So you have your kit and you are all ready to solder it together. Awesome! Before starting we suggest reading through all the instructions first and make sure you are all ready. If you have not soldered before, and would like a good resource, we suggest you check out our Soldering Tutorial. if you do not have tools or want personal instruction, if you are in New Jersey come on down to FUBAR Labs – or find a Makerspace in your area.
Open up your kit and check that you have all the components.
Before we start be sure to wear your safety glasses.
Let’s start with Chip’s body. Pick out the two LEDs for his eyes, the two resistors, and the right angle header. Note, your resitor base color may be beige or blue – but the value is the same. If you like, you can color your resistors with a marker before soldering in place.
The right angle header allows Chip to plug into the Pixel Power Board, Arduino, or a breadboard. The short pins go through the front of his feet. They sort of look like toes, don’t they? The long leads and the plastic component should face down. We will solder the pins on the back of Chip.
Tip: use masking or blue painters tape to tape Chip to your work surface so he does not move around while you solder.
Just for easier photos we used headers with longer leads. When you solder, gently touch the tip of the iron to the PCB and the header pin for a few seconds. More pressure does not make it go faster. A clean, tinned, shiny tip on your iron will though. When you touch the solder to the pin and iron, the solder will flow evenly.
When the header is done, Chip should be able to stand tall and straight. Now we are ready for the resistors. It does not matter which way the resistors go, there is no (+) or (-) side. Insert them from the front so they sit flush on Chip’s chest.
On the back of Chip spread the leads of the resistors so they hold in place while you solder them.
After you solder the resistors in place, clip the leads. Be sure to hold on to the lead when you clip it. They fly! Rule of thumb – the smaller the part you clip, the farther and faster it will fly across the room. This is also why safety glasses are important.
When you clip the lead, clip it just above the solder ball. Do not clip it flush with the board.
Now we are ready to give Chip his eyes.
Take note that on each LED there is a short leg and a long leg. The short leg is the Cathode and the long leg is the Anode.
The long leg, the Anode, or (+) positive leg goes in the square. The short leg, the Cathode, or (-) negative leg goes in the round hole.
Insert both LEDs flush and temporarily tape in place.
Solder the LEDs in place. Again, you can tape Chip down to keep him from moving while you work.
Slow and steady. No rush, make nice even solder joints.
Again, clip the LED leads. Hold on to them when you clip them.
Chip’s body is all done. Great job! Next, solder the Pixel Power base and the Pixel Pi adapter for Raspberry Pi.