Stuff created on the slab...uh, workbench.
Kit are fun projects. Even after hours of soldering and cursing yourself for staying up late, you just keep coming back for more! I'm always impatient when assembling kits. Keep in mind, that I'm no electronics expert - just an amateur - so I'm always a tad over-anxious to get started.
First off, the kit instructions, most of the time, are a joke. Poorly writen and have addendums/warnings that you have to read carefully.
Here are some key points:
- Be patient. Don't rush anything. Check if you have all the components for the project.
- Buy a *quality* soldering iron and new, *quality* solder. Do not use old solder. Do not use a soldering iron that has 'seen better days.'
- Work in a well-lit work station. Use a comfortable chair with strong back support. A large magnifying glass (with light) would be ideal as most kits have a lot of small parts.
- Especially with the resistors, buy a cheap plastic parts holder and separate the resistors by value and label it. Don't do it on the fly as some of the resistor colors are VERY hard to make out. The inductor coils look like resistors and their colors are off because of the green tint of the casing material. Purple looks like Brown on those! :)
- Have a solder wick or suction pump device handy.
- Work slowly and re-check instructions/parts multiple times if you have to. Having to remove a part afterward can be a major pain!
- Check your solder joints before moving on.
- Regarding point #1, be sure to use a SMALL tip. A big soldering tip will use too much solder.
- Be patient. Don't rush anything.
- If your tired, GO TO BED AND SLEEP. You'll have a lot less assembly errors.
All in all, if it doesn't work find an elmer. That's pretty much it.
Have fun and don't make it feel like work, after all, it's only a hobby honey...honest!