Make: Education Forum 2022 Presenters

Build This! – Introduction to electronic soldering. Remove unknowns and increase confidence.

Build This! - Introduction to electronic soldering. Remove unknowns and increase confidence.

An introductory demonstration of basic through-hole hand-soldering techniques on a very simple circuit board, that makes a simulated "Flicker-Flame" light for a jack-o-lantern or candle.
Learning outcomes:
1. Familiarity and safety with a soldering iron, including handling different types of solder and ventilation.
2. Introduction to basic hand-soldering techniques and tools for through-hole parts.
3. Project-based learning reduces anxiety and increases confidence for more advanced electronics and soldering projects.

The big takeaway is:
By soldering the 7 points on this board to make something practical, you build confidence and break-down barriers, allowing you to move-on to build or repair almost anything. There are hundreds of DIY electronic project kits available from a wide variety of vendors: Robotics, electric guitar effects, lights and sounds, Arduino/Pi projects, etc.

Rick Wilkinson

Rick Wilkinson
About: My name is Rick Wilkinson. I am the owner/designer of Austin Ribbon Microphones and I invented "The Hot Holder" soldering tool.
For my entire childhood, I was encouraged to build things with my hands. By the time I was a teenager, I was repairing the Apple computers at my High School, and building electric guitars. My life experience as a young-adult led me towards a degree in Electronics, and during college, I got my first job at a small audio company as a bench-technician. I repaired audio amplifiers and wired audio systems for hotels, fast-food drive-throughs, and theaters. I was tenacious enough that they made me the Customer Service Manager, and I began a 25-year career as a Technical Trainer and Instructional Designer.
I traveled the world as the Technical Support Manager for a global semiconductor equipment manufacturer, I trained Air Traffic Controllers for the FAA, wrote flight manuals for aircraft, and trained mechanics in electronic troubleshooting and failure analysis for Caterpillar tractors. I am also a musician, so of course I played in touring bands, recorded CD's, and worked at a radio station writing silly parody songs for nationally syndicated morning shows, too!
My entire career has revolved around helping people troubleshoot and repair electro-mechanical equipment, and writing better procedures and guides to help people maintain and repair them. All of this set me up perfectly for creating DIY kits for Ribbon Microphones, guitar pedals, and educational classes. My goal is to introduce people to hands-on electronic projects by removing anxiety, breaking-down the unknowns, and providing positive reinforcement. "You can do this!" – no matter what stage of life you are in.


Project Video:

Materials Needed: A FREE YouTube tutorial with a fully-illustrated PDF Lesson Plan for this specific project is available —(URL TBD)—
If you would like to build along with me during the presentation, inexpensive kits are available for purchase, mailed to you in advance of the workshop date.
Project packs for classrooms and school labs are also available (starting at 10 units), as well as intermediate and advanced projects and workshops for project-based learning and extracurricular activities.