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Starting Out

Before you get your soldering iron out and start wreckin' stuff, there are a few things you should do:

  • Get a clean workspace!
  • Go through all of the parts, and make sure you have everything. Some of the LED standoffs (or other small components) might be stuck inside of the jacks. Check to make sure! Bicky has made a condensed BillOfMaterials in PDF format: x0xb0x_bom.pdf. If you had the USB section pre-soldered, don't forget to count those soldered components!
  • Read the Fabrication Manual. Seriously. Do it. have either a computer at your workspace so you can look things up, or at the very least, print out each fab page. Bicky has also made the fab manual in PDF format : x0xb0xfabmanual.pdf
  • After you have read the fab manual, check the fabrication sections on the wiki. Sometimes there are ideas on better and easier ways to do thing, and lists some common pitfalls.
  • Sort out the components by section, i.e. PowerSupply, VoltageControlledOscillator, etc. group like components together, either in little containers, or taped to pieces of paper. Taped to paper works well, because you can write down the part number/value of each component beside the component itself. This also gives you a chance to make sure you have all the parts.
  • Get something like a pair of sharp tweezers and make sure the holes are punched through the LED standoffs
  • If you are new to soldering, consider getting a Variable Power Supply kit. This gives you practise, and is also helpful for testing stuff later
  • Think about any Mods you want to do before you actually start soldering. It is much easier to do them while you are putting it all together.


  • A good soldering station is a must. Ladyada recommends the Weller WES50/WES51 and small conical or screwdriver style tip.
  • A well lit, well ventilated and clear workspace that you can have a mess for a week. Some of the numbers on the components are hard to read, especially the important ones, like the transistors. Good light is a must.

As You Go

  • Double check the polarity on components! IC's, Diodes, Electrolytic Caps, Tantalum Caps and Transistors all have polarity. If you put them in backwards, the x0xb0x wont work. There is also a good chance you could fry the component.
  • It is nice to have the pictures on the fabrication manual to check your work against. There are also a bunch of flickr photos tagged with x0xb0x that can also be a big help. Note that the pictures on the fabrication manual can contain errors.
  • If you start getting stressed, angry, or tired… stop. You'll work best when you are calm and alert. If you're not in a good state of mind, you are liable to do something bad.


  • Did we mention a good soldering station?
  • Clean the flux afterwards. Not only is it yucky and sticky, but it could cause problems!
  • Use an alligator clip as a heat sink on the transistors, some of the transistors are HardToFind
  • Consider mounting all of the ICs on DIP and SIP sockets.


  • Testing each section as you are finished is a good idea.
  • Check the Testing Section of the wiki. There are helpful ideas on general troubleshooting there, as well as specifics for each individual section that go into greater detail from the documents on the x0xb0x website.

At The End Of Your Session

/home/ladyada/public_html/wiki/data/pages/x0x/fabrication.txt · Last modified: 2016/01/28 18:05 (external edit)