Alan Coleman

I’m Alan Coleman, a web developer and tech builder based in the United Kingdom. I build things and develop full stack web applications using a variety of technologies.

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The first stage of the Akitika GT-102 project after unboxing, was building the power supply and amplifier modules, which whilst being a little daunting at first soon became both satisfying and enjoyable.

It’s been a while since I’ve done any soldering, there was the crossovers in the speaker project, but prior to that it would have been the big 52 pin SCSI plugs that I made in the mid 90s. I was a little worried about how I was going to deal with it, but with the help of some equipment upgrades the process soon became quite smooth.

There was not a single component missing. Not only this, everything is superbly packed and labelled, this is a lovely kit to build. The instructions are really good and have a check box next to every component so that it can be ticked off during the soldering process. This gave me confidence and allowed me to focus on the more practical aspects of soldering, at which I’m happy to admit to being a little rusty!

There was not a single component missing

There are some equipment upgrades that I found invaluable, and without which I would not have been able to progress.

Silicone work mat

This provides a nice space on which to work and has handy compartments for components. It was cheap and also stops my desk getting burnt.

PCB holder/jig

An absolute must, I have no idea how anyone can work on a PCB Without one of these. It holds the PCB Firmly in place and allows the board to be flipped over to easily access both sides.

Magnifying light

With my eyesight not being what it was this is another cheap and cheerful tool that I couldn’t have done without. Some of the components can’t really be seen with the naked eye, let alone soldered. This also floods the work area with a bright light.

Solder

I used Warton 0.7mm 22swg Alloy 63/67, I purchased this from Somerset Solders. I’m no expert but it seemed to handle really well.

Soldering Iron

My old soldering iron was so old it had “Made in England” Written on it! A new one came with the small tips that I required and also a temperature control in a desktop unit that turned out to be really handy.

Digital multimeter

My old multimeter was a kit that I made from a kit at school in 1986. A digital version makes life a lot easier so I upgraded. I checked the value of every resister before and after adding to its board.

The tools described above, I also have a decent pair of cutters and an old solder sucker that I found at the bottom of a toolbox. The PCB Jig can be seen holding the empty earth lifter.
An example of the component packaging.
The 1986 Archerkit multimeter makes way for a newer model.
The power supply flanked by the amplifier modules, all attached to their heatsinks awaiting wiring.