Sunday, February 7, 2016

Week 3: Blinky LED Kit

Jumping off our Breadboard post, we jump into soldering a TNM Circuit, or 'Blinky' Board as our teacher has dubbed it. With this project, we'll be doing the opposite of a breadboard; A breadboard is a solderless tool used to experiment with circuits as you can put in and take out wires and capacitors to experiment with making a 'circuit' of some kind, and now we move to creating a permantnet connection on a circuit board

Soldering is a process in which two or more items (usually metal) are joined together by melting and putting a filler metal (solder) into the joint, the filler metal having a lower melting point than the adjoining metal.

A soldering iron is a tool with a nib at the end small enough to solder small points on circuit boards and is the most important tool in your arsenal dealing with small circuit boards.

For an understanding on how to solder, check out my post on Soldering Basics, or click the link to some videos and guides to help you if you're a first timer with a soldering iron:

This tool must be taken care especially  because overtime, the metal begins to corrode as it heats up and oxidizes the air, and become brittle or lose it's point. On thing you can do to protect the tip is to leave a bit of solder on the tip before unplugging/turning it off so it protects the metal as it cools down.

Making a Blinky LED Circuit:

Basically you'll need the same competences as you did in the Solderless Breadboard, but instead of the breadboard, you'll need the small PCB board that came with the bag kit. (Not pictured: 9 Volt battery)

The diagrams with symbols shows how your connections work within the circuit, while the last diagram is how they connect visually on a breadboard. The circuit board we used actually showed how to do it via the top diagrams, and had symbols to let us know where to slide our components through.

Follow your instructions on how to place your components, and pay very close attention to your positive and negative legs on your components connections. Long= +/ Short= -

(Me soldering... Like a Pro!)

I'd suggest soldering on your smaller components, like your ICC chip and resistors first, but slide in your lights as well so you have a room for them as their holes are really close to where your resisters sit. Also, bend the wires through the holes so your board components aren't moving around as you solder.

(Bottom View)

(Bottom View)

When sliding in the resistors, you don't have to worry so much about polarity as they help reduce current flow and make sure that your circuit doesn't overheat and cause a short circuit


Slide in your LED lights, and Capacitor, but be very careful in placing them in the right slot because if the legs are in the wrong direction, they will not work. The flat side of the LED lights, the negative side, must be placed accordingly in that they face one way on the board according to which resistor they're over. The capacitor is more simple in that there are symbols to follow on the board itself. Then finally you add your battery connection wire and you're done.

(Business in front...)

(Party in the back!)

Snip and haircut!

And there you have your own Blinky LED Circuit board.

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