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Project Notes

#291 CD4060/MusicLightKit

Learning how to use the CD4060 14-Stage Ripple Carry Binary Counter by building a music/LED-effects kit.

Here’s a quick demo of the LED sequence in action..



This is a pretty common kit widely available from sellers on aliexpress, ebay and other outlets. It comes in a few variations, but essentially all the same circuit.

It is an interesting demonstration of the CD4060 14-Stage Ripple Carry Binary Counter.

The kit includes a potted sound chip that plays “Happy Birthday”. The music circuit runs completely independently of the CD4060-driven LED circuit.

Julian Ilett’s Build

This is the same kit covered by Julian Ilett:

Kit Build

CD4060 Ripple Counter

The CD4060 is a 14 stage ripple counter constructed of RS flip-flop units - see the functional diagram from the datasheet:


The CD4060 in this circuit is configured as a free-running counter, driven by an RC oscillator. I investigated this technique in more detail in LEAP#293 CD4060/RCOscillator.

As the oscillator triggers the CD4060, the outputs cycle/ripple. The circuit only uses three significant outputs: Q5, Q6, Q7. These are steered with diodes to drive the three LED combinations. Q7 also triggers reset on the CD4060 to restart the sequence.

Music Effects Chip

The music chip included in my kit is marked “H823” and plays “Happy Birthday”. This appears to be a different chip from the one included in Julian Ilett’s build, and doesn’t suffer from the same problem of needing an extra base resistor for the transistor output.

However the piezzo speaker included in the kit sounds terrible; it works much better with a speaker. But since there is no room on the board for a speaker, I decided not to build the music circuit in this kit.

Instead I’ve tested the H823 chip in a separate project - LEAP#292: AudioEffectsChips/H823.


Ref Item Qty
IC2 CD4060 1
LED1-4 Red 5mm LED 4
LED5-8 Yellow 5mm LED 4
LED9-12 Green 5mm LED 4
D2,3,4 1N4148 3
Q2,3,4 S9012 PNP Transistors 3
R5-15 200Ω 12
R3 200kΩ linear pot 1
R4 220kΩ 1
R2 10kΩ 1
R1 1.5MΩ 1
C1 1µF electrolytic 1
  Piezzo Buzzer 1
  H823 Music Chip 1
  DPDT Switch 1
  mini USB socket 1
  XH2.54 2 pin socket 1
  C1815 NPN 1





This is the schematic available from most vendors:






Credits and References

Project Source on GitHub Project Gallery Return to the LEAP Catalog

This page is a web-friendly rendering of my project notes shared in the LEAP GitHub repository.

LEAP is just my personal collection of projects. Two main themes have emerged in recent years, sometimes combined:

  • electronics - usually involving an Arduino or other microprocessor in one way or another. Some are full-blown projects, while many are trivial breadboard experiments, intended to learn and explore something interesting
  • scale modelling - I caught the bug after deciding to build a Harrier during covid to demonstrate an electronic jet engine simulation. Let the fun begin..
To be honest, I haven't quite figured out if these two interests belong in the same GitHub repo or not. But for now - they are all here!

Projects are often inspired by things found wild on the net, or ideas from the many great electronics and scale modelling podcasts and YouTube channels. Feel free to borrow liberally, and if you spot any issues do let me know (or send a PR!). See the individual projects for credits where due.