Solder something, anything!
Just about every electronics project will need you to solder something. But if you have never soldered anything before, now is a great time to get started.
So go get an old headphone that you no longer need…
and snip it into two pieces. Gosh, it sure is broken now! (But we will fix it)
Slice the rubber casing off each end and expose the wires inside. This is how mine looked — two thin blue wires and two copper coloured “ground wires”.
Now _twist _and join the common “ground” wires together, so you end up with three wires total on each end.
Now, twist and join the blue (or whatever color you have) wires so that the two ends are joined again. The connections are complete, and we are now ready to start soldering!
Placing the wires on a box makes for a helpful “third hand” while soldering. Here is another shot of the wire, just before we start soldering.
Placing the wires so you can solder is so important. Here I am making sure it does not move by placing a “Kangaro” puncher on top of the wire.
Now it is time to bring out the materials needed for soldering. That is a soldering iron like the one below…
and some solder itself.
This would also be a good time to open the window — solder contains lead, and lead is not something you want to inhale.
Plug in the soldering iron and wait. The hardest part of this whole exercise is just waiting for the iron to get hot enough. For the one I had, it took about 5 mins to get nice and hot. To test, touch the solder wire and it should melt right away. Flick it, and you are ready to solder.
To solder, touch the soldering iron to the wire. And the solder to the wire. Initially, it will be hard. But soon you will get the hang of it.
The soldering iron heats up the wire. The solder then, when it touches the wire, melts…leaving a nice coating of solder material on the wire.
If it looks nice and shiny, you know you have a good connection now. And that is the purpose of soldering — to make connections, so electrical current can flow through it.
Now connect the headphones to your phone, and enjoy the music again! So there you have it — a simple introduction to soldering.
Give it a try!
PS: Want more practice? Why not make an insect robot…