When getting into electronics as a hobby or a profession, the first tool that comes to mind is the soldering iron. Sure, there are now solderless kits, many of which I love, but the reality is, as you progress past being a beginner, you’ll need a soldering iron. And picking your first soldering iron is often done incorrectly, and results in a bad experience.
So how can you pick the wrong iron? It’s easy to make a mistake. Typically, I see one of two things. The first, becoming less common nowadays, is the ‘I used this gun-looking iron I found in the garage and it didn’t work’. Yep, you got that right. Those pistol grip types of irons are old school and not appropriate for modern electronics. Avoid them at all costs.
The Adafruit Hakko FX-888D received a 10/10! They state: “Can’t go wrong with Hakko. ”
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.