Soldering fun

The last days I had some very satisfying soldering fun. I built an open-cnc-shield for my primo. I already have one on my lowrider v3 and I love it! Working with estlcam is very easy and satisfying.

I also soldered a wireless controll thingie. This one is for my lowrider, the wired pendant is going to my primo, so I have to build a new pendant too.

Still waiting for a couple of Pro Mini MEGA 2560 to arrive. I need 3 more of them. Can’t wait to see it work!


Any reason you didn’t buy the OpenCNCShield 2?

P.S.: People that like soldering must be from another planet… :smiley:

I’m going to have to look into this. Seems pretty cool. And soldering IS relaxing! Little bit of No Clean, a quality iron, and a bourbon… that has Great Lakes winter project written all over it!

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If you want to have a look at the OpenCNCShield2, you can catch a long glimpse at it here: Enclosure for the Open CNC Shield 2 on a LowRider 3 - Trochoidal milling of acrylic. - YouTube (or here (not my shop, not affiliated with in any way):

I use it because I can use Estlcam for everything and don’t need to bother with Marlin or GRBL (even though I could, just need to change the main controller on the board. :smiley:

/edit: He said in a blog post that he developed a controller module for FluidCNC now, that might be interesting some day.


Yes, I like soldering and already have 1 version 1 working. When something is wrong, its easier to swap parts to pinpoint the problem. Another reason is I’m a sort of scrooge, version 2 with all the modules is more expensive. Did I mention I like soldering? Just like @brenavich980, but without the bourbon.

I second that. It’s also far easier to restart after a failure in a job (due to my still not completely finished LR3, something about cable management…)

Did I mention I like soldering? Posting this message from Mercurius…


That’s something I also quite like. You just type in the coordinates where it failed and then start it again. Pretty dope.


Oh wow. That sounds super helpful. So many times I’ve had to run a job from the beginning just to finish the last few minutes.

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Anti soldering… haters gonna hate… lol :laughing: :rofl:

There was a time many years ago i would’ve done that in a heartbeat. I guess with age comes wisdom? :person_shrugging:

Very cool! Looks good

You also need the line where it failed, but that’s on the same screenshot. :smiley:

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Or another age. I helped my dad build our family’s first color TV from a Heathkit kit when I was 5 years old. My primary job was finding the right resistors based on color codes, but to this day soldering seems like a magic “grown up” task. It’s also a weird kind of power trip to take something that’s not working, bend heat and metal to your will, and have it working again when you’re done.

Or maybe that’s lead exposure from a young age coming back to haunt me.


I love making because it feels so powerful. You get to create something that started in your head, that no one else knows about, and then finally does something in real life.

Software is probably my favorite. Because it is just bits in machine, doing math and logic. But it doesn’t do anything without screens or microcontrollers.

Making some tiny electronic widget thay can do something with my software is a real super power. Soldering is a key part of making that. Anytime I go past the prototype stage, it has to be soldered.

Designing your own PCB and then soldering and debugging it is a real power trip too. Now that I can 3D print cases for them, I could honestly be happy building a new little desktop electronic widget every few weeks for the rest of my life. It’s so fulfilling.


I write bits of code to do the boring parts of my job. Fairly unusual in my field, and I didn’t tell anyone at work for a solid 2 years. Just got better at writing things to the point where I was doing that as much as my actual work (analysis). I still got to spend more time doing analysis than I did before, so I was technically doing more of my job by doing less of my job…win-win.

Finally got to where people were recognizing just how much work I was getting done and I had to choose between telling my bosses that I’m really just that good (and risking an onslaught of work I’m not qualified for) or letting them in on the gag and making a case that I could develop these things for the entire team and save EVERYONE a ton of time, freeing them up to do the deep analysis they get paid for.


My entire technical training career grew from about an hour invested in figuring out the “macro” feature of an old DOS-based word processor back in college. I was getting my daily theater call sheets typed out in a couple minutes when way better typists than me took way longer, but learning the macros was easier than practicing to type faster (my typing is still not great). I got the reputation as “they guy who could make the computer do stuff” and it snowballed from there.