Sunday , 23 November 2014
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Our First Learn To Solder Class (afterwards)

After Event Review 

We had six (6) people attending,  four signed up before and two walk ins.  Four of the kit makers were under 12 years and all the kits worked (sorta). Two of the attendees (one adult, one kid) were completely new to Makers – finding us via the Maui News and Maui Time advertisements.  (MauiNews was a quick post to their Calendar.  Maui Time was a small display ad – that appeared next to Eh Brah. Mahalo to Tommy & Jen.  Advertising works!) All had a great time and were happy with their kits.  The new kid’s mom bought him a 2nd kit to work on at home.

I was worried going in that we wouldnt have enough turnout. I think what we got was great… and easily generated enough effort for a first time teaching. I was also worried about the youth – but they did a great job… most were pretty much doing it on their own with minimal help.

There were few major lessons on the kits and equipment …
1)  the Elenco kits come with lead free solder, which I have not used before. It does not work like any I’m used too. I switched them over to leaded solder and joints improved dramatically.
2) The stock tips on the Weller stations we got via the GGHC2011 are way too big and fat for the circuit board work. Fortunately, they also gave us some smaller tips, which worked well.
3) Elenco kits are not that easy to work with. They include a LOT of instructions and illustrations of details, but the step by step leave something to be desired.  The pads are very large, with large holes that are NOT plated through, so it takes more to solder them than the EMSL kits we also had.

(See links below for kits.)

Original Post …

Electronics Soldering is an essential Maker Skill.  Building an electronics kit on a board or making solid wire connections, it is widely used, and fairly easy to learn.

Signups for our first “Learn To Solder” Class has gone live on Eventbrite.Class will be on Saturday Dec 8, 2-5pm. I dont expect it to take 3 hours to build one of these kits, but with teaching and talking, it might.  PLEASE SIGNUP ON EVENTBRITE so we know how many people are coming.  If there are several signed up, we will hold the class and people can come that day – you get what kits are left at $30/person flat rate.

There are 3 types of kits and two price levels (member and non-member). If you are a paid member, you get a 1/2 price discount on the non-kit costs.

Focus will be on first time soldering but it will also be good practice for novice solderers. We have three kits available to learn with – one comes with its own soldering iron. We also have soldering stations for people to use during class. Class size is limited by the number of kits and soldering stations.

Kits available are:

Class will be held at our Pu’unene location(see web site for map and directions). Basically about 1/2 mile behind the Sugar Mill, where Maui Friends of Library and Community Work Day are located. (Lat/Lon: 20.862902, -156.448027) Cost is Kit + $10 for non-member. Member price is Kit + $5.

CAVEAT – There does not appear to be a way to easily correlate quantity/tickets for member/non-members. I distributed most to non-members. If your choice is sold out, email me and I will see what we can do.

If you are experienced with electronics soldering and would like to help, please send me an email. I would very much like assistants.

Couple extra links:

About Jerry

Founder of MauiMakers. Previously 30+ yrs as software engineer in bleeding edge tech such as UNIX(1978+), Computer Animation, Multimedia, Virtual Reality, Games, Location Based Entertainment, Military C4I, DARPA Research, etc. Thought FabLab was great new thing, so learned machine shop tech and moved to Maui to start one.

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