Soldering Classes


First off, and by far most importantly, we want to take a moment to send our thoughts to those people in New Zealand who have been affected by the earthquake. We have a lot of friends in New Zealand (including our own Followr and our friends at Ponoko) and we want you all to know that our thoughts are with you.

On to a lighter note, we are offering two classes in the upcoming months that are worth checking out. The first, on March 16th, is our introduction to soldering class - PTH Soldering. In this class, you will learn the basics of through-hole soldering while creating your very own PTH Simon. We'll teach you the tips, techniques, and tools of the trade to help you get started soldering like a pro.

Then just about a month later on April 14th, we will be hosting our more advanced soldering class - SMD Soldering. This class is the perfect way to take the next step in your soldering skills. We'll teach you how to perform surface mount soldering while you create our SMD Simon Kit. This is definitely a more advanced class (with a minimum age requirement of 15) but we want to show you that you can solder SMD. We promise! Both classes include the cost of your very own Simon that you can take home. Hope to see you there!


Comments 17 comments

  • Thanks for the tribute to NZ, our whole country is in a state of shock and sadness right now.

    • Yup. My dad felt it here in New Plymouth - slow rolling waves which went on for ~1min. I hear there were no survivors in the CTV building, but that they found 15 in another :(

  • These classes will also be the first soldering classes that utilize the extra inputs on the Simon Kits. We will demo reprogramming the Atmega and adding a photoresistor to the game so you can gain an understanding of just how easy it is to modify your Simon after you put it together.

  • Hope NZ is doing better, glad to hear Followr is OK.
    @ DaveTheYellowDart: You’re definitely right, hands on instruction is kind of key, but we will be posting more and more videos on our youtube channel as time goes on.
    @ Russpatterson: Yup, we use ROHs compliant solder in all the workshops.

  • Thanks for your thoughts–a pleasant surprise to see on the home page. :)
    Christchurch (where I live) is in a state of shock at the moment–unlike the quake six months ago this time there have been fatalities and that adds a whole new dimension to the effects.
    I’m grateful that the area of the town I live in is relatively unaffected but there’s others in the city without running water or electricity or with friends and relatives unaccounted for.
    Wherever you are in the world take this as a reminder to have an emergency survival kit prepared for your home and family!

  • It would be great if you guys developed some sorta teleportation
    thing that would also let you be in more than one place at a time, so that people like me who live in a galaxy far, far, away (read: New York) can take classes like these.

    • That would be nice. In the meantime, check out local clubs, they are usually more than happy to show new people the ropes. In New York I’m aware of NYC Resistor:
      http://www.nycresistor.com
      In my area (Philadelphia area), check out Hive76:
      http://www.hive76.org
      This is of course not an exhaustive list, but the point is: Google around, you will probably find some group nearby that would love to have you.

  • Someone please throw these onto youtube for me.

  • So you use lead-free solder in these classes? Is there a health risk with kids handling leaded solder?

    • As Nathan explained at the maker’s fair in 2009 it is stupid to think lead-free solder is harmless. Back then the SMD class was done with leaded solder, and I for sure will use leaded one that is OK for hobbyists, leaving rohs stuff for large manufacturers

    • Lead soldering is a health risk, but so are many other common activities. The risks are reduced by taking proper precautions.
      Use a fume extractor. Or, at least blow the fumes away from you with a muffin fan to prevent direct inhalation. There is no need to handle solder, so wear gloves or put a solder coil in a plastic baggie to minimize direct skin contact. Wash your hands after handling.
      Hey Sparkfun, how about a soldering safety tutorial?

    • I believe they use lead free solder, since all of their breakout boards are RoHS. Besides, lead can be cleared from the body with a high dose schedule of .5 to 2g of vitamin C every day.

    • I don’t know that they do use lead-free solder, and I don’t know that they don’t. I suspect they do use ROHS solder since it is popular.
      As long as the kids don’t have extended exposure to lead, no harm done. An afternoon spent making a dozen solder joints or so isn’t going to have enough lead in it to harm anyone unless they sit and chew on the solder. There is more exposure to lead by falling and skinning a knee on the road (lead wheel weights) than soldering.

  • if this was a post on facebook, i’d like it.

  • Note that they are the super-awesome SparkFun safety glasses:
    http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9791
    Very comfortable!

  • Kudos on the safety glasses in the pictures!


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