Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Learning to Solder

Everyone tells me that soldering is easy. For a long time I've seen it as a barrier to be able to do a lot of electronics or maker style crafts. I usually try and buy components that are pre-soldered or ask someone else to solder them for me. Since joining Raspberry Pi, this has been a bit of a joke for the engineers. They think I'm a bit silly. I'm certain I'm not alone in this.

Recently Wednesdays at Pi Towers have become 'Gert Wednesdays' when Gert comes into the office to visit us and teach some of us new skills. Gert Van Loo is an engineer, and one of the first volunteers working on Raspberry Pi. He has also created lots of add on boards for Raspberry Pi like the well titled 'Gertboard'. He has also created the 'Gertduino'. You can see where Gert Wednesdays come from cant you. Gert promised me he'd teach me how to solder and he didn't disappoint. In one morning of simple tuition I was taught how to solder. THANKS GERT!

I decided that after I solder ALL THE THINGS in my office drawer that I've been dying to use with my Raspberry Pi, I would put my new found knowledge to good use by creating a tutorial video for GGD. It's a short video but I hope it will help give other people the confidence to start or at least to attend a Maker Faire event where they can learn. 

Equipment Required

  • Soldering Iron
  • Solder
  • Stand
  • Something to solder!

Safety Tips

  • Soldering irons get really hot. They can burn.
  • Holding an iron, solder and a PCB requires more hands than you have. Get a clamp to help.
  • Be careful when trimming legs of components that they do not fly off into someones eyes.


I found 'Soldering is Easy' web comic by Mitch Altman, Andie Nordgren and Jeff Keyzer really helpful too. It has some great sketches and explanations. 

Get yourself to a Maker Faire or a Raspberry Jam event to learn how to solder! 

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