Chapter one - Soldering the components
Now you know how to solder, let's put it to the test. Ready?
Part one - Soldering the components
Before soldering, please check our video tutorial once again to make sure you're doing everything right.
The first components we'll use are PCB and switch.
Before soldering this part, try to switch it around a few times. Each time the state of the switch changes, you should hear a click. So far, it's not doing anything, but soon enough, it will give life to your Chatter whenever you want it to.
Take the switch and put the pins through the holes so that the switch lies on the front part of the circuit board and the pins stick out of the back.
Try to wiggle the switch when pushing it inside since it may require a bit of force to fit in properly.
If everything seems alright, turn the PCB around.
Take the soldering iron from the stand and begin to solder the pins in the place.
Soldering these pins requires a little bit more precision since they are so close together, so it's a lot easier to bridge them accidentally.
Remember to solder the switch on both Chatters!
We were soldering simultaneously, but you can solder one Chatter first and then the other one.
This is what the solder joints should look like right now:
Now is the time to solder the pushbuttons!
Buttons are the most commonly used input, and there are a total of 13 of them on each Chatter.
The buttons consist of two parts - the mechanical button parts and the button caps. Buttons can work even without the caps, but pressing them with the caps on feels way nicer and they look a lot cooler.
However, we'll leave the caps aside for now and focus on soldering the mechanical button parts.
The first thing you'll have to do is place every single one of the pushbuttons onto the board. They should be placed vertically on the board.
Before soldering the pushbuttons, make sure they are perpendicular (vertical) to the board. This is very important as you'll have trouble putting the protective casing on the device if the buttons are tilted.
After placing the components in the right place (pins through the tiny holes), put the main board on the surface in front of you and pick up the soldering iron.
This is how your circuit board should look after you've soldered all the pushbuttons. Check if you can click all of the buttons.
The next thing we'll be soldering is a buzzer.
A buzzer on the device can produce many different beeps, buzzes, and other crazy noises.
It is not as capable as a real speaker, but it’s still a useful tool when you need just that tiny audio output.
Once again, it's soldering time!
The position of the buzzer is not important; just make sure that the pins go through the backside.
Make sure to clean the soldering iron tip between soldering the pins.
Also, beware not to bridge the pins.
This is what your Chatters should look like right now:
It's antenna time!
You were probably wondering what’s that spiral golden thing - the answer is the antenna.
There might be some problems with soldering this part on your Chatter, so read the instructions and check the photos carefully.
As you probably already know, the pin should come out on the backside of the Chatter.
Put the antenna as shown on the photo below:
The fun and the tricky part here is that you'll do soldering on the front side of the PCB.
Please note that you should connect the antenna and the first part of the chip with the solder. Check the photo below to see what it's supposed to look like.
Watch out! You should connect the antenna only with the first part of the chip, as shown in the photo!
Chatters should look like if you have done the steps correctly.
The last part we'll be soldering is the battery holder. Here you can see the battery holder for 3xAAA batteries, like the one we're using on Nibble.
Unlike all of the other parts, this one goes onto the back of the console. The pins should go through the holes to be visible from the front side.
Again, pick up the soldering iron and solder the two pins. As easy as it gets!
Congratulations! You made it through all the soldering!
That means that the hard part of the assembly is over! Clean the soldering iron, unplug it, and put it on the metal stand away from the Chatter.
The most important thing right now is to make sure there is no bridging.
Here is the photo from Adafruit; take a look at it and compare the joints with yours.