Welcome to installment one of Sakayan’s Soldering Tips! The weekly blog series that will teach you how to solder safely, sensibly, and stylishly.

When presented with a P-Sat project, its always a good idea to get all to parts out on the table in a random order and look at them for a while. So that’s what Sakayan did first. Isn’t there something oddly pleasing about seeing all the essential organs components of your future satellite spread out in front of you?

A Pre-Sat

Before any of the boring software development begins, someone has to solder everything together. My team was all begging me to do it, since I am the most talented solderer in at the University of Auckland. This makes me the most important member of the group: it would literally fall apart without me.

Now I will teach you how to be as good at soldering as I am!

1.) First, always prepare your workstation. You may find that you have a big thing with a fan on it on your desk. Set this up like this:

Fan thingy makes a good fan for cooling down your circuitry

Point the fan towards you while you work to help keep you (and your circuit) cool. You might notice that there is a filter on one side of this fan thingy, this is to clean the air so that its nice for you to breath. If someone were to put poison gas in the room, this would present a safety hazard, so this device helps you stay safe while soldering by not breathing in the deadly poison gas.

2.) Static electricity is a big concern when soldering. Static means something that doesn’t move, so static electricity is electricity which doesn’t move. Electricity needs to move or else your circuit doesn’t work. Fortunately there is a device that prevents static electricity: the patented Anti Static StrapTM (I own the patent so you have to pay me whenever you use one)

My genius patented anti static strap

Usually, your anti static strap is connected by a wire to your bench. This is so that you don’t lose it when you’re not using it. Fortunately, you can just remove the wire by pulling it off. This lets you move more freely. Remember to disconnect the wire, or else you might get tangled and die, or electricity from the bench might get conducted into you and you die. Have the strap nice and loose so that you don’t lose blood circulation to your hand while soldering, as this would also be a safely hazard.

3.) Using the soldering iron correctly is essential for good and safe soldering. Learning to use a soldering iron is just like learning to use a pencil. Actually its the same, just hold it like a pencil, I’m telling you nothing can go wrong.

Proper soldering form

Most people hold the soldering iron on the plastic grip. This is too far back and you get less control. Imagine how hard it would be to write if you held a pencil half way up. Hold it on the metal bit as close to the tip as you can, as this gives you better control. Trust me on this, as I have done a lot of soldering.


Now you are an expert solderer! You’re definitely not as good as me, but you’re getting pretty good. Get to it! You’ll have your own P-Sat in no time!