For the Boldport Club project “The Matrix” I used hot air soldering for the first time. After some experimenting and with help from Boldport Club members, it worked really well. I could colder the 120 LEDs in less than 10 minutes to the board.
I made a video about the process. Please keep in mind, I am new with this process, so this is absolutely no instruction video how things should be done. I may be absolutely wrong. 😀 Enjoy!
Here a list of the objects and tools you can see in the video:
I just finished a small series of the PissOff project. After all work done, I probably would use a stencil and solder paste next time.
For this series I used a slightly larger speaker to improve the loudness and sound quality. Tried some different ones, but the really good ones do not fit on the back of the project anymore.
While soldering all these boards, I found out the contacts of the SD card holder do not always easily connect to the PCB. If the SD card is not working, resoldering these solved problems for two boards. Also in one case, flux came into the trimmer, there was no contact anymore and no sound output.
I made a short video how I solder the Boldport project “Touchy”. It is a SMD project with a quite difficult to solder chip. For the first half of the assembly, I did not notice that the solder tip was no screwed tight, so the heating of the tip was not optimal.
Click the link below for the same video on YouTube in a better quality:
This article is about soldering for show. While usually you solder electronic components to make the best possible connection and keep everything working, this is just to make a great visual result. If you want to take photos from your projects or would like to impress a customer with a nice looking prototype, you have to solder with more care to the detail.
In the next sections I will describe a few things which are worth to think about, using Boldport Project #4 as an example. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to add a comments to this article. Also feel free to ask about any other technique I use, about which you would like to see another article.
To get great results you need the right tools.
First, you really need a good soldering station. The brand does not matter, but the performance does. The solder iron should actually transfer the required heat to the solder joint and this in a very consistent and reliable way. For this reason, the temperature sensor should be as close to the tip as possible. I personally use products from the Weller WT Series.
This week the beautiful projects from Boldport club arrived. Each of them comes with a nice box or bag which matches the individual project. All electronic components to assemble and solder the project are included, but you need some external power supply and jumper cables to bring some of the projects to life.
In the following sections, I will show you some impressions of the assembled kits. My soldering skills are far from perfect, so even after cleanup you see a lot of impurity on the PCB’s. If you like to join the club, you can do this here.
This project is based on a project from 1974, which is a touch activated switch. The “Tap” project is combined with the “Cordwood Puzzle” for the LEDs.