Ring Counter Circuit Working Principle with Animation and Video

Digital counters have several applications in electronics circuits. Counters in digital electronics are used at different situations. Here we are going to deliver the idea of a Ring counter circuit, which is a register counter. Working animation and circuit simulation video of ring counter are also given along with this article. A ring counter is formed by feeding the output of a shift register to its own input.
The data pattern enclosed within the shift register will re-circulate as with respect to the clock pulse. Ring counter is one of the shift register applications. We have already posted Johnson counter circuit with animation. With little modification on ring counter we can obtain Johnson counter circuit. A ring counter has N states where ‘N’ is the number of flip-flops. So let’s discus about digital counter circuit design (Ring counter) in detail with animation/ simulation.

Digital counter schematic Circuit

Components required for digital electronics counters

  1. Power supply
  2. IC 7474 x 4
  3. LEDs x 4
  4. Resistors 47kΩ x 4
  5. Clock circuit

Ring counter State/ truth table

Working of ring counter circuit

  • This counter is a circulated shift register. Here a 4 bit shift register is implemented with 7474 flip flops. This is a synchronous counter because clock signal is common for all flip flops.
  • The ‘Q’ output of first flip flop is directly fed to the ‘D’ input of following flip flop unit.
  • The final ‘Q’ output from the last flip flop is connected to the ‘D’ input of 1st unit; hence it is called as a circulating shift register.
  • ‘Preset’ pin of 1st unit is connected to Vcc via a switch (Push to OFF switch). Preset pin is used to set the output of a flip flop to logical high (1) forcefully.
  • The ‘Presets’ of other flip flops are directly coupled to Vcc in order to work properly because these pins are active low logic pins (This connection is not shown in above circuit. For simplicity it is removed). But don’t forget to connect it while you are implementing practically.
  • Similarly ‘Clear’ pins are also connected to Vcc due to the above said reason.
  • We are already familiar with shift registers that for each clock pulse the data will be shifted to next register (flip flop).
  • Initially all the outputs of flip flops are at low, to start ring counter you need to set the output of first flip flop manually high.
  • For this purpose you just push the switch (SW2), then the output of first flip flop goes high.
  • This output will be shifted to the next flip flop during the next clock pulse and so on.  At the same time the low output from last flip flop is shifted to the input of 1st flip flop.
  • Please refer the animation and video for better understanding.

Ring counter circuit animation


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2 thoughts on “Ring Counter Circuit Working Principle with Animation and Video

  1. I saw your Digital counter schematic Circuit, where it has a 1Hz feed. I have been out of electronics for a long time and wondered if you could help me make an accurate 5 minute feed for the Digital counter schematic Circuit.
    many thanks in advance

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