SparkFun Learn to Solder - Simon Says

Our through-hole Simon Says Kit is a great beginner's kit and also a pretty fun toy. All components are through-hole, making this kit a great place to start when you're learning to solder. When building this kit, you'll have a chance to solder a 28-pin microprocessor, LEDs, battery clips and more.

The Learn to Solder version of the Simon Says Kit includes everything that the original kit does as well as the basic soldering tools you need to put it together! This is a great kit for anyone just learning to solder or teaching someone to solder. The Learn to Solder Kit even comes with our Beginning Soldering Handbook which will walk you through the basics of making a solid solder connection.

After you have successfully assembled the kit, you will have a greater knowledge of through-hole soldering and the tools, techniques, and terminology required to populate your own PCB prototype. You will have a development platform with 5 outputs (LEDs and buzzer), 5 inputs (buttons), and serial for debugging. And, of course, you'll have your very own Simon game!

Checkout the assembly instructions - we're pretty proud of them. The kit even includes batteries! Assembly time varies, but for a true beginner with no soldering experience, the kit can take 20-40 minutes to assemble.

Note: We're now including diagonal cutters instead of the flush cutters.

SparkFun Learn to Solder - Simon Says Product Help and Resources

Simon Says Assembly Guide

January 20, 2011

No matter what flavor of the Simon Says Through-hole Soldering Kit you've purchased, this tutorial is here to guide you through the entire build process.

Core Skill: Soldering

This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.

2 Soldering

Skill Level: Rookie - The number of pins increases, and you will have to determine polarity of components and some of the components might be a bit trickier or close together. You might need solder wick or flux.
See all skill levels

Core Skill: DIY

Whether it's for assembling a kit, hacking an enclosure, or creating your own parts; the DIY skill is all about knowing how to use tools and the techniques associated with them.


Skill Level: Noob - Basic assembly is required. You may need to provide your own basic tools like a screwdriver, hammer or scissors. Power tools or custom parts are not required. Instructions will be included and easy to follow. Sewing may be required, but only with included patterns.
See all skill levels

Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.

2 Electrical Prototyping

Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
See all skill levels


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • Was there a reason that a brass sponge wasn't included but there was still a stand for one?

    EDIT: It appears that it has a traditional sponge rather than a brass sponge.

  • Amminadab / about 9 years ago / 1

    Where would be the best place to buy this same kit in Australia, particularly the Melbourne Victoria area?

  • Why is there no flux pen?

    • Kamiquasi / about 11 years ago / 2

      PTH kit, included solder has a resin core - doesn't really require a flux pen.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5

Based on 3 ratings:

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1 of 1 found this helpful:

Nice tools!

Good quality tools and a fun project has given one of the family a good start in electronics.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Useful, but a few things would make it a better teaching tool

Our students really enjoyed learning to solder with this kit. However, there are a couple of things I'd recommend:

1) The wire cutters weren't the best. Perhaps it'd be fairer to say that their quality was uneven. Some of them could barely snip through the excess leads.

2) Not sure how much brass sponges cost, but it might almost be worth raising the price a little to include those. The tips oxidize really quickly, and some of the kids' tips reached a point of unusability after the first day.

Overall, though, a good kit, and a good way to learn this useful skill!

Great for starters!

My daughter had no previous experience with a soldering iron and after watching one of the tutorials on the website she was ready to go. She found it really fun, we're likely to try some more advanced kits in the future.

Instructions were clear, and there's video tutorials which are very useful in case you make mistakes when soldering.