Friday, 6 February 2015

How to solder

I've always been really afraid of soldering because if you get it wrong, you can end up damaging bits of kit and I'm a bit kack handed at the best of times.

So imagine my dismay when I really wanted to play with an Adafruit capacitive touch sensor, but saw that they only sell them in kit form that you have to solder yourself:

https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-capacitive-touch-sensor-breakouts


I really wanted to give this Minecraft Raspberry Pi project a go, so I just went ahead and gave soldering a try.

Looking on Youtube I found this video:





It's 30 minutes long and comes in two parts, BUT it goes into every detail about equipment, technique and do you know what? It gave me the confidence to just go ahead and do it. I didn't have all the kit he mentioned in his video, but my school CDT department had a basic chisel soldering iron and solder and I got to work. One key tip is that you must secure your object somehow. In a breadboard, or in a clamp, you need two hands to solders and you can't hold the object you wish to solder at the same time.

It worked! It actually worked. All this time I'd been doing it wrong and following the above video really did make a difference. Adafruit themselves also have a great tutorial on soldering:

https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-capacitive-touch-sensor-breakouts/assembly-and-wiring

https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-guide-excellent-soldering/making-a-good-solder-joint


Follow the instructions on those pages and have the confidence to try it. Happy soldering!
I've off to play with my capacitive touch sensor minecraft project:




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