Join Karen as she shares her enthusiasm for teaching STEM subjects, gives you what you need to know to get started on electronics projects, and more.
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Ben joins Karen to learn about soldering. They start by soldering on some headers to a battery pack. First thing to do is clean off the soldering iron with the sponge or a tip cleaning solution. When you are soldering you want to make sure your tip is nice and shiny. You should also put on safety glasses, use a fume to blow away solder fumes, and make sure you are in a well ventilated area. Ben demonstrates his technique for soldering headers. When soldering, it’s important to make sure you hold your part until the solder is cooled and becomes solid again. If the solder is still liquid and you let go of the part, if it has any spring to it, it can flick back and potentially flick solder elsewhere, and then your connection isn’t made. Once the battery pack is hooked up they can plug it into the protoboard and turn the LED on.
Next, Ben demonstrates his soldering technique by moving the breadboard circuit over to a piece of perfboard. He also shows you what you need to do if you have a bad solder joint. One way to remove that solder is to use a solder wick. A solder wick will get hot because it’ll transfer the heat so you put your solder wick over it, you lay down your iron, and then you’ll see it suck into the wick. He shows you what a cold solder joint might look like. There is solder between the pad and the wire but it’s not completely around it which means that it’s not being held in place so mechanical force could cause it to pop loose. If you have old electronics and something is not working, look at the solder joints, and if anything looks suspect to reflow them.