I am a life long programmer (26 of my 38 years), and a relatively new entrant to the MK world. I started with a
Cooler Master MK750 (https://www.coolermaster.com/catalog/peripheral/keyboards/masterkeys-mk750/) about a year ago when I
build myself a new PC for WKH. Shortly thereafter I got dragged into this hole visa vie custom coiled cables, and eventually
(this past summer) I put together my first custom build (https://imgur.com/gallery/t9i4yQm): a 60% Tofu (burgundy) with the
DZ60 Hotswap PCB, Gat Silent Black Inks (205G0), and the MG Ember Dawn Keycap Set (bought as extras via https://ohkeycaps.com/
so I haven’t put in the true time on a GB yet).
My next build is going to be a Discipline V2 from https://www.cftkb.com/shop/discipline that I am sort of expecting in about
February, and I will say that I have 0 soldering experience. My loving wife got me both a soldering station, and a heat gun
(for making custom cables). I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for some practice soldering projects before I start my
I am super excited to continue my dive into this community!
Any and all advice is greatly appreciated, thanks!
Hey Flx, welcome to the community! That Tofu looks like an amazing board, I would reccomend buying an Uno to practice your soldering, literally the smallest investment you can make, and if it works out, you’ve got an interesting gadget. That being said, I’ve soldered plenty of boards, and I’ve always been intimidated by the sheer number of solderabled components on the discipline/other boards in that family, good for you on diving right in, and good luck!
Greetings and welcome!
I got some good practice in with salvaged commercial boards as well as a couple macro pad kits like the Keeb.io BDN9 (or just about anything from Clawsome). With a few under my belt, I’ve got a Discipline V2 project coming up myself! (Seems like a great “ok, time to get serious” board, doesn’t it?)
De-soldering an old board can be challenging at first, especially with basic equipment. However, soldering switches and components to a fresh PCB is a comparative breeze - a few switches in and you’ll have the hang of it. The only component on the Discipline that might present a real challenge for a beginner is the USB-C port; you’ll want to use flux (in addition to what’s already inside decent solder wire) to make sure the little contacts don’t bridge.
Louis Rossman’s YouTube channel has some great zoomed-in videos of soldering small components like that, and they do a great job of showing how the flux works. In this situation, the benefit it provides is encouraging the solder to stick to the contact pads and nothing else, meaning you don’t have to be nano-bot precise with your hands - with plenty of flux applied, you can just run a big blob across all the contacts and they won’t bridge. Stuff’s magic.