I am finally getting there. Today I finished soldering the I/O expansion bus. Glad to have that out of the way. If I learned something from this experience, then these pieces of advice should be valuable to any beginner hobbyist using point-to-point soldering technique for their prototypes:
1) A solderable (no need to scratch off the insulation, just apply heat) magnet wire, gauges 30,28,26 makes all the difference when soldering buses (multiple soldering points on the length of a single wire).
2) Rosin soldering paste flux - it really helps that solder to stick to the metal.
3) My choice of sockets for my I/O expansion bus (cheap solder-in-board IDE sockets) proven poor for the prototyping board I use (perforated board with no copper "doughnuts"). After applying heat during soldering the connections, the pins are sliding loose in the sockets, this will not be a lasting solution if I take the expansion boards in and out of these sockets often. Next time I will use perforated and printed (doughnuts) board. I am already thinking of some sort of adapter that I will permanently place in these sockets which on top will have a different board with different choice of sockets or the same kind, however soldered to the printed prototyping board. I am also considering the arduino-like sandwich design for expansion cards.
Here are the current views of the board:
|Full view of the bottom of the main board. The I/O expansion area is on the left.|
|Closer view of the I/O area I worked on today.|
Thanks for looking.