Welcome, proud owner of an openVolver. It will probably take around 2 hours to solder your blinky.
A soldering iron. Any iron will work, though a smaller tip will work better. If you have a big battleship style soldering iron, you may want to hit the local Radio Shack and find a smaller tip.
A wet sponge for cleaning your soldering iron.
Some solder. Just about any solder, including rosin-core or silver-bearing, will work just fine. Do not use acid-core solder.
A nippy cutter to trim leads with. A pair of dykes will work but not as well.
Solder braid in case you make an error.
A magnifying glass to check your work with.
A clean, well lit working space away from cats.
Hot glue or double-sided foam tape.
A nasty old toothbrush
Your blinky kit comes with the the following parts:
The process of assembling your blinky kit consists of three steps that you will repeat over and over again. They are:
STUFFING parts into holes in the circuit board
SOLDERING those parts into the circuit board
CLIPPING the leads that stick out
Place your part through the holes in the board. Make sure it is pressed flat against the circuit board. You may need to bend the leads out so it does not fall out when you turn the board over. You can also use a piece of cardboard or anything else flat and stiff to hold parts in place when you turn the board over.
Soldering isn’t hard to get the hang of. The key thing to remember is to heat the joint, not the solder.
First, make sure your iron is tinned. This is done by melting a bit of solder onto the tip of the iron and wiping it on the sponge. It should be shiny and silver. If you cannot get the tip of your soldering iron to become shiny and silver, you may need a new tip.
Hold your iron on the pad (the shiny part of the circuit board) where the lead comes through. Hold it there for a few seconds to heat the joint up. Then, when it’s good and hot, touch the solder lightly to the joint. You don’t need to use a lot of solder to make a good connection. Your solder joint should look like a tapered volcano. If it looks like a volcano with straight edges, that’s OK, but you can use less solder. If it looks like a ball, you are using too much solder and you may not be getting the joint hot enough.
This is what the process looks like. Notice that the solder is not touching the tip of the iron. It is melting in the joint.
Here is a picture of some well-soldered pins.
Use your nippy cutter to clip the leads off the board after you’ve soldered them. Clip them just above the solder joint – do not force your cutter to be absolutely flush with the board and clip the entire solder joint off.