This DIY project is a bit similar to the DIY audio level indicator we’ve worked on in the past.
Today’s LED project brings a considerable number of electronic parts to solder as compared to what we’ve got in previous posts but will also help you improve not only your soldering skill but also the ability to efficiently use a multimeter.
This is a very simple and effective project that uses one of the most popular integrated circuits in the world: the 555 timer! It blinks with two different colors and let you control the blinking frequency.
Let’s start with unboxing the kit, shall we?
As you can see there are lots of LEDs in this project and some other small components.
All our resistors don’t have the same value. Using a multimeter will make more sense here to quickly find the value of each resistor.
On the PCB, everything is properly described for you to know where to put each of the resistors.
We will also need the following tools:
- A Soldering iron
- A Tin
- A Vase
- A wire cutter
This project’s PCB (Printed Circuit Board) is well made, with solid solder mask on the bottom side. It is single sided, on the top layer, there are just labels and values of the components.
As always let’s start with small components: resistors and diodes. Before soldering, make sure that you’ve placed components as on the image below.
When you are sure that everything is fine, you can start soldering. It is very useful to use a vice to hold the PCB in place.
When everything is done, you can use a wire cutter to trim legs of the components we’ve just soldered.
Small components done! it’s time for bigger parts like capacitors and transistors. See labels on the PCB to know how to place them.
Here is my result after soldering them.
Now, let’s add two integrated circuits and the potentiometer. While soldering the IC’s try to not heat them too much, high temperature can damage them. Try not to hold the soldering iron too long on the pins.
And the last 24 parts are LEDs, white and red ones. Check the polarity and put them as they are labeled on the PCB.
The best way that worked for me was placing them face down on the table and carefully soldering while making sure they remained straight.
It will be smart to solder LEDs that are located on the side first, cutting their legs as you go to create more room to solder LEDs that are located in the center.
Do the same for the other side.
In the end, I soldered the small header with 2 pins, the one that will allow power input to the board.
And here is how it looks when you are done.
You can easily control the frequency of blinking with the potentiometer.