I have a problem with this logic circuit I have designed: see diagram

The intended behaviour is: when the clock comes high, the counter's state is latched and decoded

Expected Behaviour

What happens is: when the clock is high, the old state of the counter (if it has been incremented last cycle for example) is very briefly present on the line decoder's input before the latches switch to the 'new' data and the decoder's output then becomes correct

Actual Behaviour

This means the 'fetch' mode is enabled again for a few ns before the decoder switches to 'load'. This causes the counter to be incremented again amongst other problems!

I have tried adding a string of NOT gates on the line decoder's enable, but it does not seem to help. Also, I tried using a capacitor+resistor to add a delay but this only helps when the created delay is a few micro seconds - far too long.

In summary I need to make sure the data is valid on the decoder's input before it is enabled - to prevent false triggering of its outputs.

NOTE: The increment input is decided by other circuitry that is triggered by the decoder - it is in phase with but is not necessarily the same as the clock

tl;dr line decoder is enabled too soon, chains of gates to delay signal don't help

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is the fetch output clocking the counter at IC3? Using the output of a decoder is going to be a potential source of problems no matter what you do here. Decoders always are a potential source of glitches when going from one input to the next. \$\endgroup\$
    – owg60
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 11:51
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Why do you need to AND the clock with your three outputs at the end? One good rule you can follow is that clock signals should only feed edge-sensitive inputs of components. Otherwise, you indeed may get some glitches. Also, second rule: your should consider that all your signals are only valid at the rising edge of the clock. At any other time, they may be in invalid states due to propagation delays. \$\endgroup\$
    – dim
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 15:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ So what does the up input do? \$\endgroup\$
    – owg60
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 17:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your clock duty small/equal to delay time.... \$\endgroup\$
    – dsgdfg
    Commented May 15, 2017 at 8:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your circuit mentions a "key" as an input, which could imply a button being pressed. If this is indeed the case, you could have a contact bouncing issue. I have had similar issues with inputs to such logic circuits that involved push-button switches, where contact bounce was an issue. \$\endgroup\$
    – wave.jaco
    Commented Jun 5, 2017 at 8:30

3 Answers 3


In general you have to be careful when mixing different logic IC technologies:
The output of a LS gate (e.g, IC2a, 74LS08) cannot be used directly for an input of a CMOS gate (e.g. IC3, 4029).

In your case this may cause that the reset pusle is detected way too late.

At least you should add a pull-up resistor (because LS high output is not high enough for CMOS high input) or better just use CMOS AND-gates (4081) for IC2.

BTW: You can replace this whole circuit by one 4017 IC (Johnson Counter) with O3 shorted back to reset and 3 AND gates:


simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab


It's quite uncommon for inputs to arrive in-phase with the clock. The usual design is for inputs to be sampled at the rising edge of the clock. You see this in the 7474 you use; it triggers on the rising edge. See, for instance, https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SPI_timing_diagram2.svg .

If you allow inputs to come in at the same time as the clock, you're going to have hazards. If nothing else, there's the race of the input vs the clock! As you try to design around that, you usually introduce hazards in other stages - as you've seen here.

That's one reason that you often see timing diagrams showing rise and fall times (as in the above-linked example). It makes it more clear when your timings are introducing hazards.

You may want to draw a Karnaugh map for your circuit to identify hazards and make sure that you're ok.


I think this is because of latch delay in 4514. You could consider to remove 7474 flip/flops or if you really need them replace 4514 with few nand gates all you need is three decoded outputs after all.


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