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Soldering Instructions – Board #1

Video instructions for Board #1

Written Instructions


PCB: Printed Circuit Board. This is the fiberglass, epoxy, and copper medium which allows mass production of specialized electrical systems.

Footprint: A footprint is a silkscreen component identifier printed onto the PCB. Footprints commonly outline the shape of the component and have the designation name R1, C1, D1, etc along with the components value.

Polarity: Polarity in electronics is defined as the condition of a body or system in which it has opposing physical properties at different points. Some components observe polarity, in which they must be oriented properly with positive leads connecting to the more positive side of the circuit, and negative leads connecting to the less positive side of the circuit. Not all components observe polarity, usually the polarity of components is marked on the footprint with a small + or – symbol.

Top of Board: Generally, the top layer of PCB is the one with the most silkscreen and silkscreen footprints. For this kit the top of the board is the side with the TSJ Electronics Logo and the most footprints.

Bottom of Board: Generally, the bottom layer of PCB is the one with the least silkscreen and footprints. For this kit the bottom of board will refer to the side opposite the TSJ Electronics Logo.


Resistor: A resistor is a passive two-terminal electrical component that implements electrical resistance as a circuit element.

LED: A light-emitting diode is a semiconductor light source that emits light when current flows through it. LED’s observe polarity. The positive lead of a through hole LED is identifiable as being longer than the negative lead.

Diode: A diode is a two-terminal electronic component that conducts current primarily in one direction; it has low resistance in one direction, and high resistance in the other. Diodes observe polarity. Diodes usually have a grey stripe on their negative terminal.

Capacitor: A capacitor is a device that stores electrical energy in an electric field. It is a passive electronic component with two terminals.

Electrolytic Capacitor: Electrolytic capacitors are polar components, they resemble small tin cans. The positive lead of an Electrolytic Capacitor is much longer than the negative lead. The negative lead of an Electrolytic capacitor is marked with a large visible off-color stripe.

Ceramic Capacitor: Ceramic Capacitors are non-polar, meaning they have no specific orientation and can be placed in any way. They are usually much smaller than Electrolytic capacitors and made from an orange ceramic material.

Pushbutton: A push switch (button) is a momentary or non-latching switch which causes a temporary change in the state of an electrical circuit only while the switch is physically actuated.

SPDT Slide Switch: A slide switch is a mechanical switch that slides from the open (off) position to the closed (on) position and allows control of a circuit’s current flow.

IC: An integrated circuit is a set of electronic circuits on one small flat piece of semiconductor material, usually silicon. Some IC’s are as small as a fingernail and house billions of transistors and other discrete components.

DC Power Jack: The Female end of a DC Barrel Plug where power is connected.

Board #1 Soldering Instructions

  1. Start by soldering all the resistors. In your component bag find the bag labeled “Resistors.”
  2. To solder the resistors, first bend the resistor to shape and insert the leads into the top of the board so that the resistor is lying flat on its footprint. Make sure you are using the correct value of resistor as indicated on the board.
  3. From the bottom of the board, bend the leads of the resistor so they are flat against the PCB and the resistor does not move.
  4. Place the PCB face-down on your workbench so that the bottom of the board is facing you.
  5. Solder the leads of the resistor to the board.
  6. Bend the leads straight up, and clip them using wire cutters so that only a small amount of wire is showing.
  7. Repeat this process until all resistors have been soldered. If you are feeling brave, you can insert all of the resistors at once, solder them, and clip them all at the same time. However, I suggest doing them one at a time while learning.
  8. Find the component bag labeled “4017 (Counter).”
  9. Place all three IC’s into the board. You may need to gently bend the pins inward to get the IC to drop into its footprint on top of the board. Make sure that the IC’s are oriented correctly. The footprint on top of the board is marked with a small half-circle on the left side. This is the top of the IC, and the IC will be marked with a similar hemisphere cutout.
  10. Once all three IC’s have been inserted, flip to the back of the board. Push down and make sure the IC’s are fully inserted and making solid contact with the top of the PCB.
  11. You may need to place something small (like a coaster, or some cardboard) under your PCB to keep it from rocking while you solder the IC’s.
  12. For each of the three IC’s, solder the top left corner pin and the bottom right corner pin. This securely locks the IC in place so the rest of the pins may be soldered without worry that the IC will wiggle out of place.
  13. In an assembly line fashion, starting with the right side, solder each pin starting from the bottom and moving pin by pin to the top until the right side pins of all 3 IC’s have been soldered.
  14. Once the right side pins are soldered, touch the top (the black rectangle part) of the IC to gauge its temperature. If it’s a little warm, it’s fine. If it’s hot to the touch, you must let it cool off before continuing to solder, or risk destroying the component.
  15. Once the IC is cool enough, continue soldering every pin on the left-hand side. Rotate your PCB as much as you need to get a comfortable angle to solder from.
  16. Time to solder the LED’s. Find the component bag labeled LED and take out two of each color so that you have eight total.
  17. Insert the LED onto the top of the board. Be sure to observe polarity. The longer lead goes in the left (positive side) identifiable by a small + symbol on the top of board.
  18. Once the LED is fully inserted, bend the pins of the led completely flat against the bottom of the board so that it does not move.
  19. Solder in the LED
  20. Clip the leads so that only a small amount of wire is left.
  21. Repeat steps 16 to 19 until all LED’s have been soldered.
  22. Find the component bag labeled Switches and take out two momentary push buttons.
  23. Place the momentary pushbuttons onto the square footprints labled s1 and s2. Push down gently until the buttons snap into place and are fully inserted into the board.
  24. Flip to the bottom of the board and solder in the switches.
  25. Find the component bag labeled “MISC” and remove one DC-Power Jack.
  26. Insert the DC-Power Jack into the top of the PCB so that the legs go through to the bottom of PCB.
  27. Flip the pcb over and use the weight of the PCB to keep the DC-Power Jack in place while you solder it on.

Congratulations, Board #1 is done! When powered, six LED’s will always be on, and two LED’s will turn on momentarily during button presses. The IC’s serve no function in this circuit other than practice soldering.