Learn to Solder - BigTime

Replacement: None. We are no longer carrying this Learn to Solder Kit in our catalog. This page is for reference only.

The BigTime watch kit is our geekishly stylish digital watch kit and it makes a great project for beginning solderers. If you don’t have any soldering tools, though, it may be hard (read: impossible) to put together. The Learn to Solder - BigTime Kit is the solution to that problem!

The Learn to Solder version of the BigTime 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.

The BigTime is a through-hole kit with a low parts-count and after you’ve finished soldering together the PCB, simply stack the acrylic pieces around it and screw them together with the included screws. Once that’s done, pop in the coin-cell battery and go show off your nerd bling!

Did we mention that the watch kit is super hackable? An FTDI header is broken out to the side of the board and the watch-firmware is running on top of a bootloader! This means that all you need to do to add your own code is to open up Arduino or Wiring and select “Arduino Pro or Pro Mini 3.3V/8MHz w/ ATmega328” as your board.

Learn to Solder - BigTime Product Help and Resources

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.

3 Soldering

Skill Level: Competent - You will encounter surface mount components and basic SMD soldering techniques are required.
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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.

1 DIY

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.
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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.
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Customer Comments

  • Lead free solder? Seems like an odd choice for a Learn To Solder Kit, considering the higher temperatures, and more noxious flux fumes.

  • It would be nice to have an option to choose an European version of the soldering iron in this kit (200V instead of 110V and euro power connector).

    And yes, flux is a must, anyway.

    • We have the hardest time getting 220v versions of the irons. Also, they are expensive for us to ship here and then to ship back out overseas.

  • Live happier for an additional eight bucks: add flux and a brass sponge.

    • the kit is pretty easy to put together and requires just very basic soldering. We found that a normal sponge and solder wick is more than enough for what this kit requires. a brass sponge is a better alternative to the regular sponge, but for a one-time use kit, it’s more than adequate.

      • I’m certainly they’re not necessary, and having the option to get the base kit cheaper makes sense for an awful lot of us. But if you have the budget and use some of it to add them, you’ll be a Happy Hacker. The solder joints will look better, the iron will stay nicer looking too, and you’ll end up feeling better about how you solder.

        For a kid who asked for a Big Time watch, I had been planning to get the watch kit and the beginner tool kit, so this kit was just perfect and immediately replaced the pair. Wanting to encourage future interest, I added a flux pen and a brass sponge to the order.

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