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Soldering Instructions – Board #2

Video instructions for Board #2

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 #2 Instructions

  1. Locate the component bag Labeled 555.
  2. Locate the component bag Labeled 4017.
  3. Remove one IC from the 4017 bag, and two 555 timer IC’s. There should be three total.
  4. Place all four IC’s into the board. You may need to gently bend the pins inward to get the IC to drop into its footprint on the top of the board. Make sure that the IC’s are oriented correctly. The footprint on the top of 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.
  5. Once all the 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.
  6. For each of the 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 of the IC wiggling out of place.
  7. In an assembly line fashion, starting with the right side, solder each pin from bottom to top.
  8. Once the right side pins are soldered touch the top (Black rectangle part) of the IC to gauge its temperature. If it’s a little warm that’s fine, if its hot to the touch you must let it cool off before continuing solder or risk destroying the component.
  9. 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.
  10. Locate the component bag labeled Resistors.
  11. 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.
  12. From the bottom of the board bend the leads of the resistor so that they are flat against the PCB and the resistor does not move.
  13. Place the PCB face down on your workbench so that the bottom of the board is facing you.
  14. Solder the leads of the resistor to the board.
  15. Bend the leads straight up, and clip them using wire cutters to that only a small amount of wire is showing.
  16. Repeat this process until all resistors are soldered. If you are feeling brave you can insert all the resistors at once, solder them, and clip them all at the same time.
  17. Locate the component bag labeled Capacitors.
  18. Remove Two ceramic capacitors. Ceramic capacitors do not observe polarity.
  19. Place and solder each ceramic capacitor into the appropriate locations designated C1, and C2.
  20. Clip any excess wire leads from the ceramic capacitors
  21. From the Capacitor bag remove one 22uF electrolytic capacitors. Electrolytic capacitors observe polarity.
  22. Place the electrolytic capacitors in the electrolytic capacitor footprints labeled C3 (22uF). Make sure the positive terminal is facing the positive symbol on the footprint with the negative striped side opposite the positive terminal.
  23. From the bottom of the board bend the leads of the capacitors so that they are flat against the PCB and the capacitor does not move.
  24. Solder the leads of the capacitor to the board.
  25. Bend the leads straight and clip them using wire cutters to that only a small amount of wire is showing.
  26. Locate the component bag labeled LED. Remove all the LED’s
  27. Solder any color LED’s to create a pattern you like on the LED matrix in the middle of board. I suggest making each column its own color like a full column of blue then red, then yellow, etc. Follow previous LED soldering instructions, insert observing polarity, bend wire leads, solder, and clip. Don’t forget to solder an LED at the top left hand corner of the board at the LED labeled “power”. I strongly suggest using a Yellow LED for the power LED.
  28. Locate the component bag labeled Switches. Take out one SPDT slide switch and two momentary pushbutton switches.
  29. Place the momentary pushbuttons onto the unlabeled square footprints. Push down gently until the buttons snap into place and are fully inserted into the board.
  30. Flip to the bottom of the board and solder in the switches
  31. Place the SPDT slide switch in the top of the board.
  32. Soldering this component is tricky, you can either use the weight of the board to hold it in place, or bend the three pins down in different directions to keep the component from moving during soldering.
  33. Find the component bag labeled “MISC” and remove one DC-Power Jack.
  34. Insert the DC-Power Jack into the top of the PCB so that the legs go through to the bottom of PCB.
  35. 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! You have finished Board #2. When powered on, hit the start button and the lights will “run” in a set pattern! Press stop to stop the lights at any moment!