EDI Bootcamp

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Welcome to the Mechatronics portion of Bootcamp!

Python Programming with Mu

Circuit Building and Programming with Teensy in Arduino

These gifs are experimental, let me know if they work as a learning tool.

[Wire stripping]

To strip a wire, use the correct wire stripping hole for your wire gauge. Our wire is 22 or 24 gauge. Scissor the wire, and pull off the insulation. If you use a stripping hole that is too small for your wire, the cutter will nick the wire and it will be more likely to break off at the nick.

[Connecting wires]

To connect two wires, place them parallel and twist around each other. Try not to allow one to twist around the other - get both to twist.

[Making stranded wire solid]

To make a stranded wire solid, fan out the strands and then twist. Tin the end to make it a solid wire. (See below)


To solder, tin the tip of the soldering iron. Use the iron to heat the wire. When the wire is hot enough, add solder to the joint. The solder should wick into the joint. If it does not, the wire is not hot enough. Use more tinning on the iron tip to allow better contact with the wire.

[Tinning stranded wire]

Tin the end of a stranded wire the same way. Avoid adding too much solder or the wire will be too fat to fit into a breadboard.

[Using heat shrink]

To protect a solder connection, apply heat shrink tubing. Heat shrink tubing shrinks a little less than 50%, so make sure the tubing is a snug fit before trying to shrink. Use a hot air gun to shrink the tube. Be sure to cover the exposed wire, and part of the insulation (for strain relief). Tape is a distant second-best.

[Soldering a wire to a PCB]

To solder a wire into a PCB hole, stick the wire in the hole and tape it so it can't fall out. Heat the wire and the hole at the same time. Apply solder to the wire and hole and it should wick in. Look for the conical (volcano) shape as the solder adheres to the pad and the wire. If you get a sphere instead, it's called a "cold joint" and usually will fail.

[Soldering header pins to a PCB]

Stick the header pins into a breadboard. Solder the first pin. Reheat the first pin, and while still heating, move the board to be perpendicular with the header pins. Hold the board as you remove the iron to fix the board into position. Then solder the remaining pins.

[How to get a chip to fit in a breadboard]

Many DIP chips will not fit into a breadboard straight from the factory. Bend the pins inward to make them fit, but bend them simultaneously against a flat surface (so they will bend an equal amount.)

Older versions of the tutorials:

Circuit Building and Programming with Arduino

Python Programming with Mu

Circuit Building and Programming with the Itsy Bitsy Express M0 on Mu