 2-09H20 and so on. Off sequence Light 1 OFF18H00 Light 2 OFF 18H20 and so on. I need this to repeat everyday same sequence. Thanks Guys.

  9. Hi, I need a circut with a on time of .1 to 1 second and a off time of 1 to 10 seconds, will the ic4060 be able to do .1 seconds? Thank you

  10. Hello SirJi,

    I live in a place with water scarcity and lots of scheduled power outage. I frequently have to stay up at night to operate our community water pumping system manually. It would be great if you could help design a timer circuit to automatically control the water pump. This is our system requirement:
    We need to control a 1500Watt water pump. The pump needs to pump water for 5 hours each night. But it needs to be rested for 10-15 minutes after each hour of pumping so it has to be manually switched on and off several times.
    Could you look into this. What we ideally need is a timer circuit that will power the pump on and off 5 to 6 times, keeping it on for 1 hour and then off for 10-15 minutes and on for another hour, off for 10-15 min repeatedly 4-5 times. Can this be done? Please advice

  11. hi! sir swagatam, i already bought all the said part list above. except one 0.1mf/25volt ceramic disc type or mylar capacitor. the said capacitor is not available here. what the suitable replacement for this? the only available here is 0.1pf/50voltnon polar …..thanks…

  12. I really hope someone can help me……

    At the office I need one answerphone message during office hours and a different message out of hours. At the moment these are switched manually however on the odd occasions when I have to go elsewhere before going into the office, the out of hours message stays on until I can physically switch it over.

    I thought of creating a standard programable timer that connects between the wall telephone socket and the two answering machines that can switch one machine off whilst switching the other on and vice versa.

    I originally thought of just using electric timers as can be bought in a shop however if the power is disconnected to an answering machine then it is reset and may not work properly when switched back on without physical intervention. So my thought is that both machines remain powered up but the switching actually happens on the telephone line.

    I think it should be straight forward however I have not been able to find anything that can achieve this. Any help or circuit design ideas would be very much appreciated.

    Thank you.

    • HELLO SIR..
      THANKSS …..

  13. hi dear…
    can i use the above circuit to keep relay ON for 5 sec and keep relay OFF for next 30 minutes..and after 30 minute the ralay automatically ON again for 5 sec and thin OFF for 30 Minutes and this process repeat again again

    • Can I connect the load directly to the circuit instead of using a relay? I want the circuit to drive two parallel LED's. One red and one green which should blink in sync.

      If I can, using a 9 V battery, what type of LED's can you recommend for using in paralell and how big does the current limiting resistor need to be for each one? Also, do I need the diod in your diagram in parallel with the LED's?

    • THis is not a blinker, rather a timer circuit.

      Anyway if you are using it as a timer, do the the following:
      You can remove the transistor/relay assembly and connect one of the LEDs LED across the existing 1K resistor and pin#7 of the IC. Anode will connect with 1K and cathode to pin7.
      For the second LED, you have to repeat the procedure, connect another resistor at pin3 of the IC, connect the LED across the free end of this resistor and pin7 of the IC….polarity same as explinaed for the first LED.

      The LED cathodes are connected to pin7 so that they blink when the time elapses

    • I want to use this circuit to control the blinking rate. I know there are more simple solutions if you just want to have a blinking led. There are even led's with blink circuitry built into them. I want to be able to control on and off time of the LED's. I can do that with your solution right?

      Should I remove the relay, the diode AND the nearest BC547 so the 1k sits in junction with +12v and ground?

      Also, is it correct to connect the resistor to pin 3 on the upper IC and the led between this resistor and pin 7 on the lower IC? Can I place more then 2 leds in parallel this way? I might need 3.

    • I'm hoping you can answer a question asked earlier. "Can I connect the load directly to the circuit instead of using a relay?" Or if not, can i use the same 12v power for the load/relay side and the timing circuit side?

      I am wanting to use this circuit to run an air circulation fan (12v computer case fan) system in a cooling unit. But a 555 oscillation timer runs too much. I only need approximately 1 min on / 30 min off run time for the fan.

      Thanks, Chase

  14. Dear Guru …
    I need circuit for time limiter to use for public speaking.
    Say if a teacher has one hour to speak in the class then the timer will show a green light starting from 60 minute then counting down to 0, but before finish the yellow light will turn on to remain a teacher that the time almost finish, it can be 3 minutes before to 0, finally when the time is over the red light will be on, it means that time for the teacher is finish.

    Thanks & Regards,

    • Hi Charlie,

      Yes it can be done, in your previous comment I have suggested you the required PWM controller circuit. You can simply power that circuit via the relay contacts of the above circuit, so both get integrated for the intended results.

  15. Hi Swagatam,
    I am trying to build a circuit to help me with giving speeches. I have a bunch of parts already and I would like to use them if possible. I want it to have an On/Off switch to power the circuit and a Start/Stop button as well as a Reset button. I would like for it to light a Green LED after 5 mins, then turn off the green LED and light an Amber LED at 6 mins, and then turn off the Amber LED and light a Red LED as well as sound a buzzer at 7 mins. I would also like to have a seven-segment display show the elapsed time. Let me know haw feasible this would be. Thanks.

  16. Hey mate,

    I am trying to understand the circuit with regards to the relays connection into the circuit. I realize this is perhaps 101 stuff however it is a hurdle for me at this stage in getting this circuit to function for me. Does the diode connect directly across the coil pins? How are the NC and NO pins connected? Is the common pin connected? Thanks your help is appreciated.

    • Hi Jason, it may be connected directly across the relay or anywhere in the PCB, it doesn't matter as long as it joins with the relay coil in the shown manner, that is cathode to the positive of relay coil and anode to collector side of the relay coil

      NC or NO should be connected with the load via the supply voltage as per the requirements such that when it operates it makes or breaks the supply to the load alternately.

  17. Thanks Swagatam,

    I'm negative at the upper ic pin #15, you mention in your upper post that pin#15 should give indication of functioning circuit, can you expand please on this circuit diagnostic?

    Thnaks again.

    • Yes pin#15 could be too slow with its blinking rate especially when the ICs are set with timing over 5 minutes, so won't serve as an effective indicator, I have updated the diagram with LED indicators for the respective indications.

      The frequency formula is
      F = 1/2.3RC….where R is ohms and C is in Farads

    • Thanks. However I'm still having problems with it. Would a correctly wired circuit illuminate the red LED whilst waiting for first timer period to trigger the second which will result in the red LED turning off and the green LED illuminating (as well as obviously closing the load circuit via the relay)?? I would just like to confirm this is the intentional use of the additional LED's. Thanks again for your help.

    • Yes, the moment the circuit is switched ON the red LED will light up, it will stay illuminated as long as the upper IC counts and will shut off once the upper time interval lapses.
      This will prompt the lower IC to begin counting with green LED now being illuminated.

  18. hi
    i m regular reader of your blog. I want the circuit as per following condition.
    1) When power supply is on then relay on after 3 min.
    2) After 3 min relay stay on for 2 hour then off even after power get failed at power on switch and continues run by 12 volt by load connection for 2hour.
    can you guide me for this project.

    • you can try the above shown circuit.
      adjust the lower section for 2 hour and the upper section for 3 min.

      for battery backup connect a parallel battery supply through a 1N4007 diode. the mains power supply voltage to the circuit should be slightly higher than the battery voltage

  19. Hi sir,
    i assemble this circuit but not work properly. It shows that, relay start when power is applied but not Off as i adjusted the pot. I used polyster 1uf/250v capactitor NP. I dont know where is problem please guide me how can i take tests on circuit for example any voltage point.

    • Hi Ashok
      I have designed and tested this circuit myself and it worked flawlessly.

      The relay should not activate when switched ON, rather when the upper IC time has lapsed.

      Something's severely could be wrong with your circuit connections.

      Put an LED with 1k resistor at pin7 and ground of the ICs, when the particular IC is activated this LED will start flashing indicating proper IC functioning.

    • sir i check this i put 1 led with resistor at IC1 & IC 2 pin 7 both LED flashing at same intensity 3 flash per minute when power is supply & relay activate instantly. can you tell me where is my problem.? one question is that both 1uf/25v capacitor is Non polar ( polyster) & 0.1uf cap is ceramic? I used these parts.

    • Ashok, replace the capacitor in the upper section with 0.22uF and the lower with 0.1uF and now check….this modification will give quick switching and help to verify the functioning.

      Connect another LED with the base of the relay driver transistor….check its response….relay should NOT activate on power switch ON

  20. Sir the circuit is very nice. I made it successfully. I would like to suggest to those who are trying to make it they should make it in such a way where each ic should work individually and should not be interconnected. When both ic start working individually then they should be interconnected. I myself applied the same method and succeeded. Am I right sir?

  21. Sir kindly help me the ic4017 gives its sequential output when I am using oscillator circuit (that is 555 ic) I mean it is all ok with an oscillator circuit but when I manually give a positive pulse at pin 14 of 4017 it does not respond well please I need it

    • Mujahid, did you connect the pin14 to ground through a resistor? you must do this in order to make it respond to manual switching.
      connect a 100k resistor from pin14 to ground and then trigger it with a positive pulse manually, it will surely respond.

  22. Thank you sir I.ll try it.Sir i need a circuit similar to the one with ic4017 but the problem with ic4017 is that whenever pulse is given one output appears and the previous output disappears. The one I need should be opposite of it. I mean when i give 1st pulse there should be one output but when i give second pulse there should be two outputs and when i give 3rd pulse there should be three outputs and so on. No output should disappear.the pulse pin should be single like ic4017 Thank you

    • Mujahid, the IC 4017 will not produce latched outputs, its sequence will shut the previous output as it proceeds in the order.
      For your application you would need the IC 74LS164, this will produce latched outputs as its output sequences.

  23. thank you sir i need the above mentioned ic this is the exact device i was looking i read about it but i would like you to explain it in your own way so i could understand it well. thanks a lot once again.

  24. Sir my question consists of two parts
    1. As I have earlier stated that the ic 4017 responds well with an oscillator(555 ic) but doesn't responds well with manual input clock. I connected pin 14 to ground via 100k resistor as suggested by you but in vain. Now what should I do?
    2. I need ic 74LS164 to produce serial outputs via manual switch. I read your suggested post but it cannot meet my need. Sir kindly help me I need both these circuits. Thanks a lot.

  25. Sir as per your suggestion I assembled the circuit but mistakenly I connected the 10uf cap from positive to the pin 14 of the ic4017 and 100k resistor from negative to pin 14. It was responding well. Then I replaced the 10 uf cap with 0.1uf cap. The response was still awesome.
    The idea for latching Output is really nice one by urging scr. For this purpose can I use one of your circuit configured around SCRs that is Code Lock Circuit.

  26. Hello
    I need a timer where I can program it precisely several days before. I am building a camera that will be close to the launch pad and will take photos of the launch of an Atlas V. If there is any way I can do it, suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  27. Sir,
    I need a circuit that switches the relay on for 3 minutes for every 5 minutes interval.I mean that 5 minutes after powering the circuit, the relay should be switched on for 2 minutes and off again. After 5 minutes again the relay should be switched on for 2 minutes and continue the cycle. Can this circuit be used for this type of application? Please try to giv early reply as I have to make this circuit within two days and present it at mycollege……THANK YOU SIR…

  28. hi swagatam
    I tried many sucsesfull circuit from this blog many thanks for that.
    Now i want one circuit which can work as occilation like 1/2 second on 2 sec off circuit is on 12 volt DC supply can you help me for this project.

    • Hi Ashoke, thanks!!

      you can simply use a 555 IC astable circuit for it, and set its mark/space ratio accordingly by referring to an online 555 IC calculator software.

  29. Hai, Thanks for the circuit…
    How to adjust the P1, P2 for ON, OFF timing??
    suppose if I want the circuit to activate relay at 6pm and deactivate the relay at 9pm means how to adjust the P1, P2??
    And by adjusting the P1, P2, how can i know that the relay wil get activate at this time and deactivate at this time??

    • calculate the hours between 9pm to 6pm, this becomes the delay of the upper timer.

      next calculate the time difference between 6 and 9pm this becomes the delay period for the lower timer.

      adjust the upper Rt/Ct and the lower Rt/Ct accordingly with some trial and error.

      Rt = combined resistance of pin10
      Ct = cap at pin9 should be nonpolar

  30. Hey brother,,
    this is tanvir again. I'm here to request you so much that how to add seven segment display with dis circuit , witch will show both times of it. Brother is it possible? And u can trust me that I'll build it coz I had a lot of practice last few months of circuit works. I'll be glad if you accept my request.. regards…. 🙂

  31. Bro ,,
    Should I connect module's pin 10 over the display connection? And what is the way to connect the capacitor circuit witch is given on top left of the picture? Need a little clearence bro.

    • sorry bro it's not pin10 but the "clk" pin of the right IC that should be connected with pin15 of the above 4060 IC….

      the top left capacitors in the link indicate the capacitors connected across the supply/ground pins of the IC 4026.

  32. Hai sir, I am a new follower and tq 4 add me back..sory 4 disturb u..sir I want to know what is the different between 12vdc and supply voltage? Can I change the load to motor? How to connect the supply voltage with relay and motor? And how can I connect the relay in this circuit? Sory sir i dont understand and sorry 4 my grammar.

    • Hi Zahid, the voltage required to operate a particular circuit is its supply voltage, which can be anywhere from 5 to 15V for depending upon circuits specs.

      Please click the diagram to enlarge you will be able to see a relay connected in the circuit and also the relevant connections with its contacts

  33. Hello sir. I'm nas. I very interested with your excellent circuit. By the way. I want to ask you some question. Can this circuit become a chicken/fish feeder cicruit? I want it operate in every 30 minutes and the motor will rotate between 3 to 5 minutes. Any suggestion to upgrade this circuit? Thank you. ASAP..

  34. nas. I very interested with your excellent circuit. By the way. I want to ask you some question. Can this circuit become a chicken/fish feeder cicruit? I want it operate in every 30 minutes and the motor will rotate between 3 to 5 minutes. Any suggestion to upgrade this circuit? Thank you. ASAP..

    • kshitiz, If possible I'll try to update the explanation soon, the component numbers can be seen in the diagram itself, just click the diagram to enlarge.

  35. sir, is this programmable timer affected by power failure..?, because when power failure happen at my place it can be as long as 12 hours or even longer, will it affect the program?

    • Hi; Could you please explain which pot to adjust for the "ON" and which pot to adjust for the "OFF" periods…also are the pots linear.

      How would i set it for repeatedly to be on for… 30 seconds and then off for 1 hour.

      Also if i switch off the power ..would i have to re-adjust P1 / P2 setting everytime.

      Does the RLY coil resistance matter or what is the best resistance.

      Thank You.

    • Hi, P1 will determine the OFF time and P2 the ON time of the relay, when power is switched ON the relay will NOT activate and will execute the off time, after the specified time has elapsed the relay will switch ON and begin implementing its ON time and this will repeat itself as long as the circuit remains powered.

      switching off will not alter the P1/P2 setting and the timing, but the counting of the timers will initiate from the point the circuit gets powered.

      the time setting procedure will need to be done through some trial and error, i might have explained it in one the above comments, you can search it out.

      the relay coil resistance will depend on the relay contact rating (heavier contacts will have lower coil resistance specs), for the shown BC547 transistor the ideal rating of the relay should be between 300 and 400 ohms

  36. Hai,
    I like to connect the above circuit with bathroom fan. The fan should run for 15 mins and off for 1hr. so do I need to change the resistor and VR at pin10 on both the ICs in the above circuits or the same wil be fine??

    • Hai, yes you will need to adjust the shown preset at pin10 for achieving the specified time delays, the upper preset should be set for the OFF time (15 min) and the lower preset for the ON time(1 hour)….the circuit will initialize with the OFF time when switched ON

    • Hai, The resistor, VR and capacitor at pin 9, 10 are used to calculate the ON and OFF timing in the circuit. Correct me if I am wrong.
      And is there any formula to calculate the ON and OFF time?? So I can place specifi value for resistor and cap at Pin 9,10 for OFF and ON.

    • t is time delay between each pulse generated at the selected output pin….Rt, Ct refers to P1 and C1 in the above circuit…N refers to the pinout sequence given by Q1, Q2, Q3…etc check the datasheet of the IC for a detailed info about all these…

    • Hai, I made the circuit. The OFF time I calculated is 8 sec and ON time 10 minutes. When I power ON the circuit, the red light is ON and relay is in de-energized state. After 8 sec, the green light is ON and relay got energized. But after 10 minutes, the relay is not getting de-energize. All the connections are correct. Don't know where is the fault. Pls help.

    • check the pin#3 connection of the lower IC with pin#12 of the upper IC via the diode….may be you have done something wrong in this part of the circuit.

      because after the lower IC counting is over (time elapsed), its pin#3 will go high which is supposed to "poke" pin#12 of the upper IC and reset the whole circuit into the original state.

      I hope you understood the procedure.

    • I checked the two stages separately. i.e I made the upper part separately. when I power on the circuit. The green light is in OFF state and relay is also in de-energize state. After 8 seconds, the green light is in ON state and the relay is also got energized. Then after 8 seconds, The green light goes OFF but the relay is not getting de-energize. I changed the transistors also. But the result is same.

    • if you separate the circuits then how will the looping initiate….without the lower IC's pin#3 triggering pin#12 of the upper IC the circuit will not reset and return to its original state.

      connect the circuit back to the above shown form and connect a third LED from pin#3 of the lower IC to ground via a 1K resistor….

      after 10 minutes, as calculated by you this LED must turn ON, and as soon as this happens the entire circuit is supposed to reset, with this LEd shutting off immediately and the red LED illuminating…the sequence should keep repeating now.

    • Hai, I have found that where is the problem. The relay is not getting de-energize after particular time period due to the red LED with 1k connected to "+ve''. when I removed that, the circuit is working grt.
      Thanks for the circuit.

    • hai, that's very strange and technically doesn't sound OK to me because as soon as the lower IC pin3 goes high, it will reset the upper IC pin#12 forcing the upper IC pin#3 to go low….which will instantly shut off the red LED and also the relay….

      do one thing keep the LED as it is, just add a 3V or 4V zener diode in series with the base of the upper BC547 transistor…

    • In your above circuit, first the OFF timer will work and then ON timer will work. That means , when the circuit is switched ON, the relay will be in de-energize state in the OFF timer and then after the particular time, the relay will get energize in the ON timer. But what I need is , when the circuit is switched ON, the relay should get energize and after the particular time, it should de-energize. For this, shall I change the BC547 as BC557 in the upper IC and connect the ground to the relay directly and +ve to the emitter of the BC557 and collector to the relay. so when the OFF timer is running means the relay will be in energize state and when the ON timer is running means the relay will be in de-energize state. After this change, will this work as I am expecting??

    • Sorry that's wrong….please see the linked article again….there's no BC557….both the transistors are BC547 and needs to be connected exactly as indicated in the related diagram.

    • Actually I want to connect the relay's one pin directly to the ground and another pin to transistor for getting positive to the relay. So the relay should activate by supplying the positive from the transistor. How to make changes for that??

    • why so? it doesn't make any difference whether the relay negative is switched or the positive is switched….the requirement is to switch it ON when the IC is powered

      anyway you replace the existing transistor (in the above diagram) with a BC557 and connect the relay across its collector and ground

    • Hai, I made the ciruit. working good. Thanks for the circuit. The above circuit will work in OFF ON cycle. But I dont want the circuit to work in cyclic process. Once the ON sequence is initialized means it should remain in the same state only until I power OFF the circuit. So what changes i have to do for that?

    • Hi, Swagatam,

      Can you design a timer circuit for me that will allow for a seven day program that can have up to six events per day that may last up to 30 seconds each. It will be used to turn a motor on/off and if possible have a wireless remote to turn the device on/off.


    • I want to set different OFF and ON timing. So the circuit which you suggested above is wont fit for me. I want to run in the above circuit itself. So once the above circuit is switched ON means, first the OFF sequence will starts from IC1. Then the ON sequence will start from IC2. So once the ON sequence is started means it ( the relay) should maintain in ON state only until I power off the circuit. It should not go for OFF state again.

  37. So glad I found this site, might be my new Favorite. I'm an amateur here who's racked his brain enough already. Hoping you can help me out. What I need is an "on delay/true off delay timer" as detailed here–> . The signal going to the delay timer will be from a "pulsepause timer" and I would like to just have the delay timer delay that pulsepause signal before replicating it a half second later to another component. Basically I need it to produce the same signal for the same duration but just delayed a fraction of a second.

    Is there something cheap out there that will do this for under $30 or could you provide me with a schematic.

    Thank you

    • Thanks, I am glad you liked my site.

      In your given specs, the input voltage is the supply voltage, however if the supply voltage is removed then the circuit might not function correctly….the supply voltage cannot be removed, only the trigger can be applied or removed.

      Please clarify this, then we can proceed with the designing.

    • Yes, of course. What I should have said is I plan on using the supply voltage to supply the three things that would need it (pulse/pause input,pulse/pause relay input and the delay timer relay input). I suppose this could all be incorporated on one circuit board but I already have the pulse/pause timer and am just looking to add a second delayed signal. But to add to that I would like the "T2" delay (shown in my previously posted link) to be adjustable from about .1 to 1 second. What I am using it for is a pneumatic ball throwing arm. The pulse/pause timer output will be used to trigger a latch to hold/lock the arm and also to trigger the start of the delay timer at the same time. At the end of the "on" delay of the delay timer it will trigger the pneumatic valve to open, pressurizing the cylinder (which is still held by the latch). At the end of the pulse/pause time (when pulse pause relay is opened), the latch will release allowing the cylinder to extend at a higher rate than would be possible without it being previously pressurized. Now the next part is where I want it adjustable. I need the time the relay on the delay timer is is closed to be adjustable so I can adjust how long the pneumatic valve is opened. Another spec would be that the "on" delay of the delay timer should be about .25 to .5 seconds.

      Sorry if this is confusing. I'll post a sketch today to give you a visual.

      Thanks again

    • oK, so that means "t1" can be ignored and we can just concentrate on acquiring an adjustable "t2", right?

      and the supply voltage will be constantly present, and it's not relevant to the switching procedure, rather we only consider the triggers that may be applied as per the mentioned sequence?

      I'll try to design and post it possibly soon.

  38. Yes, exactly, as long as "T1" is at least within .2 to .5 seconds to allow full engagement of the latch before valve is opened.(shortest "T1" time is preferred) Some adjustability for "T2" (via potentiometer I assume) as you stated is required from about .1 to 1 second.

    Sorry if I'm repeating myself.

    And still plan on posting a sketch for all intensive purposes.

    Good day and good night to you from sunny Ontario, Canada

  39. Hi swagatam,
    Actullay I m going through a prob.I want to know a option that I can fix on my lift so that I get to know the exact total time of my lift when it is I want to calculate the total units consumed by my lift in 24 hrs with 5 kw motor on it.
    If u can sort it out it will be a great help

    • Dear Paul,

      For equal ON/OFF timer period you can use a single 4060 time circuit, that is eliminate the lower 4060 section entirely.. but you'll need to switch it ON manually each day for achieving the automatic 15min OFF/ON cycle

  40. Good day Sir,I build this awesome circuit but the problem started when I switch on the red led and relay instantly activated while the green led light up after 5 sec. and goes off after 5 sec. but the red led and relay still energize. The green led goes on/off 5 sec. interval continuously with both red led and relay energized. The only components I change are the ff. P1 to 2m and R2 of the lower circuit to 10k and pin#9 of the lower circuit to 0.1uf ceramic cap,the rest stay as is. I know by the way I explained,you already pictured what went wrong. Thank you

    • Good day Edwin,

      red LED will light up when the circuit is initialized, this is correct, but this should not activate the relay because the BC547 is not supposed to activate when the red LEd is ON…it looks contradicting.

      when green LED lights up, the red LEd should shut off….so again the result is incorrect in your circuit.

      try increasing the setting of the pot and check the response in a slow motion to read the operations correctly….there could not one but more issues in your circuit which will need to be traced and eliminated…

    • You can simply change the shown SPDT relay with a three contact SPTP or single pole triple throw relay and use the three contacts of the relay with the 3 phase AC input and the motor

  41. Dear Mr Majumdar,

    I'm working on a project where I need a relay activated for 2 or 3 minutes once every 24 hours. The circuit needs to be battery operated and low power consumption. Will this circuit on this page work? It is for an art installation. Thank you!!! 🙂

  42. hi Bro i need a circuit that turns off 4 energy savers after 12 hours
    i turn on my energy savers in night at my farmhouse which is almost 20 KMs from my home and to turn off the lights in the morning i had to go there it costs too much fuel and time waste can you design a switch that turns off all lights after 10-12 hours automaticaly

  43. Hi Swagatam,

    I'm sure you're very busy but if you could find time to help me out I'd be very grateful!

    I'm designing a product which will have a DC motor, minimum rpm of 100 and torque of around 30Nm. I need to create a control system which will allow the user to switch it on, off and run it on a timer.

    Any help would be appreciated,

    Thanks, Morgan

    • Hi Morgan,

      You did not specify the exact sequence of the functioning, and whether these are required to be automatic, manual, or semi-automatic, so all these info would be required for the correct figuring out of the design or for providing you with the correct instructions.

    • Thanks for the swift reply, not entirely sure what you mean by the sequence bit, but il give you an overview of the product. It is an archimedes screw type device which draws compost out the compost bin. The user should be able to turn it on and off, and also set it to run for say 20 seconds at a time before it switches itself off. Does this give you enough information?

    • OK, you can try the following circuit :

      remove the push button and replace it with a jumper link.

      Now the ON/OFF switch which may be positioned for supplying the voltage to the circuit will serve as the manual ON/OFF control of the system, for the user.

      Once switched ON, the relay will almost immediately switch ON the load and the circuit will start counting….depending on the values of the 2M2 resistor and the 1000uF cap the relay will be switched OFF automatically ater the set time, switching OFF the load… case the user wants to stop the load in the middle of the count, he may do this anytime by simply switching OFF the ON/OFF switch…..otherwise the circuit will do it automatically after the predetermined time elapses….as set by the resistor at the 2M2 position and/or the capacitor at the 1000uF position.

  44. hello sir,
    I tried the above circuit for one of my projects. But i'm not getting the required output. could you please tell me what will be the time period if i give the potentiometer value as 10K ohms. And also could you please let me know much details about the circuit(like components used , working ,calculation of the time etc.,) if possible.

    • hello sai,

      10k will give delay in seconds, to get higher delay periods, P1 should be at least a 1M pot.

      you can use 4060 formula or simply test the time practically using a stopwatch. if suppose 10k gives 20 seconds then 100k will give 200 seconds so you can calculate in that way…

      please click on the diagram, and copy the parts as its given.

      all resistors are 1/4 watt rated… rest needs no specifications as all are standard parts.

    • Hi Rameez, yes that's possible with this circuit, if mains fails the circuit will reset and initiate from the beginning, you can add a small battery to it to add a memory to the circuit…

  45. Dear S.M.
    Hope you have a successful life.
    This is Rajab Ali from Afghanistan
    We need a circuit for controlling an aotoclave for sterilization in hospital the machine works as.
    1 when starts cycle by pushing start button it should turn on three water heaters(30_60 Amps) after reaching 2.2 bar pressure from water steam then the circuit keep running with on and off two heaters to control pressure between 1.8 to 2.2 bar for 20 more minutes. If there would be any possibility to adjust the time is great.
    Many warm regards

  46. Hi, can u tell me how to use the above circuit with 220v AC supply by inserting a triac to switch a 50watts fan? And when powering the circuit, the circuit should work as on-off-on-off..

  47. Dear Sir,
    I have made the above circuit and tested using pin 15 and pin 7 of ic. LED blinks at pin 7 of ic2 but not worked at pin 15 of first ic. Relay also operate at start and both LEDs are glowing when power on the circuit. Please let me know your suggestions. I am waiting for your reply.

    • Dear Narendra, move the pot to different positions to verify the blinking at pin#15….

      pin#7 will be much faster than pin#15 and vice versa.

      both LEDs can never glow together…..when pin#3 is high, green will glow….and when pin#3 is low red will glow.

      both ICs will never oscillate (count) together….when upper IC locks (relay ON) lower IC will begin oscillating….and while the upper IC is oscillating (relay OFF) the lower IC will stay disabled

      there's something not right in your circuit

  48. Hi Swagatam,

    I want to build a 230V AC electric immersion heater (for heating water in a bucket) whose duration of heating the user should be able to set. We use this to boil our borewell water to make it suitable for drinking (we feel RO is too wasteful). Depending upon the bucket size, we heat the water for around 15-25 minutes. The problem is that we get busy in doing other things and sometimes forget to turn it off after that period, often to find it evaporated below the danger mark on the heater. So we use the alarms on our mobiles to remind us. We just want that the device be smart enough to turn itself off, that's all. Auto-off versions of the product are not available in the local market.

    The user should be able to set the ON duration by pressing up- and down- keys (operating 2 switches) to increase or decrease numbers that show on a dual 7-segment display (for showing 1-99). The numbers that show in the 7-segment display is the time in minutes the heater should stay on for and then switch itself off.

    Can you help me with this? Your blog is fascinating as it addresses common needs felt by many people who want to innovate by making their own products. This is mine. Hope you can help.

    • Thank you Ranjit, yes it is possible, and I would recommend to go for a simple 10 LED stage heater controller circuit instead of a digital readout, because here the cut-off might not require an extremely accurate monitoring of the temperature.

      a seven segment readout is also possible but will unnecessarily make the design expensive and complex.

  49. Hi Sir,
    Thank you so much for the great work you are doing. I was wondering if you can design a simple timing circuit that can be set to turn a load at specific time (for example 6am everyday) the goes off after specific time (ex 15 min) without my interference. I will be very grateful if you can do that circuit for me.

    • Hi Zack, for getting accurate results you may have to use digital clock and integrate its alarm output with any simple 4060 timer circuit. the integration can be done at pin#12 of the IC.

    • remove both the 1N4148 initially and check again.

      check across all the outputs of the 4060 IC by randomly connecting LEd and 1K across each of the pins and ground, make sure at least one of the pins flashes the LED, if none of the pinout flashes the LeD then definitely your circuit has some problems or the IC faulty.

      first confirm this….

  50. Hi
    I need a circuit to control the RO plants. The cyclic timer needs to switch on and off the ro plant for 3 hrs. That is First plant on for 3 hrs while second is off for that period. After 3 hrs the first goes off and second starts. The timer should not reset with power failure but continue counting count And keep the running plant on for the balance period after power comes on. Secondly the time setting should be Digitally visual so that it can be set as required between 3 hrs to 4hrs.
    Thanks. Will wait for ur reply.

  51. dear sir, actually i have three phase motor with dol starter, i want to automatically on the motor after 10 or 15 minutes when failed power is came back, and after running i want one hour stop and one hour run with adjustable on/off timings not exactly 1 hour for example only i say some times 30 minutes some times 10 minutes like that, actually i want circuit for controlling same starter by on/off buttons using relays.

    • Dear KSR, for sequential ON/OFF timing you will need the above explained 4060 circuit in order to get independent ON/OFF switching for your motor, but for the delay switch ON, you will require the circuit which was suggested in the previous comment by me.

  52. Dear swagatam ji
    I want to make a circuit which should be "on" for 3 minutes and then "off" for 30 minutes. And after 30 minutes again "on" for 3 minutes and so on . Until the power supply is off.
    Load is about 100 watt (AC).

    Plz help me sir.

  53. Hello dear swagatam ji
    I'm a Mechanical Engineer. For this simple programmable timer circuit I am unable to find the name of some component and specifications.
    It is my request to you plz share the complete list of component with their specification.
    I will be very great full to you.
    Thank you


    • Hello Vivek,

      please copy all the parts name as given in the diagram and show it to the part dealer, he will be able to understand and provide you with the right components.

      If possible I'll try to upadte the parts list soon…

    • Hello sir I have purchased all the components. One thing I want to confirm there is not "NC" pin in the relay I have purchased . Is it good. Do I need to connect one load wire to common pin and one power supply wire to "NO" pin.
      Plz have a look at the circuit (PCB) and let me know if there is any correction (if any)
      I have made the circuit one you will approve I will run it and will revert back you.

      I hope it will be all good.


    • hello Vivek, every relay will have N/C and N/O pair of contacts…if your relay does not have it then do not use it. change it with the following type:

      sorry It will difficult for me to confirm your schematic…I can only assure you about the above schematic, which is perfectly correct…if you follow everything as given in the my diagram then your circuit will definitely work…unless any of the component is faulty.

  54. Thank for your reply ….
    I have purchased that…
    So in this circuit we have to connect supply voltage to " NO" pin and load wire ro " common pin". Right ?
    And for "No" pin there is no connection . Plz confirm.

    Thank you.

    • The load,the supply voltage, the relay N/O, and the relay pole points must be all wired in series…the exact positions of the load and the supply are not important…they should come in series that's all….

      for N/C point there's no connection…it's unused.

  55. I have done the following things.
    1. In Pot 1 & Pot2 : I used two pin. i.e. center pin & side pin.

    Following connections done individually for both the IC.
    2. 2.2Mega Ohm connected between ic pin no. 11 and centre pin of pot.
    3. 100k resistance between IC pin No. 10 & side pin of pot.
    4. 1uf/230vAC between IC pin no. 9 & center pin of POt .
    3. All other component as per circuit.

    Now what happening is :
    1. Red LED is glowing /on and relay is operated.
    2. Red LED is always in on condition. (Green LEd in not glowing).

    Diagnosis result:
    Upper ic: I connected a led +500 ohm resistance between IC pin no#15 and Vss. LEd not glowing. But when connected between pin no. #7 & Vss then continuously glowin.
    Lower ic: led not glowing (gor pin no.# 15 ot pin no. 7)

    I also tried to put bkth the pot on 0 ohmm. Still red LED is always on. There no any delay at all.

    Plz suggest what to do.

    • It looks like your upper IC is getting latched on power switch ON, but in that case the lower IC should begin counting.

      anyway, first confirm the upper IC working by removing the 1N4148 diode across pin#3 and pin#11…..this will allow the LED at pin#15 or pin#14 to blink.

      once conformed reconnect the 1N4148 into position.

      to prevent the power ON latching….increase the value of the 0.1uF capacitor to 1uF….you can use an electrolytic capacitor for this….connect negative terminal to the pin#12 of the IC and positive terminal to positive line….

      do this and see the response

    • rememeber when red will be off and green will be ON when power is switch ON, red will light up, and green will shut off when the upper IC has finished counting…and this will mean that the lower IC has begun counting.

      as soon as the lower IC finishes its counting it will erst the upper IC which will start counting again…the cycle will continue…

  56. First of all I would like toltell you that green led is glowing (very low) at the ssametime when red LED is on.
    I removed the diode. Checked there is no blinking only continuous glowing . Also both the LED is glowing . Within 3 minutes upper ic temperature got too high . Extremely hot.

    Plz help… can you plz share another circuit for this. I want to run the motor (cooler) for 3 minutes and after 3 minutes it should be off for 20 minutes. And so on….

    • this IC can become hot under any of the following 3 conditions:

      1) output short circuited
      2) supply voltage above 16V
      3) IC itself is duplicate and faulty.

      I cannot troubleshoot your circuit because I cannot see it practically.

      I would suggest you to buy another good quality IC, and first build a basic timer circuit as explained in the following article.

      connect LEd across its pin#14 and check whether it blinks or not….confirm this and then you can go ahead with the above programmable design as before

    • I again tried. Both ic are are working well. Both led are indicating according to their time. How ever relay is not triggering.
      I used an old battery for power supply whose voltage is 9 voltage.
      Is 12 v supply is must?
      Can I use a DC power adapter of 12 V output & what should be the current out put.
      Plz suggest.

    • That's great, it means you have almost succeeded with this project.

      your relay is definitely not working because of the inadequate input supply, please replace it with any 12V/1amp AC/DC adapter, and it will instantly start responding

    • Hi John, the above shown design can be used for your application, the upper IC could be set for achieving 12 hour delay and the lower IC for 60 seconds

  57. Hi sir,
    My name is Rishabh and I want to ask you one thing that can i use polar caps in this circuit because unfortunately I have got all polar caps of desired rating.

    • Hi Rishabh,

      yes you can use them for all except the ones which are connected at pin#9 of the ICs….here you can put two polar capacitors in series to make non-polar capacitors as shown below:




    • Rishabh, Please go through all the comments and try to solve the problem by referring to them…I cannot troubleshoot your circuit fault because do not know what mistake you might have made in it…it will need a practical checking….

      Or you can first make two individual 4060 timers separately and check them, if you succeed with them, then you could combine them as per the given figure for the final result…

  58. Hi sir
    Myself Rishabh, sir I made this circuit but the problem is that the green led along with the relay turns on when I disturb the wire connected between voltage source and the circuit or when I shake the circuit board , this is a weird please help me.

    • Hi Rishabh, there could be some kind of loose connection in your circuit, i hope you have made it by soldering and not on a breadboard…please check the solder connections and resolder the joints if possible…

  59. Sir,
    I would like to refer to a post for which you have replied as follows.

    edwin siy says

    December 3, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Good day Sir,I build this awesome circuit but the problem started when I switch on the red led and relay instantly activated while the green led light up after 5 sec. and goes off after 5 sec. but the red led and relay still energize. The green led goes on/off 5 sec. interval continuously with both red led and relay energized. The only components I change are the ff. P1 to 2m and R2 of the lower circuit to 10k and pin#9 of the lower circuit to 0.1uf ceramic cap,the rest stay as is. I know by the way I explained,you already pictured what went wrong. Thank you

    Swagatam says

    December 3, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Good day Edwin,

    red LED will light up when the circuit is initialized, this is correct, but this should not activate the relay because the BC547 is not supposed to activate when the red LEd is ON…it looks contradicting.

    when green LED lights up, the red LEd should shut off….so again the result is incorrect in your circuit.

    try increasing the setting of the pot and check the response in a slow motion to read the operations correctly….there could not one but more issues in your circuit which will need to be traced and eliminated…

    Sir, this is the same problem I came across. I also changed the C1 & C2 to 0.22uF and P1 & P2 to 500K since I needed 10 minutes ON and 20 minutes OFF sequence.

    As mentioned in Mr. Edwin Siy’s post, the relay and the red LED keep on activated all the time while the green light comes on and goes off to the set time interval. Further I notice, once the green LED is ON the brightness of the red LED decreases.
    Sir could you please give me an advice and help me to solve this problem.

    Thank you.



    • Hi Fernanado, please understand yourself and try to figure this out….if the red LED is ON, that means pin#3 has to be at zero logic.

      If pin#3 is at zero logic how can the BC547 conduct? because the BC547 will require at least 1V to switch ON.

      My guess is that your IC is not of good quality and due to which it might be leaking some voltage while the upper IC is in the counting mode….

      you can probably remedy this by adding a diode in series with the emitters of both the BC547 transistors….anode will connect with the emitter, while the cathode to ground…do this and check the response.

      also increase the value of the 0.1uF cap at pin#12 of the upper IC to 0.33uF or 0.47uF so that the IC gets correctly reset when the power is first switched ON.

  60. dear sir i want 3 hour timer circuit when power is on the timer wants tostart counting after 3 hours the output relay comes to activate after that i will reset the circuit after resetting the circuit the counting will repeat the same proces

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