I got the BR-1 speaker kit from Parts Express to put together with my son (age 9), because he likes anything with wires and I thought he would love to do something with a circuit board that actually works. As it is, he takes apart toys like RC trucks, etc and is fascinated by the PCBs, wires them up all funky and keeps asking me, "Dad, do you think it will work?" I tell him that you have to understand the circuit in order to make it "work", but he is undeterred. So, anyway, the instructions with the speaker kit gives good instructions on what to do, but not enough detailed instruction on exactly how to do it, and I don't want to screw up the PCB, not having soldered on one before.
So, the "front" of the board has the layout of all the components printed on it, with the little holes for the corresponding wires to go through. I plan to use hot glue to attach the components on the front, with the full length wires sticking through to the "back". Once that is secured and turned over, there are little copper circles which I am thinking is where the wire will be soldered/connected.
First question, should I leave the wires from the components full length until soldered, then trim, or trim to a shorter length before soldering?
Next question, do I need to prep the wires or the circuit board in any way to make the solder "stick" properly? The instructions that came with the soldering gun say to "clean" the parts to be soldered thoroughly. I'm familiar with that when sweating plumbing joints, but I don't want to overdo it with this small/fine stuff.
Next question, do I use the soldering iron to heat the little copper circle and just touch the solder to it to melt it, or will that damage the PCB? Or do I melt the solder with the hot tip and let it "drip" onto the connection? Do I need to use a heat sink clamp between the joint and the component, or is this process quick/cool enough that it won't endanger the component?
I think that is all the questions I have for now, but if you gurus who do this a lot have any other tips to make it work smoothly, I would really appreciate it. Thanks in advance!