Saturday, July 25, 2009

Teach A Future Robotics Geek How To Solder

Our friends at Make: are running a "Teach Your Family To Solder" week and since I consider all of you my robotics geek family I decided to post some basics on how to solder. Robots and electronics are like flesh and bone so you need to know at least some basic soldering before hacking/tinkering or creating your own robot.

First you need to get some basic soldering tools from your local or online electronics store:

  1. Soldering Iron w/Stand (This IS the main tool; get one with temperature control)
  2. Solder (Get 60% Tin/40% Lead for best results but you can get SAC305 for to be free of Lead)
  3. Flush/Diagonal Cutters (Important to cut leads close the circuit board)
  4. Handy Hands w/Magnifying Glass (Not Pictured but it helps hold circuit boards)
  5. De-soldering Tool (To help you de-solder electronics)
  6. Digital Multimeter (Helps measure Voltages, Amps, Continuity and other fancy things)
Secondly you need the basics, here is a quick tutorial on soldering from they guys at Solarbotics that you can print out and keep handy at all times:

I also provide you with two "quick" videos (movies can help you learn better and faster by using the "Monkey See Monkey Do" technique; it always works!). The first is a quick basic How-To-Solder and the second is a bit more specialized for electronics soldering (much of what we do for robotics). Enjoy!

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