The 555 timer is an extremely versatile integrated circuit which can be used to build lots of different circuits. You can use the 555 effectively without understanding the function of each pin in detail.
Frequently, the 555 is used in astable mode to generate a continuous series of pulses, but you can also use the 555 to make a one-shot or monostable circuit. The 555 can source or sink 200 mA of output current, and is capable of driving wide range of output devices.
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