I'm scared.

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Joined 2006
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Youtube has many tutorials, and you should practice. You can watch someone, but until you feel the solder run and flow, you won't understand it.

Get some cheap circuit boards at RadioShack and practice soldering parts or wires to the holes.

ACA is a great kit to start with. Be a little careful with the power in jack wiring. You do need a digital multimeter, check all the resistors before soldering them in.
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Audio amplification. And Class A, nonetheless. An amplifier sent in a cardboard box in bits, pieces of wire, and small parts with equally small numbers and letters plus a few with colourful stripes. Only a mad man would devise something so devious...

Sounds daunting.

Truth is, it isn't that bad at all.

Watch some videos (how to solder and practice on some long dead radio or parts bin at the surplus shop), read up on diyaudio the ACA build guide, and dive into it with gusto and spirit.


Well, the ACA is geared towards the young and old, the first timers to the fully experienced, and with the low parts count, "simplified" (anyone have a better word?) layout, lower wattage output, and super simple power source (a couple of laptop SMPSs that you buy)... it is really a good gateway into Class A Pass Labs amplification.

Test. Re-test. Power your one completely joined piece of machinery.

The best part is when you get sound from it.

It is a glorious feeling that you will get that, "yes, I can do this."

And if you got to start somewhere, the ACA is about as good as any in my unqualified and humble opinion.
Joined 2013
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Run by your local Fry's store and get a "how to solder" or another "electronic kit" they sell to practice on. Can even get a solder iron and solder if you need it at the same time. They usually have a handful of options for less than $10. That way you can practice, blow it up (probably not), then figure out what went wrong or right, get comfortable and then step up to the ACA.
It will likely take you several projects to perfect your soldering techniques. Don't let that bother you. Just double check everything to reduce the likelihood of desoldering and resoldering - that's really where things get sticky.

Practice a little, use the guide. You'll be fine.

Have fun!
Wikepedia :Flux

In high-temperature metal joining processes (welding, brazing and soldering), the primary purpose of flux is to prevent oxidation of the base and filler materials. Tin-lead solder (e.g.) attaches very well to copper, but poorly to the various oxides of copper, which form quickly at soldering temperatures.
Joined 2007
Paid Member
That's a nice soldering station. I'd recommend buying some additional tips. Mostly I work with the ETA which is supplied. I also have an ETB and ETC for soldering bigger things (i.e. snap in capacitors) and ETO for soldering smaller stuff (small transistors). Look on Wellers web site.
Ok! I purchased a Weller WESD51 some Kester 44 rosin core and a Fluke 115 on the way are these tools OK?

I remember going to Radio Shack as a kid buying speakers and putting them in cardboard boxes!

I started soldering by using cheap solder with wood handle, $2 is good for fun. Then upgrade to Dekko, last longer, finally bought good solder station RX-711AS but does not satisfy me much. Now I settle on using goot TQ77 20/200W.

When soldering small parts like resistor or chips on pcb, soldering station is good enough. But when you solder/desolder binding post,big caps then size does matter. Big heater and tips is the key,so when you have gun solder like goot TQ77, 20W is normal usage,when you need more then you can press it's hande.

But at the end is the more practice you will have better result.
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