I grabbed my new solderless breadboard and mounted a 5v voltage regulator on the top row, along with some red and black wires that I pushed into the power and ground rows on the breadboard. The breadboard is a great tool for hooking up components, but it takes some practice learning how to judge the length of wire that you will need to reach from one hole to the next! I also learned the correct positioning of the voltage regulator’s input, ground, and output pins — that seems like it will be very useful in the future. Now I’m ready to build any 5v circuit using this setup.

The trickiest part of this beginner’s lab was soldering my own power connector. Because, well, first I had to teach myself how to solder!

My first soldering

Luckily, I had some helping hands to hold the wires in place while I soldered the hooked ends to the power connector’s two jacks. Then, I twisted the wires together, threaded them through the power connector shell, and soldered two header pins onto the other ends of the wires.

soldered power connector

Afterwards, I used a glue gun to cover the exposed bare parts in order to make the power connector piece more sturdy, since I’m going to be using it quite frequently in my projects.

I didn’t burn myself, and the power connector actually works, so I guess that’s a great start. Soldering gives you a really satisfied feeling when you’re done if the components don’t break apart.

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