Skip to content

This page is archived material from a previous course. Please check for updated material.

    Lab 4 Elec Bootcamp (2014)

    You have ~2 hours to work your way through these activities.  Plan your time accordingly!

    Part 1:   Do at your team bench

    • Soldering (max 40min – after this, switch to next activity)

      • Setup:

      • To Do:

        • Gather up materials:
          • Used PCB (should have old components already soldered in the board)
          • Used stranded and solid-core wire from the Recycle Bin.
          • ~1foot of solder.
        • Clean and re-tin your solder tip  (Weller tips have several coatings and typically don’t need emery cloth, but some tips are old and need just a small amount of rubbing to remove oxide layer )
        • See if you can spot the rosin boiling off the solder.   Occasionally bubbles up enough to end up on hands and eyes.  
        • Use side cutters to trim long wires on back of PCBs.    Notice  how far clipped items can fly from the boards, watch out for people around you.
        • Use 3rd Hand to hold solder or wire while soldering if necessary.
        • Solder the following:
          • four short solid-core wires into the PCB
          • four short stranded-core wires into the PCB
          • two 8-pin sockets into the PCB (solder 1 corner pin first, then ensure the socket is flat on the PCB, then solder the remaining pins)
          • two stranded-core wires together to form one longer wire.  (cover joint with heat-shrink tubing.  Use hot air gun at back bench.)
          • put excess solder on 1 stranded-core wire.  Feel how much stiffer and more brittle the excess solder makes the wire
        • Get a TA/instructor to inspect your work.


    • Desoldering (20min)

      • Setup:

      • To Do:

        • Remove 2 wires (stranded or solid) from a used PCB.  
        • Remove one BJTs.   Try to remove without clipping the leads from the BJT or destroying the component.
        • Remove one 8-pin socket (this can be hard, you may have to destroy the socket by cutting it into pieces carefully with side cutters, then remove the socket 1 pin at a time.  
      • Get a TA/instructor to inspect your work.


    • QRD  (1 each) (30min)

      • Setup:
        • Check sample QRD at the front of the room (“Bernhard’s Sample”)
        • Gather materials
          • 3 pieces of  stranded wire, ideally from the used wire bins    You will need ~12″ of wire length for each color.
          • male header pins
          • 330 ohm resistor
          • heat shrink tubing (3/8″ diameter, 2 pieces each ~2cm long)
      • To Do
        • Cut male header pins to correct number of pins.   It is plastic, so you can use your side cutters.  Be careful, as you may accidentally cut adjacent pins in the header and parts may fly into your face.  Return extra pins to bin.
        • Solder, hot glue, heat shrink connections
        • For the QRD, you will be including an appropriate resistor (330 ohms)  inside the QRD wire as shown in the sample and  in the diagram here.  
        • Mark the resistor value on the  outside with a label.

        • Get Lab instructor / TA to inspect your connector.
        • Wash your hands.   Solder and particulates not good for ingesting.


    • Circuit Schematic Programs (5min)

      • Have a brief look at two circuit schematic drawing programs:
        •  (runs in browser, easy to get simple sketches).
        • Eagle Cadsoft  (installed on Hebb 42  computers, harder to use but useful for future PCB manufacturing in senior courses).   Lots of videos online for using the program (example1,  example2, etc).
      • Let us know of any other circuit schematic/simulation programs which you’ve found useful in the past.


    • Component Pricing (5min)

      • Look over the Online Inventory List of 253 Components and Tools and find 3-5 items which you are surprised how expensive they are, and 3-5 items you are surprised how inexpensive they are.  Be thankful we do not charge by the component for the course! 

    Part 2:   Do in other room (at set stations):

    Other Connectors   (20min)

    Try one of each connector.  Try not to waste attempts, as each connector varies in price from reasonable to not reasonable.

      1. Quick Connect Terminals
      2. TINAH Battery connection (using universal crimp tool)
      3. IDC connectors for ribbon cable
      4. IDC connectors for single-wires
      5. Wire Nuts
      6. Alternative connectors
      7. PCBs and Wire
      • Polarization on 8-pin socket
      • board-to-board vs. board-to-wire connections
      • PCBs for 253 (Boris and Natasha).


    End of Page.