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Chapter #2

Meet the 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 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…

  1. USB soldering iron
  2. Small cross screwdriver
  3. USB power brick for the soldering iron
  4. Needle-nose pliers
  5. Soldering iron stand
  6. Diagonal cutter pliers
  7. A small reel of rosin-cored solder
  8. Power cable for the soldering iron
  9. Desoldering vacuum tool (solder sucker)
  10. Cleaning sponge

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.

Though if you plan to dive into the world of DIY, you should consider maybe getting a more expensive soldering station with temperature regulation. It could make your soldering experience that much better.

If you have bought the Ringo tools kit, you have also received a USB soldering iron in the set, as well as a stand for the soldering iron and a piece of sponge you can use to clean it.

This is how to use it:

1. Plug in the 3.5mm jack into the soldering iron. (This is the same jack that most headphones still use.)

2. Take off the plastic top from the soldering iron. Do not twist or rotate it, it should come off with a bit of effort.
3. Plug in the USB cable into a standard charger and then into a power outlet. The red light on the soldering iron should light up.

4. When you begin soldering, make sure you put your finger on the tiny metal bulge on the soldering iron. The bulge is activated by touch, so there is no need to press it, just hold your finger on it. As long as the soldering iron is working a small red light inside the iron will be lit. 
It takes about 30 seconds for a completely cold iron to heat up enough for soldering. 
When you release it, the soldering iron will turn off.


This is to prevent leaving a hot soldering iron sitting around when you’re not using it.

Solder

 

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

Desoldering vacuum tool
(solder sucker)

 

This tool is useful when cleaning up some bigger soldering mistakes but it isn’t necessary for assembling your Ringo.

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

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.

 

Extra tools that are not mandatory, but might come in handy:

Helping third hand with magnifier

 

This could make your soldering experience a little bit more enjoyable, especially when doing some more complicated projects.

Multimeter

 

A multimeter can be used for a multitude of things: testing tricky connections, measuring battery voltage, testing resistors, capacitors, measureing the current consumption and more.

It’s a useful tool when you’re trying to figure out what went wrong on any kind of an electronics built.

Solder wick

 

You can use it along with the desoldering vacuum tool to clean up possible soldering mistakes. You just put it on the wrongly soldered joint and press on it with a hot soldering iron, then it will soak up the excess solder like a sponge.

Useful for fixing solder joints when they’re not so easily reachable with a solder sucker.

Do you have everything you need?

Great! Let's get soldering!
Chapter #3

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