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There are a few tools that are required for assembly. None of these tools are included. If you don't have them, now would be a good time to borrow or purchase them. They are very very handy whenever assembling/fixing/modifying electronic devices! I provide links to buy them, but of course, you should get them whereever is most convenient/inexpensive. Many of these parts are available in a place like Radio Shack or other (higher quality) DIY electronics stores.
Soldering iron

Any entry level 'all-in-one' soldering iron that you might find at your local hardware store should work. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for.

Upgrading to a higher end soldering iron setup, like the Hakko FX-888 that we stock in our store, will make soldering fun and easy.

Do not use a "ColdHeat" soldering iron! They are not suitable for delicate electronics work and can damage the kit (see here).

Click here to buy our entry level adjustable 30W 110V soldering iron.

Click here to upgrade to a Genuine Hakko FX-888 adjustable temperature soldering iron.

You will want rosin core, 60/40 solder. Good solder is a good thing. Bad solder leads to bridging and cold solder joints which can be tough to find.

Click here to buy a spool of leaded solder (recommended for beginners).

Click here to buy a spool of lead-free solder.

You will need a good quality basic multimeter that can measure voltage and continuity.

Click here to buy a basic multimeter.

Click here to buy a top of the line multimeter.

Click here to buy a pocket multimeter.
Flush Diagonal Cutters

You will need flush diagonal cutters to trim the wires and leads off of components once you have soldered them in place.

Click here to buy our favorite cutters.
Solder Sucker

Strangely enough, that's the technical term for this desoldering vacuum tool. Useful in cleaning up mistakes, every electrical engineer has one of these on their desk.

Click here to buy a one.
Helping Third Hand With Magnifier

Not absolutely necessary but will make things go much much faster, and it will make soldering much easier.

Pick one up here.

SpokePOV Assembly Prep

Before you start, if you have blue, green, white or purple LEDs you will have to add a third battery. To do that, purchase 2 more battery clips from Mouser (or if you have a kit they are included). Before you solder them in, you MUST cut the trace identified below. You can cut a trace usinga razor blade, knife, sharp screwdriver, etc. The point is to make sure the printed wire is broken. If you don't cut it properly you will notice the 3rd battery gets REALLY hot when you put it in! (I thought I'd be all smart and put a note on the PCB about which trace to cut but on some early SpokePOVs, I put it on the wrong side of the board. If you hold it up to a bright light you'll see the trace, or use this handy guide.)
If you are planning to use the kit with BMX/Unicycle/kid's wheels, you'll need to cut down the PCB yourself. You can do this with tin snips (shown), a hacksaw, bandsaw, shear, etc.
When assembling it, just solder all the parts you can. There will be 16 LEDs, 2 ICs and 2 resistor packs left over.

This guide was first published on Apr 17, 2014. It was last updated on Apr 18, 2013.

This page (Preparation) was last updated on Apr 19, 2013.

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