Lab 1 – Intro to Soldering and Building Power Supply

This is the first post for my Mt. Sac class Electronics 10 Mechatronics. In this lab we got to play a bit with some of the basics of electronics.

The lab is divided into two sections, learning how to solder (which I’ve done a lot of in the past, even though you can’t tell from the quality I exhibit below), and then applying that soldering technique to building the power supply I will use for the remainder of the class.

We started with a blank donated circuit board.
The task in this part of the lab was for us to solder on some components being careful to watch our technique around good solder joints and making sure that the components were soldered flush. There wasn’t any flux available for the lab and it really would have helped. I don’t know if it was the solder or the board or the mis-match between the two but many of us struggled a bit with getting the solder and the board up to temperature so that the solder would fill correctly. After a few tries and a lot of extra heat, this is the result.
I don’t know that I’m super proud of my technique on these, but I verified the joints were solid so they would work in the end.

Note: I did clip the end when I was finished, and Joe used my board on the display at the front of the class.

Once I got a little refresher practice soldering, the last part of the lab was for me to cut the wires on a 5v 1amp DC power supply and solder solid core wires to the end for use with a breadboard. I started with one of the class provided power supplies.
I then stripped the ends on the power supply and tested them using the multimeter to ensure I was going to connect the red wire to positive and the black to negative. Once I was sure about the wires, I wrapped the stranded wire around the solid core.
After heating the wires from below I applied solder. Once both wires were soldered I put some heat shrink tubing around the wires and heated them with the heat gun.
This was my end result.
Lab 1 complete!

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