Announcing a New Class - Solder Your Own Microcontroller


We wanted to make a quick post announcing a new SparkFun class - Solder Your Own Microcontroller. This class will take place at 6 PM on January 18th, 2012, and is a new addition to our line of beginner embedded electronics workshops designed to help teach attendees a bit about DIY electronics while also learning the skills of soldering.

In this class, you'll practice the beginner skill of PTH (plated through-hole) soldering while you create your very own Arduino-Compatible PTH Kit. This class is designed for the novice, but is also great if you know your way around a soldering iron and just want to brush up on your skills and/or learn some more advanced re-work techniques. As always, keep an eye on our class listings page for upcoming classes - hope to see you at one soon!


Comments 28 comments

  • Like everything, it’s always better built than bought!

  • If you could come up with a tutorial that people could do these classes from home that would be great. I would even pay for some of these instead of flying and staying in hotels to come to your classes. You could market them similar to internet classes. Who knows, people could one day graduate from Sparkfun College.

  • Off Topic: YOU might want to take a look over at Maximum PC- they have a nice article about the Arduino:

    Electronics For The Everyman: 25 Kick Ass Arduino-Powered Projects

    URL>> http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/electronics_everyman_25_kick_ass_arduino-powered_projects#slide-0

  • better to get it ready, plug & play, better than wasting time doing others job.

    if built better than bought, then next time when you stop a taxi move the driver to the back seat and you drive (and pay too).

    i realy wish to pay for things already prepaired to work. like arduino shields, if i pay money for the kits and i don’t have solder iron etc.. i must pay more money to make that shield work. (wasting time too). why i don’t pay money for the shield already soldered, when i receive it, i just plug & play direct.

    take few dollers more and solder it for me.

    • This is the kind of lack of will-power, work ethic and willingness to do anything yourself that will destroy us.

      (of course I understand that if you are genuinely unable to do it due to perhaps being unable to get the equipment, or a similar reason, then you are not being lazy. :) I hate those people that say “Get a job!” to OWS protesters.)

    • Try the Arduino Uno. It’s preassembled and costs exactly the same.

      • thank, but i know UNO and i have few both uno and mega 256, i know electronic basics too,

        the shields kits need soldering and i dont have the soldering iron, and i cant get one240V, thats it no more..

        i just say if they can provide arduino shields pre-soldered.

    • It’s all about this thing called opportunity cost. Opportunity cost describes whatever is given up when a particular choice is made. For example, when choosing to buy a pre-assembled shield instead of a kit, the extra cost might have been used somewhere else; perhaps to get more SparkFun goodies. However, when buying the kit, the extra time spent to assemble it might have been better used enjoying the final project or debugging code. In the end, it boils down to different demographics having different opportunity costs for money versus time. College students might have more free time but a smaller budget, while working parents might have a slightly more stable income but far less time. That’s why both are often available.

      • i agree with you, but why sparkfun or any other site don’t provide two versions of each shield kit, one as kit & another ready to plug & play.

        for me i never solder anything, all solder iron here are 110V and my country is 240V so i didn’t find the iron in my country, and i can’t use the available in USA,

        at the end i can not use the shields kit.

        i found another way to solder without soldering, copper tape and glue thats it, i request a shield to test this method

        • Wait.. you can’t find a 240v soldering iron?? How? In one simple ebay search I found piles of them. You can order things from Sparkfun.. but you can’t do a simple internet search to find yourself a soldering iron?

          • i did searched, all the irons i found made in china and i dont trust china, i found few but ebay didnt accept my visa and requested paypal account, paypal account i couldnt make an account because of bank issue, my bank dont accept anything from paypal. some sites dont ship to kuwait.

            sparkfun is the only site i found that accept my visa and ship to my country in 3 days,

            that why i order only from sparkfun.

              • thanks

                • There is plenty of ebay sellers in Australia selling 240V stuff, as I’m sure there would be in Germany and around Europe in general. If you select visa with ebay it takes to the paypal site, but you don’t actually have to have a paypal account in order to pay for the goods using visa - Paypal just accepts the visa transaction, an account is optional. Whilst nearly every lower cost soldering station is made in China and are clones of the orignal Hakko (Japanese) ones, but they should be fine for a hobbyist - The Sparkfun units are just Chinese clones, so you should be fine buying a Chinese one for your needs.

                  • The Sparkfun ones will be on the higher end of the quality spectrum though. Some of the eBay ones will be rubbish.

                    However, there are some pretty good ones you can get on eBay, just keep looking!

                    Alternatively, try this guy: http://www.aliexpress.com/fm-store/202930/210288815-403454437/free-shipping-HAKKO-936-ESD-SAFE-iron-Soldering-Station-220V-10-tips-wholesale.html

                    Good seller, and his site says he will ship to Kuwait. I don’t think you need to use Paypal either.

                    • I doubt very much this is a genuine Hakko for that price, almost certainly a Chinese clone with a Hakko badge. My local Hakko dealer sells these for $160+tax trade price, so I find it hard to believe these would be genuine at less than half that price.

  • For some reason IE want to download post.json when I click submit. Godd old Microsoft.

  • Just run a Webex and let them work together with live video.

    • USTREAM.

    • I know IT has said this many times, but they are working on doing a video feed for classes.

      Also, WebEx sucks!

      • FaceTime. :D

        • WebEX sux, seriously a DIY streaming system -> html would be perfect and Fit the Sparkfun way… and its not even complex. i built 1 for my salt water fish tank using Google and approx 45minutes of work :)

          please please start webbing these, there’s several i’d love to attend but i’m not driving to Colorado to do it.


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