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To real men of genius, I solute you...


NkySpike65
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Well I thought I would give it a try, I have never build a electronic kit of any kind in my life before until yesterday...

I built the CTB16KD kit, luckily I have 8 of the LOR1602W to refer to for assistants (and yes I did, many times)...

I plan on adding 4-5 more controller this year, just wasn't to make sure and see if I wanted buy a prebuilt controllers or order all kits... So I thought I better order one to see what I was getting myself into...

I don't even like puzzles and now in front of me is so many tiny electronic parts waiting for me to put them together with solder and skill ( hahaha )... Well at lease with puzzles I can cut the parts to make them fit ;)...



I lost track of time, but I did finish it....

I powered every thing up, and L-O-R Hardware recognized the CTB16KD :D...

I ran though each channel select Effects: (on, off, shimmer, twinkle, etc ... ), All work, but Channel 6 :shock:... It wouldn't do anything, It would not power up at all...


So for about an hour of rechecking everything, I remember how I use to fix everything else when I was younger, With a hammer!!! I didn't, but I did think about it...

I was about to give up and contact tech support or post my problem here to see if any one could help...

I did decide to double check some solder point to make sure I did solder everything I was suppose to... I took the soldering iron back over a lot of the solder points to make sure the contact were soldered good...

I powered everything up again, and ch 6 now works!!! And yes so does all the other ones too...



I just don't how you guy have the patients to put these kits together and to have them work first time around...

For all your hard work and skills and patients, I salute you...




P.S. I will be ordering prebuilt or one I don't have to solder....



"GOOD LUCK" with all your kits!!



David S.

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Congrats on your accomplishment. I tried to solder a board a few years back, and realized that my 40+ year old eyeballs and arms were not in sync with each other. My arms were too short to be able to see where to plug in a resister.

Anyway.... I buy everything pre-built now.

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David,

Congratulations. I just finished building the PC board in my first CTB16PC yesterday. It is my first LOR product so I had nothing to refer to, but years of EE experience and project design/building helps a lot. It was reassuring to see the status LED blinking the first time I applied power! I have only tried one channel so far but all effects work.

My nearly 50 year old eyes need reading glasses and a magnifying fluorescent light to do the job now!

I still need to test the rest of the channels before installing the big heat sinks and installing it in the case. Then I build the second one! Then the real fun begins when I start sequencing.

Howard

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I get to see if my soldering skills are still there. According to the UPS tracker thing (which doesn't exactly tell me the status of my package) my CTB16PC kit should arrive sometime tomorrow - maybe?

It'll be this weekend before I can crank up and begin smoldering (I don't solder, I smolder!). It's been years and years since I first learned to solder back in USAF set school, but I think I still remember the basics.

Anyway, I'll get to see this weekend just how easy/difficult these kits are.

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mmaness wrote:

I get to see if my soldering skills are still there. According to the UPS tracker thing (which doesn't exactly tell me the status of my package) my CTB16PC kit should arrive sometime tomorrow - maybe?

It'll be this weekend before I can crank up and begin smoldering (I don't solder, I smolder!). It's been years and years since I first learned to solder back in USAF set school, but I think I still remember the basics.

Anyway, I'll get to see this weekend just how easy/difficult these kits are.





The Air Force teaches well. It had been over 40 years since I soldered before my first LOR kit last year. No problems -- well, I definitely need the lit magnifying light!
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I made 4 boards last year. Only had trouble with one. I talked with tec support and could not resolve the problem myself. But as advertised, it was replaced in about 5 or 6 days by LOR.

I will continue to do them myself. I am 45 and not as sharp but not needing glasses yet. But the flip up magnifying glasses work well. I got them at Sears. They are not too bad for me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have built 11 kits now, 5 for me and 6 for a friend. As long as you pay attention to the directions it is fairly simple to do. I did have a problem with two of the kits, but that was my fault, I got in a hurry and put a component in backwards. Just take your time and its a piece of cake. The self satisfaction of seeing the lights work after you build a board is much better than buying a prebuilt.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ordered and built my first kit. I never even held a soldering iron before. all went well put one tiny piece in the wrong spot and used braid to get the solder out. Worked like a charm!

I found it was very easy to build if you read the assembly instructions through a few times before building. I also used someones idea of using an egg carton to seperate the parts. I inspected and checked off the items as they were installed.

I bought both of the recommended soldring irons from Radio Shack.

Most important item used... a lighted magnifying glass!!!

Took me about 4 hours to build but I'm sure I was being over cautious.

Plugged some lights in hooked up the comp and all was right with the world.

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I built my first kit this weekend (CTB16PC) and successfully tested it last night with several strings of C9 lights. The only problem I had was that I forgot to plug one C9 string into the controller, so for a while I thought I had a dead channel. Nope - the channel was alive, it's my brain that was dead.

I haven't soldered anything for over 25 years. So if you're worried about building a kit, take it from me - it's no big deal. Now, you will need some tools, and if you're looking at one or two controllers, the cost savings might not be there if you have to purchase all the tools to build a kit. But if you're planning to have several controllers at some point, then yes, it's worth the investment in tools.

Instead of two soldering irons of different wattage, I used a soldering station that has variable heat. I figured I'd invest in a good, quality soldering station which makes it a little easier to deal with. It's nice, but not necessary. By the way, as I was told back in my USAF days when learning to solder, if your soldering iron starts to fall off the work area, don't try to catch it - 'cause you just might! (ouch!)

I like the way they ('they' being LOR) start you out with 16 resistors to solder. Resistors are more or less the bread and butter of electronics and are pretty well bullet-proof. They're a great item to aquire (or regain, in my case) your soldering skills.

The only real difficult thing is trying to determine which component is which. Some of the components have very tiny writing on them (IC's and resistor banks), and some look like others (triacs vs voltage regulators). A magnifying glass would work very well, but being very nearsighted like I am, I can see these tiny markings better by eye (w/o wearing my glasses and/or contacts) than with a magnifying glass. Most people, however, would probably benefit from using one.

Many of the critical resistors have the value of the resistor written in pen on the lead tape, so trying to figure out the value is made much easier (thanks LOR!).

The only real trick (if you can call it a trick) to soldering the connections is to insure that your soldering iron touches both the lead and the silver circle on the back of the circuit board. If you don't heat up the silver circle, you won't get a good connection. Try to keep a tiny amount of solder on your iron tip, too, which helps with heat conduction.

And really that's all there is to it. Keeping a clean iron tip, using the correct solder, and taking your time will insure your success. This isn't difficult at all, and it's by no means rocket science. All you're doing is connecting electronic components to a circuit board. The 'rocket science' was in the design. The assembly isn't a major thing.

And it's loads of fun. It's a perfect project for a rainy weekend when you're stuck inside and don't wanna deal with a 'Honey Do'. I had a great time assembling my first kit (which worked right off the bat) and kit #2 should be arriving tomorrow.

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