Soldering with Charlie

Hands-On Soldering with Trustee Charlie Adkins ‘94

Continuing the RSE Speaker Series, the February 24, 2024 guest alumni was Charlie Adkins ‘94.  Discussions with the current RSEi membership have identified a need for more ‘hands on’ activities, focused on building our members hands on engineering skills.  This need ties directly into our continuing creation of a Makerspace shop in our basement.  

The focus of this session was to guide our members through the process of soldering an electrical Printed Circuit Board (PCB) board to create an operating system.  The members utilized pre-fabricated circuit boards that required them to follow very specific directions to assemble 80+ contact points per board.  The result of this work is a hand held “Blinkie” that lights up in various colors and patterns. 

It took a rewarding 3 hours in the new Makerspace with approximately eighteen (18) RSEi members and help from Trustee Eric Stoever ’04 to create a Blinkie kit for everyone.  The members learned valuable lessons such as batteries have to be aligned according to positive and negative leads, that when installing LED’s polarity matters, and that soldering irons function at 400 degrees Celsius and that can burn you!  One of the RSEi members also demonstrated that when your soldering iron burns through its own electrical cord, we can create significant sparks!

I want to especially thank Lucas Masotti ‘26 for coordinating this event.  Ben Knode ‘26, our current HM, made sure that we had sufficient power to run twenty (20) soldering irons.   At the end of the event, Jade Wallace ‘27 and Maron Allis ‘27 helped close up our workspace.  Hopefully it was a rewarding experience for the RSEi membership.

As the instructor, I had an amazing weekend interacting with the future of RSE.  These young men and women are an impressive cohort, engaging, inquisitive and enjoyable to be around.  We are looking for interested alumni for our upcoming speaker events in ‘24/25.  Please reach out to us if you’re interested.

Charlie Adkins ‘94

Student hard at work
Maron Allis '27 with the finished product
Successful Builders
Lucas Massotti '26 with his finished Blinkie

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