Let's Make Robots!

soldering

I have nt really soldered before. What kiind of a board would you guys recommend me to practice on?? I really do not want to wreck my bot board for the 1st time.

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I want to thank everyone for the help..:D:D
Try working on BEAM projects. I got the book by mark tilden "Junkbots, Bugbots, and Bots on Wheels". It's mostly about soldering without PCB and such. You are even asked to solder on diskdrive metal thing and in hard to reach places. The book encourages not to buy any of the parts listed but sources is also provided. This is where I learned that 60W solder iron is a better choice than 40W but certainly variable soldering iron is better than the two. I also realized that I really need to buy or make a helping-hand-clip-thing after I run out of relatives to help me with my projects(after I burn them one by one :). And also, you don't have to buy the book. All of the projects inside the book is scattered all over the web especially the BEAM website or try the library. Try not to spend too much on practicing soldering skills. Start aiming for simple projects and the skill will come along. Also if you really like to prepare and read on things, tons of soldering tips is also scattered on the web. My best tip I got is to heat the thing you want to solder(e.i. resistor leg) really good and then melt the lead directly to the leg not to the iron, if you achieve the correct temp the melted lead will move into place just like you ordered it to (also thanks to gravity).

Junkbots, Bugbots, and Bots on Wheels    http://books.google.com/books?id=vY2hd3bCQw8C&pg=PA272&dq=junkbot&sig=ACfU3U3CWHGjVXeqL44_EjSSf9vcu27NSQ  ))) this is just a preview from google books.. His tips and techniques for soldering is also really helpful.

Here's a quick intro to BEAM bots.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=YzFCA-xUc8w&feature=related

I thinks this is the first project in the book.. For beginners to soldering this would really be a practice and the parts are just parts of other elec. junk on secondhand store near you. For my advice create or buy a helping-hand-clip thing unless you have a hand grip, heat resistant foot or another brother to do your dirty stuff. Get the lead really hot enough and dont smell the fumes. If you want to destroy your lungs inhale the fumes and top it with cigarettes for better chance. lol..

I thought it was pronounced bean bots? Like bots the size of beans. Guess I was wrong.

Anyway, I've peeked through this book at Borders, and it looks pretty good.

Or if you've got old boards from electronics you don't want anymore, just practice with those. You'll very quickly get the hang of soldering and de-soldering. That's what I've been doing. Also, I've been tinning the hell out of cat5 wires to make jumpers for my breadboard, which has helped a lot.

Try a on a small perfboard. Mabye solder some resistors and capasitors to it. I got the hang of soldering like that.