How to practice soldering?

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by Nujui, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. Nujui

    Nujui I need something to do.

    Aug 12, 2010
    United States
    I've been looking into installing some mod chips for my 360 (The RGH one inparticular) and the E3 Flasher (My PS3 has to be soldered.) Devin is actually doing the E3 Flasher thing for me whenever he gets the Flasher (Thanks again if you're reading this.) But in the near future I would like to do things like this by myself.
  2. philip11

    philip11 GBAtemp Fan

    Oct 4, 2011
    United States
    United States
    Just get a soldering Iron and a circuit board and for about 20 bucks you can get kits that make little things like one a running micro bug that run to light nothing else how big are the Soldering joints in the 360 are they tiny or kinda of big?
  3. Veho

    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

    Former Staff
    Apr 4, 2006
    Take some bits of wire and solder them together. I really don't know how else you can practice soldering. Take a PCB and some wires. Strip only the very tip of the wire, and try to solder it without burning the insulation. That way you'll learn to solder the contacts without burning the rest of the component (transistor, chip, whatever you need to solder).
  4. Vulpes Abnocto

    Vulpes Abnocto Drinks, Knows Things

    Former Staff
    Jun 24, 2008
    United States
    You might find this useful.
    Soldering is Easy (A comic book style primer to soldering)
  5. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    Global Moderator
    Sep 13, 2009
    Gaming Grotto
    The best way to practice soldering is... by soldering things, really. As said earlier - solder stuff together according to various guidelines. It doesn't have to actually "work" or "do" anything if you're just practicing the technique.
  6. Chikaku-chan
    This message by Chikaku-chan has been removed from public view by a moderator, Jul 23, 2018.
    Nov 17, 2011
  7. alphamule

    alphamule GBAtemp Fan

    Oct 24, 2011
    United States
    Just do some of those projects.

    Or buy some kits from Seeed Studio. A lot of their kits are more embedded software oriented but there are some really good kits to learn hardware skills on.

    I got the Flash Destroyer but it's more intermediate instead of basic because it has some small parts. You just have to move up from simple stuff like a (non-conductive/'plain perforated board') breadboarded transistor radio to larger printed circuit boards with smaller components. Then you can learn surface mount techniques from Youtube - a hint is that using a soldering iron for SMD's is doing it wrong! Sane people use stencils or such.

    Try finding something broke and desolder the parts, then REPLACE them to get it working. That is fun and a bonus is it might even start working again! ;) Either way, get to the point where a Ohm meter shows no open or shorted solder joints to the pins pretty consistently. Now, the Xbox is a totally different beast than soldering some kit. The kit is practically throw away compared to your precious toy's expensive motherboard which means you really only get one chance so don't do it if you don't feel confident or don't mind buying another board. Your main enemies are overheating traces (yes, components but the traces are the real pain), not noticing solder gaps/bridges, a soldering iron tip that doesn't want to work in tight spaces, and underheated solder that refuses to melt. Oh, and mixing solder types+not cleaning the board of flux.

    Non-conductive breadboard:
    Note the lack of metal. I have those for some projects where the conductors would just get in the way. Picture is just an example since many companies sell this. The conductive boards are handy when you're doing digital stuff, though. They have great ground planes and convenient spots to mount capacitors near your chips. Not so good for RF, heh.

    Oh haha, read the section on breadboards here:
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