I/O: My Soldering is Horrible
Soldering today proved to me that I need a lot more practice!
This is a quick I/O – an “in and out.”
I’ve been collecting parts for an interesting and relatively simple build, and today my collection was sufficient to begin that project. What a comedy of errors.
First, I mismeasured the placement of the potentiometer shaft in the project box. I discovered that after spending a few hours with a handheld rotary tool making the needed openings. After crafting those holes, I tested the fit and found the amplifier module was about 2 mm too close to the wall of the box…just enough that making the potentiometer hole oblong would make that error visible.
So I went with my backup option: a simple potentiometer and a small, separate audio module. I was making the last solder connection on the audio board when my finger brushed lightly across the top, dislodging one of the surface mount components. My finger touched it very lightly so it must have been a flawed board.
Then I worked on soldering wires to the audio conversion board and managed to bridge two adjacent connections…twice. One is understandable as I was trying to get a tiny wire onto a single pin on a CM108 chip. No joy. The other was just sloppy soldering as I twitched just as the solder flowed and it went a millimeter or two to the side. The more I tried to get that solder off that connection, the worse things got.
By this time I had decided to put this project aside for a few hours. Instead of putting it away, I simply slid it off to the side and went back to some computer work. The phone rang and when I answered, I forgot the project pile was on top of the phone cord and the next thing I know, I hear the tinkle of many small parts hitting the floor.
That did it for me today. I’ll pick it back up tomorrow with a spare project box and set it up for the audio board I planned to use the first time. There is a microphone connector involved in the build and unfortunately, to get it out of the box, I’ll have to desolder the several wires connecting it to a capacitor, the potentiometer, and the CM108 USB fob. The fob is toast…but I have a spare.
And I won’t even talk about the two truly awful cold joints today. The best face I can put on this is I learned a lot so I am hopeful that tomorrow proves to be more productive!