Electronic soldering kits under £13
Soldering project kits are great if you want to produce something quickly. Traditionally building a project involves sourcing the parts and assembling them. Printed circuit boards are not always available so you may be forced into using some sort of Vero board or making your own PCB’s. Both of these can consume plenty of time believe me I’ve been there. A soldering project kit has the main advantage that once you’ve got it, all the components are there (you hope). You nearly always have a PCB which also significantly cuts down on the construction time. Apart from the nice feeling you get from building something yourself there are other advantages
- Cost - You might be able to save a bit of money by building something yourself. I have found this to be the case with electronic music equipment. You get some really good functioning modules at very reasonable prices.
- You might not be able to buy it - You might not actually be able to buy what it is your building as a kit. Like the shaking electronic dice kit below. I don’t think you can buy anything like it.
- Modification - This for me was one of the reasons I got into electronics. Electronic music modules were cheaper as kits but also very easy to modify for extra functions and operations. You could add extra audio inputs and add extra controls.
- Learning - You can learn loads by reading about electronics but far more by reading and building. This then leads to further reading as more stuff becomes relevant.
Soldering project kits are great educational gifts for all ages. Kids can be fascinated by building them and it could become a new hobby for a retired friend. Much more fun than jigsaws.
First of all is the Velleman MiniKits Roulette.
The construction is straight forward and with a little care and attention and basic soldering skills you should be able to put one of these soldering project kits together in a single session without any problems. The PCB is of a decent quality and silk screened so it’s doubly easy to check where the components go. Make sure you get the LED’s and the two IC’s the correct way round. All of the components mount on the board and the only other connections are the two wires for the battery.
The second of the soldering project kits is the Velleman MiniKits Rolling Clock. Another good quality PCB that is silk screened making construction straight forward. Again there are a few components to make sure that you get the orientation correct. Really it’s just a question of being careful and double checking what you do. Then carefully solder the components in place. Once you have completed the construction, which you can accomplish in one session, you can power up to check your construction. There are a couple of pre-sets to adjust but they are not critical to the operation of the unit just an accuracy adjustment and an operational one.
The Velleman MiniKits Kitchen Timer is one of my favourite soldering project kits. The reasons for this are it comes with a case so it looks more finished. Once you’ve completed the construction you’ve got a smart enclosure to house it. It actually looks like a completed device, something that other projects fail on. You’ll probably have this sitting in your kitchen doing a job for years. Think of how many people you can tell “I built that”. Like all of the Velleman kits it’s a quality kit with a decent PCB so you’re halfway to a successful build.
My favourite of theses soldering project kits though has to be the Velleman MiniKits Shaking Dice. It’s tremendously thought out. It doesn’t have a case but that’s probably an advantage. You can see the electronics which is pretty trendy, like the computer cases with cut outs. The way it’s designed it doesn’t need an enclosure. It’s a small cube like a die, with no need for switches or pushbuttons. You just shake it to make it work and it has auto power off. It definitely stops the cheats. Everyone who sees it wants one. Makes a great gift as well.