Mandatory tools

The Ringo is a kit designed to educate, but it’s far from a toy.

And as such, it requires some real tools.

The equipment and tools required for the assembly are not included in the standard kit.

If you’ve bought the standard kit (no tools included) and don’t have them, now would be a good time to borrow or purchase them.

If you’ve bought a Ringo kit with tools, you’ll get a box with the following contents:

The CM toolbox (closed)

The CM toolbox (closed)

The CM toolbox (opened)

The CM toolbox (opened)

The tools required are essential whenever assembling, fixing or modifying electronic devices and are the tools of the trade for every maker/hardware hacker/modder/electrician.

Many of these are available in a supermarket or a hardware store like Radio Shack, Adafruit, Sparkfun, etc…

All of the tools in the box

All of the tools in the box

  1. Soldering iron
  2. Desoldering vacuum tool (solder sucker)
  3. Soldering iron stand
  4. A small reel of rosin-cored solder
  5. Cleaning sponge
  6. Small cross screwdriver
  7. Diagonal cutter pliers
  8. Needle-nose pliers

Soldering iron

This is the most important tool in a maker’s arsenal, but for the Ringo’s assembly, any entry-level soldering iron will suffice.

If you plan to dive into the world of DIY projects, you should consider getting a more expensive one with more features. There are also many soldering irons with interchangeable tips that can be particularly useful when working with much smaller components.

There are two types of soldering irons you could have received in your tools pack. The first one is white with a temperature regulator, and the second one is blue with a small metal button. Both of them will do the job of soldering the components in place and there is no big difference between them.

Also, it is good to know that all our soldering irons are lead free!

Let's go over the instructions on how to use the white soldering iron first.

In case you have the model with a small metal button, scroll down a bit to see the right instructions.

White soldering iron with temperature regulator

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Step 1

Set up your soldering iron so it stands on the stand - as shown in the photo. After that, plug it into a power outlet.

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Step 2

Set the temperature to 350° by turning the regulator. There is a small black arrow next to the regulator wheel, so make sure that it points to the right temperature, like in the photo.
Your soldering iron is now ready to use, but give it a minute or two, so it can heat up. The safest way to let it heat up is to leave it on the stand while you wait! 

Set the temperature to 250°

Step 3

Once you're done with soldering (don't worry, we'll let you know when that time comes), you'll unplug the iron from the power outlet to turn it off. 

Please use the soldering iron stand every time you are not using the soldering iron to make sure you don't burn the surface or the circuit board!

Make sure to not touch the soldering iron tip for at least five minutes after you have turned it off.

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Soldering iron with a small metal button

Soldering iron with a small metal button

Step 1

Firmly pull the cap off, do not unscrew it!

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The correct way of taking the plastic cap off

The metal ring is necessary for the soldering iron to function.
If you accidentally remove the metal ring along with the cap, screw it all back on and remove the cap so the ring stays in its place.

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Step 2

Plug the soldering iron's power cable.

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Step 3

Plug the power cable into the provided power adapter and then into a power outlet.

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Step 4

In case you have this type of soldering iron, all you need to do is turn it on by pressing the small metal button at the top of the iron.

Once you press the button, you should see a blue light signaling that it's turned on.

As long as the blue light is on, your soldering iron is turned on as well.

The blue light means that the soldering iron is turned on

Once you're done with soldering, turn off the iron by pressing the same metal button.

The light will be switched off immediately. However, this does not mean that the iron is cold. Make sure not to touch the soldering iron tip for at least five minutes after you have turned it off.

If the blue light is off, this means that the soldering iron is turned off as well


This is the metal material you will be melting with your soldering iron in order to connect two components together.

We highly advise buying a rosin core, 60/40 solder. This type of solder is commonly used in the DIY electronics community for similar soldering projects.

Be careful when buying solder, because bad solder can lead to a lot of complications like bad solder joints and unwanted bridging.

Solder used for soldering

Diagonal cutter pliers

With pliers like these, you’ll be able to trim leads of soldered components, cut wires and pin headers.

We prefer this type shown in the picture (Plato, model 170), but any other type will do.

Diagonal cutter pliers

Needle-nose pliers

You’re going to need pliers like these when assembling the casing, or when plugging in some tricky connectors!

They’re generally useful when doing some fine mechanical work.

Needle-nose pliers

Standard cross screwdriver

You’ll need this cross (Phillips) screwdriver to screw down all the modules to the Main board and to assemble the entire casing together.

A standard 2.0mm cross screwdriver should do the trick.

Standard cross Phillips screwdriver

Desoldering vacuum tool (solder sucker)

This tool is useful when cleaning up soldering mistakes, but it isn’t necessary for assembly.

If you plan on doing some hacking, modding, or hardware repairs in the future, having this is always a good idea.

Solder sucker

Cleaning sponge

This piece of sponge doesn’t seem like much, but put it under some water and see how it turns into a solder-cleaning super-sponge.

Use it after soldering a couple of joints to remove excess solder from the tip of your soldering iron.

Don’t use it when it’s dripping wet, but also don’t use it when it’s completely dry - damp is just right.

Cleaning sponge