Soldering practice kit

Since many users of my adapters are learning IoT, arduino, raspberry pi, etc. I thought that I could help them learn some basic electronics skills such as soldering. Plus, I have many printed circuit boards that I no longer use. You only need one such board and some male header pins to learn how to solder anyway and you don’t really have random boards just lying around for practice. So here it is, a $2.49 investment in soldering practice:

1. One printed circuit board with many 0.1″ spacing holes

1. One row of 40-oin male break-away headers

1. One small cut sheet of blu-tack putty to hold parts to be soldered (I used a blob in the video but I’ll supply fresh ones cut from a sheet)

Here is a play list of how to solder on a printed circuit board:

The kit is now for sale on my square store:

Forum is online!

After much consideration, I have invested in a wordpress-powered business website and started an online forum. To visit the forum, just click the “FORUM” tab or this address:

You can ask questions and read announcements from the forum. I’ll try to double-post on both forum/announce and blog. I hope the forum will serve both potential and existing users of my adapters so we can share questions/solutions.

Video tutorials on raspberry pi + SDI-12 USB adapter

It’s been a while since I have time to record more videos. So here’s a series of new videos on how to run the python code on a raspberry pi to log data from your SDI-12 sensors, from step 1 assuming a beginner’s skill level. I know that a raspberry pi 4B is hard to get or justify the high prices but you can use any raspberry pi for data logging, such as 3B or 3A, or 0 or 0W. So the point of logging data with a raspberry pi isn’t lost in the face of rpi 4B shortage. Read on if you want to know my trick to get yourself a latest raspberry pi to tinker with or play with your kids.

Here are the videos, in their own playlist:

These videos have been also added to my growing original playlist:

So if you really want your hands on a new raspberry pi so you can start tinkering in the summer but hate the high price, here is a “hack” to get one at a reasonable price. Here is straight from, the offerings:

You notice that there is a raspberry pi 400 computer kit? That is a keyboard-form factor raspberry pi 4B with 4GB RAM for 70USD! An equivalent raspberry pi 4B with 4G RAM is priced at 55USD but has been out of stock for 2 years! So grab yourself a raspberry pi 400 instead! You can learn raspberry pi right away! Now that most places selling this kit will sell you a 100USD kit that includes:

  • A power supply
  • A mouse
  • A microHDMI-to-HDMI cable
  • A 16GB microSD card loaded with the raspberry pi OS (may be 2yr old)
  • A printed book of the 4th edition of the beginner’s guide (highly recommend over the .PDF file)

In my opinion, especially if you are starting off with raspberry pi, or have a kid or two at home not knowing what to do with their summer time, grab the 100USD education kit! You may need to help them from time to time because some of the coding content could be hard but it’s a good brain exercise for adults as well! I’ve been doing this with my kid for a week or so and it’s been a blast, drawing snow flakes and regular and regular star polygons etc. using Python turtle from the book. I think I might have a chance to get my kid through Python this summer, finally!

So if you absolutely don’t want the above listed items (have too many of those already?) and just want the bare keyboard computer, go to digikey and get the 70USD module:

Make sure you get the US keyboard or whatever your native language keyboard is so you aren’t surprised by the extra symbols 😀