Friday, 26 February 2021

Weekly Wrap Up 2/26/21- Learning electronic soldering skills

 MarioFan keeps saying he wants to do something in electronics for a career.  For the past two years we have been working on learning python coding and building circuits using the program 42 Electronics.  I highly recommend this program if you are looking for something similar.   Their customer service is amazing!   MarioFan just finished the the fourth and last book in this program in Jan.

His completed robot that 

Final assignment was to get his robot to take video and speak.  
MarioFan learned quite a bit from this program and enjoyed it.  He loves the building of the robot but says the programing part is not really for him;). 

So for the next electronic skill he wanted to learn was soldering of electrical components.  We bought several different kits and soldering equipment and have begun.  Electric soldering is quite different from glass soldering but I am comfortable around a soldering iron.  We started with the European siren kit as it was the only one with written instructions that laid out a careful plan.  The other kits have on line instructions that I still need to down load. 

Some of the kits we have at home.

I bought a soldering mat and tool kit that had all the supplies needed for electrical work.  This is not the best quality soldering iron but it will do for a beginner.  We will invest in a better one if MarioFan really takes off in this area

First we practiced just getting use to the soldering iron and using the solder

we practice stripping coated wire and then soldering them  onto a board.  

Learning how to build solder bridges from one area to another using tinned wire

Using a solder wick to remove excess solder.   I have never used this method in my glass work as using more solder is usually a good thing but quite the opposite in electrical work.  this wasn't working as smoothly as it should for us.

We weren't too keen on this process as the solder wick gets very hot quickly. My husband (who has done a little bit of electrical soldering in his past) told us to order a desoldering vacuum pump and try that method to see if we liked it any better.  

Next MarioFan began to assemble the siren project using the soldering skills he had learned over the last few days.

MarioFan followed the schematic electrical drawings to place the components onto the board 

Then carefully soldered them in place.  He had to be careful because the holding the solder iron too long in one location could burn out some of the electrical components  

IT worked on the first try.  MarioFan was very proud of himself

The last part of this kit was to learn to remove parts and add in different electrical components which meant using copper wick to remove solder.  MarioFan really struggled at first with this process as the manual says the copper wick they supplied was coated in Flux but it was not really removing any of the solder and taking such a long time which meant the copper wick was getting hotter and hotter to touch!  After consulting a friend, who does electrical work,  I brought up my glass flux and put the copper wick in to soak up more flux.  

what a game changer adding more flux to the copper wick:) Much smoother and faster process.

The solder was much easier to remove but it does get a bit hot to touch so MarioFan decided to try the newly arrived solder pump!

He like this process so much better!  

After changing the components the siren work but now emitted a different sound.  MarioFan enjoyed the process and we will be working on a new project soon continuing to build his soldering skills!