SMD training kit the “other” anger management training

smd training kit

SMD soldering can be a daunting undertaking, it definitely is one of the things that made me weary of venturing into modern electronics. While it is definitely not a necessary maker skill it is a good one to have –and master. Not to mention that it obviously is almost as epic as the fly wrangling done by Mr Miyagi.

Getting the goods

Luckily you can get cheap training boards from the likes of Banggood and Aliexpress. For the cost of a cup of coffee you can order the equivalent of  SMD soldering training wheels. The result: Being able to work an SMD board and in the process leave you with a funky little light show.

SMD Tools

While a microscope is useful it is definitely not a requirement. By the way, you can get a really decent USB microscope that is suited just fine for SMD work for under $50/€50. A pair of jewellers glasses worth 15 bucks will do the job all the same.

Depending on the method you are going to use you will need 0.5-0.6mm soldering tin (65% tin). Some flux and a fine tip soldering iron (20-30Watt). Another option would be using solder paste and a temperature controlled heat gun. I will describe both methods in my article.

Lastly a pair of fine tip tweezers (ESD proof) a few hours of spare time, steady hand and a swear jar.

If you are not fluent in Chinglish manuals I would suggest downloading the PDF I provide to make your life a little bit more easy.

SMD training kit PDF


The latest addition to the Raspberry Pi family

The third generation of this fun mini-computer has been available for a while for a while now, so it’s time to take a quick look at this latest member of the Raspberry family.

The Pi 3 B model has a lot of improvements over the previous generation. With the presence of 802.11.b/g/n wireless, 100 Base-T LAN and Bluetooth 4.1, so the Pi is now accessible via WiFi out of the box.

Furthermore, the Pi 3 B includes an enhanced SoC, a Broadcom BCM2837, which features a 64-bit ARMv8 quad core Cortex A53 processor at 1.2 GHz. The graphics processor is still the same as in the first generation, a Broadcom Videocore IV, but it is slightly higher.

The basic Raspberry starter kit

A standard kit will typically contain;

  • Raspberry Pi 3, Model B, 1GB RAM, V1.2
  • 2.5A micro USB power adapter
  • 16GB microSD card incl. adapter, class 10 with NOOBS pre-installed
  • Offical case (P.S. this case will not fit the Sense-HAT unless you apply some serious Dremel action)

raspberry pi 3 b

Note: Buildr recommends getting a USB power charger with 2.1A outputs to prevent massive adapter clutter if you are planning on getting more than one Pi.