Mandatory tools

In this chapter, we'll explain what tools you'll need to assemble your Spencer.

If you have your CircuitMess Tools pack in front of you, you should be all set!

In case you got the Spencer kit without the Tools pack, this is a good time to borrow some of the tools or purchase them.

This is your Tools pack box

This is your Tools pack box

The tools required are essential whenever you are assembling, fixing, or modifying electronic devices and are the tools of the trade for every maker/hardware hacker/modder/electrician.

random image

  1. Soldering iron
  2. Desoldering vacuum tool (solder sucker)
  3. Soldering iron stand
  4. A small reel of rosin-cored solder
  5. Cleaning sponge
  6. Phillips screwdriver
  7. Diagonal cutter pliers
  8. Needle-nose pliers

Soldering iron

This is the most important tool in a maker’s arsenal.

For Spencer's assembly, any entry-level soldering iron will suffice.

If you plan to dive into the world of DIY projects, you should consider getting a more expensive one with more features. There are also many soldering irons with interchangeable tips that can be particularly useful when working with much smaller components.

There are two types of soldering irons you could have received in your tools pack. The first one is white with a temperature regulator, and the second one is blue with a small metal button. Both of them will do the job of soldering the components in place and there is no big difference between them.

Also, it is good to know that all our soldering irons are lead free!

You will find the instructions on how to properly solder and take care of both soldering irons in the next chapter.

Soldering iron #1

Soldering iron #1

Soldering iron #2Soldering iron #2

Soldering sponge

This small piece doesn't seem like much until you soak it in some water. It then turns into a super solder-cleaning sponge! Use it after soldering a couple of joints to remove the excess solder from the tip of your iron. Make sure that the sponge isn't dripping wet or bone dry - it should be damp.

Diagonal cutter pliers

With pliers like these, you’ll be able to trim the legs of soldered components and cut wires!
We prefer this type shown in the picture (Plato, model 170), but any other type will do.
Diagonal cutter pliers

Diagonal cutter pliers

Needle-nose pliers

You’re going to need pliers like these when assembling the casing, or when plugging in some tricky connectors!

They’re generally useful when doing some fine mechanical work.

Needle-nose pliers

Needle-nose pliers

Standard cross screwdriver

You’ll need this cross (Phillips) screwdriver to assemble the casing together.

A standard 2.0mm cross screwdriver should do the trick.

Standard cross screwdriverStandard cross screwdriver

Desoldering vacuum tool (solder sucker)

This tool is useful when cleaning up soldering mistakes, but it isn’t necessary for assembly.

If you plan on doing some hacking, modding, or hardware repairs in the future, having this is always a good idea.

Desoldering vacuum toolDesoldering vacuum tool