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MichiganLights

Diy Light O Rama Controllers?

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Ok so I wan't to spend as little money as possible so that i can spend more money on lights. So can anyone tell me how hard it was for them to solder together a diy controller. I have soldered glass before an a pipe once for a water fountain but never a board so can some one help me.

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There are probably youtube videos on soldering. The soldering is not difficult. Always double check you have the correct component in the correct orientation before soldering. You can use a radio shack desoldering tool for mistakes. It combines a heating element with a suction bulb. I recommend a soldering station with an adjustable temperature as some parts require more heat than others. LOR has good support on their forums and through the company itself if you need troubleshooting or replacement parts. I always go over the back of the board with a toothbrush to remove possible solder splatter after finishing solder. If you are really afraid of soldering they also have a kit where the board is already soldered but you add the cables and such.

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I first Solder project was a LOR board the instructions are very easy to follow and as long as you pay attention to what you are doing you will be fine. The LOR help desk will fix any mistakes you make and answer any questions you might have. Also on the LOR forums there are a lot of helpful info and pictures.

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Really, soldering is pretty darned easy. Making it look pretty is one thing but making it functional isn't hard. Watch a few youtube videos and you'll be good. Spend a little money on a decent quality iron and you're double good (that's twice the good).

 

For a more DIY approach, go check out doityourselfchristmas.com. Most of the guys over there are building everything from scratch and can offer a lot of advice on techniques and equipment.

Edited by beefy

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But most importantly, do not over OR under heat.  The kit has some pretty good instructions for the first time builder.  If you follow those, you will be fine.  I have helped some people that were too worried about over heating and acutally had cold solder joints.  These may not show up until mid-season when your controller or a channel dies.

 

Good luck and happy soldering!

 

Dennis

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To confirm what the others have said about the help desk, I to soldered my first 2 boards.  The first one went fine but me being anal it took twice as long as the 2nd one.  I was feeling good going into the 2nd one and feeling a little cocky. Not. I put in the big 16 pin chip next to the cat5 jacks in without the cradle.  Went to desolder the chip and burned it up.  LOR sent me a new one free of charge, installed it and still wouldn't turn on.  Called LOR, they told me to box it up and send it to them.  They fixed it and returned it to me within 10 days free of charge, no questions asked, they probably laughed but that's just a guess. Cost me to ship it one way. Can't beat it.

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eagle 5

To confirm what the others have said about the help desk, I to soldered my first 2 boards.  The first one went fine but me being anal it took twice as long as the 2nd one.  I was feeling good going into the 2nd one and feeling a little cocky. Not. I put in the big 16 pin chip next to the cat5 jacks in without the cradle.  Went to desolder the chip and burned it up.  LOR sent me a new one free of charge, installed it and still wouldn't turn on.  Called LOR, they told me to box it up and send it to them.  They fixed it and returned it to me within 10 days free of charge, no questions asked, they probably laughed but that's just a guess. Cost me to ship it one way. Can't beat it.

You have to love LOR's customer service.Glad I went with them I almost feel brave enough to try soldering my next couple controllers.

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IMO the soldering job is all dependent on a good quality soldering iron.  As stated about be careful not to over heat any of the components. Touch the pad and component, add the solder and move on.  A good solder joint that looks good is the keep.  Do some research on the net for soldering tips and duplicate their actions.  Also get one of these - a solder sucker to help remove too much solder or to remove the components.  I just googled this one, there are probably cheaper ones of this type available.  Jameco is a great place to do business. 

 

1942139.jpg

http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10001_10001_1942139_-1

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