Question for the analog gurus (Tracy, Beau, Gordon et al): My old school 556 timer is sucking current at a prodigious rate. Building a battery powered NE556 IR signal generator, and I'm shocked to learn that the 556 is pulling 25 mA not even driving the IR LED! That will kill my 9V battery right quick. Both timers are oscillating but there's no load. Then I tested a bare 556 chip with no circuitry, just battery connections, and it's still pulling 16 mA not doing anything! Yes, I tested several.
Tested a 555 timer, that only drew 2.7 mA alone so I rebuilt my 556 circuit using two 555's and it's right back up to 28 mA with no IR LED. Can't win! Now I understand why the low-power CMOS 7555 timer is such a big deal.
This makes the case for going digital, but honestly I'm shocked what power hogs these are. 25+ mA idle current is ridiculous, that's about what I need to send through the IR LED.
Where is all that current going?
"When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."
- Pablo Picasso