Soldering: An Art of Trial and Error

Trial and error: the phrase that best describes my experience during our second session in the Fab Lab.  After our work with red boards and coding during Week 6, my group progressed to the soldering station to create circuits sans red boards. Before beginning, we were warned that the day’s activities would vastly increase our appreciation for the simplicity of the red board systems; this held entirely true. As an incredibly impatient perfectionist, this activity tried my ability to make repeated attempts to complete a single step of the project. However, the sometimes-tedious nature of soldering did not bother me in the way I expected; rather, I really enjoyed the process! It was perhaps my favorite skill we have learned in the course thus far due to the hands on nature, and the fact that you can test and check your physical progress as you move from stage to stage.

The soldering station and my relative success in the activity inspired me to incorporate a new aspect into our garbage condenser – an LED sensor that lights up when the trash cannot be further compacted or pushed down in the bin, therefore indicating “full.” I think this will both incorporate another useful technology and create added value for the consumer, as the product will have dual functionality. Furthermore, I feel as though this sets our product apart from other products on the market as well as “DIY” alternatives, as it is more technologically advanced – an upgrade that is important to many consumer groups in an increasingly digital world. I hope that, in improved my soldering skills and combining with the other abilities we have developed throughout the course, my group is able to develop an effective product that can accomplish the desired task in the simplest way possible.

While I will not be participating in the soldering station during our next course in the Fab Lab, I hope to take time outside of class to assess the best possible way to include a soldered LED circuit and code in our product in order to enhance its functionality. In conducting outside research, I found a very useful tutorial that instructs one on how to code an LED Arduino to blink at one second intervals (which I think would work well as a “full” trash alert.) Furthermore, I performed a bit of industry analysis to see what products are currently on the market – none incorporated technology in such a way, making our product both unique and advanced in this niche market. See here for one comparable offering on Amazon. 

2 thoughts on “Soldering: An Art of Trial and Error

  1. Hi Veronika,

    I think you did a great post here! Soldering was my first session and let me say I feel you 100%. I was very impatient as well and I couldn’t stand how long it took to solder together the wires perfectly so that they would stick and on top of that all the smoke and smog from the lead that would cross into my breathing path. Nonetheless, I still really felt that soldering was such a rewarding experience that really gave me some great hands-on experience. I really like the the compact-able trash can that you have shared on Amazon it is really insightful and sheds a great perspective for our project going forward. I think your post was great but if you take a picture next time that’d be cool too!

  2. Hi Veronika,
    I really enjoyed reading your post as I would be working on soldering tomorrow! From your experience I’m sure it would be a great time for me and being able to learn new skills. I’m really curious to see how the red boards work tomorrow as well. Furthermore, I am very glad you were able to find a skill learned a class that would be useful for your final project, can’t wait to see it!

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