555 ultrasonic levitation

Accepting the challenge made in a previous Hackaday post.

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Using two ultrasonic transmitters from ultrasonic rage finders to create standing waves that traps very small pieces of polystyrene.

Back in 2018, this post challenged to recreate the ultrasonic levitator with the 555:
I did build a prototype, but never documented anything and I only have a single photo, dated April 2018.

I just discovered the 555 contest has returned and I won't have time to build something too fancy, but I'll try my best in the few days I have.


Video of the levitator floating three polystyrene pieces.

Open Web Media Project - Video - 35.22 MB - 12/24/2021 at 21:13


  • Finishing it off

    Kuro12/24/2021 at 20:52 0 comments

    Built the circuit on a perfboard, got some wood and copper tubing and finished it off. Not much to say, the circuit is exactly as the first schematic, using both timers on the 556. I tried using a 9V battery, but it wasn't enough, the circuit needs at least 12V to work properly.

  • New prototype

    Kuro12/21/2021 at 08:26 0 comments

    With the schematic on hands and shuffling through my things to find where I had these transducers, I built the new prototype. Instead of using both 555 on the 556, I got it to work with a single 555. The downside is that the circuit must be powered with at least 12V for it to work properly.

    Here it is levitating four polystyrene pieces.

  • First prototype and schematics

    Kuro12/21/2021 at 08:18 0 comments

    My first prototype used two 555 (actually a 556) to levitate the small polystyrene pieces. The idea is simple, you generate a 40kHz signal with the 555 in astable configuration and feed it to both transducers. Adjust the distance between the transducers and fine tune the frequency.

    The second 555 was used in an inverting configuration, that way you can make a self-oscillating H-bridge, increasing the power delivered to the transducers.

    This is the circuit I'll be building this time. Rload is actually the transducers and R3 will have a potentiometer to fine tune the frequency.

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