Prototype Board Use
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- Prototype board
- Soldering iron and solder wire
- Extra wires
- Components you're connecting to the board
- Safety glasses
- Solder wick (optional)
- Think about how to make your layout efficient.
- Sketch layout.
- Try out layout on prototype board.
- Place all components in their proper places and make sure they fit.
- Make sure to leave plenty of extra space, unless there are size concerns.
- Remove all components from the prototype board and solder them one by one.
- If you've never soldered before, practice on a few extra holes in your prototype board before you try it with your components.
- Place the soldering iron in its stand and heat it to about 550 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Put your component in a hole in your prototype board.
- For more heat-sensitive components, such as transistors, place a heat sink (alligator clips work well) on the wire between the hole and the component.
- Flip over your board so the components are on the bottom and all you see is wires.
- You can use a stand to keep the prototype board in place.
- If the wires are long, it's often a good idea to cut them short (unless you want to use the wires to connect different components, as described below).
- Melt some solder wire on the tip of the soldering iron.
- Be generous with how much you melt. Too little is worse than too much.
- Touch the tip of the soldering iron to the component's wire.
- The solder should melt around the wire and fill the hole it's in.
- As soon as there's a strong connection, remove the soldering iron tip from the wire.
- Lifting the iron up smoothly should produce a shiny, pointed finish (almost like a wrapped Hershey kiss).
- The iron should only touch the component's wire for a few seconds. If it's touching for too long, the component can overheat.
- Anytime you need to melt solder on the board, start by melting some new solder on your iron. (This makes melting old solder easier.)
- Put all the components in their places before starting to solder to make sure everything fits right. Then solder everything in place before connecting between components.
- To connect multiple components, drag the top of the soldering iron across the already-soldered holes. You can also bend any longer wires so they connect the desired components, then solder along the longer wires.
- If solder wire won't melt, make sure your solder iron is heated to at least 550 degrees. If it is, increase the temperature by 30-50 degrees and try again.
- If old solder won't melt, melt more solder wire on your iron and try again.
- If solder won't come off your iron, melt more solder wire on your iron and try again.
- If you need to remove a component, melt each connection point and pull out the wire before the solder hardens.
- If there's too much solder somewhere, melt the solder, then soak up any extra solder with the solder wick while it's still melted.