If you haven’t learnt to solder why not make it your first challenge of 2024? This printed circuit board (PCB) Airplane with Flashing LED kit could be the perfect place for you to start!
It has numerous features that we think are excellent for beginners at soldering. Most of the components are through-hole meaning they are larger, easier to handle and can be positioned through their mount holes which hold them in place a little while you solder. The only surface mount components are the large battery holders for one coin cell on each wing and these have large pads which will be straightforward to assemble. The Airplane has numerous LEDs and 2 integrated circuits (ICs or ‘chips’), a classic combination of a 555 timer and a CD4017 decade counter. You don’t need to know anything about those ICs to assemble and operate this kit but they are a classic combination and the circuit would make a great research project for those new to electronics.
The ICs are mounted into sockets which are soldered into place. This again is excellent for those newer to soldering as you are less likely to damage the ICs through overheating when soldering. The two PCBs slot together and you get a little experience soldering aligning pads to make a mechanical and electrical connection between the PCBs.
It’s a great little challenge and you end up with a nice desk toy that you can be proud of as a first soldering project!