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Saturday
Jul172010

Firefly Jars - SMD Soldering Fun

A few years back, I made a firefly jar for Kate in an ultimately successful attempt to show her how unbelieveably awesome a guy I was.  It helped that I was unemployed at the time, since these suckers are incredibly time consuming.  Now that relationship success is mine, I've been tasked with making six more for the impending wedding.  Yay!

After a quick Digikeying, I've been working on all the great assembly stuff.  The hardest part is working with the LEDs.  These suckers are SMALL.

I've found the best way so far of manipulating these little guys is by microclip.  Using magnet wire keeps the LED and wires as invisible as I can get in the jar, and the clips are easier to use then my fingers when soldering them on.

Yeah, I know.  Use the tiniest tip you can on your iron, and keep the temp below 530ish F.

It's a pain, but ultimately worth it.  Especially when you get to show them to family, and they see the awesome effect made by the code off of the Instructables link.  Quite nice!

It also helps to have a clean, well organized bench to work on.  At least I've made a bit of progress there recently.  Finally decided to mount as much as I can to the walls, and it's a HUGE help.

So until next time, I'll be plugging away a few LEDs now and then.  At least I've got like two months to finish!

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