Tuesday 16 August 2011

Pre-Firefly Adventure Club

Friday afternoon we decided to make a couple of the firefly kits together to ensure that we had the right tools including butane soldering irons and side cutters to complete each firefly set.  

 Vlad putting a kit together.  We were testing it out on the 'table' we decided we'd use on site - which is an upside down Rubbermaid bin with a piece of plywood on it.

 Vlad soldering on the dip carrier on to the PCB board.  If we can do this, so can anyone else!
Putting the kits together is pretty straight forward.  Start by soldering on the dip carrier, and then the LED lights and the resistor.  After getting those on we cut the excess from the PCB and then we solder on the copper wire that holds the battery in place.
 Each of the the finished kits we soldered together were placed within a mason jar with some wildflowers, which I 'borrowed' from an abandoned house next to my apartment building.
When you pop a firefly into one of these jars, suddenly you've recreated a summer of catching fireflies.
 We learned a lot of valuable lessons throughout this process.  Probably the best lesson we learned while getting ready on Friday afternoon.  We started sorting materials and we divided roughly 800 lithium ion cell batteries between 6 Tupperware containers.  This was a TERRIBLE idea, since five seconds later all of the batteries were boiling hot, and we quickly had to place each battery back in their package from Digi-Key.  Good times...we also learned that if something is packaged in a weird way from an electronics store, it is probably for a good reason (i.e. to avoid short circuiting all the batteries).  Lesson learned.
Total 'noob' mistake.  (We can hear you laughing at us from the Interwebs).  

All packed up and ready to head out.  We had electrical tape, LED lights and other back up materials ready to go.  We also have some pals bringing us a power supply, which is really going to help out the soldering station.  Radness!

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