Introducing: Second Solderdays!

This coming Saturday December 10 from noon until 3pm we will hold a soldering open house. The flavor of this event will be:

  • open-house style: feel free to drop in anytime between noon and 3 pm
  • we’ll have several soldering iron stations and solder available for use
  • we’ll provide general instruction on how to solder, safety, how to keep the equipment happy, etc.
  • if you have something broken you want to fix, bring it
  • if you have a specific soldering project you want to work on and/or want advice on, bring it
  • train-the-trainer: if you are interested in leading these workshops in the future and want to absorb any and all knowledge
  • if you want want to tinker with artistic soldering (can cover all areas)

We may spark another type of fire in the form of heating up the BBQ grill, bring food if you wish. We are not charging a fee for this first event, however donations are welcome to help us recoup our cost for solder and other equipment.

We plan to make Solid State Depot Second Solderdays a regular event on the second Saturday of each month, and vary the style of the gathering and the type of soldering we’ll offer. Some ideas for future dates include :

  • kit-based workshops, where we’ll guide you through the project
  • artistic soldering – get your creativity on
  • surface mount soldering, probably with a kit

See you Solderday!



Our First Basic Arduino Workshop

On Saturday we held our first workshop on the popular open-source electronics prototyping platform, the Arduino.

We plan to offer this intro workshop again along with some more advanced Arduino workshops as well in 2012. While we certainly had a few bumps – fresh snow, one of our instructors unable to attend, a late start to get the PowerPoint running, etc. – in the end we covered all the bases and the topic generated a lot of interest.

As an introductory workshop we started by installing the software IDE (you all came with different operating systems, bless you, that was a good test!). From there we explained preliminaries of what an Arduino is and what it can do for you. Then in the hands-on portion, attendees set up several circuits and sketches that illustrate a few of the Arduino’s strengths. An outline of our course is here.

Many thanks to Joel for leading the workshop! Thanks also to Lee W, Liz and Dan D-B who assisted during the event, Ross who set the structure, and our 4 attendees for sharing their enthusiasm with us.

Everyone getting down and dirty with their Arduinos