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Even if you’re far from having the skills of an electrical engineer, you shouldn’t feel intimidated by soldering. Once you learn how to solder and start practicing, you’ll realize that it’s actually quite simple.
Soldering is the perfect nerdy hobby. It requires precision, patience, and almost always creates a satisfying result. These are just some of the reasons why you should pick up soldering as your next hobby.
What Is Soldering?
In short, soldering is the process of using a soldering iron to melt solder onto another surface. Solder melts quickly when heated, and cools almost instantly. This makes it ideal for creating bonds, especially in the world of electronics.
Why You Should Start Soldering
As you look up soldering tutorials, don’t let all the technical jargon turn you off. It might sound boring to you, but I promise that it’s nowhere near lackluster. The below reasons were enough to convince me to start, so they should convince you too!
1. Customize and Repair Your Controllers
Have you ever wanted to change the plain white light that shines underneath your Xbox One controller’s home button? With soldering, you can easily switch the boring white LED with something a little more colorful.
Soldering isn’t even the hardest part of this process—taking apart the controller and putting it back together is half the challenge. You can change (or add) LEDs in just about any controller, but it varies in difficulty depending on which controller you want to mod.
Soldering comes in handy for repairing your controllers as well. For example, you can pull off a joystick replacement on an Xbox One controller while just knowing the basics of soldering.
2. Work on Retro Consoles and Games
You start playing a game on your old-school GameBoy, only to find that it doesn’t save your game anymore. Just about everyone has experienced this situation, and has pretty much given up on their game in the process.
But when you learn how to solder, you don’t have to give up on your favorite game. Simply buy a replacement save battery, open up your GameBoy cartridge, solder the new battery on, and you’re all set.
You can perform basic repairs on other retro consoles too. This skill definitely comes in handy when you want to get your old systems up and running again.
3. It’s Cheap to Get Started
One of the best parts about having soldering as a hobby is that it doesn’t cost much. The Plusivo Soldering Iron Kit includes everything you need to get started, and it costs under $50. When you run out of solder, you’ll have to buy more of that too—thankfully, solder doesn’t cost a fortune either.
4. Gateway to More Advanced Projects
Once you get acquainted with soldering LEDs and making simple repairs, you can start dabbling in harder ventures. Projects involving the versatile Raspberry Pi and Arduino sometimes requires soldering. You’ll have to have some coding knowledge to deal with theses systems, but at least you’ll have the soldering part covered!
5. Reward Yourself With a Challenge
Soldering isn’t always easy—it can get frustrating to deal with tiny LEDs, a nest of wires, and small circuit boards. You can quickly end up in a cycle of soldering and desoldering just because you keep making a stupid mistake.
When you finally complete your project, you can sit back and admire your work. No matter how simple the project is, it’s always satisfying to finish the job.
Are You Going to Pick Up Soldering?
Like all other hobbies, soldering takes time and patience. It’s a hobby worth picking up if you’re a gaming enthusiast, or if you just want to challenge yourself.
Looking for even more hobbies to try? Check out this list of unique nerdy hobbies that haven’t gone mainstream yet.