Sunday, 9 January 2011

Wiring up the first components

While the lacquer was drying, I started to "stuff" the circuit board. This involved locating the various components (resistors and capacitors) and poking their legs through the holes in the circuit board.

This was a pretty straightforward exercise, and proceeded quickly. The only marginally tricky part was to get the capacitors lined up pointing in the right direction (they require the positive end to point to the positive rail on the circuit). Nothing too complex, though.

Once all the components were in the relevant locations, it was time to see how good my soldering skills were after all these years.

I bought a 25W soldering iron from RadioShack. The low power seemed to be a good idea, as I didn't want to cook any of the components, and it might give me a semblance of control over the process.

As I worked from location to location soldering the joints, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was able to produce a reasonable joint if I didn't rush.

I also found that the tip of the iron needed cleaning regularly, and used a damp Scotch Brite sponge to keep things flowing. The abrasive side was good at keeping the crud off the tip; and the spongy side acted like a classic soldering sponge.

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