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u/[deleted] · 8 pointsr/emacs

Preface: for some ungodly reason Mass Drop expects people to create an account before showing what the page has.

What is on the page is the description of the keyboard along with everything in the kit.

Here is an image of the web page to fix this so that you can see what keyboard I am talking about:

It is stupid I know, but that is how they are for some reason.

You don't have to use Facebook to log into it though thankfully.

Alright, so this kit is finally back as an option on Mass Drop after over a month or two of absence, and it is on it's third or fourth Mass Drop group buy, all of which have been successful with no complaints from buyers amazingly.

Ordering it as a group buy is the only way to get this keyboard and it isn't offered anywhere else on the planet.

Everyone who has tried the keyboard is in love with their ErgoDox and how comfortable using the brilliant design is.

The ErgoDox keyboard is an open source hardware, open source software design, which as people who use GPLv3 software I hope you can appreciate how huge that is in light of how unapproachable hardware design has been in the past, plus with the group buy concept instead of the total cost being over 1500 USD (I priced all of this thinking to make my own being very unhappy with the lack of any intelligence present among keyboard manufacturers) it is less than 300 dollars, even after purchasing keycaps, which is huge.

What is brilliant about this keyboard, and I mean absolute genius in a domain defined by the lack there of is that it uses open source hardware with the specifications fully available, open source software for the firmware, the micro controller is very easily modified and installed thanks to their work on the configuration software, it uses all high quality parts including the very popular Cherry MX key switches (the mechanical part of a mechanical keyboard) for excellent tactile feedback and soothing ambient noise through the clickity clackety of the key switches, provides everything you need in the kit, has excellent instructions for assembling them, and allows you to decide on your own term caps, for which there is another group buy for to bring the cost of those way down.

You will absolutely love having thumb keys, which I use for all of my modifier keys and it saves my hands from career ending emacs pinky thankfully. Thumb accessible keys is an absolute boon for the information worker that has long days and nights.

I have liked them ever since experiencing them on a Kinesis Contour Advantage keyboard, and I cannot recommend that design enough.

But wait, there's more: in addition to all of that the keyboard also brilliantly went with not only a mirrored, symmetric layout for the keys and frame, and it also had the insight and genius to go with a split-keyboard layout so that the keyboard can not only accommodate a variety of human sizes, but doing so also ensures that the user can conform to proper ergonomic keyboard uses that entails having the arms and hands orthogonal to the key layout.

And even then, this design has another stroke of genius: removal of the typical function keys and escape key.

I know, you are thinking this is insane I need those.

And yes dear reader, I thought so too, but here is why this is actually a good thing, by not having that row there not only does it save space, it also ensures that you do not have the courage to try and chord the function keys without leaving the home row and anger the tendon gods in the process.

Thanks to the multiple layouts available (more not that below) you don't actually lose access to these, they just move to wherever you have decided to locate them.

This design is the most comfortable and ergonomic keyboard design I have ever seen and it puts the rest f the industry to shame for their hubris that has ruined many a career and been generally bereft of excellence as it makes no sense to design a keyboard this way now that we are not using bloody type writers from middle ages.

I am going to order at least two myself, one to use then a backup in case I can't get it in the future, which is what has happened to another keyboard design I liked and made it impossible to get or very expensive. Also, so I can take one to work and leave another at home.

Anyways, for those of you who do not have electronics experience and are worried about soldering things together or flashing the firmware on the micro-controller, do not be alarmed.

It is quite easy if you have moderately steady hands, plus you will learn a cool skill and hopefully take up the joy of hobby electronics.

You will be able to make your own ham radios and mess around with the great arduino micro-controllers and do all kinds of awesome tricks with sensors in your residence or wherever.

I recommend getting a fine point soldering iron and desoldering pump sucker for picking up solder off the pcb if you need to redo a trace. A soldering iron like this will work fine for this project.

A beautiful person took the time to make a how to assembly video showing the entire process too, which is superb:

This image has the assembly instructions that cover the soldering and other hook ups:

Here is the configuration page you use to set up the layout and the site generates the hex file you need to upload to the firmware for you, which is the tricky part normally:

Here's an image mirror of that in case the previous link does not work:

Here is an example modified qwerty layout.

There are multiple layers because on this keyboard you can have multiple layouts that you jump up and down through via the L+ and L- keys, which is absolutely brilliant design.

L+ moves up in the layout stack, and L- moves down in the layout stack.

Also, you can configure keys to move up or down through two layers at a time for ever faster switching between layouts.

Having a way to progress through multiple layers of layouts is something I had not thought of in my prototype design and would have sorely missed having such a wonderful feature if I had not seen the ErgoDox keyboard before I had a go at having my own custom layout manufactured.

I really cannot hype this design enough, from quality to its concept to its execution, every aspect is flawless and free as in freedom on top of that.

I hope you all consider grabbing this beautiful product.

I realize it is considerably pricy compared to other keyboards, although within a normal price for ergonomic keyboards, but this is absolutely an investment in your own health and career regardless of your age that will pay for itself.

It is a pittance to pay for compared to the agony that will succeed if you happen to come down with crippling repetitive stress injury (RSI) or carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS).

As someone who has had that, and also as someone who did not take the situation seriously, it is completely devastating and takes months to heal even with great precaution and doing everything possible outside of surgery (which at most will have 80% return of functionality in your hands and ensure that you will be maimed for life in the process).

It is much, much better to go with the ounce of prevention instead of the pound (and months to years) of cure along with hundreds of dollars in the process that entails an slew of treatments.

Even one lost paycheck due to injury will cover the cost of this investment in yourself.

If you choose not to go with this product, at least take the time to invest into researching how to avoid injury and what you can do to give yourself the best chance of staying in the game rather than being sidelined by injury and wasting your own time and brilliance.

Xah has reviews of other keyboards (none of the ErgoDox that I know of though) that are ergonomic options as well. You can find those reviews here: Xah's reviews.

u/rich-creamery-butter · 2 pointsr/AskElectronics

You're getting some great advice here, and I'm glad you're enjoying the process of learning to solder! I thought I'd copy a previous post of mine going over my favorite fluxes. Maybe it'll be useful to you as well!


Certainly not the same. Over time you'll acquire a number of fluxes that you use for different things. You'll want different types depending on the kind of soldering you're doing, or if you're trying to ensure compatibility (i.e. with a flux-cored solder) between fluxes. I mostly use no-clean but rosin fluxes are great. You're supposed to clean them off but there are plenty of 30 year old boards with rosin flux residue on them that work fine. A note on flux pens, I personally hate them. I'm referring to the ones that are built like those paint markers with the tip you need to push in to get it to flow. Very overpriced for the amount of flux and they never work right. Bonkote brush pens are the best, but unfortunately expensive. They are however refillable and the brush tips are replaceable and relatively cheap. The cheap dispenser bottles work great as well but for very thin fluxes are easier to make a mess with.

Here are my go-to fluxes:

  • MG Chemicals RA Flux - This is a classic. Cheap, very effective. Very sticky and easily clogs flux pens/dispenser bottles, but great stuff.

  • MG Chemicals No-clean Paste Flux - Great stuff, I prefer it to the Chip Quick paste flux although that's also quite good and a little more tacky. This is a thicker flux than the liquid rosin stuff, good for removing bridges and such. I transfer any flux that comes in a syringe to a 3mL syringe. Smaller syringe means you use less force to get more pressure, easier to dispense from small needles. Stick 2 syringes together - nose to nose - with a half inch length of silicone tubing. Let's you get maximum flux volume without entrapped air that will cause oozing.

  • Kester 186 RMA Flux - Slightly less active than the MG Chemicals RA but very good. Thinner and easier to dispense. Side note, this seller (Tekline) also has a great eBay store. Only way to get some of these fluxes without buying a gallon of flux or one of those shitty overpriced flux pens.

  • Edsyn FL22 No-clean Paste Flux - By far the best paste flux I've ever used. Nothing comes close for removing difficult solder bridges. It's not cheap though so I reserve it for tough situations.

  • Kester 959T No-clean - Great general purpose no-clean flux. Very thin, like water. It's a true no-clean flux if a board goes through a reflow cycle - it completely disappears if you don't overdo it. It's also excellent for dip-soldering if you use a solder-pot, which is what it is intended for (wave-soldering).

    I have a water soluble flux that I use as well Kester 2331-ZX but you must clean all traces of it off before you put boards into service, so it only comes out rarely.

    Flux - like solder - is one of those things that seems expensive when you buy the good stuff, but unless you're a CM buying drums of it the cost-per-use is so low that it makes no sense to fuss with the cheap shit IMHO.

    And speaking of flux, if you want clean shiny boards then consider getting some flux remover. The best I've used so far is Techspray E-line Universal Cleaner. Used to use MG Chemicals Heavy Duty Flux Remover but this beats the pants off it - does the job in 5 minutes where the MG would take half an hour. Rosin-fluxes clean easily unless you reflow them or let them get baked on. No-clean fluxes don't usually need to be cleaned - hence the name - but if you use rosin flux to rework a board (i.e. solder through-hole parts onto a board that was reflowed with no-clean) and then use bad flux remover, the no-clean will turn into a white powdery film that's very unattractive and hard to clean. Thus a good flux remover is handy.

    If you're careful with it you can really stretch it out. I recommend against the aerosol cans of flux remover. While they can work well they're expensive and very wasteful, and by the time you clean off a particularly challenging flux you'll have emptied the $20 can.

    EDIT: One little trick that most EEs I've met aren't aware of - pick up a little bit of straight phosphoric acid. It works like magic if you ever need to solder to bare aluminum, steel, or stainless steel. You could probably use an acid flux (usually intended for plumbing) but I can't imagine it being any better than regular old cheap phosphoric acid. You'll never get regular flux and solder to wet steel, but this makes it just as easy as soldering anything else.
u/Babylon4All · 6 pointsr/livesound


  • If you're stateside, Anixter is our main supplier since they have branches all across the country. However we use several local vendors as well, NedCo in Las Vegas, Pacific Radio in Los Angeles, etc.

  • EWI looks fine, I haven't ever worked with it personally, but looking at their site it looks fine.

  • My company personally uses Belden whenever possible for installations and for inside racks. For touring and studio a mixture of Mogami and Canare for microphone, instrument cable etc. For speaker cable I personally prefer CCI/Coleman cables. I've seen those jackets take extreme beatings in all environments and all sorts of machinery run over them.

    For your question about 3.5mm to TS, you really just need any audio rated cable and what it's purpose is. For these I personally find it easier to purchase a stereo 3.5mm and solder on the connector I need; RCA, TS, XLR, etc.

  • When looking you should shop around multiple vendors and get pricing for various cables at each location. See how their pricing and shipping differ.

  • Most 22-26awg signal cable will use foil due to it's small size. Outside of that should be a twisted dump wire. Solid dump wires I've found are not the best for audio as they break easily if a cable is over extended/bent too far. For microphone, as close to 100% coverage over your other pairs is ideal. Any reputable cable manufacturer will provide this information.

  • Microphone cable is the same cable as instrument cable. The only difference is there is an extra wire. A balanced XLR will have a dump wire/shield, a hot, and a neutral. An instrument cable only has the dump wire/shield and the neutral generally. The only real thing to look for is the cable's resistance. Digital RCA should be around 75ohms, while Analog RCA is around 20-40. Same for DMX and Audio, DMX looks the same, but is around 110ohms, whereas audio cables will be around that 20-40ohms. This is done to protect the digital transmission of their square waves more, whereas audio doesn't need to and is a sine wave.


  • Each solder will have a different melting point, another key thing is to look at the melting point of the wires insulation/jacket. Most Lead based solders will have a melting range of 350-450°F. Generally the silver solder will melt around 1,145°F, this is known as easy silver solder, as it is only around 56% pure, hard flow silver solder is closer to 1,375°F. What you'll typically find/use is 70/30 or 60/40 which should be around 350-375°F range. Why some people prefer Silver Solder is for clarity, it has less imperfections that disrupt the flow of the electrons. However your usual 70/30 or 60/40 is just fine as well, the majority of cables you'll work with have been made with this type of solder. One key thing to look for is that the solder you have contains a Flux Resin Core. This helps the solder flow easier and bond to other metals easier.

  • Watch videos on youtube, make sure you have a decent Iron [I personally prefer Hakko] the Digital FX888D is a great inexpensive soldering station for beginners. The next thing to do is to practice. Practice, practice, practice. Cut off a few feet of wire and go at it, practice tinning and terminating over and over again. Another thing is to practice undoing a connection. To do this you'll want to put your tip on the joint, and then add solder with a flux resin core. Once solder melts, its melting point goes up in temperature, the flux and resin help to lower that back down to make it flow faster/easier. Then, if you don't have a solder sucker, just pull the wire out of the connection point and while the solder is still flowing tap it out onto a safe surface. This will remove the excess solder but will still make it tinned, ready for your next wire. Key point clean your tip! If your iron didn't come with a gold foil cleaner, get one, they're around $5-25 and worth every penny, here's a $5 one on Amazon. This will clean all the impurities off of your iron and make soldering easier and cleaner. If you're in a pinch and don't have one, a wet paper towel/cloth works. You want it to be wet enough that if you squeeze it with some good force water will come out of it steadily, but not so much water that it pools out when you press your iron against it.

  • A station heats up very quickly, so if you have a shop, those are ideal. Having it well lit and ventilated is key, the fumes can be nasty. Additionally have the right tip on your iron for the job is key. For example, a tip meant to do 26awg signal probably isn't the best suited for then doing 10awg lines.

  • Google, sometimes after a long day my mind blanks when making adapters for whatever I'm doing, and I just do a quick google image search. Otherwise, if you want it in book form, along with basically everything you'd need to know about the basics of tech, The Backstage Handbook.

  • You should have the following,
    Stereo RCA to XLR Male

    Stereo RCA to RCA

    Male XLR to RCA

    Female XLR to RCA

    EP6 to NL4 and NL8, going both ways, ie One side Male Neutrik to Female EP6, and then vice-versa.

    1 Male to 2 Female XLR

    Then just a slew of various connectors to make anything that may arise.

  • Amazon, Anixter, any electronics specialty store will have shrink tube. Be sure to check out how much it'll shrink when heated up, so shrink more than others. How to make them super clean is all up to how meticulous you are. Make sure you have a nice clean strip of the wire, and that your distance for stripping back the otuer jacket, and each wire's inner jackets is proportional to the connectors strain relief. You'll also want to make sure you sex your wire, ie, male XLR should go, Ground, Hot, Neutral when stripped Left to Right. Female XLR should start with the Neutral, then go Hot, then Ground. This will make for a cleaner look when it may be opened up, and less of a hassle when aligning the wires for soldering. For the actual soldering part you'll want to tin both your wire, and the solder point. Solder will flow to where it's hottest. By tinning these you are prepping the points to connect. You'll use less solder, and it will take less time. Once both sides are tinned, put the tip of your iron at a contact point of both the wire and the connector. Then wait a good 2-3 seconds and apply some solder. you won't need much. If you did it right the solder will melt almost instantly and then hold the iron there for another 1-3 seconds and both the solder on the wire and connector will now pool and flatten down naturally from gravity with the solder you just added. Pull your wand away and let it cool for a second or two before you let go of the wire. Shrink tube should be necessary in most XLR, TRS, RCA, NL4, connectors, but if you feel so inclined, then by all means do it. However, for this I recommend using a clear shrink tube. This will make it easy to check if something at the solder point is bad when troubleshooting a cable. For other cables such as an EP6 connector, I will always, ALWAYS recommend use of shrink tubing.

  • Labeling depends on the context. For instals in say an audio rack, our typical scheme is U101-A, U101-B, U102-A, the U### = Rack unit number, the letter A thru B, C, D etx refers to the amp channel. For these I typically use 3/8 or 1/2 White or Yellow shrink tube labes with our Rhino Labeler. We do not however shrink them, this is done for service purposes. Depending on your angle when servicing you may not be able to read the label once shrunk, but if left unshrunk you can turn it so it can be read from wherever you are. Note, you should label both ends of the cable the EXACT same. For touring and rental you should put your name/company's info on a label of some sort and then place a piece of clear shrink tube over that. You want to make sure about 1/2-1" of the clear shrink tube carriers over the edges of your label. This will protect your label longer than if they're almost exactly the same length. It's also not a bad habit to run a piece of colored tape, label, whatever under the clear shrink tube on both ends to distinguish cable length. Every company has a different method, but the one I use is the rainbow.

    Red - 5ft

    Orange - 10ft

    Yellow - 15ft

    Green - 25ft

    Blue - 50ft

    Purple - 100ft

    White - 200+, one band =200, two bands = 300.

    Hopefully this helps you in some way, let me know if you have any other questions or follow-up to any of these responses! edits Grammar, phrasing, some links to specific items, etc.
u/backlumchaam · 2 pointsr/BuyItForLife

For (bigger) diagonal cutters/pliers, I think the most BIFL are NWS with their "Titan finish". Knipex is a fairly close second, but I like the finish on NWS better. Both can handle hard and medium hard wire (including nails and screws) without a problem, unlike most Klein, Snap-On, etc. The biggest issue is finding NWS in the US. The NWS Fantastico Plus are the best diagonal cutters I've ever laid my hands on.

For precision cutters/pliers, Xuron. They're semi-flush (Xuron call them flush, but I'd still call them semi-flush) micro sheer cutters are great but thankfully don't seem to nick up easily like (Xcelite, Snap-On, etc.) flush cutters do. I like the ones with that are ESD safe, with extra long handles, and the lead retainer best if you're going to be populating a lot of circuit boards. Otherwise, their cheaper models are just as nice.

Wiha precision screwdrivers. I've given this set as a gift before. Wera for the bigger stuff if you need it. Wiha or Wera bits (only larger sizes, I've never found precision bits I've particularly liked).

Klein to fill in gaps.

Bondhus hex keys.

Find a nice used Fluke multimeter on eBay. 89IV go for under $200 and have pretty much identical features to the 189 (believe the 189 mostly just has a bigger inductance/capacitance range). Most universities will have someone tasked with calibration/maintaining the measurement equipment. Make friends and he'll probably calibrate it for you/teach you how/just let you jump in and try. Mine was falling out of the box after UPS drop kicked it to my door, but the calibration was still super boring as nothing needed adjustment.

Hakko or Weller soldering station. Easy to find tips, especially for Weller. WESD51 dropped to $99 on Amazon a couple times in the last year, great time to scoop one up for little more than the analog version. The Stahl Tools one Amazon sells is also good for dirt cheap, but not really BIFL; good luck on finding tips. Metcal is too rich for my blood, but if you ever happen across one that is cheap.

Kester "44" solder, accept no substitute. 63/37 or 60/40, but since the spool will last you half a lifetime, I'd probably go with the 63/37.

I have a love/hate relationship with wire strippers. Something like this usually gets the job done, but sometimes you'll get wire with a strange jacket size and they'll fail. For the automatic kind, this style works ok (especially if you adjust it to what you're stripping), but I usually like this style better; again, as long as the jacket isn't too small and you wire is in the right range. Sadly, I probably most often grab for cheapies like this. The adjustment screw is great if you have to do a lot of a certain size, but I tend to free hand them. It takes quite a bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it, it's the fastest. Thermal wire strippers are just too pricey for the home user, especially if you want to do PVC, teflon, etc. jacketed wire.

I also have a love/hate relationship with crimpers. I have some crimpers I got for Anderson Powerpole connectors from West Mountain Radio (largely because I couldn't believe how cheap they are-- connector-specific crimpers are usually many times the price they charge) and they were great for the Powerpoles. I even bought some of the other die sets, but I've been less happy with those. I often end up using a similar pair to these or the die on a pair of Klein lineman's pliers for the larger crimps.

u/toughduck53 · 1 pointr/guitarpedals

> I originally was considering something like Lava Cables or maybe even the Evidence SIS kit, but those seem to be unreliable enough to give me pause. So, now I’m thinking that I’ll buy some plugs and cable and solder them myself (important note: at present I don’t know how to solder, but it doesn’t seem complicated, especially since it’s only cables).

Seriously, its way easier than you think. you can honestly learn how to solder going from absolutely zero experience to being able to solder cables in under a half hour. Id actually bet it takes less time then having to learn how to use the solderless solutions, which are a massive hassle.

Just last month I taught my friend how to solder and he went from knowing nothing to putting together a sweet diy keyboard in a single night.

Its also dead cheap to solder your own cables. Even the more "premium" cables come in under $1/ft and you can get pancake plugs off for $0.50 each. Compare that to evidence charging 8$ per plug

so some quick math to maybe convince you some more

Evidence audio SIS plugs = $8 each.

pancake plugs = $0.50 each.

you need 48 plugs

848= $384 for the SIS plugs.

24= $24 for pancake plugs.

And then to add to that, the soldered plugs are going to be objectively more durable.

Also heres a little copy paste I made to help you know how little you'd actually need to spend to get started soldering. But if you have any other questions id be happy to help

if you don't plan on doing much soldering in the future and it's more of a one time thing, there's really no reason to get anything bore expensive than this. I spend easily 60 hours of solid soldering on the earlier version of this (same thing just without the leds) and I only ever replaced it because the tips were getting worn out (although you can replace the tips for cheap) and because I thought I deserved a more solid iron considering how much soldering I do.

if you do plan on doing lots of soldering in the future then I would recommend getting something other than a weller, they're honestly just one of those things that for years have been the industry standard but honestly have gone down hill. I've used a dozen different wellers, some old some new, some cheap some costing 300$ but none of them are really good. I, along with almost everyone in electronic repair industry like Luis Rossmann recommend a brang called hakko. I use atd absolutely love the hakko fx888d. It's really honestly just magic. It heats up to 700+ in under 30 seconds, with a live temperature readout (my old weller would take close to 15 minutes), atd the tips are really just magic, they just don't get corroded at all like every other brand I've used.

It's also worth mentioning for anyone new to soldering that the type of solder used makes a world of difference. What your going to want in rosin core, leaded solder (preferably 63/37 but 60/40 will work too). You want rosin core because it makes it a ton easier to not have to worry about flux, atd unless your doing really tiny electronic you won't need flux beyond the rosin core. You want leaded solder for a few reasons. First off, it melts at a way lower temperature (leaded solder melts at about 360f ish where lead free is closer to 460-480f, but saying that that's not at all the temps you wound use to actually solder at, it ranges from 400 - 700f depending on the application ). Leaded also has a way better surface tension, and melts more evenly, all this really just adds up to making it 100 times easier to work with, ESPECIALLY if you need to desolder anything.

u/240pMan · 1 pointr/crtgaming

there are about 5-6 other components that I could still replace in the horizontal linearity circuit and I will probably do this. I do think it will solve the issue but I will likely try because of how much effort and money I have invested into this set. I love the set other than the geometry problems and the geometry issue isn't really that noticeable in 3D games. I don't notice it at all when playing Super Mario 64 and N64 looks great on the JVC D201 set. Also, keep in mind that when you are dealing with geometry issues, you only need to focus on the horizontal and vertical linearity circuits which contain 20-30 aluminum electrolytic capacitors combined. Replacing capacitors isn't hard at all with the right tools. I did make sure to watch a ton of videos on how to solder and desolder and I bought my tools based on recommendations in Youtube videos and on several electronics forums.
I use this soldering iron and it works great,
I use this solder sucker and it is also great. You just have to make sure to push out the old solder with the pump after every 1-2 connections,
I recommend have a desoldering wick as backup as well. Use a no-clean solder wick of 2.0mm for general desoldering. As far as flux, flux paste is easier to use as it doesn't drip. The AMTECH NC-559-V2-TF no-clean tacky solder flux is good. Any no clean liquid flux from Kester or MG Chemicals will work fine as well. Definitely get some wire cutters for cutting solder and cutting component leads.
I use this solder (I recommend lead solder with a rosin core and also no clean)
Any time you work on a CRT, you need to discharge the anode cap. This is very easy to do with the proper tools. For example, you could use a flat head screwdriver and an alligator clip wire to do this. You connect one end to the screw driver, the other end to a ground point on the CRT chassis (i.e. the metal frame around the CRT), slide the screwdriver under the rubber anode cap with the CRT unplugged until you hit the metal connector in the metal. Rub the screwdriver on this metal connector for about 5 seconds and it will be discharged. Retrotech on Youtube has a video on how to do this. I wouldn't say you need $80 electrical gloves to do this but at least wear a rubber or leather glove or both and only use one hand. Retrotech actually has quite a few videos on how to work on CRTs.
Overall, doing basic things like replacing capacitors in CRTs isn't that hard, you just have to spend the time to educate yourself, be patient and it will click. If you have any questions, just ask me or anyone else on here. If you ever work on any power circuit capacitors, make sure to discharge them with a high wattage and ohm rated resistor but using insulated pliers to hold the resistor legs to the capacitor legs for about 5 seconds to discharge the cap before you remove it.

u/Boucherwayne78 · 1 pointr/laptops

If you can't get it with a Q-tip, it's nothing to worry about. Grab yourself a soldering iron on Amazon, as well as some quality solder and flux. I will link some in an edit to this comment in a few minutes. Also, screw everyone else in this thread, that is damn near the perfect amount of thermal paste.

EDIT: Here are my recommendations and reasons!



Cheapo soldering iron:



This one will do you some good for the quick fix, although I can't speak to the longevity of the iron or its ability to melt some of the higher temperature solders that factories use.


More expensive (but WAAAAAAY BETTER) iron:



This is a great soldering iron if you think electronics is something you'd like to get into. Quality replaceable tips are available, and it has a stand and comes with a cleaning sponge. I've used these, and absolutely love them. Honestly though, if this is going to be one of very few times you solder, just go for the cheap one.






The cheap iron comes with some solder, and honestly you can probably get away with that for this one repair. If you decide to get the more premium iron though, here is some good solder:



OR (I've never used this particular solder but MG chemicals is a great brand)



I usually stick to smaller diameter solders because you have a lot more control over how much you're putting onto a joint. This stuff is good, but really you just need to make sure it's lead solder because it melts a lot easier and is easier for beginners to work with.






If you want your joints to form and form well, you need some flux. At least coming from me, this is mandatory. Here's some good no-clean flux that you can use that will mostly evaporate off and shouldn't be much fuss to clean.






Although kind of slow, here's a pretty good soldering guide. This relates more to soldering electrical components, but most of the lessons remain the same.


Best of luck!

u/kaybeerry · 5 pointsr/MechanicalKeyboards

Is Preonic worth the investment?

I have a Planck rather than a Preonic but OLKB designs sturdy and reliable boards that are also very interesting.

I honestly think the Planck is like twitter. Having a very low word (key) count makes people more creative in how they express themselves. The Preonic is more like tumbler where more things can be done more easily.

Moving keys to other layers is fine due to the extra thumbable keys on the bottom row. The Preonic doesn't require as many layers because it has so many more keys, so the extra thumb keys aren't really necessary.

That said, it's a nice compromise.

Is it a good build for a beginner?

It's the same difficulty as any other keyboard build that has PCB components soldered on. All you have to do is add switches and through-hole solder them. It's definitely a fine way to learn to solder as long as you follow a few rules.

Most keyboard kits come this way with the exception of those like the Lets Split which you have to solder diodes and a promicro onto also.

The only thing More difficult is getting a PCB printed and buying diodes, resisters, and chips from DigiKey and then using a heat gun or oven to cook all the little things on.

What is a good soldering station?

Cheap ones will work fine. People around here seem to like the Hakko 888d which is what I use. The cheaper ones like this will also work fine. The extra $80 doesn't change much about how you work. Turn on the iron, heat stuff, sponge occasionally, don't touch it to your skin, then put it away safely.

Soldering rules for beginners

  1. Don't hold the heat on any part for more than 5 seconds. If it starts looking like a mess, go solder other parts and let things cool off before coming back to fix it. Don't freak out about the speed, just be deliberate and have things ready before you start applying heat
  2. Use leaded solder because it's much easier to melt and manipulate
  3. Use rosin core, no clean solder so you don't have to futz around with flux or flux cleaner
  4. Put the iron down when you're not using it. It is shaped like a pencil and we humans like to tuck those between fingers while manipulating things. Do not do this.

    There are a lot of little things to do to maximize soldering experience. You'll figure these out over time. I thing this short list is enough to keep your board intact and blood in your body.
u/F1ForFun · 3 pointsr/raspberry_pi

No problem! Happy to help. I study computer science, but there's something about soldering that has always given me a greater sense of accomplishment than any code I write, so I'm happy to see your excitement towards it as well.

That's the same soldering station that I use, so you're good there. Great tip with a nice, fine point. Perfect for soldering to small pads, as you plan to. I prefer straight tips, but that's just preference and you may or may not like your chosen tip better.

You're definitely going to need some other materials. I would provide links to them all but I'm on mobile and that would be a huge pain in the ass. Things you will need:

  • Desoldering braid
  • Flux (the most important thing to have, this is worth its weight in gold)
  • Leaded solder (lower melting point, heat kills components so the less heat you have to apply the better, always)
  • 28 awg wire should work for this application

    Like I said in the list, the less heat you need the better. When you're desoldering the connector, the best way to go about this would be to put leaded solder over top of the existing solder so that they mix which will decrease the melting temperature required for the successive desoldering attempts.

    I also suggest a hot air station if you're wanting to really get into this kind of stuff. It may even be necessary for a beginner to desolder this type of connector without damaging the board, honestly. I use this hot air station and it's been fantastic.

    If you have any more questions I'll be happy to answer them.
u/SunTsu75 · 2 pointsr/diypedals

Seconded, also consider this kind of thing: - it's invaluable for PCBs. Just populate from one side, add something to hold stuff in place (like gaffa tape, or bend one lead, or clip on a sheet of paper, etc), turn over the PCB and start soldering away. I wouldn't want to miss mine.

Any soldering iron 40+W where you can regulate the temperature should do, I own a nice station but when I don't feel like breaking it out because it'd take longer to set it up than to do the job I use something like this: set to 350°C. Just make sure to clean and tin your tip regularly and it will do the trick just fine Oh, but ditch the solder and get a few spools of good rosin core solder of different gauges, it's not expensive but worth it. In my experience, the solder that comes with kits like that mostly works as a deterrent.

If you're not planning on buying all-included kits also get a few spools of stranded core wire of different colors. You could use solid core wires but those tend to break if they're getting bended from movement without showing it. With stranded core some strands may break but as others don't they'll continue to work. Invisibly broken wires (i.e.) inside the isolation) are a *beeeeep* to debug.

Also, a set of tweezers are great to have, especially the kind that holds stuff together per default, like this one: (only an example, I'd get a tweezers set that contains one like that).

In my experience a tool set like this one is great to have: - especially the bending tool is great to have, as it allows eg to bend the leads of a LED without running the risk of breaking the LED itself. It's also great in order to clean up mistakes, helps with desoldering and such

Speaking of desoldering: desoldering braid is a must. A desoldering pump can be useful, too. And yes, practice soldering and desoldering until you can do both without destroying anything.

If you're not going to buy pre-drilled enclosures then you very likely want a) a center punch and b) stepping drill bits. Those let you drill holes in all kinds of sizes without having to buy lots of drills.

Last but not least a wire cutter is a must

u/edgan · 8 pointsr/Quadcopter

I got an Eachine 250 racer about a month ago. It has been a lot of fun, but there are a lot of details. My next racer will probably be a smaller/lighter 180 frame.

For FPV goggles I have three ideas. One, is get the status quo Fatshark goggles at whatever level you can afford. Two, get the HeadPlay HD goggles I got. Three, get the Avegant Glyph, which has the really nice feature of letting you pop them up and down without a band. I do really like my HeadPlay HDs, but they are big and bulky. I haven't perfected how to adjust the straps to get them to stay on my head well.

Arms, managed to break one without breaking a prop.

Capacitors, they pop off very easily. I lost a capacitor at the same time I broke an arm. Or a hot glue gun, I Highly recommend putting hot glue over the caps next to each arm to help avoid the loss in the first place. You want a low temperature hot glue gun to not melt any plastic or traces. I consider the capacitor issue a design defect, but you can work around it with hot glue. The original revision seems to have lacked the capacitors, from pictures I have seen online.

Capacitors for Eachine 250 racer:

Youtube video exampling how to solder them:

Get a Taranis X9D Plus. It is a great transmitter. Also get a X4R-SB receiver, and use SBUS. The D4R won't let you control the lights too, because it can't do PPM and PWM at the same time. You can control them with the X4R-SB, SBUS+PWM. SBUS has great latency, 5-10ms. I was recently talking to a sponsored racer who told me that PPM, which is supposed to be 27ms with the D4R, is really more like 100ms. It averages the four last frames together. This link includes a case and X8R, which I think will work as well as the X4R, but you should do the research.

To do SBUS+PWM, requires a special bind procedure. You want channels 1-8 as SBUS, and 9+ as PWM. The most relevant part is "jump S1&S3: SBUS, 9, 10, 11 or jump S2&S3: SBUS, 9, 10, 11 (No telemetry)" Here is a link that talks about it.

Small tie wraps like the ones already on the arms to hold the ESCs. You break an arm, and you will need to replace the tie wrap.

Soldering iron, solder, etc, because you have to desolder the ESC from the motor to replace an arm, and then resolder it.

Qtips and rubbing alcohol for cleaning. Mix the alcohol 50/50 with water. The flying field was muddy after lots of rain.

Carrying case of some kind. You don't want it banged around in transport, and same with the transmitter. It is best to get the X9D with the case, because people price gouge on the case stand alone.

Batteries, you can burn through them very fast. But watch out for their height. I bought some of the new "Graphene" 4S batteries, and they are really too tall to fit. Some people remove the back LEDs to make battery installation easier.

Battery charging/carrying bags to help with uncontrolled fires started by batteries. I have two, one for charging, and one for carrying.

A battery charger if you want to use 4S batteries. The included charger is 2S/3S only. I have a Hi-tech X1 which will only charge one battery at a time. You can also get the X4 which will do four at once.

Battery charger for 4S batteries:

XT60 banana plug cable for charging with the above charger:

A V shaped antenna mount to get the receiver antennas up in the air. When over head the carbon fiber body blocks the signal well.

A voltage monitor so you know to land when your battery voltage is low. The video signal includes the battery voltage as part of the OSD, but I prefer LoS while learning to fly. It lets me keep an eye on where I am in relation to trees. On the other hand I have yet to find a good place to mount a voltage monitor. With the length of the balance cable on batteries you are likely going to need a balance cable extension for 3S and another for 4S.

Voltage monitor:

3S balance cable extension:

4S balance cable extension:

Double sided tape to mount things on the top of the body, like the antenna mount and receiver.

Small x-acto knife to help remove the double sided tape.

Electrical tape to tape down wires for lights and receiver.

Size 2.0 hex wrench for the frame screws. It will be needed to replace arms.

Scale that can measure grams. You want to knowing and control weight.

Sunglasses to avoid problems seeing on sunny days. Lets say you are flying LoS, and look into the direction of the sun. You can't see the quad well enough to control it, because of glare from the sun.

ESC flashing adapters to change/upgrade the firmware. I am not sure these are the right ones for the ESCs on the Eachine. I think they are, but I haven't tried it yet.

Atmel socket flashing tool:

Atmel USB programmer:

USB cable to use with transmitters and simulators. It is best to learn the basics in a sim, instead of replacing lots of parts.

USB cable for simulators:

Old post of mine on learning in a simulator:

Be sure to set a fail-safe, which is very easy with the Taranis. I had a fly away with my first Eachine, because of a defective Spektrum DX6 and lack of fail-safe. After that I switched to the Taranis, which doesn't cost much more and has way more capacity.

u/istarian · 1 pointr/Gameboy

Well to replace the battery you'll need to open the cart, carefully desolder the old battery, and solder in the new one. It's fairly straightforward and easy, but you can go look up a youtube video for a walkthrough. In theory you can tape in a new untabbed one in, but going with the original design/intention is preferable and won't come loose and lose your save if done properly. However, you'll need the following:

u/acet1 · 1 pointr/EngineeringStudents

This one on Amazon seems to have pretty good reviews. I'd recommend getting a stand like this to go with it for safety reasons. (I decided to solder without mine a few weeks ago, and wouldn't you know it, the one time I decide I don't need the stand, I burn myself!)

You can easily spend a lot more on irons, and if you start doing a lot more soldering you may want to make a bigger investment. A lot of people really like the Hakko FX888D, but I personally prefer the Weller WTCPT-60 because I don't like fussing with knobs. (Despite not having a knob, the Weller actually does have very precise temperature control, but depending on what temperature you want you have to buy different tips, which isn't worth the hassle for most people. I use only one kind of solder so it doesn't matter for me, but I digress.)

I've never found any tutorials I really like, and my advice is to just get busy! You'll make a lot of mistakes and do a lot of projects slowly before you get good, and I don't think there's a tutorial out there that will let you skip that. To help you stay pointed in the right direction, here are a few things I look for in a good solder joint:

  • A clean, consistent meniscus around the parts being soldered. If I'm tinning stranded wire, then I want to be able to see the contours of the strands underneath the solder once it's cooled, while still using enough solder to get good penetration. Big gobs of solder all over the place look tacky, can cause shorts, and can indicate the next problem:
  • "Cold" solder joints. By this I mean that the conductors you're soldering together weren't hot enough when the solder melted, and so the solder didn't stick. Solder on "cold" joints will often (but not always) have a frosty appearance, and will usually bead up instead of forming a meniscus like I described earlier. To make sure your joints aren't cold, use the iron to heat the joint, then touch the solder to the joint (rather than the iron), to melt it. If the conductor is hot enough to melt solder by itself, you can be sure you're joints won't be cold. (Usually you have to melt a little gob of solder onto the iron first to get the heat to conduct into the joint. This is a trick you can only get good at through practice.)

    There are a few intuition issues you should be aware of that I've observed while teaching students to solder. For instance, most of the stuff you'll be soldering is so small that it will be "cold" (as in "too cold to melt solder") the instant you pull the iron away, and cool enough to touch within seconds. Try it if you don't believe me. The part will only stay hot as long as the iron is touching it. You'd be surprised how many people can't get their head around this.

    Also, oxygen is your enemy. The longer the part is hot, the more oxidized the surface will become and the harder it will be for solder to stick. This is true even when the joint is hot, but not hot enough to melt solder! So once the iron contacts the work, you have to be expedient. Most joints can be finished in 5 seconds or less, and if you're holding the iron on there for 10 seconds or more but the solder still isn't melting, stop and reexamine what you're doing. You may want to get some fine-grit sandpaper to clean the conductors off before you start again.

    Keeping oxygen out of your solder joint is the job of flux, and like /u/avialex (edit: fixed) said it's very helpful (provided everything is relatively clean to begin with). But again it's a balancing act. If you use too much flux you'll make a mess, and raw flux is slightly corrosive and can be very difficult to clean off your work.

    There are lots of other tricks you'll learn through practice too. I guess that's where tutorials might come in handy. You'll probably learn to splice wires (probably the most difficult thing to do with a soldering iron) much more quickly from someone with experience on Youtube than struggling through it 20,000 times yourself, doing it a harder way because you didn't know any better.

    At the same time though, there's no substitute for practice. This went on a lot longer than I intended, but I think now you have plenty of information to keep in mind as you get started. Good luck and happy soldering!
u/w-e-f-u-n-k · 4 pointsr/Guitar

Nice! It is rewarding knowing that you can repair and modify your guitar's wiring as you please, just gotta break the seal and do it that first time. As with anything, practice makes perfect. My solder jobs looked pretty terrible and messy the first several times I tried it, but the more I do it the cleaner and more professional they look. Youtube instruction videos are super helpful as well, and having a decent iron that's at least 40 watts makes things much easier (doesn't have to be too expensive, I use one of these and am very happy with it).

Also, Seth Lovers are a great call. I have them in my Les Paul and they're the definition of the classic PAF sound, lots of snap and clarity but also totally lush and warm and punchy. Perfect for pretty much anything short of metal imo.

u/evrydayzawrkday · 13 pointsr/MechanicalKeyboards

So I got into the first batch on massdrop for the WhiteFox by Matt3o. Price wasn't too bad, picked the Aria with Cherry MX browns, came out to 189 shipped I believe (I can look at massdrop, but I don't recall if that included shipping or not). I will say that this wasn't planned, or at least I didn't think it was planned. I thought I got the assembled version, but I actually got the kit. I contacted massdrop about it, who was very kind but simply told me what I ordered and provided the receipt. Yup, I fucked up... or did I?

For those who are like me, decent with there hands but never did this before don't sweat it. It isn't that hard, but here are a few tips (esp if you have a WhiteFox you need to assemble):

  • Google. Matt3o had a great post on this with some videos / catchy music. There is also a video series from Input Club.
  • Get a decent iron. I got the Weller WLC100 from Amazon, cost me 40 bucks with a thing of .3mm rosin core solder. I think the steel wool cleaner was another 5 bucks since I didn't trust a 500F tip against a sponge :)
  • If you get the Weller WLC100, or any Iron that has a tip that looks like a screw driver get a chizzel tip. It was a pain in the ass to do the LED with that flat tip. I would recommend also a steel wool cleaner, not required but made cleaning the tip while the iron was hot easy as hell.

    Soldering the switches was a breeze. Did I fuck up a few solders? Sure, but the switch works :) Did I fuck up a few of the LED and had to desolder / resolder them, fuck ya lol. The LED solder pads are fucking tiny. That is all I will have to say. My only tip would be take your time, and when you put the LED in make sure you bent the leads a bit to make sure they don't fall through (now you know why I had to desolder and resolder).

    Besides that from unboxing to testing fully on my wife's laptop (ill get into that below, which is kinda funny) took me a little under 3 hours.. Not bad for a first time, and the feeling that I actually built something I will use for years to come is amazing. The keyboard overall is a joy to type on, and I love it.

    The only non-keyboard related issue I had was with the LED actually. So I did the top row of LEDs, and then plugged it into my machine. Machine recognized the keyboard like it did with all the switch tests I did as I soldered them, the LED would turn on and then off about two seconds later. I panicked, checked the solder joints and then searched the internet. I got nowhere, so I emailed Mat3o. Since it was late, I went to my wife's laptop downstairs (mine is in the truck, and I am too lazy to undo the alarm to go outside and get it) and it worked fine. Everything worked fine. This computer will be formatted tomorrow since there is a number of issues I found with system files, thank you Windows 10 updates /s (I looked at the windows updates logs to when the issue started - or issues, and it was after an update which ended up corrupting a few system DLL).


  • Build my first mechanical keyboard
  • Hate soldering LED(s), will never do it again
  • Love the WhiteFox Aria


    Does anyone understand how the hell you update the firmware?

    Edit #2

    Along with updating the firmware, a manual or at least tell me which controller is in here :)

    Super Important Edit #3

    Flash your firmware! /u/mister-la gave me a great article here but I wanted to add that for some reason my board came with some firmware issues which caused the LED issue. It was only happening on Windows 10 for whatever reason, and what would happen is the keyboard would be recognized by Windows and LED would turn on, along with do the little "device plugged in" noise. About 2-3 seconds later the keyboard would still function but the LED would not work, and then do the "device disconnected" chime. I did some Google FU along with searching the input club and realized back in late May they released a new firmware to solve a ton of USB bugs for the KLL board, which is what the WhiteFox runs.

    I ended up following the article above except the GUI tool ended up crashing. What I did was take a blank Aria firmware from, and flashing it with dfu-util.exe. It is really simple:

  1. Download your firmware into a separate folder if you want, mine is C:\WhiteFox\Firmware

  2. Download the KII-DFU into a separate folder. Mine is under C:\WhiteFox\KII-DFU

  3. Open a command prompt as an admin (winkey + X, command prompt with admin) and then change directory to your KII-DFU folder (CD C:\WhiteFox\KII-DFU)

  4. Connect a separate keyboard, and then on the back of your whitefox click the little button in the back of the keyboard (there is a hole in the frame so you can get to it with a small allen key). Hold it down until the keyboard disconnects from Windows and then release the button. It should be orange.

  5. Run the following command, which will flash the firmware and then reboot the keyboard: KII-DFU.exe -D C:\WhiteFox\Firmware\kiibohd.dfu.bin

    That is what fixed my keyboard, and now it works wonderfully. I think its pretty awesome how the configurator tool on Input Club allows you to remap a bunch of the keys with ease, and then using the command line flashing is a breeze.


u/THAT0NEASSHOLE · 1 pointr/electronic_cigarette

damn man, shitty. There is, but you'll need a soldering iron, was hoping it wouldn't get to this point. Id grab a new 510 connector too. There's no guarantee about this, but I think it'll work.

grab a 510 from Here avoid the squonk ones. Also grab some wire from Here. Next you'll want a soldering iron and some heat srink. A soldering iron and heat shrink are good things to have around the house too.

Use pliers, a flat head screw driver might help too, and remove the 510 connection from the mod. This shouldn't be hard since yours is already loose. Pull that ring on the base off and the whole thing should just pop on out. Then take your new one and place it in the hole. Now take some of the black wire you ordered and strip the wire slightly, like 1/4 of an inch should be fine, twist the loose strands between your fingers and solder it to the ring included with the 510. Look up a video on soldering, it will do a much better job than I can.

Then take some of the white wire, do the same stripping procedure, and solder it to the center post. Be sure not to use too much solder as too much could short the positive and negative terminals. Next take about an inch of heat shrink and run it up the wires. You want to shrink it around the solder joints, it'll help hold everything together and prevent any shorts. You can use a lighter or hair dryer to shrink the wrap, if using a lighter keep it far away and don't let it burn, maybe practice on a small strip of wire. Now secure the 510 to the top piece using the included nut. Tighten it pretty tight.

Now you can trim the wires and solder them to the pcb of the mod, if you feel comfortable about this procedure you should be able to take it from here. Otherwise continue reading and I'll suggest doing it another way.

Now you have a top cap with the 510 installed and wires hanging off of it. Now trim the wires hanging off of it to about 1.5 inches and strip off the end about 1/4 inch. with the wires on the mod, cut off about 1 inch from each one(be sure there is extra as you don't want it to all come off) and strip off about 1/4 inches. Now take solder and melt it over the end of each wire, but don't solder them together yet. Put some heat shrink, about 1 inch, over 1 black and one white wire, and just leave it there. Now take the wires you want to join and melt the solder together so the wires stick. Once they're together take your iron and melt some solder on the tip and while holding the wires together get the extra solder onto the connection(this will decrease resistance of the connection, so less heat is generated there, and thicken the joint, so it's much stronger). then do the same for the other wire. Now shrink the heat shrink over each joint.

Then you just screw it all back together and you're done.

If you don't want to do this, I wouldn't blame you. It is pretty easy and faster than my wall of text indicates. I could do this in maybe 20 min, possibly less. Might take an hour if its your first soldering project. If you don't want to, might I recommend the vaporesso revenger x, it's a great mod and you can get one for pretty cheap($55-$70).

Whatever you choose to do, sorry this happened to you.

Edit: had to repost. Didn't think amazon included affiliate links when copying from the address bar, but it does. They're gone now.

u/Rob27shred · 1 pointr/MechanicalKeyboards

That's actually a good ideal TBH as you run the risk of damaging the PCB way more than damaging the switches should things go south. Then if you end up lifting a few pads in the de-soldering or soldering process, you can always just jump them as long as you don't burn too many up. Worst case you fry a $20 KB which would suck, but not be a huge waste or anything for the experience you with de-soldering/soldering TBH.

I would clip & lube the stabilizers while you have it all apart, I'm sure those could use the help from that bad. Also most likely you will need to de-solder & remove the LEDs to get the original switches out so you can get enough in one color to cover the whole board & solve the rainbow LED problem while your at it too!

A few tips though, the lead free solder used on these mass produced boards has a pretty high melting point & is tough to get to flow. I highly recommend getting a cheap de-soldering iron like this or this for doing it, also solder wick is a must too. Then any joints that don't come completely clean on the first try, re-solder with leaded iron & repeat the de-soldering process on them. That usually helps to get any remaining lead free solder to move.

The other thing is to get yourself a temp controlled soldering iron. If you plan on getting into building boards I suggest something fairly decent like the Hakko FX888D, it's a little pricey but well worth it if you will using it alot. If you plan on only doing a few projects here & there, you could get away something a little cheaper like this. Anyways GL with the project & I hope to see a success post sooner than later! :)

u/jmblock2 · 6 pointsr/santashelpers

Has he applied for any jobs yet? I was given one of those leather pads with paper inside and a holder for resumes (something like this) except it was from my undergrad university with their emblem. Definitely gives you some confidence for interviews and recruiting sessions. Also you can get him some nice resume paper to go with it. That lasted me for years.

I also enjoyed having one or two of these demotivational posters in my room. Depends on his humor and if he has barren walls like I did.

If you know more details about which raspberry pi he has, you could get some shield extensions. These are boards that expand its capabilities. There are also newer boards with better specs. Also with two boards you can of course make them talk to each other ;)

Depends on his area of interest and your budget, but you could get him some kind of [introductory FPGA kit] ( or DE0-Nano.

Tools... so many tools he might be interested in. USB logic analyzers are so cheap these days and go well with hobby boards. Again not sure your budget, so you can go all sorts of ranges here (Open Workbench Logic Sniffer or scanaplus or Saleae Logic 8 or a china clone of Saleae Logic 8). Saleae or the knockoff I think are the better options for the software compatibility. He may be in need of a soldering iron or a multimeter.

Something else unique, you could get him a "gift card" (they don't really sell them) or an IOU to a PCB printing service. Ask him to design his own board and you'll pay $X of the service. You'll want to make sure he knows the price structure on the website because they charge per square inch and it depends on his design how many layers he may need. He makes the schematic and they will print some circuit boards for him. They won't mount the parts, just do the schematic and he would have to hand solder the components.

If he likes old videogames you could get him some old school USB controllers and tell him to install lakka on his rasberry pi, or just get him a new Raspberry Pi3 to dedicate it as an old-school console emulator. It is quite impressive how many consoles they have emulated.

And back to more tools... more micro screwdriver bits than you would actually need. You can get him a starter pack of resistors, capacitors, and other assorted electronics sparkfun. There are also so many buttons, switches, LED screen displays, etc. that he probably wouldn't want to buy on his own. Maybe you could get a container with an assortment of circuit components (resistors, capacitors, transistors, and other sensors). Careful! This can add up real quick. All types of sensors exist... ultrasonic rangefinder, stress, photocell, temperature, etc. etc. endless!.

u/jaifriedpork · 1 pointr/Multicopter

This is my iron. There are many like it, but this one is mine. It's not a great iron, it's a good enough iron, and you can get replacement tips pretty cheap. (I'm actually wanting to upgrade to a $150 Weller, but my iron still works fine. I want better heat control and thermal capacity, but this is one of those "if you can't explain why you need it, you don't need it yet" things.) I also bought this tip cleaner on the same order apparently, I prefer it to a sponge but it's not necessary.

This is the solder I bought most recently. It's honestly a little on the thick side, and multi-core would be better, but it was cheap and works fine. Without the rosin, you'd need flux; they etch the metal to remove the oxide layer that naturally forms and would inhibit a good joint. Thin solder melts faster and gives you more control over how much you apply.

There's other stuff that isn't strictly necessary, but is useful. I have a heat antistatic may on my work bench, and a cheap fume extractor set up behind it; I won't bother linking it because it doesn't have any kind of filter in it. The rosin smoke and the lead are both kinda toxic, so a well-ventilated area and/or a good fume extractor are important. I also keep flux paste, desoldering wick, a solder sucker, and a set of helping hands on my workbench, but I use all that stuff because I do a fair bit of electronics work, YMMV.

For references, Dave of EEVBlog fame has a three part tutorial on soldering which covers all the bases pretty well. He'll also leave you saying "sohldah" instead of "sodder," which is a fun way to annoy American EEs.

Edit: This is my workbench, for reference since I'm in that room right now. There's heat shrink on the helping hands, a trick I straight up stole from /u/bulbufet. It keeps the alligator clips from digging into wires, though the heat shrink has to be replaced periodically as the teeth will eventually work their way through it. And if you don't want to slap together a solder holder out of MDF, you can buy them, but where's the fun in that?

u/Duderocks18 · 26 pointsr/IWantToLearn

I've started to get into electronics myself, and I can say that soldering is easy, but you need the right tools for the job.
You'll need an adjustable temperature soldering iron and 1/2 milimeter iron/lead solder as the bare minimum.

I suggest grabbing some tip tinner, solder wick & vacuum, and some cheap boards to practice soldering.

This video shows how to do the actual soldering, while this video covers the tools you'll need and explains their use. These videos are made by EEV Blog and explain soldering in GREAT detail, which is how I learned to do it.

As far as making actual circuits, you have to have an idea AND parts to fulfill your idea. The Arduino UNO is a great way to program and test circuits. It's essentially a small comptuer designed to repeat whatver task you give it over and over. Alternatively, there's the Raspberry Pi, which comes in a few different models. The difference between the Pi and the Arduino is that the Pi is essentially a mini computer. You can literally hook it up to a monitor via hdmi and slam an operating system into it.

Both boards typically come in kits like this one for the Ardunio, or this one for the Raspberry Pi. The Ardunio kits with come with a lot of peripherals, like sensors and LEDs that actually do things, while you'll have to invest more with a Raspberry Pi. These kits come with detailed instructions, code you can copy and paste, and are a great way to learn how circuitry works, and is exactly what I'm doing right now. I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination, I've just done a decent amount of research to find out what's what.

There are two ways to hook up circuits - temporarily and (somewhat) permanently. Breadboards are used to prototype circuits without having to solder anything, typically using these wires to link different parts of the circuits together. Soldering components to those green boards I linked earlier is what you'd do when you have your circuit up and running and want to move it to something more permanent. I say "more" permanent because you can usually de-solder stuff if you needed a component for something.

Adafruit has a decently sized library of projects you can try. They often sell stuff in kits where you get everything you need to make something -- for example, this DIY MIDI controller.

Sparkfun has a great series of articles that explain the very basics of circuits and electricity

Hopefully I've explained everything enough so that you can venture off on your own. Feel free to ask questions!

u/samuri1030 · 3 pointsr/AskElectronics

Everyone here is recommending you buy a soldering station - which is 3 times the cost of the full kit you linked which is absurd. The Hakko 888 is fantastic, but not what should be recommended in this scenario.


Honestly what you linked is likely crap and will probably frustrate you away from the hobby. If you get something with easy-to-buy interchangeable tips, it will help you a lot. Something like: may be a bit better of a deal and will be fine for learning. Also grab yourself some well-reviewed solder (rosin-core is fine), a cheap solder wick, cheap solder sucker, and a flux pen (flux will only be necessary if you are re-working - something you may do a lot when you start).


If you are looking for a cheap multimeter as well, anything will likely be good enough. Buy whatever has a feature set you think you need. Just note, that I wouldn't recommend measuring anything like mains AC with a cheap meter. Stick to low voltage ( < 50V) DC and you'l be fine. One of my favorite meters is the VC921 pocket DMM. It can be had for ~$10 and is accurate enough for me with a good feature set. Just note that it doesn't do current measurements. If you think you may get into electronics long term I recommend investing a nice meter. Fluke is the go-to brand-name, but there are many who will work just as well. Fluke 101 is ~$40 and will do everything besides current readings. If you want current, I recommend stepping up to the Fluke 107.


Also not a fan of all of the tools in that kit you linked. A lot seem un-necessary or extra cheap. These are expensive, but Adafruit and Sparkfun are great and reliable sources for hobbyists and have similar kits:


u/Robot_Spider · 4 pointsr/fpvracing

I'm in the process of building my first FPV drone with my 11 year old son. Tools I owned or have purchased for this are:

A set of small screw drivers. I found a set in the bargain bin at NAPA Auto that had straight, philips, a few hex, a few sockets.

A decent electronics soldering station. Not the gun. I have a digital Weller that is easy to control, but the analog is just as good for these purposes.

A third hand. There are many different kinds. I got a cheap $5 one at Harbor Freight. Not great, but does the job.

Solder, de-soldering wick, flux (maybe)

Depending on where you're doing your work, might want an air-filter or fan.

A magnifying lamp is helpful but not necessary.

An assortment of board stand-offs/spacers is handy.

A good small pair of wire snips.

Wire stripper

A digital multimeter is not a bad idea.

Those are all the major tools you might need. Plus all the drone parts. batteries/charger. Radio/receiver. Camera/receiver(goggles or screen).

In short, it's a lot of stuff. The drone parts end up being the least expensive part, honestly.

Above links are just examples, not necessarily endorsements.

You mentioned you're on a budget, which I totally understand. Building is not the cheapest route, but it's been a lot of fun so far. People who've done it for a while tend to forget the cost of tools. Once you've built one, subsequent drones are relatively cheap. You can re-use batteries, the charger, most decent radios, even the receiver.

If you're not in a hurry, Bangood is a good source for cheap(er) parts. You're on your own for support, usually, but there's lots of help out there.

u/jedimasterben128 · 2 pointsr/Multicopter

Ok, so there are a lot of things I'd probably change :)


Motors - SabotageRC Booty 2306-2300kV, they're cheaper and significantly higher quality than the DYS you're looking at (they are made by DYS, as well, but with much higher quality components and build quality)


ESC - beware Racerstar. Some things they OEM and you get a good product for a good price, but others you get significant drops in quality. I would pay a few cents more apiece and get Spedix ES-20 Lite ESCs.


VTX - the one you selected is decent, but your soldering skills need to be up to par, the wires come undone from the VTX extremely easily and are incredibly difficult to reattach. I would recommend a few dollars more to get an AKK VTX with either larger pads or a connector.


VTX antennas - There are better ones out there. Lumenier Axii is one of the best and most durable (and significantly lighter), pagoda antennas being slightly better in some regards but more fragile.


Radio - The Turnigy Evolution is about the same price now and is a better choice than the FS-i6. Still uses the Flysky AFHDS2A protocol, so it will work with the receiver you selected (and there are now others that are good, as well). If the phonebook style radio appeals to you, then the i6 is the only cheap choice, but keep in mind it is a CHEAP radio, not an inexpensive one.


Wire - I would suggest ordering some 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28 gauge wire from Hobbyking (as much as they suck, they're the only place that sells lengths of wire inexpensively). Getting 1m of each wire in both black and red should only be 10-15 bucks IIRC.


Power supply for charger - get a supply that is at least 19v and 200 watts, like this: it is a few dollars more, but you can also run your charger at its full output, which will come in handy for charging your batteries in a timely fashion.


Soldering iron - get a quality one, you're going to need it.


You should also get some no-clean flux:


Decent solder:


And a tip cleaner:


That should get you well on your way - still on a budget, but you'll hate yourself WAY less when you go to build it and have decent equipment. :)

u/Kupo43 · 4 pointsr/Gameboy

Some thoughts on the IPS:

  • Install:
    • Toughest part is attaching the ribbon cable back to the AGS board. I found it was shorter than the stock ribbon cable.
    • Don't be scared to solder. Bought a $15 soldering iron off Amazon and practiced a bit on other stuff. Very easy to solder the wire to the board for brightness control, just need to be precise.
    • I bought my case from Retro Modding and chose to do the case modification myself with my dremel tool. Easy as well.
  • IPS:
    • At first it was weird not having the pixelated look of the AGS-101 but, after seeing the two next to each other, I'm starting to love the pixel density of the IPS.
    • If you solder, you'll have 6 brightness options. Levels 1 and 3 are comparable to the AGS-101 and its two brightness options. This means the IPS is quite brighter at its highest setting, but also darker for sessions at night with no lights on. Great versatility.
    • I have experienced zero screen tearing as I received the new ribbon cable. That should not be a concern anymore.

      Overall, I think this really is the game changer everyone has been waiting for. I love my two AGS-101's but, with the prices rising and the availability of this kit, it's a no brainer. Again, I bought this cheap soldering iron and practiced a few times; that's really how easy the install is if you have steady hands. I cannot speak for this kit without the brightness options activated.

      Hope this helps!
u/kryptoniterazor · 1 pointr/synthdiy

Sorry for your loss, congrats on the decision. I'd start with Dave Jones' video on how to build an electronics bench.

You definitely need a multimeter, but I only have a clearance-bin radioshack one, so maybe get someone else's advice... I can suggest getting an adjustable soldering station and a big spool of fine solder. Also get a couple spools of 22-26 AWG wire, stranded and solid core.

For audio stuff, nothing beats an analog oscilloscope. It's super handy for testing and looks awesome when the synth is fired up. Get on ebay and look for estate-sale type stuff near you to save on shipping.

When you're assembling PCBs, the most critical tool is a nice circuit board holder. Colored alligator clip leads are really handy for testing stuff before you assemble it.

If you're doing your own panels or etching boards or whatever, you'll definitely need a drill. The new 14.4v Makita stuff is my favorite, but get what you like. Ditto for a rotary tool/dremel. Everyone lusts after the wiha screwdrivers but any old jeweler's toolkit should suffice.

What else? Automatic wire strippers, flush cutters, center punch, desoldering braid, heat shrink, etchant tubs, ferric chloride, latex gloves etc etc. Depends how DIY you want to get. Good luck!

u/LunaNegra · 6 pointsr/DIY

As stated, 99% chance it's blown caps (capacitors). It's a very common problem with today's cheaply made TVs and computers.

The good news is that they are actually pretty easy to diagnose and replace. There are tons of video tutorials that will walk you through it. It only takes about 20 minutes maybe to do the whole thing for about $35 - $40 bucks. Then if it ever happens again with another TV, it's only about $15 each time after. So, instead of throwing out that TV, you can repair it for $40; so not bad!

First, you want to diagnose if this is the problem. Lay your TV down on a flat surface and take off the back, usually just need a screwdriver. Look at the capacitors (which look like very short AA batteries) and if they are blown, the tops will be leaking, bulging, and/or oozing. There are TONS of Google images to compare against.

  • Google images for bad/blown capacitors

    If it is the caps, all you need are 2 things:

  • A replacement capacitor kit, which you can find on-line for your tv make and model. They run about $15 bucks give or take for the whole set. They will sell you a kit that contains all the capacitors needed for your specific make and model. They come in various sizes and powers, so you want to buy the correct ones for your TV.

  • A soldering iron. You can get a small decent one from Amazon for about $20 bucks. A good investment because you will use it again and again on various TVs, etc.

    The videos will walk you through how to do it, including use the soldering iron. It's pretty easy. For what it's worth, I am a woman, with no electronic background and have now replaced and fixed 3 TVs that I've had this happen to.

  • This website is a great resource for their information boards, tutorials, help, etc:

  • This is the soldering station I ordered from Amazon for $23 Soldering Station

  • This is the company from Amazon that I've ordered all my caps from. It came recommended. They show good videos and pictures. Just search by your make and model. They are not limited to just LCD tvs. LCD Alternatives

    I hope this helps!
u/papyrusinthewild · 5 pointsr/MechanicalKeyboards

"Build log" (mostly pictures) is in the imgur album.

This started off as a stock WASD V2 with Cherry MX Clear switches. I bought a 55g uniform RealForce not long after, and that has been my daily driver pretty much ever since. I actually thought I might just sell the WASD for whatever I could get for it.

I decided instead to go for the ergo clear mod, which sounds absolutely fantastic on the videos I've seen here, here, and others on YouTube. I also decided that while I had the case all apart I would add dampening foam to it and paint it to go with the SA carbon I just received.

Paint and clear coat for the case were from the local hardware store. I found the dampening foam on Amazon. I also picked up a Hakko tip cleaner and Engineer solder sucker from Amazon. The 62g gold springs and lubes are from Mehkee. They were out of their kits, but the lubes that are in the kit are all sold separately on their site, so no problemo.

The whole thing took about a week, give or take, and it was very tedious, to say the least. But the outcome has been simply spectacular. The ergo clears are so buttery smooth, and they sound awesome with SA doubleshot caps. I think the case color came out great. The WASD is now feeling a whole lot more premium!

Edit: this video was super helpful for the case painting.

Edit: here is the “before” post -

u/techyg · 2 pointsr/Multicopter

A good quality soldering iron will ensure that you can get the solder hot enough to make good joints. A soldering iron that does 40 watts is recommended. I started out with a Weller WLC-100, ($40) but am now using an 898D ($70-100) soldering / rework station which uses the Hakko tips (much cheaper than weller tips). The Weller worked pretty well, but the 898D can get hotter and has a digital temperature control. I use a small needle tip, but some people prefer a bit larger tip because you can get better heat transfer.

Use 60/40 rosin core solder, which works great for electronics and RC, and flows very well. You may also want to get some solder paste (flux) which will also help flow the solder and go where you want it to. Usually a solder diameter around .03 inch is good. I use this solder from Radioshack.

u/CBNathanael · 1 pointr/MechanicalKeyboards

If you're just dipping your toe in the water, grab that Weller I linked. It's under $40, but is a well respected budget iron. I personally own a Weller WES51. It's a fantastic iron, but if you're not convinced that soldering things is going to become a hobby, save your money.

Hakko is also a popular brand, but I'm not as familiar with their lower-end gear. If you get an adjustable temp iron from Hakko or Weller, you'll be set for a while.

Some other handy items are:

  • Desoldering Wick - Just a copper braid that will suck up solder. Great for removing parts from the board.
  • Solder Sucker - A cheap little vacuum that is supposed to suck the liquid solder off of a joint. I personally prefer the wick with a dab of flux. Others swear by the solder sucker. Both are cheap enough, so grab both and see what you prefer :)
  • Rosin Flux - a chemical that helps strip corrosion from your contacts, allowing the solder to flow smoothly and create solid joints. There are a lot of versions, but I've preferred using a pen like this one. It can (and will) make a sticky mess, so only use tiny, tiny amounts. (If you use the pen, keep a giant wad of paper towels nearby for when you need to get the flow going. I tried doing it with my makes a MASSIVE mess. The paper towels help immediately soak up the unexpected flow of rosin.
  • Helping Hands - Cannot recommend this enough. Typically, you'll see things like this one. But after a while, the joints weaken, and it won't hold anything in place. I bought a SparkFun Third Hand which is amazingly stiff and has held up quite well. Great purchase.

    Other things to consider are goggles, a small fan to pull the fumes away from you (DON'T BLOW ON THE JOINTS), and something to solder on top of. If you don't care about your work surface, it's no big deal. But I use my desk, and sometimes the kitchen table, so I have an old 1 foot ceramic tile that I solder on top of -- the soldering iron base doesn't get hot, but you can drip/splatter solder if you're being careless, and it gives you a hard surface to use that you don't have to worry about getting hot/burned.
u/littlebiggtoe · 1 pointr/Gameboy

If you plan on doing more hobby work that involves soldering, I would highly recommend getting a better iron, prefererably one with a variable temperature range. There are plenty of good options from Hako and Wells that don't break the bank and are much easier to use than the cheap irons.

I have this station

Weller WES51 Analog Soldering Station

And this pack of tips

Voultar (a great modder to follow, check out his soldering videos for inspiration) posted a good video on a decent iron station he found

Good solder goes a long way to helping make soldering a lot better.

And yes, the clip on loupe is amazing! It magnifies tiny smd stuff really well. I can't recommend it enough.

u/2capp · 4 pointsr/MechanicalKeyboards

Might be worth getting a solder wick for when you inevitably screw up. Solder vacuum isn't a terrible idea either. I have both, I use them for different things. A third hand is also useful. I find myself using the glass more than the arms but it's all useful. If the iron you buy doesn't come with one a brass ball is great for keeping your tip clean without cooling it off like a sponge will. Micro-cutter is useful, not sure if angled or straight is better, up to you I guess. Last but not least a pair of angled tweezers. You can get those anywhere.

These are all the things I have within arm's reach when I'm doing a project. Have fun!

u/z3rocool · 1 pointr/arduino

No one taught me how to solder, I just kinda did it. Buy a soldering iron (like I said get one in the $50 range, obviously if you have money to burn a $100-$200 one is going to be 'better'. I use a WLC100 ) some solder, and start connecting components together. I would also pick up a desoldering tool, I use one of those bulbs but there are better/different types out there.

You can use use a breadboard with wires. That's sorta the recommended way to experiment. I tend to move things to protoboard pretty quickly as I find things get messy quickly and it's easy to disconnect things.

I should say I'm not an expert - I'm actually more of a beginner in the world of electronics, but I thought I would share my experiences of how I got started because the path is not totally clear.

I really wish someone told me that ebay/china was the place to go for components. It's stupid but it's just so much cheaper. (I got burned with sparkfun when I was building a project, $100 of parts, $50 shipping - I wanted it fast and it wasn't that much more - then the kicker $50 in import fees/duty at my door) After that I learned mouser was good, $200 and you get free shipping and duty - ended up ordering lots of random things and lots of things in bulk - need one resistor? Might as well get 1000 :). I recently learned digikey is in canada and does fairly cheap shipping so I tend to order from there now if I NEED something fast.

Ebay is the best though for stuff if you're in no rush though, and totally the best place to get stuff like protoboard, breadboard, jumper wires, resistor packs (assorted resistors) LED's, assorted IC's, etc.

u/GoTeamScotch · 1 pointr/originalxbox

I worked as a gaming console repair tech for a couple years and have modded probably over 100 xboxes at this point. Here's some tips I've learned.

> How can I avoid causing permanent damage to the machine?

Get a decent iron. Something $60 or more. The cheap ones from walmart and such are a waste of time and money. Spend a little bit more and you'll save time and aggravation. Get something with enough power to stay hot while you're using it. Get one that has a usable temperature control (not just a 20-watt or 40-watt switch but something that gives the temp reading in degrees). Get something that lets you change tips and get something that has small/precise tip options. A good cheaper option is the Auoye int 2900. I used that one for years before upgrading to a better one. Try to keep it hot enough to melt the solder, but not much higher. More heat = higher risk of damaging something. Use flux and use it often. I use MG Chemicals 8341 No Clean Flux Paste just about every time I solder something. Keep the tip clean. Clean it often while you're working. A lot of folks will use a wet sponge but that's not ideal (temp change can reduce lifespan of the tip). Use a brass-wire one instead like this one. Try to not over-do it with the solder. Use enough to form a secure connection, but don't use so much that there's a big blob leftover on the wire when you're done. I usually dab a small amount of solder on my iron, then add more once the tip is on/next to the spot I'm working on.

> Can this be done indoors, if a window is open?

Sure. I usually open a window and run a box fan in the window blowing air outside, plus a ceiling fan. I also wear a facemask. It helps to be conscious of your breathing. I'll take a breath in, then get over my work and tap where I need to while exhaling, and I'll to try to turn my head away from my working area when inhaling just to limit fume inhalation. Ideally, you'd have a fume extractor, but those are often expensive.

> What protective equipment do I need?

I usually wear a mask/respirator and eye shields and that's about it. I'll sometimes wear an anti-static wristband but static hasn't been a big issue in my working area.

> What's the best way to setup a hard drive?

This doesn't require soldering but I'll comment anyways. My preferred workflow is to softmod the Xbox, then do a TSOP flash, then drop in a new hard drive and use a disc like HeXen to format the drive. Your 1.6 xbox cannot be tsop-flashed, so you'll you can either install a modchip (more difficult) or just setup your new hard drive with the softmod files on it (easier). You can use the app Chimp to clone a small hard drive to a bigger one and it doesn't require a modchip to be installed. If you don't have a modchip/tsop-flash, then make sure you lock the new hard drive after you're done.

> Where would you suggest looking for a 'soldering mentor' of sorts, if need be?

Soldering isn't all that hard. I never had a mentor. I just screwed around in my room until I got the hang of it. It seems harder than it is before you actually start doing it. You just need to take your time, use tools that are good enough, use the proper temperature (not crazy high), clean your tools as you go, use flux, and try to keep a steady hand. You can look up YouTube tutorials and stuff, but I didn't. I used to teach console repair when I did it professionally a few years back and I used to teach people who had no prior experience. Once you've done it a couple times, you'll see that it's not that hard. Feel free to practice connecting wires to broken electronics you have just to get the muscle memory down.

u/BloodyKitten · 4 pointsr/EngineeringStudents

I hate to say it, but RadShack makes my favorite budget desktop soldering iron. I have one of these and it works wonderfully. I've been through about 40 tips over the last 3 years with it, not counting one-use modified tips.

At the school lab, we were using this (in quantity at lab desk) or this (instructor's, who would loan it if we knew how to solder). I am going to miss the school lab. Transferring to the next higher level at a different university, where a friend attends, and their lab sucks.

If I bought a new one, I'd get the Weller WD1002. Until I upgrade to that, I'll keep my radshack 64-053.

If you buy a $13 soldering iron, you're buying a $13 soldering iron. Some will work better, some will work worse. Really doesn't matter where you bought it. I never had one last more than a few months.

If yours started out working ok then didn't, make sure your tip is clean. A highly oxidised tip left on overnight isn't going to work well, no matter the iron... if your tip is black, replace it. If it only came with a fine point tip, consider a different shape tip. Fine point tips (generally) only work well with higher power soldering irons.

If you want contactless-soldering, then you're not looking for an iron. You're looking for either a hot air reflow station or an iRDA station. Irons are meant to touch the solder to melt it. Hot air works with solder paste, meant for very low temp soldering (SMD safe). iRDA uses infrared light to melt solder, generally used for specialized surface soldering.
It sounds like you may be a little new to soldering, so I also highly recommend this comic to you... Soldering is Easy - PDF. I highly recommend it to those who have been around the block a few times as well.

u/GiulianoM · 3 pointsr/3Dprinting

You should be able to clean off the pads, re-tin them, and re-solder new wires to them.


You'll need a few tools:

  1. Take some paper towels, fold them up into a square and get it wet with water. You'll use the wet paper towel to wipe off the hot tip between uses.
  2. Use the rosin core solder and apply some to the soldering iron tip.
  3. Wipe off any excess on the paper towel.


    Remove the solder from the pads on the heat bed:


  4. Clean the gunk off of the solder pads with the brass brush - the brass bristles should clean off the surface without damaging it, whereas steel bristles may cut into the surface a bit much.
  5. Unwind a few inches of the desoldering wick (copper braid), and dip the end into the rosin paste flux - you don't need a lot. The rosin helps the solder to flow and keeps impurities out.
  6. Put the desodering wick on top of the solder on the pad, and then press the tip of the soldering iron on top of the wick until it heats up. For an adjustable soldering iron, 300F is about right - you want the solder to melt within 5 seconds or less, ideally.
  7. The solder will melt, and get sucked up into the wick. Remove it from the pad while the solder's still hot
  8. You should be left with a bright shiny tinned solder pad.


    Add some solder to the pads - you'll want a little bit of solder to cover the whole pad, with enough to make a small bump.

  9. Take the solder, and touch it down flat on the pad.
  10. Place the soldering iron tip on top to melt it. Feed a little more solder in while it's hot, if needed.


    Tin the wires:

  11. Cut off the ends of the wire, and strip off the end of the insulation by about 1/4"-3/8".
  12. Twist the end of the wire so that it's tight, and straight.
  13. Cut off a small piece of the solder (~1/2"), and wrap it around the wire
  14. Dip the end of the wire into the rosin flux - you don't need a lot.
  15. Touch the soldering iron tip to the solder and the wire, and coat the wire back and forth until the solder gets sucked into the wire.
  16. It should have enough solder so that it gets absorbed and you can still see the outline of the wires.


    Attach the tinned wires to the tinned solder pads on the heat bed:

  17. Dip the tinned wire into the flux paste again - a little goes a long way.
  18. Place the tinned wire down on top of the tinned solder pad.
  19. Press the soldering iron tip on top of the wire, and heat it until the solder melts on both the wire and the pad.
  20. There should be just enough solder so that the wire is attached to the pad, but isn't buried in solder. If in doubt, add a little more.
  21. Hold the wire in place, and remove the soldering iron tip. It should cool in a few seconds, locking the wire in place.


    Also: You can use some isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) to clean up the excess rosin paste - it can get sticky.


    Hope this helps!
u/Domino_464 · 3 pointsr/AskElectronics

YouTube videos, practicing on something that doesn't really matter too much, looking at a photo of a part. There are a couple arduino kits that require soldering but it's really easy, the Sunfounder starter kit is one I learned from. (It's 99% arduino stuff but there's a easy to solder part)

You really only need a soldering iron, solder, something to hold the iron (if you're crafty with a coat hangar you could make one yourself) and a sponge. A brass sponge is better because it's dry. You may want to get a desoldering pump if you want to remove solder. I got the bestseller kit on Amazon and I've been really happy with it.

Do NOT touch anything metal on the soldering iron when it's on. Burnt the shit out of my hand.

u/DarthRTFM · 1 pointr/electronic_cigarette

Eh, soldering just takes a bit of practice, and there are tons of Youtube videos that explain in detail the best ways to do so.

(I'd recommend this channel

Really it's all about not holding the iron on the board too long. Once you get that down, it's easy. Learning the wire gauges and all that is also very easy as most boards have recommendations in the paperwork. (if it carries power, big wire... If it carries signal, smaller wire). These new DNA boards are about the easiest thing ever to work with, and even someone with little to no experience could solder them with ease. (now the DNA20/30/40, notsomuch)

If you're looking for a good soldering iron, you want something with wattage control, and while weller has been the standard for decades, they are overpriced and a bit hardcore unless you are a pro. I'd highly recommend the Hakko FX888D which is what pretty much everyone uses, or what I personally use, the Aoyue 9378 which has served me very well. There are others for considerably less, and if you aren't planning on making this a hobby, then something like the Aoyue 469 would be perfectly fine. (60w is about a low as you'll want for a variable wattage iron, so you'll have a little wiggle room)

u/alose · 1 pointr/MechanicalKeyboards

A proper 60% has all the keys of at least a TKL, just that many are on the function layer. On my programmable 60% 'boards, I have Home mapped to FN+T, and End mapped to FN+G. WASD are my arrow keys, and FN is mapped to Caps Lock. I am a Linux admin, and do a fair bit of scripting, and I greatly prefer 60% now.

Did you use Autohotkey to map a pseudo function layer and use Right Alt as a Fn key? That is about the only way to mimic a 60%.

I have a Vastar soldering kit, that I have used to build several keyboards. Sure, there are better kits, but it works well enough, and the price is good. It should be more than good enough to replace a switch.

I have a WASD CODE TKL, and it is really solid. I understand WASD are Costar 'boards, so a Filco would be very similar. A KUL ES87 is supposed to be extremely good. A bit of a step down, but still quite good would be a Ducky, Leopold or Varmilo.

MK offers free shipping, and usually arrives 3-5 days.

u/Robathome · 1 pointr/aquaponics

You'd be surprised a) how easy it is to use Arduino, and b) how helpful the online community is. The nice thing about Arduino is that the complexity remains the same, regardless of how many sensors you add, provided you have enough expansion breakout board.

For a first step, I would buy a starter kit and a cheap soldering iron and a half-decent multimeter and just start making little projects, like light sensors and temperature sensors and making those projects both wireless and online.

After that, it's just a matter of interfacing the larger, higher-voltage components (like pumps and valves) with the lower-voltage Arduino. This is easily accomplished with a relay, which is also useful for electrical isolation between the two subsystems.

Start small. I would recommend making an Arduino into a timer, and then using the timer to control a pump. Then add an online API that allows you to adjust the on/off time of the pump. Then add water level sensors, then temperature sensors, etc.

Also, make sure you prototype everything on a small scale first, like the guy in the video was doing on his desk. It will save you a lot of money if you mess anything up.

Once you develop the skills necessary to build your smart-system, I cannot stress how important a good, detailed electrical diagram is. It doesn't matter if it's professional-quality, or done with pencil and a ruler. It will save you so much time.

u/SteveAndTheCrigBoys · 1 pointr/CannabisExtracts

Butane torches, I've loved my Newport (it comes in other colors if gold isn't your thing). My guy has one of those and a Blazer Big Shot which is nice as well. Both have stood the test of time. The Newport you can operate with one hand, the Big Shot is possible to operate with one hand but slightly more difficult. I ordered a 6-pack of Newport butane with my torch and it's performed wonderfully. A cheap Bernzomatic torch from Home Depot will conk out on you, so just factor that in to whether you want to make another trip to pick up a new torch in 6 months, or buy a slightly more expensive one that'll last twice as long if not longer.

If you're going the propane route and have a TI nail, just make sure you don't overheat your nail. Titanium reacts with oxygen when it reaches a certain temperature, creating titanium oxide (the white coating you see on some TI nails) and titanium dioxide dust, which you can inhale and is definitely not good for you. You can reach this temp with butane or propane, but because propane burns about 1000 degrees (F) hotter than butane, you can reach that temp much easier. Those big blue propane tanks at Home Depot run about $5 though, if you're looking for a cheap and efficient route.

u/juaquin · 1 pointr/flashlight

>That's it - just two solder connections?

Yep. If you buy from Mountain Electronics and select the option for wires on the driver, then you just need to thread the wires through the pill and solder them onto the LED board (you might need to shorten them first). /u/potatoworld made a video that should be helpful: There will be some differences with the Convoy.

> What would you recommend, for a high quality soldering iron, and what type of solder works best for flashlight work?

Lots of option out there for an iron. I've seen good reviews of this one for a budget option. For a solid station you'll use for a decade or two, this Hakko is probably the most popular. Make sure to pick up a few extra tips.

For solder, make sure it's 63/37 eutectic. This means it goes directly from liquid to solid without the pasty time in-between, which makes it flow better and leads to less "cold" joints. I like Kester 44 0.031in (you can find it elsewhere cheaper, just make sure it's the right one, they have lots of different blends and thicknesses).

u/ImArchimedes · 2 pointsr/raspberry_pi

This is really all I needed to be happy and dangerous. I was actually just doing more research when I saw your reply come though. I just didn't know if it was even possible to wire these connections. My basic understanding is that it should be possible but there's so much I don't know.


As for my soldering skills, they are probably "Beginners moderate" which is a thing I just made up. I've got the right gear to do the work but, as I'm sure you know, having the right gear is 10% of the job. Burned through 2 Teensy ++ 2.0's before I got it right with my last project.


And I'm totally comfortable ruining some more hardware to try this. I'm actually excited by the prospect. I think I kept those teensy's. If I can find them, I'll practice by trying to remove the smt micro usb ports on those. Not nearly as hard but a better start.


Anyway, really appreciated the reply. If you have the time to confirm I'm trying this with the right hardware, that would be just gravy. You've already done more than enough, though.


I'm planning on using my:

- Hakko FX888D-23BY Digital Soldering Station

- T18-BR02 Tip

- and the thinnest solder I could find that still has a rosin core


Anything look like the wrong choice? Tip and rosin?


Thanks again for all the help

u/Kuryaka · 3 pointsr/Nerf

Good quality as in: Will work for Nerf stuff for a while, or solid build quality where you won't have to replace it often?

If you want to go for something that's no-worries and will probably last for the foreseeable future, the Hakko FX888 is SOLID.

Anything else I'd consider "nice" would have to have a soldering iron holder and temperature control that I trust. Very nice features, because if you leave the iron sitting for a while and don't tin the tip, the heat will start to oxidize/damage the finish of the tip and become unusable. This can also happen on any iron if you leave it running hot for a while, but something that's temperature-controlled rather than with an arbitrary power knob will keep your iron tip intact much longer.

Mid-tier would be something with variable power control but not temp control. You might be able to get away with lowering the power while you work instead of turning it off.

The "Amazon Special" that UNW1 linked is a fantastic soldering iron for the price, plenty of power whereas other cheap irons won't heat up quickly enough. I'd recommend it for most people starting out, since it's great for learning the basics + soldering iron care. There is practically no temperature control on the thing though. I turned it way down to minimum (Claimed 200-250C, which is nowhere near hot enough to melt solder) and it still threatened to overheat.

I've heard of irons that are even better than the Hakko/similar models in terms of where the heating element's located, other features... but I don't have much expertise in the field and haven't seen a need for those. As far as I'm concerned, $100 is as high as you need to go for now, and $50 can probably get you set up with a solid iron.

u/demevalos · 1 pointr/headphones

Do you have a soldering iron at hand already? I wouldn't recommend this as your first soldering ever, they're pretty small connections and if you heat up the wrong part for too long you can damage them permanently. It takes a good amount of looking through the forums and researching but it can be done. I didn't have much soldering experience beforehand but I modded a different pair first to really figure out the wiring situation. I bought this soldering iron to do it and it works really well and I've been using it since for a bunch of other things. Just look up some tutorials on learning to solder before buying it to see if you think you can do it.

I wouldn't recommend that cable I have pictured, it's pretty hard to carry around and it makes a ton of noise when you tap it. I started making my own cables, which is a whole other process, but also a great way to learn soldering without the chance of fucking anything up.

I modded the hole slightly differently than how I saw other people doing it. Most people use a dremel to widen the hole a bit to get the jack to fit, but I didn't have one, so I ended up melting the edges a bit with my soldering iron. Would not recommend, it was super messy and probably dangerous.

You can ask me anything you need to here and I'll help you out, the process was tough without anyone to walk me through it so I know how it feels, but it's amazing when it's done. Very accomplished feeling.

u/Bilbo_Fraggins · 1 pointr/fpvracing is the best value iron IMHO. I have one I keep at the office and a ~$100 Hakko at home, and find them to be about equivalent so far.

I'd recommend picking up a cheap tip set as well. They won't last forever, but good for light use to figure out which ones work best (usually chisel tip style) and you can replace the ones you wear out with better ones.

You'll also need some solder ( or this is a lifetime supply of good stuff) and tweezers at minimum, and there's more stuff that's useful too, especially side cutters and solder wick.

u/Rocksteady2R · 2 pointsr/electronics

a) yes, it seems pretty much the same. For the most uses, most DMMs (Digital Multi Meter) will work just fine. Your basic needs are to have a couple of different ranges for both voltage and ampacity readings (i'm refering to the accuracy of the readings here... a DVM generally has 3 or 4 characters on the screen to describe the charactieristic. one range will cover, let's say up to 2 millivolts, and the next will cover up to 2 volts, the next up to 20... you'll figure it out). another major tool on the DVM is an audible continuity tester. these just make a tone when you have a clean circuit path between points a and b. Big help. That one you linked up seems pretty decent.... when you start wiring houses or something, then you can think about upgradign into a fluke handheld or a benchtop if you're doing big fancy circuits, but that'd be fine for quite a while.

I'll tell you, my Iron Experience is pretty dang limited. but this is what i know. As far as a soldering iron goes, one of the major considerations is the power rating, i.e. the wattage ratings... i think mine is about 30W, and it works just fine. If i had my druthers I'd go to one of those variable ones that can get up to ~800 degrees. I'd also definitely consider one that comes with a proper resting stand. An operating soldering iron is a pretty big safety issue, in that it is a burning hot iron tip hanging around on a surface that may or may not be covered in flammable material or human flesh.

As far as de-soldering irons go, at school i have access to those fancy powered vacuum ones... I just take any desoldering tasks i have over there because they are the cats meow. I've used those l'il non-powered vacuum tubes and i think they are going to take a lot of skill and training to get to use efficiently. i didn't like them. I've never used or seen this type

u/stratoscope · 18 pointsr/amateurradio

You may have heard the old saying:

>The road to success is through experience.
>The road to experience is through failure.

It sounds like you have already achieved some failure, so this means you are well on your way on the road to success!

Let me add another old saying that I just made up:

>Good technique may overcome a bad soldering iron.
>A great soldering iron will never overcome bad technique.

You didn't mention what kind of iron and what kind of solder you are using now. But if you are getting cold joints, that is more likely a sign of bad technique rather than the wrong iron.

Cold joints happen when you heat the solder instead of heating the work material. The hot solder hits the cold metal and freezes in place instead of flowing onto the hot metal.

You need to heat the work material itself first. If it's a through-hole component, then after you turn the board upside down, touch the iron to both the component's wire lead and the board's pad. Only after both of those heat up do you apply the rosin core solder to melt onto and into them. Then you will have a beautiful shiny solder joint.

This does take some finesse and attention to timing. So I would do this Heathkit style. The Heathkits I bought when I was a teenager always came with clear instructions on how to solder, and most importantly, some extra pieces to practice with. I learned to get the technique down on those before tackling the kit itself. So practice on scrap material until you have it down.

Of course a good iron and good solder will help. If you're using lead-free solder, I might suggest a traditional lead-tin solder instead, as it is easier to work with.

For an iron, you didn't mention what you're using now, or what your budget might be. If something around $100 works for you, you can't go wrong with the Hakko FX888D. You might want some extra tips of various sizes too.

Desoldering is an art to itself. Do you have some desoldering braid? I used to use the "soldapullit" suction pumps and similar things, but the braid always gave me better results. It comes in different widths so you can pick one that fits the work you're doing.

I hope these notes are helpful. Holler back with any questions, and happy soldering!

u/natermer · 2 pointsr/ebikes

You look like you are using a proper soldering iron. But I don't know for sure.

Nicer irons used for electronics have proper temperature sensors and can dump a lot of energy into the tip to maintain the desired temperature as much as possible.

Something like this:

Cheaper soldering irons you can typically pick up in a hardware store depend more on a sort of 'slow equalization' were the amount of energy used is a pretty much constant. The 'temperature control' really is just mostly a resistor that limits the energy going into the tip.

The big 300w irons work a lot better because they have large thermal mass. They can maintain their temperature better then the cheap hardware store ones because of this.

The problem with using a cheap iron is that it takes much longer to get the surface of whatever you are soldering too up to the proper temperature. This gives a lot of time for the heat to soak into whatever you are soldering and by the time you get the lead hot enough you have dumped a massive amount of heat into your work piece.

If you have a nice iron then it maintains it's temperature better and gets the surface hotter faster. This means that it takes a lot less time to get the surface to the proper temperature and less heat is needed overall.

You probably would of had a easier time getting proper looking 'tinning' of the battery with more surface prep. Solder works through capillary action as it 'follows the heat'. The solder wants to get 'sucked' into joints that are hot. So using rough sand paper (80 grit) to scrape up the surface probably would of helped. I would of sanded the bottom and then used acetone or alchohol to clean everything.

Another thing that would of likely helped is brushing on soldering paste onto the surface. The resin/paste is a acid that helps prep the surface when it heats up. The solder isn't going to want to join to surfaces with oxidation, oils, or other things. The resin cleans the surface to help. The resin core is there to do that as well, but it's usually useful to brush more onto the work piece.

Also you don't want to hold it for a pre-determined amount of time. You can tell if you are doing good job by the surface tension on the blob of solder and seeing it flow.... which you were having a difficult time doing on the bottom... which is perfectly understandable and expected.

All in all I think the video is a good demonstration of the problems with using solder. I think you gave a fair shake.

u/Toms42 · 1 pointr/Multicopter

-a good workbench with clamps and a lot of surface area

-a soldering STATION. I have this. also buy LEAD solder, and those little things of cleaner/tinner are super useful.

-fume extractor (optional, but very easy to build with a fan and some ducting. Worth it.)

-pliers, wire cutters, crimpers, and strippers,

-lots of extra wire

-heat shrink tubing and something to heat it with.

-lots of extra screws/zip ties/fasteners

-somewhere to put screws. A flat tray works nicely, but magnetic ones are the best.

-a multimeter or oscilloscope. I use this.

-prop balancer. Very necessary, especially if doing video or using cheap props. (They can explode if not balanced.)

-lots of lamps and light sources.

-a pair of Helping Hands for soldering.

-hex wrenches/screwdrivers

-good hacksaw/hobby saw/Xacto knife.



u/solipsistnation · 2 pointsr/synthesizers

Yep, I've been building stuff for a while, although this is the most intense set of builds I've done. Get yourself a good soldering iron and a couple of spare tips (Weller makes some good ones-- don't go for super-cheap unless you want to replace it a bunch of times). This thing here is about the lowest-end I'd suggest (I use one):

Get some little noise toys, like an Atari Punk Console or even something silly like an LED Christmas tree kit and put it together. There are some really good soldering instructions here:

They list more info on tools, too.

Some kits are more complex than others, too-- the Befaco kits are pretty complicated, and anything with an oscillator will probably require some calibration. Synthrotek make pretty good little kits and have good info on building them.

You can do it, though. It's not difficult. 8) Just take your time and check each step as you go and you'll be fine.

u/pyramid_of_greatness · 1 pointr/LAlist

I am out of town, but can try to help..

Cheap soldering kits make it hard to get a good, consistent temperature on the tip, and the recovery time (time for the tip to get hot again after bringing it down by cleaning, etc) is poor. You'd want to get an adjustable one if possible. You could easily be working too hot and causing yourself problems. Lead free solder is harder to work with. I have a Hakko that I love, but something in this range would be a worthwhile investment and a fine iron.

As for the soldering, you really are just jamming the iron into the two pieces of metal you are trying to join, and then slowly feeding the solder into the junction. Use as little as you need to get a tiny, clean joint, and never a 'bubble'.

Removing solder is a horse of a different color. That is a pain in the ass. For that, you will want a lot of flux and a hot-hot iron (as hot as you can go before you start damaging things/burning down the house like you say). It's not fun to remove these components. Sometimes you get lazy and snip out the old one and try to work out the lead with a needle-nose and the iron (fluxed up hole) at the same time. Helping hands or a good vise can be crucial for this.

I'm no great master at it, but it's really one of those things you can pick up watching a few youtube videos or hearing instructions (with the right equipment) and pick up. I taught a friend the other day for a project they are working on. It really is just practice to get good, and that seems to happen quickly once you get a feel for working the solder.

u/agent_d00nut · 3 pointsr/Multicopter

The power leads, assuming you mean from the battery, do take a bit more but that seems like way too long.

if you don't, you need something with adjustable temp...
I've reached the end of the life of the tip for this one

But i'm just going to try and find a compatible tip and keep using it, the iron works "well enough"... Obviously the $100 stations are going to be better.

The real secrets are

  • Get tip tinner or w/e it's called. Absolute, 100%, required. I thought my tip was broken or something because it'd oxydize in about 2 seconds after cleaning with a sponge... Yea stick it in this and clean it on the next tip, and it'd stay shiny and nice for minutes... big improvement over wiping on a sponge every 5 seconds
  • Use the gentle brass cleaning instead of or in addition to a sponge. It does wear the tip down, especially with these cheapo tips, but between this and the tinner i would clean my tip once or twice per solder instead of MULTIPLE times PER solder.

    Those two things, + use 350 - 400 C, and soldering is almost fun now!
u/terry2122 · 2 pointsr/Bass

Soldering is actually not that big a deal. A little practice and you’re good to go. THeres lots of YouTube tutorials. and you can find wiring diagrams all over the Internet.

Get an iron with variable setting like this one it’s a bit more than the $15 for just a plain iron, but it’s worth it and you can use it forever.
Looks like you’re painting it. You can try all sorts of different techniques; I’d maybe go solid color the first time. guitar reranch sells rattle cans of nitrocellulose based paints and clear coats (that’s what expensive guitars use as opposed to poly)
He uses chips from old guitars and cars(fender used leftover paint from car companies for many of the original classic colors) to match proper color and hue, and they come with two different spray nozzles. Again, a little pricier than cans from the hardware store, but nitro finishes are so nice:)
One of the best parts is researching everything! Lots of time on the google machine:)

u/Raptor01 · 1 pointr/radiocontrol

Step 1: Buy a multimeter. I prefer the Fluke 87v Sure it's $387, but it'll pay for itself eventually.

Step 2: You'll need to take apart the charger. A good set of screwdrivers would definitely help. It's only $40. Wiha maybe isn't the best, but I like them and they do offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Step 3: Once you open it up, you can start testing it with the multimeter. Inevitably, however, you'll probably have to solder something. Hakko is a popular brand for good reason. This one is under $100 AND it comes with wire cutters:

Step 4: After you put it back together and find out that it's still not working, buy a replacement charger.

u/eccentricworkshop · 3 pointsr/soldering

You certainly can use that soldering gun but it won't be fun or easy because it is so large (that's what I started with and used for a few years). I'd suggest picking up a Hakko FX-888D or Hakko FX-951 if you have a desire to continue with electronics.

Definitely add more solder because it has flux in it which will clean the oxides and allow the solder to flow out. You will also need to use a bit of solder wick/desoldering braid to clean up the pad before fixing it. You'll want to get some Kester leaded solder to work with.

Watch these Pace soldering tutorials before you begin to understand the basics. Heat the pad and wire then touch the solder wire to the joint. If you add it to the tip of the gun/iron the flux will burn away and it will start to oxidize. Doing it that way certainly has it's place but it isn't for this type of work as you'll need to add extra flux to protect the joint.

u/buefordwilson · 1 pointr/guitarpedals

Like several others have mentioned, /r/diypedals is a good place to go. As long as we've got you here, though... I had already practiced soldering before and wanted to start with a kit. That way you have everything you need and just have to assemble. A very easy and inexpensive first build was [this] ( boost pedal. Don't let the simplicity fool you. I still have this boost pedal on my board to this day and love it. Also, I picked up [this] ( Weller soldering station. Crazy cheap, but I've been using it for over 6 years with no issues. Finally, just read, read, read and read some more! There's tons of great info in various forums, books and youtube videos to get you on your way. Best of luck and have fun with it!

u/burkholderia · 2 pointsr/ToobAmps

My most used meter is this cheap $15 GE box. I have some nice ones, and if you're only going to have one get one that does >500V, but this one is compact and reads well enough that I tend to use it the most. I have a couple nice meters which also do caps, diodes, transistors, auto ranging, up to 1000V reads, etc. They're very handy.

Get some bias probes. The kind that plug into your meter are good and inexpensive, if you want to go spendy the eurotubes box that reads out plate voltage and current directly is a nice piece of gear. Get a soldering iron with adjustable range and replaceable tips. I had one of the cheaper weller irons, it eventually shorted the pot so it's on full all the time (something I could fix but haven't) so I used that as an excuse to get a nicer iron. If you plan to do any solid state something ESD safe if a good idea.

u/bbartokk · 1 pointr/modular

There are a lot of factors that come into play on how much it will cost. Even with DIY you have options. You can do real DIY, where you have to find schematics, source the parts, make your own pcbs, make your own front panels...or you can buy kits. I cant read schematics so I went the kits route.

It still cost me some money to buy equipment: soldering iron, solder, circuit board holder, tweezers, wire cutter, headband magnifier.

From there I mostly stuck with products from AI Synthesis, Trogotronic, and Befaco. Those companies all sell kits with very clear instructions. I was new to soldering so this was key for me. Some other kits I bought had very poorly written instructions and their support was just as well done as their manuals.

If you know what you are doing then you may have better luck. You can also try modules that require SMD soldering. Mutable Instruments has released all their code. Amazing Synth is a great resource for high quality pcb's. They dont sell the parts though so you gotta find the BOM and source the parts. Amazing Synth has the BOM's for most, if not all, of the modules. You'll also need to do some programming and upload the code from a computer to the modules.

To try to answer "how much will it cost" it really depends on how many modules you plan on making and what method you choose.

There's a whole subreddit dedicated to those of us who DIY...come check out /r/synthdiy

u/pxlnght · 2 pointsr/MechanicalKeyboards

I have this iron. I think I paid $30 like 3 years ago, but it's totally worth $60 if you can't find it on sale. It's survived about 7 builds and 4 desolders, + soldering like 50 mini PCB things from work. Adjustable temp makes things easier as well, so you're not burning everything.

I use 0.031" Kester. It's thin, melts at a fairly low temp, and doesn't make a huge mess. You can use other solders for sure, this is just what I've found to be the best (whatever you can find at ACE, Home Depot, Lowes, or whatever that's somewhat thin should be fine).

u/Berzerker7 · 2 pointsr/MechanicalKeyboards

So here's all the parts you need.

Maxipad -

Diodes - (I'd just buy a roll of 100, they're $0.019 each at that point)

Switches -

Teensy (your controller) -

Plates you'll have to find somewhere, but there are some on here that can make them for you. I have the DXF I used here that you can share with someone who can make the plates for you, it'll end up coming out looking like this if you use those (material and color are your choice, those are clear acrylic).

You'll also I guess need an iron, but that can be seen as an investment into multiple boards, rather than just this one. Best bang for your buck is going to be this one.

Soldering through-hole diodes is easy, and the Teensy comes with header pins that you use to solder it.

Important note: Solder the switches and diodes before the Teensy, as you can see that the area covers some of the switch headers. :)

I can help you along the way with any issues, so let me know if you need any help.

u/ComradeOj · 1 pointr/consolerepair

I don't know about making repro crats, but I do know about mods and repairs. I have done an overclock mod and 2 s-video mods on my genesis consoles, as well as lots of repairs on other consoles.

I have the basic tools like screw drivers, needle-nose pliers, and some tiny cutters just like these.

My soldering iron is a cheap 35 watt fixed temperature hunk of crap. Get a better one. I don't have any recommendations, but this one is linked to from this subreddit's sidebar. It has good reviews, but I haven't tried it myself.

I also have a spool of thin rosin core solder that is about 1mm thick. I also have a spool of de-solder wick which comes in handy.

To hold down and/or secure wires I use some rubbery electrical tape or hot glue. I use the electrical tape whenever I can, since it is easier to remove than the hot glue. The hot glue is useful in small amounts to keep wires from getting accidentally pulled out of place.

A multimeter is very useful. You probably won't need a really fancy one, just a basic $10 one.

I bought one of those parallel cables that all the old printer's used for only $1.99 at a thrift store. It's packed with different colored wires, that are just the right thickness to use for most console repairs/mods.

u/grant1704 · 1 pointr/MechanicalKeyboards

How good?

Here is one that will last you pretty much for whatever no matter what you do with it, its the soldering iron I have used for the past several years and has been great on a number of projects:

Here is one that will do just fine but isn't great or anything:

The most important feature for a good soldering station is variable temperature.

The only other things you will need is solder:, a solder wick:, and possibly wire cutters if you don't have them:

Some personal advice is get the best one you can afford if you thing you will use it a lot, the difference between a okay one and a great one is huge. I hated soldering till I got a good iron.

u/--Steak · 2 pointsr/MGTOW
  <br />

Had some free time so I wrote this:

If anyone wants to do Soldering,

  • I highly suggest watching a few Youtube videos on techniques on how to hold it the right way.

  • Buy a GOOD IRON (Weller or Hakko) NOT a cheap one!

  • Buy a station to rest the Iron on if it does not already come with it (A sponge is recommended)

  • Safety glasses and roll your sleeves up, just in case!

  • Buy a smoke absorber with a carbon filter, OR! build your own with a old phone charger as a power source, a switch, a cheap car filter and a old computer case fan... your making electronic gizmos anyways... WHY?: Because breathing Tin and Lead is fucking cancerous, and blowing it away without a filter is how you get pets, kids, or bacon to inhale cancer too.

  • Have a clear space to work with no combustible materials, avoid burning down your place.

  • ESD grounding wristband, I know it's lame. But It will save you a static shock, which could potentially result in a dead component on a board.. Also you should have one of these if you build your own PC. A $2.00 part can save you HUNDREDS

  • Remember to use the right size tip for the job, and to clean your Iron's tip after using it to prolong it's life.

  • If you cant afford these basics, either don't go out this weekend, and save up for them. Or find someone who does have these things that you can borrow.


    Soldering is extremely fun, rewarding, can motivate you about electronics, save you money, and convinces your friends to think you are some kind of "fire stick-wand wielding wizard of electronic black magic" (+7 to charisma!).

    But remember to solder safely!
u/Falcrist · 1 pointr/EngineeringStudents

A calculator: TI36X Pro, Casio fx-115ES PLUS, or HP 35s (these are the 3 best calculators allowed on the FE and PE)

If you get a graphing calculator, either get the TI-84 Plus C (which can be used any time graphing calculators are allowed), or get an HP Prime or TI Nspire CS CAS (which are WAY more powerful and useful).

Pencils: Pentel Graphgear 1000, Pentel Kerry, or Rotring Rapid Pro (include an eraser such as the Sakura Foam Eraser). The rapid pro pen is also pretty popular. 0.5mm led is more popular than 0.7mm.

Engineering paper.... especially with some pressboard report covers. They make nice notebooks (albeit expensive), and pair really really well with looseleaf textbooks.

A whiteboard and markers.

a copy of K&amp;R2.

Pricey: a nice soldering station, a multimeter, or a used oscilloscope (such as a Rigol DS1052e).

The ^^^HP ^^^is ^^^more ^^^expensive ^^^because ^^^it's ^^^targeted ^^^at ^^^professionals, ^^^rather ^^^than ^^^students.

u/loansindi · 1 pointr/AskElectronics

Don't cheap out on an iron. It's one thing if you absolutely can't afford something from hakko or weller, but if you're going to be doing any amount of soldering a better iron is going to be worth the money, even if you've got to save up a bit.

For someone who anticipates doing a decent amount of electronics, I'd generally recommend the Hakko FX888.


  • Heats up in moments (not 10 minutes). This is good because it means the iron recovers more quickly.
  • Build quality. I've been using an old Hakko 928 that I received second-hand since like, 2006-7 and haven't even needed to replace a tip
u/Wetbung · 2 pointsr/ECE

It really depends on whether you want a nice soldering iron or just something that will allow you to try it for a few hours. There is a huge price difference. Of course there is also a huge difference in quality. You could get a very nice iron like this for around $250. Or you could get something much less expensive, like this for around $40.

The first one I listed is very similar to one of the best irons I've ever used. The second one is still head and shoulders above the piece of crap I used for the first several years I was soldering. It was like this, at around $5, and as long as I kept the tip sharpened with a file it worked pretty well.

u/just_add_coffee · 2 pointsr/MechanicalKeyboards

I'm an aspiring solderer myself and only recently started learning. There are a LOT of YouTube videos on soldering and desoldering and I feel like they were extremely helpful.

A couple of points that might be beneficial:

Just the tip: Chisel tips disperse heat across a larger contact surface than the pointy tips. You can use less heat if more of the iron's business end is in contact with what you're trying to solder/desolder.

Flux: Solder moves toward metal that is free of corrosion. Exposed metal begins corroding instantly. Flux removes corrosion and, when it melts, the solder adheres to where the flux was. Also, a tined, fluxed tip is becomes a magnet for picking up solder. Get one of these.

ChipQuik might help keep the solder fluid longer and make the sucker work better. I've never used it, it's quite expensive, but that video is damned impressive.

The frustration is still fresh in my mind and I hope this helps. Better yet, I hope some of the other, BETTER solderers add some useful pointers.

u/johuesos · 4 pointsr/electronics

It depends what you are working on, but if you are working on through-hole and SMT in the under $40 price range I'd go with a Weller WLC100. It was my first iron and I used it for a long time before I finally upgraded (I still use it sometimes).

The stock tip was a little big for my taste so I bought a replacement (ST7) tip. The ST7 is a smaller conical tip. You can also find these on Amazon, but pay attention to the shipping if you order it off Amazon Marketplace, some 3rd party tool vendors will gouge you!

For the Fume extraction you should buy a fume extractor... heh. Pretty simple. I built my first fume extractor from an old PC power supply, an old exhaust fan, an articulating lamp base, some activated charcoal pads, and a length of dryer hose.

You can certainly go that route and build your own. It's nice if you already have the parts on hand, but eventually it became too unwieldy so I bought a Weller Fume Extractor. You can buy something similar for about half the price on Marlin P. Jones, but I was never able to catch them in stock.

Either way, look around, have fun, and good luck!

u/batmannigan · 1 pointr/ECE

I've used both the WESD51 and a few Hakko stations, they're both great. Personally I have the WESD51 because its easier for me to get tips, but either way hakko and weller and both pretty good, definitely go for the digital if you can afford it. Also I'd get a few spare tips and a tip cleaner along with some no clean flux. But I wouldn't get just a reflow, unless all you do is SMD, which you can totally do with a slightly steadier hand and an iron.

u/sekthree · 1 pointr/Multicopter

  • Save yourself a few bucks and get the Hakko / Snip Combo.
  • I beat the shit out of my 10 yr old radio shack fire starter, and now i LOVE my Hakko. To be prepared I found this video on how to take care of tips. I've been doing this guys method from the start and HOLY BALLS my tip is still in good condition after several months of use. I even bought extra tips from HK thinking i was going to need them. LOL.. maybe down the road or precision soldering.
  • I know you said you have hex drivers, but i picked up this set due to my original hex set stripping. The Titanium apparently keeps from stripping.. have yet to strip them, so we'll see. Also good to have something at the bench, and an on the go set for the field. I actually have a multi-tool from HK for the field.. it's not titanium but it works.
  • I also have a multi-tool ratcheting hex nut driver for my props.
  • zip ties
  • blue lock tight for motors
  • personally i have yet to use or need a heat gun, if it's for shrinking heat shrink i simply use a lighter.
  • little baggies for small parts. I label mine where these parts came from but not necessary.. e.g. Cobra motors, Naze32, Strix frame, etc.
  • i picked up a cheap helping hands from Harbor Freight for like $3.. it comes in handy.
  • Lipo Checker.. i personally got a Hyperion EOS Sentry 3 for $11.
  • XT60 male/female connectors
  • 12/14/18/20/22/26 AWG wire..
  • Car bulb for smoke stopper.. this should be the FIRST thing you build.. it's saved me sooooo many times.
  • electrical tape.. lots and lots of electrical tape.
  • double sided tape.. foamed/padded

    probably more.. but all i can think of right now..

u/vedicvoyager · 25 pointsr/arduino

it's all about having the right tip, the right diameter solder, a temperature controlled pencil set to the right value, and that the tip is free of oxidation so that you always make good contact with the parts you're joining.

a breadboard may be more suitable until you get down your technique, watch some youtube videos in the meantime and practice on inexpensive parts.

edit: more tips:

it's also good to have a copper or steel mesh to clean your tip after every joint. the oldschool wet sponge doesn't do as good a job. here's a link:

A 1mm / 1.2mm tip is suitable for most everything including surface mount, the Hakko 900M-T is recommended. Don't be tempted to use a .5mm tip, the heat transfer is not as good and with techniques like drag soldering (youtube it) there's really no reason for it.

For iron temps, if you're using standard rosin core solder the sweet spot is 430 degrees. At that temp I've fooled around with sensitive surface mount parts for longer than I should have and they've all survived.

If you're shopping for a pencil that will last, look at the value models from aoyue and hakko. if you have a bigger budget, weller is the brand to own.

invest in good tools, and practice makes perfect.

u/MCClapYoHandz · 43 pointsr/DIY

I have a Weller WES51 Analog Soldering Station, and I highly recommend it for just about any kind of work.;amp;qid=1518809457&amp;amp;sr=8-3&amp;amp;pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&amp;amp;keywords=weller+wes51&amp;amp;dpPl=1&amp;amp;dpID=41WVs6AdNqL&amp;amp;ref=plSrch

The slightly more expensive digital version doesn’t solder any better, it just has buttons and a display instead of an adjustment knob.

If you’re working on tiny components, then you’ll just need to buy a few smaller tips, but there are plenty of sizes and shapes out there for Weller irons. I’ve always just bought cheaper knockoff tips, like the ones where you can get a variety pack of 10 for ~$30 on amazon. I don’t think tips are really worth spending a premium for the Weller brand, unlike the iron itself. Something like this:;amp;qid=1518809384&amp;amp;sr=8-2-fkmr2&amp;amp;pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&amp;amp;keywords=weller+replacement+tip+set+wes51

I’d also recommend a good vise or workstation to hold things steady, because there’s nothing worse than trying to use crappy little helping hands or just solder on a bench top. I use a Panavise like this, just as an idea, but there are probably some decent cheaper options out there:;amp;qid=1518809613&amp;amp;sr=8-1&amp;amp;pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&amp;amp;keywords=panavise+350&amp;amp;dpPl=1&amp;amp;dpID=41smUr9QAlL&amp;amp;ref=plSrch

u/knohbody · 2 pointsr/consolerepair

The soldering station you're looking at will be fine for replacing capacitors. Its adjustable, which will come in handy when you want to further your skills. Get some extra tips, and find some fine point ones. I like to use long conical ones, as well as long small flat ones.

As other posters have said, you want to practice on something you don't necessarily want to keep. Find something cheap from a thrift store and take it apart.. an old clock radio, vcr, something of that sort. Then identify the capacitors and give it a go. Once you get the hang of it, try on the genesis.

Solder - you want some 60/40 solder (60%tin 40%lead). Stay away from acid core, its not for electronics. Find this in a thin gauge, you'll have a better time with it.

Flux - nice to have around. On some joints, the old solder doesn't really like to flow all that well. You can put some flux on it, and it'll flow a bit better. Use it on the new joint as well. There's several different types, and you can get lost in it, but you really want a liquid or gel type flux that is "no clean". I still give it a rinse with alcohol and a brush after I'm finished, but it cleans up way easier than regular flux. Here's what I use : MG Chemical's Paste flux

You will also need something to remove the old solder from the holes. Tools like this Vacuum pump and desoldering wick like Desoldering wick are good for removing the old solder.

As for the actual removal and replacement of the capacitors, I usually heat up one side from the bottom of the board, and rock the cap so it slides out a bit, then do the other side, working the cap out a little at a time. After that I clear the hole with a vacuum pump (while heating the solder up, get the vacuum pump as close as possible and press the button) or the desoldering wick (put the wick on top of the solder, then heat both, pull the soldering iron and the wick off at the same time, lest you pull up traces - This takes a bit more practice to perfect)

Make sure you put the new capacitor in correctly. Electrolytic caps are polarized. You want to make sure positive goes to positive and negative to negative. Look at the cap before you remove it. Most boards are marked, but no reason to risk the board being marked wrong.

Make sure the caps you're using are the proper rating. A general rule is the capacitance needs to be the same (farad rating), and the voltage rating needs to be at least the rated, but can be higher with no ill effects.

Its late and I'm rambling. Hope this helps.

u/qupada42 · 5 pointsr/techsupportgore

I've heard a lot of people in /r/arduino and similar speak highly of moderately-priced soldering stations like this Weller one. While I love my JBC, on price alone I can't entirely recommend it.

What I've always found is best are skinny (and preferably interchangeable) tips with a decently powerful element behind them, giving a good mix of precision and power. You should definitely buy a "station" style soldering iron rather than the cheaper kind where the mains cable goes straight into the iron, the lighter-weight cable between the base and iron makes the whole process so much easier.

My advice for learning would be to start with an everything-included kit that produces some kind of usable item at the end. This was the first Google result for "through hole soldering 101 kit", which appears to be some kind of "Simon" game. Coincidentally, one of the first things I remember making with my own soldering iron. You can move onto surface-mount, assuming you don't get the bug and decide to go straight to reflow soldering once you've figured out which is the hot end of the iron, buying a reasonable iron rather than a bargain-basement one so you get a sufficiently precise tool will enable your first purchase to carry on working for you longer.

My only other piece of advice would be to avoid lead-free solder like the plague until you've figured out the ins and outs of the process. It's almost universally terrible stuff to hand solder with at first and takes a lot of getting used to. Just stick with the easy to use leaded solder and avoid breathing too much of it until you've got the process down.

u/ns90 · 2 pointsr/MechanicalKeyboards

Like others have said, unfortunately, yeah it's dead, but don't let that get you down! My first desoldered job, I did some serious butchery to the board. Luckily I was able to fix it so that it's functional, but it ain't pretty. But now I have no problems with desoldering. Like /u/anthonyooiszewen said, it could have been a few things. Definitely make sure you use a good leaded solder. I, personally, like this stuff. Next, definitely make sure you have a soldering iron with temperature control, and DO NOT RUN IT TOO HOT. Lastly, do yourself a favor, and get one of these.

u/madscientistEE · 1 pointr/vintageaudio

Dirt cheap, low on features but OK quality:

Avoid the Wal Mart multimeter...I'm not happy to see a non category rated meter from GE of all companies. It's actually a rip off at $20....I've seen similar meters online for $5 and had the unfortunate experience of using one.

The Extech 430 is a good all rounder. It's Cat III with auto ranging and has bare bones capacitance and frequency counting. True RMS measurement allows you to measure AC things other than just 60Hz sine waves. (you need true RMS for checking amp output at 1kHz among other things) I own one and aside from the nasty yellow-green backlight and somewhat short battery life, it rocks. Comes with a temperature probe too, which you'll find useful.

If you're serious and want data logging without going all out on a $300-500 industrial meter from the likes of Fluke, give this a try. It looks cool as heck but possibly has a bit of a learning curve due to the menu instead of a dial. Cat III to 600V too. It does everything the Extech 430 does and more.

Soldering Irons...

The classic pencil tip "fire starter":;amp;filterName=Type&amp;amp;filterValue=Soldering+irons

You get what you pay for there but I've fixed many things with ones just like this. Larger joints may need more heat, they make 40 and 60W irons for that. Tip life on these cheap irons is poor. Poor tips make poor joints. Replace them if they go bad. Do not sharpen one.

BUT...instead of having 3 low quality irons knocking around the shop, I recommend people go straight for an adjustable heat soldering station like this one:

Buy a couple spare tips if you order a soldering station. Local availability of these is nil. The stations usually have better irons, heat control that actually works and far better tips.

This soldering station and its more expensive digital counterpart, the WESD51 are a bit pricey. On the other hand, they're totally awesome and the gold standard in many shops:

Once you get a station, you'll wonder how you ever got along without one. Good tools make the best repairs.

u/Yelneerg · 2 pointsr/AskElectronics

You are going to want to balance tools and parts.

TOOLS (must haves)

  • Multimeters (At least two, I suggest starting with one cheapo ($5-$10) and one in the $30-$50 range)
  • Variable regulated power supply with current limiting (Skip the cheap/dangerous chinese crap and get a used HP/Agilent/Keysight one off ebay like this or this.)
  • Breadboards (several)
  • Jumper wires
  • Wire strippers and cutters
  • Decent soldering Iron ($50-$100) (DO NOT CHEAP OUT ON THIS)
  • Desoldering pump and/or wick (The ctrl-z of the soldering world)
  • Heat shrink tubing for sealing connections (Especially if you are going to be doing outdoor stuff)
  • Microcontrollers (I suggest starting with an Arudino Uno since it has the largest amount of online support material, you could get an Uno kit, any of them will be fine)
    TOOLS (eventually)
  • Logic Analyzer (Let's you see the logic signals in your circuit which is super helpful for debugging, I have a bitscope micro which is decent, but the software kinda sucks and is more than just a logic analyzer)
  • A function generator (variable voltage and frequency for sine, square and triangle waves) (Again I suggest used off ebay, something like this.)
  • Oscilloscope (a really amazing tool for actally seeing what is going on in your circuit)
    PARTS (vaguely in order of usefullness)
  • Elenco Resistor Kit
  • Elenco Capacitor Kit
  • Elenco Transistor Kit
  • Elenco Diode Kit
  • Elenco LED Kit
    (Of couse you don't have to get the Elenco kits, those are just the ones I use and really like)
  • Voltage regulator ICs (Great for providing regulated power to things that need more than what your arduino can provide)
  • Trimmer Potentiometer Kit (really useful to have around for many projects)
  • Old electronic equipment to scavenge parts out of (Many of my parts have come from old equipment or broken ATX computer power supplies. Tearing stuff apart is both fun and yields great parts.)
    I think that's all for now...
u/Myg0tFPV · 1 pointr/fpvracing

I bought the Wizard and I LOVE IT! It's plenty of power to start with some very solid components for the price. I wanted to build one myself as well... But then I found the Wizard.

I'll give you a list of the things that I bought along side the Wizard.

  1. RunCam Swift 2 (;amp;psc=1)

  2. Quanum Cyclops V1 Headset (about 35$ on HobbyKing). The Quanum Cyclops is a wonderful headset for the price. The thing you need to watch out for when looking at cheap headsets is whether or not you get static or a bluescreen when you start losing signal. These headsets give you static. That is most certainly what you want. (

  3. Two clover leaf antennas (;amp;psc=1)

  4. x3 3s batteries. (The other great thing about the Wizard is it's 4s ready for when you are ready for more power).

  5. Keenstone UP100AC LiPo Charger. (;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1492193093&amp;amp;sr=1-1-spons&amp;amp;keywords=Lipo+charger&amp;amp;psc=1)

  6. Parallel charging board (;amp;psc=1)

  7. XTronic Soldering Station (;amp;psc=1)

  8. FrSky XSR Receiver (;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1492193206&amp;amp;sr=1-1&amp;amp;keywords=FrSky+XSR)

  9. FrSky Taranis X9D Plus (;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1492193250&amp;amp;sr=1-2&amp;amp;keywords=taranis)
u/maz0r · 3 pointsr/MechanicalKeyboardsUK

That iron isnt going to win any awards, but it will probably be enough to get the job done, I personally use a TS100 these days because I can power it off my LiPo Flight battery's in the field as well as off a laptop power brick. I still have my Weller station but it's seen decades of abuse by my dad before he gave it me, so i only use it when I'm at home with lots of big solder joints to do.

Get a decent tip cleaner those sponges are worthless and will cool the iron.[1]

Make sure your solder has good quality Flux core OR or you can buy some better solder / buy flux seperatly

I personally use this but you can get stuff cheaper

I can't stress this enough, If you have never soldered before, practice tinning wires/ soldering through hole connectors until your solder joints look neat and shiny and you feel happy, buying a couple of led's headers and protoboard will save you the pain of ruining your shiny new PCB kit.
Adafruit has some nice images to help compare good/bad solder.

[1] - added comment about sponges

u/obscure_robot · 3 pointsr/synthesizers

If you can build a Synthrotek Atari Punk Console, you can build a Shruthi-1.

The Shruthi-1 isn't hard, but you solder on both sides of both PCBs and there are a lot of parts. If you are a patient and methodical person, you shouldn't have any trouble. If you get frustrated easily, start with something simpler.

The right tools are key. Make sure you've got a PCB holder big enough to hold the Shruthi-1 boards. The Panavise 324 is a great investment if you plan on doing more DIY and repair work. A good soldering iron is key too. I started with an Aoyue 937+, but have since upgraded to a Hakko 888. Tweezers make picking individual components out of a pile much easier, and are cheap. Get a good set of small needle-nose pliers for bending resistors. Get a good set of diagonal cutters for clipping wires after soldering.

Update: The x0xb0x is a lot more work to put together, but about the same difficulty as the Shruthi.

u/TheAppleFreak · 1 pointr/Multicopter

Some tips I learned the hard way:

  • Don't get a GoPro mount just yet. Chances are you probably won't even use it until you're a much better pilot, and it will just add unnecessary weight when you're not using it.
  • Get an F3 based flight controller (SP Racing F3 or similar) instead of an F1 (Naze32). If you're anything like me, you're going to try to get the most out of your quad and use all of the fancy technologies available to you (like an on screen display, or using SBUS and telemetry with your receiver, or LEDs, or whatever). When you go to add stuff on, though, you have to work with hardware serial ports, or UARTs; the Naze32 has 2 UARTs while F3 FCs have 3 available. Having that extra UART available will make a lot of things a lot easier, and the increased processing power on the F3 should allow you to use more software serial ports than on the Naze (meaning you can use more stuff simultaneously).
  • When assembling your quad, make sure you put your screws through the plates facing downwards with the nuts on the ground. It's a lot easier to use a socket wrench to tighten stuff than a hex wrench.
  • If you're building a 250 quad first, use 220X motors instead of 180X motors. The 220X motors are bigger and produce more thrust than the 180X motors, which will improve your flying characteristics. Just make sure that the frame you choose can accommodate them; if you're starting out with a tried and true ZMR250, make sure you get the version with M3-sized arms.
  • Make sure, among other things, you have the following equipment:

    • Soldering iron with a fine tip (these are replaceable, so if you already have an iron you can just get the tips). One with adjustable temperature helps a lot.
    • Solder
    • Soldering flux (I recommend a flux pen; you can get these from Amazon)
    • Desoldering wick
    • Solder tip cleaning wire
    • Soldering iron holder
    • Multimeter (useful for testing stuff). Make sure to also get a battery for it.

  • If you're planning on using LEDs, get addressable LED strips (WS2812 or equivalent). Since my ZMR uses nonaddressable strips, I have switches on the strips, which tend to get damaged in rough landings.
  • Get a spare motor in each direction and a spare ESC. You don't know when you'll break something, but when you do, you'll have a spare you can quickly switch out.
  • Heatshrink looks better than electrical tape.
  • Zip ties are your friend.
u/Layman76 · 1 pointr/MechanicalKeyboards

ok, that is pretty awesome. yeah, i was gonna say that they are able to be swapped out, and learning to solder and desolder if you don't know how to can actually be a lot of fun. if you have the money for a decent iron and desoldering pump, i'd highly recommend trying it. look for pumps like this, if you do this brand, even better. there are so, so many resources for how to do these things just by searching on the subreddit and carefully going through the wiki, it's how i've learned a lot.

u/Goodwill_Gamer · 1 pointr/Gamecube

$14 link for a solid basic soldering iron.
Here's one that costs a little more, but has more adjustability $39 link.
Anything from Weller is going to be pretty good.
Here's a pretty good basic soldering video.
It's not hard, but takes a little practice to get the feel for it. I would recommend finding a broken electronic that you can pull a circuit board out of and just practice soldering by removing parts from the board and putting them back.
Have fun!

u/emertonom · 1 pointr/3Dprinting

I have this one. It's not great, but it's been good enough for my purposes for a few years. It's about $40.

There are ones on Amazon that are a little cheaper. This one sounds pretty comparable and is in your price range.

For really basic soldering, you actually can get away without a temperature control, but it's hard to recommend that for anything involving a printed circuit board.

For my part, I'm thinking of upgrading to a hot air reflow station, to make it easier to work with solder paste and surface-mount components, as well as heat-shrink tubing. But the basic adjustable Weller was good enough for several years of tinkering.

u/amynoacid · 11 pointsr/DIY

You can get okay ones for $50-100. Are you looking for a soldering station or just a soldering pencil/gun?
I would recommend a wall unit, as opposed to a butane unit, because butane ones are mainly for people soldering in the field. They are nice and portable, but you have more wall outlets than butane canisters in your place, so it's easier


Weller and Hakko are great brands, their tips are a bit pricey too, but trust me, they last a lot longer than the cheap irons and their cheap tips.
You can't go wrong with any of these:

Feel free to ask me other questions.

u/DarkStar851 · 2 pointsr/MechanicalKeyboards

The cheapo 30W irons are certainly capable of soldering a board, they're just a little rougher to learn with. In my opinion they're great tools to have in a go bag for field repair but they're crap when you have access to something better.

If you can, try to find something that feels good in the hand and has some form of temperature control. A lot of the ones that just plug in jump straight up to 750 degrees which can damage circuit boards if you're not careful.

Personally I use a Hakko FX-888D, but that cost was sunk as a business investment a few years back. There are some nice cheap stations on Amazon though. This one looks pretty solid for the price.

u/darkharlequin · 3 pointsr/shittyrobots
u/CanadianGandalf · 3 pointsr/AskElectronics

I'm pretty new to soldering, but I picked up a Hakko FX-888d and love it. It's got 300+ great Amazon reviews and only costs $100. Any complaints I saw were about it being complicated to set the temp, but this was not my experience at all.

Edit: Yeah, the color makes it look like a toy... But I assure you it is not.

u/niandra3 · 4 pointsr/diypedals

I'm still pretty new to this myself, but like you I have some electronics experience in the past. I just got this Weller 40w iron station with a desolder braid/sucker and a solder tip cleaner. Oh and a more precise tip for the solder iron

I'm really happy with it all so far, and couln't imagine needing more for a while. A heat gun would be nice for de-soldering and reflowing premade boards (like modding Boss pedals), but that can also be done with a regular solder iron as far as I know. You can get the above for about $60 total, so it's a nice way to get your feet wet without a huge investment. Then you gotta add on components/enclosures/pots/switches etc. Maybe get a helping hands and/or circuit holder if you need

Oh and get a good multimeter. I went a step up from the $20 ones and got this one which I'm also really happy with.

u/shoryukencallme · 1 pointr/diypedals

That kit looks pretty good, though I haven't used it. From my own experience, I would recommend a couple of optional upgrades to be thrown in. First, a brass wire type soldering iron cleaner. The sponge on stations like these is fine, but it's much easier to clean with the brass type mid-project. There are cheaper versions available, but my experience is all with the Hakko. Second, I've never had luck with those wire cutters. I've had much more luck with strippers that give separate holes for each gauge. Here's a cheap one and here's the Hakko pair I have.

Like I said, these are optional as the kit comes with basic solutions for both of these tools, but maybe something to think about for the future.

u/1ManGnarmy · 7 pointsr/audioengineering

Practice is everything. I could barely solder a cable but decided I wanted to start building up a few preamps from kits.

A solid, variable temp iron like this Hakko, some mounted alligator clamps and a magnifier are all solid investments.

But most importantly, practice. Go find some old battery operated toys or keyboards and practice desoldering and resoldering on a pcb is a great way to learn to steady your hand. If you want to learn some basics of circuit design, maybe tackle a GroupDIY project like a G-SSL comp or similar (plus you'll have a bomb-ass compressor).

u/LightSquancher · 1 pointr/steak

How are you cooking? I'm mostly familiar with sous vide, but it has some similarities with reverse searing. I use a powerful butane torch to finish my steaks and burgers. My dad, when he has some extra hands around, does a combo with a super hot butter filled cast iron. One person torches the top and the other bastes with the butter, but I think this is more complicated than needed. I'm very happy with just a torch. I use

I use the torch for dabbing too, it's very well made.

u/limitz · 1 pointr/MechanicalKeyboards

I suggest this:;amp;qid=1406761425&amp;amp;sr=8-4&amp;amp;keywords=learn+to+solder+kit

It's a very good kit, and will give you plenty of practice before you solder your Poker 2. No frills, and will give you plenty of practice for through hole soldering.

Combine this with a practical, but good quality soldering station:;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1406762091&amp;amp;sr=1-3&amp;amp;keywords=soldering+iron

A desoldering pump:;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1406762167&amp;amp;sr=1-3&amp;amp;keywords=desoldering+pump

And some solder:;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1406762345&amp;amp;sr=1-1&amp;amp;keywords=solder

To learn, there are plenty of Youtube videos, I recommend you also solder the Elenco kit, then desolder everything to get a feel for how the desoldering pump works (it's super easy, you can't really screw it up). Then, solder it together one more time for extra practice.

All together, about $66 bucks. Add in the cost of the switches, and you're looking at a little over 100. Still a bunch cheaper than the Poker 2 from Massdrop ($143.50), and you've just learned a life skill. For me, that's totally worth it, but then again, I'm an engineer, and learning useful skills is what my entire profession is based on.


EDIT: Get this soldering kit instead:;amp;refRID=00RQRQTCJ767WDS4D7KV

Cheaper and has more soldering points. The other one has a shitty speaker which doesn't add much to the soldering lesson, but drives the cost up.

u/c0mad0r · 2 pointsr/sandiego

These types of things are generally considered hobbyist level and in all honestly, you are best doing this yourself with a good Weller Soldering Iron, a 56 SMD Desk Magnafier and some helping hands.

If that is out of the question though, I'd recommend checking out Fab Lab. It is a non-profit community space that has all the equipment available to anyone who dabbles in everything from Raspberry Pi to all things electronics. You may be able to consign someone or do it yourself there.Their address is 847 14th Street, San Diego 92101

Hope this helps and good luck!

u/fuzziekittens · 6 pointsr/MakeupAddiction

I totally agree about the Morphe palettes! I hate having three of them but can't tell them apart unless I pick them up. For depotting, I used two tools. I used a double sided metal spatula and a heat gun. With the spatula, one end is flat and the other end has an angled tip. That tip made it super easy to get in under the shadows. The heat gun can be found here:;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1450719185&amp;sr=1-4&amp;keywords=heat+gun.

What I do is first push the spatula under the edge of the Morphe palette to begin to separate it from the actual case. Once the edges are lifted as far as I can without forcing it too much, I grab my heat gun. I put it on the lowest setting and concentrate it under one of the shadows. You will begin to see it pop out. That's when I take the curved end of the Spatula to slowly begin to pull it off the glue. So long as you let the heat do the work for you, it comes off easy. If it doesn't want to pop up, let it warm up some more. Then, just keep doing it to the others. The glue on the Morphe palettes can be rolled right off and honestly I only had three or four pans that I had to roll off the backs. Their pans are not magnetized so you will need the magnet stickers. When you pick up the pans, they will be hot. I used a paper towel to pick them up. Be careful not to touch the surface of the shadow until its cooled down or you will knick the top of the shadows. I hope that helps! :-)

u/Not_A_Bovine · 2 pointsr/Luthier

Not at all. While it's not impossible to use a cheap soldering iron and get a good job done, it will save you a TON of hassel by getting a good one. RadioShack irons are more trouble than 2x what they're worth. My soldering jobs have been a pleasure to do since I upgraded, and I solder often so that's important to me. I use the Weller WESD51, and it's an absolute joy to use. If your on a bit more of a budget, my friend is a professional luthier and he's never complained about the WLC100, which is also from Weller.

Do it. It's worth it.

u/SpecCRA · 5 pointsr/MechanicalKeyboards

Yes, this is the right place! Here's a few things to help you.

  • You want this sucker. The cheaper ones are a pain in the ass. There is one replacement tube that it comes with, and here's a link for more.

  • Here's a link to a video guide. It takes a little bit of practice, but it's not terribly difficult.

  • Have a fan going or get a solder fume extractor!

  • Amazon has kits you can buy to practice, but it's not THAT difficult.

    The only tip I have is use your solder sucker in your strong hand and the iron in your other. I have much better hand control with my right, so I can more accurately place the solder sucker to take it out in one or two tries. Oh, and easy on the caffeine! You don't want shaky hands while doing this.
u/LD_in_MT · 2 pointsr/raspberry_pi

Soldering iron:

Edit: most people recommend getting a chisel tip for the soldering iron. Big tips for big jobs, small tips for small jobs. Just having the pencil tip and one chisel will get you by for a long time.

Desoldering braid:

Desoldering pump:

You want both the pump and the braid. Get thin solder for electronics. You should probably use lead-free, but I like good old 60/40.

There are a ton of suggestions on multimeters. The exact right one for you depends on what you eventually want to do. Dave Jone's EEVBlog has some good suggestions. As does Adafruit. Anything Adafruit recommends isn't too far off the mark. If you just want a suggestion: Extech EX330 for $45 Cheaper ones will do the job, but this is a better one. The next step up are True RMS meters for about $100.

u/rykki · 1 pointr/raspberry_pi

I absolutely agree that a variable temp iron is better. However, OP made it sound like they were on a pretty tight budget and I couldn't in good conscious recommend &gt;&gt;SOMETHING LIKE THIS&lt;&lt; that would take up their entire budget. Especially since they are just learning and they might decide they don't like it (learning to solder well takes patience and a fair bit of dexterity...... high reliability soldering course was one of the most frustrating courses I took during my technical training).

Having said all that, though, I've done a fair bit of work in the field using one of those portable butane irons. You just have to be careful and know what you're doing. :)

Those little vises are freaking magic. I see those helping hands clip things all over and never have I preferred one over a proper articulating table vise.

u/falgorr · 2 pointsr/MechanicalKeyboards

I used these guides to help plan and build this.

I got the majority of my keyboard parts such as the diodes, case/plates, pcb, and TRRS jack/cable from, and sourced the pro micro and switches from mehkee.

The Let's Split and the Nyquist are basically the same, but instead the Nyquist has the extra row, allowing numbers to be on the base layer.

Before starting the build, you'd want to get an adequate soldering iron. I didn't have the funds to get a Hakko FX888D when I got into this with my Clueboard, so I instead bought a Station 60 and a 2.4mm Chisel tip to replace the included tip. Don't forget the solder wire! I used some old solder wire that I found laying around, but something like Kester 44 63/37 solder wire will serve you well. Fairly thin solder wire around .031" will be adequate, but some people use thinner ones; it's all preference. Just avoid lead-free solder, they are a pain to solder with. If you think you will mess up, I recommend either getting some soldering wick or a desoldering pump. I heard that desoldering irons are also pretty good, but I never tried one to give a proper opinion.

Then you want to check out a tutorial regarding soldering, if you don't know how to do it already. I learned from EEVblog (warning: it's a lengthy video!), but you can probably find some other video about it.

After you have all your parts and double checked the parts list, you can start building. It's pretty much just following the guides step by step. The Let's Split guide that I linked is the most detailed for the build process, but the official Nyquist one seems to still be under construction at the time I am writing this. If you have any trouble, you can contact bakingpy here on reddit or on, or just make a thread here or on /r/olkb. Someone will help answer your questions!

Without the keycaps, I spent around $75 on the project. Overall, around $150.

Edit: cost

u/MrCrono666 · 2 pointsr/Gameboy

Hey! Glad to help. This Is the exact soldering iron I use. Extremely effective, I keep it at a 3 at all times, seems to be a legit temperature for everything Gameboy related.

The Solder I use works really well, rarely sticks to the soldering tip (like many other ones I've tried) and seems to be the most consistent. It's also supported by HHL - so you know it's solid!

Hope that helps.

u/Nugrun · 2 pointsr/Dabs

I have the Vector Nitro, the bigger $70 one. Great torch, but my igniter went out (common issue with this torch). So it could take a few clicks to get it to go or I need to use a flame to get it going. It does come with a lifetime warranty, so I can get it replaced but I'm lazy.
But I recommend you buy the Blazer GT8000. It's only $20 more and it will be so much better than the small torches. I would have bought it but the Vector torch was a gift
I also have a Blazer Micro Torch, great little back up torch. I've had it since 2012 and it still works great.

u/noicedream · 2 pointsr/synthesizers

i'm gonna go with what everyone else says: get a decent temp adjusting iron. it makes a world of a difference...add to that a small chisel tip (usually not provided on a cheap pen iron)...such much easier and enjoyable soldering. though, its not worth spending 80-300 dollars on a soldering iron for one project..

i use/recommend:

  • an x-tronic station/iron $90 sponge+light/magnifier+tips+replacement heat element

  • a hakko soldering tip cleaner $10

    also another good affordable iron:

  • hakko fx-888 station/iron $90 sponge+cleaner

    everyone says weller...and its because they dropped the money on one and want other people to do the same haha...if you have the money, sure go for it. if not, many stations in the 80-100 range are excellent quality to begin on.

    also get a helping hand, tweezers, needle nose pliers, snips, and maybe a wire stripper.
u/I_Am_The_Mole · 2 pointsr/guitarpedals

Making cables is easier than it sounds, and soldering isn’t difficult - but you’re right that you want to buy a decent iron at the bare minimum.

That said, a variable wattage soldering iron can be had for like $20 if you know where to look, consumables like solder and flux are super cheap and you don’t need a big soldering station if all you’re doing is making cables. If you’re curious hit YouTube and get an idea of whether or not you think you can handle it.

Soldering Kit

Cable Kit

That’s $50 worth of stuff and you can build six cables at whatever length you want. I think that’s still cheaper than lava cable at that rate and if you need more later you still have the equipment.

u/z2amiller · 1 pointr/AskElectronics

I have the hot air only version of the first one, the 858D. It's okay, gets the job done. I got it on the recommendation of a friend who uses it all the time and is really happy with it.

For a soldering iron though, IMO you'd be better served by something name brand like the Hakko FX888D or the Weller WES51. I have the WESD51 and it has served me well. For J Random Soldering Iron, the temperature control might not be very good, and it might be tough getting different tips.

A decent budget option might be a hakko 936 knockoff, which should have pretty good availability of replacement tips.

u/lecorsair · 3 pointsr/MechanicalKeyboards

I've done two desolder jobs with this one and it is flawless and clean. Nice strong suction, but more importantly the exhaust is also equally forceful for when you need to eject the solder keeping the iron clean, and minimizing down time from cleaning. Really awesome and worth the premium.;amp;psc=1

u/uint128_t · 3 pointsr/AskElectronics

That set up will do all right.

Helping hands are good, solder looks fine (although if you do a lot of soldering you'll burn through that quickly), and the wick is fine.

One other thing you should get is some flux (probably paste or liquid, maybe someone can recommend a specific flux?). Flux makes soldering a million times easier if the parts are dirty.

Soldering iron wise, that's an alright iron. The tip it comes with is fine for large/medium components. However, consider how much soldering you plan to do. Is it a lot, possibly on small things?

Both the Weller WES51 and the Hakko FX888D are both popular, quality soldering irons. Basically, the handles are smaller (easier to control and maneuver), and the temperature is regulated (more consistent/stable). Additionally, the range of available tips with the WLC100 is not as large.

In conclusion, that's a perfectly fine setup (with the flux), but think about how much you anticipate soldering in the future and considering a higher quality soldering iron. Hope that helps.

u/TheN00bBuilder · 1 pointr/rccars

Machined hex drivers; I've had a set of Dynamite Machined ones for 4 years now and only have had to replace the tip once when I dropped the 1.5MM one onto concrete. Do NOT buy the anodized ones, those use soft metals that will wear down easily. Also, a good soldering iron isn't required, but it sure as heck makes everything a whole lot easier. I'd also suggest some basic nut drivers like 4-7MM almost like these. A magnetic parts tray will also make your life easier.

u/IWannaMakeStuff · 1 pointr/arduino

Oboy, I'm probably the wrong person to ask. However, /u/BriThePiGuy recommends Joe Knows Electronics boxes, and /u/NeoMarxismIsEvil recommends the following:

&gt; I would order some cheap assortment kits from people on aliexpress. These are the sort that come with like 10 of most common values of resistor, capacitor, etc.

&gt; Other stuff:

&gt; - WeMos d1 mini or mini pro
&gt; - small i2c OLED displays
&gt; - small LCD display
&gt; - tacswitches (buttons)
&gt; - SPDT switches
&gt; - 74HC595 and 74HC165 shift registers
&gt; - either bidirectional logic level shifter modules or mosfets and resistors needed to make them
&gt; - 7 segment led displays (individual)
&gt; - 8x8 led matrices
&gt; - various environmental and physics sensors (often come as a kit of 20+ different modules)
&gt; - extra breadboards
&gt; - jumper wires
&gt; - male and female header strips (for modules that lack pins)
&gt; - cheap breadboard power supplies
&gt; - voltage regulators (both LDO ICs and buck converter)
&gt; - possibly some 4xAA or 4xAAA battery holders
&gt; - trim pot assortment

&gt; Those are just ideas. Some things like 7 seg led digits are pretty cheap and worth having a few of but not terribly important if you have a real display of some sort.

I personally like the assortment of bits I got in my Sparkfun Inventor's Kit, but found that I wanted more of the following:

u/jsprada · 1 pointr/MechanicalKeyboards

First of all you want a soldering iron, not gun. I use a Weller WES51, it's on sale at Amazon for $92, and is the as good as the best I've ever used.

Note, I had a Stahl Tools copy of the Weller WES51, and it is a hunk of junk.

I grew up using Wellers, and they've worked flawlessly for my entire life.

I can also recommend the Hakko FX-888 - I don't see a need for a digital readout.

I also recommend Kester 44 rosin core solder (.031"), it's excellent.

u/ZxEfR-01 · 1 pointr/Guitar

I'll just recommend these: &lt;----- Fantastic portable and desktop but best if you need portable. I own this one. so you can split the diff. &lt;---- I own this one. Works very very well.

Never owned a Weller that I've liked.

u/HackerBeeDrone · 2 pointsr/EngineeringPorn

No, that's overkill for what I do.

I since won a hackaday contest and got an amazing Weller soldering tweezers and iron. It's not fancy like what you posted (although if I did a lot of repair, I'd absolutely want that preheat and hot air) but it's so well designed it's never disappointed me. With only the one soldering iron, it'd be around $250 I think.

I did more teaching on cheaper, $50 soldering stations like this and I almost never can tell the difference. I recommend anybody getting into soldering pay around $50, doing a bit of research to make sure you don't get the worst $50 iron possible. Unless you really dive deep into the smallest, or most tricky components, anything adjustable that's significantly over 50 Watts (certainly not 25!!!) feels about the same as any other.

X-Tronic Model #3020-XTS Digital Display Soldering Iron Station - 10 Minute Sleep Function, Auto Cool Down, C/F Switch, Ergonomic Soldering Iron, Solder Holder, Brass Tip Cleaner with Cleaning Flux

u/pj931 · 1 pointr/Gameboy

Well, I really want to say that it's not worth it if you don't have a soldering iron, but having an iron opens you up to modding. I personally would buy this iron to start Weller WLC100 40-Watt Soldering Station

It's a decent iron and then you can buy a DMG and put in a bivert mod! Also, don't forget to tin your tip or else it slowly corrodes when the iron is hot. These are the starter irons in the electronics shop at my school, a technical high shool. And if you get bored you can always poke holes in the power supply with the hot iron!/s If you have a lot of money then buy the iron I have, a Weller WES51. Soldering irons can also fix jewelry and other metal, so it's not a one time use purchase. And if you get burnt you don't even feel it, I don't think I have nerves in my right index finger anymore!

Replacing the batteries is very easy. They go for $7 for 10 on eBay just search Gameboy save battery. Only Pokemon RSE need them for GBA games because of their clocks. They use CR1616 batteries. No other GBA games need batteries AFAIK. Most original or color game needs them for saves, however. They use CR2032 batteries. It's easy, just make sure that the positive and negative are correct. Positive side is shiny with writing on the battery and the negative is textured. Earlier GB games such as Kirby's dreamland, Tetris, Pinball, etc require no save battery, as they didn't save!

u/RealGamut · 3 pointsr/Stims

Regardless of the advice you're given here, please be aware that choosing to smoke meth VS other ROA (oral/intranasal/plugging) may give you a massive compulsion to redose (and specifically, to smoke) that is stronger than any compulsion I've personally experienced from any other drug. If you are very disciplined and have conviction about managing the role of substances in your life it can be controlled, but be mindful that this particular choice may challenge that conviction more than any other use of drugs.

That said I fukken love smoking meth. Also fuck the bic users, torches for life. I have found through much experimentation (nearly $1000 on drug paraphernalia over a year) that the most effective way to vaporize meth is completely contrary to the advice commonly found on the internet. I place direct superhot torch flame on the bottom of the bowl (while rolling and inhaling) for a fraction of a second. This causes the flame to diffuse evenly across the bottom of the glass and the bowl to flash instantly with thick vapor. If I continue in this fashion until I cannot inhale any longer, the meth cracks back with zero discoloration or any other sign of burnt meth.

This requires a hot, high pressure, large diameter nozzle torch (relative to typical tweaker torches) to really work effectively. If you don't want to drop the dinero on a Blazer Big Shot but don't mind the bulk you can head to any hardware store and grab a basic propane pencil torch for $20. Even better if you buy a hose and sparker (sometimes included).

If you aren't looking for a personal challenge or potentially much more just eat or snort your meth.

EDIT: If you are sourcing your meth on DNMs, check out Pregabalin (brand name Lyrica). It's a GABA analogue with a duration similar to Xanax that is used to treat epilepsy and neuropathic pain, but it has a lot to offer a meth user. It brings a often needed element of "chill" to the experience without disrupting the high, and perhaps more importantly it almost completely restores the appetite loss from meth.

u/amaraNT2oo2 · 7 pointsr/EngineeringStudents

Nice - you'll be glad to have that variety of tips, depending on what you are working on! If you have any spare Christmas money, I'd recommend picking up one of these self-adjusting wire strippers - it sort of matches your color scheme too! And if you do a lot of de-soldering (anything with lots of headers or through-hole IC sockets), a desoldering iron can save a ton of time compared to your solder wick and desoldering pump.

A few other things that I've found useful (mostly repairing electronic keyboards / synthesizers, although I'm hoping to get more into Arduino / Pi soon):

Hakko wire cutter

Helping hand

Hemostat / Forceps

Digital multimeter with audible continuity tester

u/beachbuminthesun · 4 pointsr/guitarpedals

Essentially, yes - they're probably too cheap.

If you want good cables, you've got to pay up.

Best Solderless:

Or learn how to solder.

Buy this best soldering iron:

With this:

And this:

Money well spent. Patch cables will cost you about $4-$5 to make and make excellent Christmas presents for friends and family.

u/dothestew · 19 pointsr/Nexus6P

This has been brought up pretty often on this subreddit, and I feel like there is a division between two main theories on the problem:

  • It's a software glitch / bad reporting / excessive app or system use.
  • It's a hardware malfunction.

    I was in the same situation (very similar screenshot) and was told by a Google representative after a few e-mails back and forth that I was out of my warranty period. I finally got fed up with it enough that I bought a new battery and replaced it a few days ago. As others who have also replaced their batteries have said, it truly is like having a brand new phone. I highly recommend it, though the process is a pain in the ass. Being concerned anytime the phone is below 60% battery is no way to live, especially when it drops to that point so quickly after being taken off charge.

    Battery - $8.99 Amazon Prime; comes with opening tools but does not include a precision knife.

    Replacement back glass camera cover - $7.99 Amazon Prime; because the battery did not come with precision knives and I am not a patient man, so I clearly broke the glass.

    Precision knife - $3.58 add-on item; plan ahead. Don't be like me.

    Heat gun - $19.97 Amazon Prime; you can use a hair dryer but this is a ton easier.


    If you decide to go ahead with it, best of luck.
u/crashmaxed · 1 pointr/AnimeFigures

I've got nothing but good things to say about my Weller WES51 which comes in just under $100. Heats up from cold to temp in about 30-40 seconds or so. Can also hot-change tips if you've got something like a good silicone mat to unscrew the threaded holder. I really can't say anything about other temp controlled stations like Hakkos or [insert your favorite brand here] since I've had my Weller for several years without issue. I pair it with a cheap desoldering pump and a dedicated old cheap desoldering iron.

u/Se7enLC · 7 pointsr/arduino

I've gone through about a half a dozen of the $5-$15 radio shack irons before I finally decided to spend the money on a nice one. I had no idea what I was missing!

There are a few types. The cheapest one is just a hot pencil. You plug it in and it gets hot. It's not adjustable at all - it just gets up to whatever level of power it draws, regardless of the work it's doing. Typically they cycle between not-hot-enough and way-too-hot for whatever the job is. :-)

The second-cheapest kind is the same thing, but with a little selector switch, so you can switch between low and high. I think one of mine was 5W/15W. Same as before - it's a power level, not a temperature.

Third type is the same thing, but with more adjustments. You can vary the heat more accurately, but it's still only by power level, not actual temperature.

The good kind is the kind that measures its own temperature and tries to maintain it. You can turn the dial to the temperature you want, and no matter what the work is, it will heat up as needed to maintain that temperature.

I have the WESD51 (Digital display, adjustable temperature). It was expensive, but I got a good deal on it (only $10 or so more than the analog version). I was really sold on the temperature controls, and it makes a huge difference.

You'll have to carefully read specs to see if "Adjustable" means adjustable POWER or adjustable TEMPERATURE. Some irons will even say that they are adjustable temperature, but really they are just a hot-cold knob that adjusts power.

I shouldn't recommend a specific iron, since the only ones I've used are the terrible $5 ones and the WESD51, but I've heard good things about the WCL100. It seems to have decent reviews. If you can't justify the $80+ for a temperature-controlled iron like the WES51 or WESD51, look into this one, since it's only $40.

EDIT: I take that back! I should have listened to myself and NOT recommended it. As soon as I read the reviews I discovered that you can get a constant-temperature iron for around the same price! Something like This 850F or this 750F. In short - do your research! Temperature controlled is key!

ANOTHER EDIT: The work I'm doing is generally through-hole components and similar small electronics. I leave the temperature dial at around 700F most of the time. So if $80 for a true adjustable-temperature soldering station is too much to swallow, save money by getting a constant-temperature iron at the temperature you want, instead of getting a shitty adjustable-wattage iron.

u/martecan · 1 pointr/soldering

Yes, a soldering station will give you better overall performance. The issue is at your current budget I can't recommend any particular brand. I own a Hakko FX-888 that I'm in love with, but that's around $95. If you can swing it, that'll be a purchase that will last you the rest of your life with proper care. The cheaper stations I have no experience with, and the quality control is what I'd be concerned about.

This guy looks decent, but like I said I've got no personal experience with it.

To reiterate, you will get 100% better performance with a station compared to the TS80. If portability isn't an issue then go for a station. You'll probably have a better time getting an assortment of tips for the station compared to the TS80 as well.

u/Kelsomatic · 1 pointr/MechanicalKeyboards

Thanks a lot for the comment. So when you say Weller soldering station, you mean something like this and not this which was suggested earlier. I can't seem to tell if the latter is adjustable (packaging seems misleading) but I'm assuming not. If the first link has your thumbs up I'll probably go with it because the price is totally doable, it's adjustable between 5W and 40W, and it looks pretty cool IMO.

Love your work btw!

u/OtherwiseASandwich · 3 pointsr/MechanicalKeyboards

I have a bunch of Oracal vinyl from other projects that I like to throw on things just because. It might be worth looking up how people wrap vehicle interior trim pieces with vinyl, as it looks like this can be taken apart fairly easily, with the outer case being two halves.

As far as replacing switches go, it's really hard to say how difficult you might find it, but this would be something good to practice on because if you fuck up, you aren't out much. The most annoying part of the process is desoldering, but once you figure that out it's not that bad. Also with soldering, it's best to get a temperature controllable iron and decent solder.

I've had great success with this desoldering iron:

u/RevClamJuice · 2 pointsr/SwitchHaxing

If you're interested in getting into soldering, get a few cheap kits like battery powered light up gadgets and the like. They're usually around like $10, so it's not that big a deal if you break them while you're learning to solder. Next, a hands free solder station and a proper soldering iron make all the difference. The hands free option is the cheapest of the cheap and the iron is just a personal preference. Being able to control the heat of your iron and keep your board accessible is super useful. I ruined a couple of PS2s being cock-sure with an $8 iron and no practice.

u/david4500 · 3 pointsr/OpenPV

Search Amazon for a soldering station. Try to find one with good reviews and has replaceable Hakko style tips.

The Hakko FX888D is what I have, but might be out of your budget if you are just making or repairing one mod.

I have this solder (should be "pocket packs" available of the same type - smaller amount that comes coiled in a tube)

That solder has flux in the core, but some additional flux can really help the solder flow better

Check out this old timey video on solder &amp; flux - it's awesome

A few more soldering videos

u/SergeantTibbs · 2 pointsr/3Dprinting

If you don't already have one, get a soldering station. A Hakko 888 or Weller WES51 is an affordable option and will massively improve any soldering job. This is one of the good examples of how the quality of the tool has a direct effect on the quality of the work, even if you're an amateur.

If you can't see laying out that cash, just try at least to buy this one. I'm sure there are other options also.

EDIT: In case it's not perfectly clear, and for the peanut gallery:

A soldering iron is a perfect example of what a good tool can do, and what a bad tool will stop you from doing. In the hands of a wizard, a shitty iron can still create passable solder joints. But a good soldering iron will allow a rank amateur to make good, quality joints. And an amateur with a bad soldering iron? Nothing but junk will ever result.

A good iron and good light will save many jobs. If you're going to put money anywhere, let it be in tools and lighting.

u/PM_ME_SEXY_CODE · 3 pointsr/raspberry_pi

Do you plan on doing plenty of soldering in the future or is this a one off job? A decent soldering iron makes a night and day difference when it comes to working on electronics. I've used the cheap $10 ones you can buy from hardware stores and they've always ended up being difficult to work with.

I'd recommend a weller WES51. They're a tad bit pricy, but you can get interchangeable tips and it's temperature controlled. I've had mine for 2 years now and it's absolutely fantastic.

You'll probably want to use some thin rosin core lead solder. You should be able to buy this at your local hardware store.

If you plan on doing any sort of reworking, copper wick is super useful for removing solder. A cheap solder sucker is also nice to have for removing larger blobs of solder.

Weller WES51 Amazon link

u/capn_slendy · 1 pointr/Nerf

Yes, soldering stations are a ridiculous improvement over normal soldering irons! If you get the cash to splurge a little, Hakko makes great soldering stations. The FX-888D is a great entry level soldering station for about $100, which is still pretty much on the low end for soldering stations. But you should be able to find one on Amazon a little cheaper, closer to $90. However low end soldering stations are usually perfect hobbyist stations.

edit: Found one!

u/Trojanfatty · 1 pointr/modeltrains

You definitely want to get a soldering station. So something that can control the temperature of the of the iron. The reason being is the ones that just plug into the wall usually fluctuate between extremely hot and very hot which can become if you’re trying to solder next to very delicate transistors on the pcb.

I know people say you can get away with the cheapest everything but that’s usually not the case at all and sometimes dangerous to your health.

Getting good solder, tip tinner, brass sponge, flux pen, and a fan with a carbon filter will do you great things.

The fan is extremely important when your desoldering as that will give off a tonne of chemicals.

This is what I personally have;amp;psc=1;amp;psc=1;amp;psc=1;amp;psc=1;amp;psc=1

The soldering iron is overkill if you’re just using it for trains

u/Jared2j · 1 pointr/AskElectronics

I've purchased this cheap 60W Aoyue one for $30 here in the US through amazon. It has served me well for the amount I need to do with my personal electronics. I also purchased a set of interchangeable tips that are nice for the flexibility. The only thing I wish this had was an actual temperature reading, which is where the suggestion by /u/abw looks like a better set, and would be better if you are planning to get quite a bit of use out of it.

u/SearingPhoenix · 1 pointr/MechanicalKeyboards

I really like my Hakko FX888D, as I like having the digital control of temperature, and it comes with a copper cleaning sponge, but that's minor -- they're similarly priced. If you're going with the Weller, you'll want to add some flux-impregnanted copper cleaning sponge and holder like this one from Hakko for 10 bucks. Nothing cleans tips better in use. Blob on a bit of solder, mash it in there for a second, tin a bit more fresh solder on, good to go.

I also have that Kester reel, and I love the stuff.

EDIT: Also, no helping hands? No ESD mat? Sure, it might put you over 150, but man are those things useful... They should be on the list for an "I want to get serious about soldering" kit.

u/Matir · 2 pointsr/raspberry_pi

Trust me when I say: variable temperature makes a big difference. I have a knockoff of the Hakko 936. The closest thing on is this Aoyue, which I've heard good things about. You don't need hot air as a beginner (or even for most surface mount work), so don't go to the top of the line. You can get cheap rosin core solder to get started. FYI, every set of helping hands like these I have ever owned have been absolute garbage. The vise suggested by /u/rykki will be dramatically more useful, even though it will cost more. (But it might also have applications outside of soldering.)

u/shadowdude777 · 6 pointsr/MechanicalKeyboards

That's waaaaay overkill in my opinion. Don't spend that much on something you're gonna use once a year or something. I treated myself because I solder several times a month and got this guy.

And if you plan to only do kits where you only have to solder switches, you can literally do that with a $5 RadioShack iron (my friend did that for his MiniVan). Switches are pretty much the single easiest thing to solder. They're huge and very heat-resistant. If you want to do, for example, surface-mount diodes, you might want something heat-controllable, but any junk will do for switches.

BUT GET GOOD SOLDER. In particular, most stores sell 60/40 (60% lead, 40% tin) solder. 60/40 solder is awful. 63/37 solder is way better because 63/37 solder melts at a lower temperature and its melting point is one point instead of a range of temperatures where it's partially solid. Kester 44 63/37 is some of the best.

u/Ophidios · 2 pointsr/MechanicalKeyboards

Whoo, loaded question with tons of opinions, hah.

The "best" lube is highly subjective, and it also depends on the type of switch. If you're lubing linear switches, my personal favorite is VPF 1514 oil. It's not cheap, but it gets the job done (you can order smaller quantities of it from Mehkee. For tactile switches, I use Krytox GPL 205 (which you used to be able to buy DuPont brand on Amazon, but no longer appears to be available).

Best solder for building keyboards is Kester, 0.8mm, hands down. Quality stuff, flows and bonds well, and the size is good for switches or LEDs.

Soldering iron recommendations: This cheap kit is acceptable for building a keyboard (I built 4 or 5 with it prior to upgrading). If you know you're going to be building multiple kits, and you think it's possible you might do re-work or try to desolder boards, just go ahead and spend the money right the first time and get this one: Hakko FX888D. Basically the gold standard of soldering irons.

u/Kiraisuki · 1 pointr/Gameboy

It's a fairly simple process. Just open the game, desolder the old battery, solder the new one, and close the game.

Make sure the new battery is the same type as the old one; a CR2032 probably won't fit in a game that uses a CR1616. Make sure the batteries you order have tabs. It's generally not a good idea to solder directly to batteries, so the tabs make it much easier to mount. As for the batteries themselves, just find an eBay seller with good feedback and you should be fine.

Take your time and be careful, and you should be able to do it just fine. If you're worried you'll mess it up, watch some soldering how-to videos and practice on some old junk board before you move on to a Gameboy game. If you don't already have a soldering iron, the Weller WLC100 is a great, inexpensive, variable-temperature soldering iron that is frequently recommended here. I have it and it works perfectly. 60/40 rosin-core leaded solder should be fine for this; it's what I've used for my cart battery replacements and I've had no issues with it.

u/lukepighetti · 3 pointsr/DIEMs

Lots of great options. This is great if you change the temp a lot or forget to turn it off. This is great if you never change the temp (like me). This is great if you're on a tight budget.

u/PortableFreakshow · 2 pointsr/computertechs

PACE makes great soldering workstations and Weller is probably the most popular consumer brand. I personally use a cheap soldering iron I got off of Amazon for around $15. I think it works fine and allows me to control the temp. There are much better options out there for more intensive work. I only use mine a couple of times a year and that's usually for hobby electronics work. It's more than adequate for that level of use.

This is the one I have -;amp;qid=1452181798&amp;amp;sr=8-8&amp;amp;keywords=Soldering+station

If you're planning on doing a lot of de-soldering, you'll either need a de-soldering station OR solder wick. I use copper solder wick and it works great. Do not buy one of those cheap de-solder irons with the red bulb on it or the pen device that sucks out the melted solder. I've used both of those and they're pretty crappy. Solder wick is the way to go. Buy some and you won't regret it.

For replacing surface mount devices, you'll need an SMD rework station and I don't have any suggestions on those.

As far as PC repair kits go, most of those pre-made kits are pretty over priced for what comes in them.

Go to Harbor Freight and buy:

I've used a few of their precision screwdriver sets. This is the one I prefer

Get one of those 4-in-one screwdrivers. The bit socket will also remove case screws.

Get seperate T-15 and T20 screwdrivers. you'll need these for larger items like legacy Compaq case screws and printers.

Wrist strap - there is some debate about this and it depends on the region you live in as to how much static electricity actually builds up on your body. I never wear one and I've never killed any devices. I have heard that there are places where you would be stupid not to wear one.

Grab a telescoping magnetic screw retriever thing. Don't worry, the amount of magnetism in those things will not harm a PC.


Needle nose pliers

Small and Large Side cutters

Cable ties

CAT5 &amp; 6 Cable testers

This should get your started and most of these items are a couple of bucks or less at HF. I know they make crappy tools, but for computer repair they do fine. You're not repairing a diesel tractor-trailer.

I'm sure I've left something out or someone will have some better ideas. Comments and constructive criticism is welcome.

u/frankslan · 1 pointr/electronic_cigarette;amp;qid=1395077736&amp;amp;sr=8-15&amp;amp;keywords=soldering+iron

get a good iron, solder, and those magnifier hands. Then just start playing with soldering wire together and then do a project. Search youtube how to solder it's pretty easy. Oh and wear safety glasses sometimes the wire will slip or something weird happens and solder goes flying towards your eyes, better to be safe than sorry.

u/jwhat · 2 pointsr/AskElectronics

As others have said, SMD hand soldering is very doable. I just want to add BUY SOME GOOD NO CLEAN FLUX. Paste flux is the most fun you can have with a syringe outside of heroin. Really it makes everything easier. Just make sure to give a good alcohol cleaning afterwards to get off residue.

u/arapawa · 1 pointr/diypedals

I started with a cheap iron from Radioshack and gave up on soldering for years because I sucked at it.

Then I upgraded to this Weller station and suddenly I was soldering like a pro. Temperature adjustment is amazing.

I don't know about any of the super-cheap ones on Amazon, but there's definitely value in spending more to get a great iron.

u/jjjacer · 2 pointsr/Nerf

1st, heat the component and feed the solder into it.

2nd, If you have a cheap low wattage solding iron, objects with alot of metal will be hard to solder as it wicks the heat away too fast and doesnt get hot enough.

3rd, strip the wire a bit shorter, too much exposure especially without heat shrink allows for shorts

4th for removing solder as per above, sometimes you can just heat up the solder and tap the object against the table and the hot blob will fall off, i recommend though to either have solder wick or a solder sucker.

5th, for solder, use 60/40 lead - tin flux core solder, thinner the easier it is to work with.

soldering can be done cheap and easy but nothing beats having the proper tools.

Practice, practice, practice.

Although i will say when i was younger i also had joints look like that too.

If you continue to do this alot, here are the tools i recommend

Solder Wick


Iron and Solder Sucker

although if you really do alot of solder, get a good temp controller one like this

Weller Soldering station

u/milkshaakes · 2 pointsr/MechanicalKeyboards

awesome. thanks so much for all of your help! i think this is the last question i had. going to wait a couple days and then start ordering parts:

u/mschock · 2 pointsr/MechanicalKeyboards

I highly recommend splurging a bit on your soldering station, saves a lot of heartache in the long run

Weller is pretty solid. This is what I have and I'd consider it to be a good entry-level model:

Weller WES51 Analog Soldering Station

Also, yeah you're going to want variable and analog

Have fun and be careful!

u/thrilleratplay · 14 pointsr/thinkpad

I know. That was the first thing I thought. I bought two kits for my x220 and x230, I screwed up royally the first attempt and wound up needing to use the second set of items.

Before you start, the equipment you will need:

  • a precision screwdriver kit. This is what I use
  • Exacto knife
  • Dremel/pliers/sandpaper to make room for the LCD.
  • canned air to clean up the plastic and metal shavings from dremel/pliers/sandpaper
  • as /u/Bredius88 already mentioned, flux. I used liquid flux. If you use liquid flux you will also need rubbing alcohol and qtips to clean up.
  • desolder pump
  • magnifying lens of some sort. I used this which was good enough and could also keep my glasses on.
  • kapton tape. (1/4" width or less)
  • If it has been a decade since you last soldered or have shaky hands, or both in my case, I strongly suggest buying very thin solder and, if possible, a quality soldering iron like a Hakko FX888D. These were suggested by the EEVblog soldering tutorial made the second time around far easier.

    A few words of "wisdom"

  • Take your time and do not rush. It is incredibly easy to miss things in the installation guide.
  • DO NOT FORCE ANYTHING. If the LCD screen does not lay flush with the screw holes or the bezel is not clipping, you need to remove more material from the case/bezel
  • Do not be stingy with the flux
  • Do not over heat your soldering iron
  • The sense wire looks like it is copper, but that is just the film on it. Gently scrape it with the exacto knife to reveal the wire in side. It will not solder with this film on it
  • For each step, tape the piece in place before soldering then gently remove the tape. This was the only way I could solder the sense wire because it is so thin and light
  • The eDP cable is very fragile. Do not keep plugging/unplugging it. If you do need ot unplug it (like after testing), only unplug the side from the board and keep pressure on the board when doing so as not to wreak your solder joints
  • When everything has been soldered in place, test it before putting everything back together

    Also, on the V5, I used the old installation guide and the big difference is that the power is connected to the far left under the fuse marked "P". In the picture your finger is kind of covering it.

    EDIT: Anyone trying to justify spending ~$125US on a good soldering iron and solder just remember that replacing the motherboard will cost you about the same and will not be as useful a decade from now.
u/marklein · 6 pointsr/AskElectronics

Keep in mind that some of the people in this sub are professionals and they are only going to suggest pro gear. And while I agree with them that a really great iron is a great idea, you can get away with something cheaper than $100 and still get great results.

The iron you posted is probably crap considering how cheap it is. That same iron direct from China is like $5, so that will tell you something. If I can suggest something in between a Hakko and the toy, I've used this iron regularly for years:

u/here_for_the_meta · 1 pointr/rccars

If you’re running a brushed motor you’d only have 2 leads so it would work. I personally prefer 4mm bullet plugs for the motor myself.

As far as for battery and esc leads I think they’re about the nicest plugs out there. They’re way nicer than deans if you get the version with the cover at the bottom. This way you don’t have to use shrink tubing to cover the soldering. Makes for a nice clean look

Also I find them much easier to solder. They have a C shape to them so you lay the wire in a little channel and can solder away.

Last, if soldering is a bad experience you should consider upgrading your soldering iron. I use a hakko and it makes soldering so easy it’s incredible. It puts heat at your joint quickly so you get on and off without heat traveling everywhere. No wire is too thick or difficult to get the solder to adhere to.

Couple this with a helping hands setup from amazon and soldering becomes a simple and dare I say fun task. Believe me I used to hate it every time.

Hakko FX888D-23BY Digital Soldering Station FX-888D FX-888 (blue &amp; yellow)

I got mine for $70 so maybe check around. Or perhaps they’ve gone up :/

Fstop Labs Helping Hands Soldering Tool, Third Hand Soldering PCB Holder Tool, Four Arms Helping Hands Crafts Jewelry Hobby Workshop Helping Station Non-Slip Steel Weighted Base

So helpful. Game changer.

u/kaliwraith · 2 pointsr/diyaudio

Looks like you got an even cheaper iron that looks very similar, but wanted to mention I just got this soldering iron and I'm very happy with it.

Also, I got some soldering wick, which I much prefer to the solder-sucker. My mind was blown by how much easier my life got with solder wick.

I also got one of these, which is nice.

u/Avolate · 2 pointsr/Multicopter

I got this cheap temp control soldering iron. Its pretty nice. It comes with a few tip sizes and they are all pre tinned. It has a dial on it for temp control but its really only a wattage control that gives you an approximation of temps. But its better then not having a dial. Its not as good as something like one of those 90 dollar hakko stations but this would make a great portable iron with a DC to AC car adapter inverter.