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Hive13 Project
Learn 2 Solder
Status: Active
Start Date: 3/20/2014

Welcome to this, the homepage for the Hive Learn 2 Solder activity!

For several years, the Hive has run this volunteer activity as a community outreach initiative at local Maker Faires, area libraries, and community events. We have built-up a kit of supplies and materials that get restocked from our outreach account. We typically have a donation jar on the table and usually break even +/- with a bit of income to offset the bit of cost to supply each event. The biggest commitment is the member volunteers. There is a pretty good crew of regulars but we all are volunteers and don't want to burn (<- Intentional PUNishment) anyone out.

The Bill of Materials for each badge is pretty simple. We might go through 200 or more in a day.

- Custom circuit board (we get a deal from OSHpark on this)
- Tri-color LED (it has an internal timer that makes it blink)
- Battery Holder
- Coin cell battery
- Magnet (is attracted to the coin cell and is used to attach the badge to clothing)


We have a cool table sign.


This picture shows four member volunteers working at one table. Kids of all ages and parents love this activity. The hardware at each station includes the soldering iron, the stand, solder, flux, and nippers. The volunteer HEAVILY SUPERVISES the kid. We start with a dummy iron (that is not hot) to give the kid a feel for handling it. We explain what an LED is, and touch its two leads to the battery to test that it works. We explain what solder is and how you use heat and flux to make a solder joint. There are four solder joints to make; two for the LED and two for the battery holder. Again the kid is HEAVILY SUPERVISED to make the four solder joints. The soldered leads are trimmed, the battery is installed in the holder, and the badge starts to blink.

The LED is polarity dependent (+) must go to (+) and (-) must go to (-). That is about the only thing to watch to avoid messing up.


This picture shows another two member volunteers working a second table. We insist to have the parent sign a liability waiver form and have not burned a child yet.


This picture shows the LED and the front of the badge.


This picture shows the battery holder and battery on the back of the badge.