Now that my thumb is (mostly) healed, I finally tried my hand at soldering, a skill I’ve wanted to pick up for a while, but and one I’ll need for the electronics projects I want to do.
After talking to the EE and others at work, I bought a decent adjustable soldering iron from Sparkfun for $40, along with some support parts (hookup wire, snips, etc).
The first project is a larger version of Make Magazine’s “Candy tin extractor fan” — I used a larger plastic pencil box from Walmart ($1) so I could use an 80mm fan instead of the small 20mm from the guide.
Things I learned tonight:
- Thin stranded wire (like 9v battery leads) isn’t easy to solder…or strip.
- 22 gauge solid hookup wire, on the other hand, is really nice to work with!
- The “third hand” I got sucks. Going to just solder on a flat surface I think… maybe using a couple of small weights to hold things in place.
- It is easier to solder without my glasses, even with progressives… I’m really nearsighted!
- I need a better (as in “not $3 from harbor freight”) multimeter with a continuity mode (yes, I can and did just use resistance, but the buzzer would be useful)… and a cheat sheet on its use/symbols.
BUT…the extractor fan works! I need to figure out a switch, and but I’d call tonight and success!
I’ll update with a few pics once I shove everything in the box and figure out the switch!