The Mole: Soldering and More Planning

February 20th, 2010 Posted in The Mole

After finally getting The Mole running on the breadboard and getting the customizations that I wanted worked in to the project, I decided I needed to start mapping out how I was going to transfer this to a circuit board.  The original RS Optical Theremin suggested that the project would fit on a tiny 1 3/4″x1 3/4″ board available from Radio Shack (Part #276-159), but since they did not give a layout, I had to figure this out on my own.

Since I own Microsoft Office, and since I’ve used Visio a bunch for my day job, I decided to layout the board using Visio. It took me several hours to figure out the placement of components and jumper wires, but once I had something I could use as a guide for my first soldering project, I went at it.

(Click image for close up)

Since some of the parts I am using are panel mount, and need to mount the the front of the “panel”, I decided to leave some parts unsoldered, but solder in their lead wires, for attachment later.  Having the leads on there would allow me to test the unit before packaging it.

I ended up soldering the board in two sections, as I was getting fatigued, and didn’t want my soldering job to look like total horse shit (well at least no more shitty than I knew it was going to look like).  After completing the second half, I used some jumpers to run the leads to the unsoldered parts (the photo-transistors, the LED and Killswitch) and powered the unit on.  Lo and behold, it still worked!

Next step is preparing the enclosure…

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