what you'll need:
soldering video tutorials!
dimensions: 1.3” x 2.1” (height approx 0.45”)
the final goal. know your goal!
note: the 2×3 header is not included in the kit and is not needed for normal operation. it’s helpful if you need to reflash the bootloader, which is highly unlikely.
each part has a corresponding location on the board which is marked in white text. there are only a few places where you can insert something backwards, and i’ve tried to highlight these parts with big arrows and loud text.
start with the IC's. insert all three. you will probably need to pre-bend the legs (press one side of the IC against a flat surface to bend all at once). be sure you place the 138 where it belongs, and the 165 where it belongs, according to text on the circuit board!
very important! the arrows above indicate the alignment. the little half-circles must match.
flip the board over. start with opposite corners of each chip to ensure they won't fall out.
you're striving for pretty, smooth solders joints that look like nice little mountains. if your solder joint looks ugly, simply reheat the joint by briefly holding the iron against the joint.
you don't want to overheat any one chip so i'd suggest alternating which chip you're soldering which give them a chance to cool down.
insert the resistor network (long black thing with legs on one side.)
important! see arrow above. line up little dot as shown. there is a matching dot on the circuit board.
disc capacitors and resistor. pre-bend the resistor as shown. insert components, flip board, bend legs out of the way. (resistor position shown in next photo.) orientation does not matter for these parts.
important!! the long leg of the electrolytic capacitor must go into the hole marked with the plus sign. in other words, the white stripe on the can (showing a negative sign) goes in the hole without the plus sign.
clip all of the dangling legs. be sure you clip them short enough so that the nubs don't touch any other metal bits.
progress so far for comparison.
important! insert the short legs of the right angle header so that the long legs stick out the side.
solder on the 2×8 headers. again, insert short legs down so long legs stick up.
the other right angle header is for the logic board.
when connecting the cable ensure the same orientation for both the logic board and driver. shown above, the flat side is up on both connections.
you'll need some tweezers for this part. and you don't need a tiny soldering iron tip– i actually prefer a normal sized tip. shown above, i line up all of the diodes for easy placement– otherwise you spend a lot of time mid-soldering just flipping and lining up diodes. i've put them in columns so the indicator line is all to the right (see below for a photo of the indicator line.)
i also suggest pre-soldering a little blob on one pad per diode. this way you can reheat the pad with the iron while holding the tweezers in the other hand.
very important! align the line mark on the diode with the solid white mark on the diode symbol.
i normally solder the entire panel then go back and solder the other leg of each diode.
important! the LEDs must be inserted with the correct orientation. shown above, the long leg of the LED goes in the hole marked with the white line.
i generally insert all of the LEDs at once, use carboard to hold them all down, then flip the whole thing onto the table for soldering.
solder and clip the legs.
the connector has no orientation. center the part so the legs on each side are evenly spaced.
you can optionally use a bit of tape to hold the part down, though i was able to add solder to one leg without the part moving. be sure each leg gets a nice, smooth connection.
when soldering the second connector, be sure not to lean the iron against the plastic of the first connector! it'll melt. be careful not to lean on the diodes as well. generally this isn't a problem unless you're doing something acrobatic. take it slow.
both connectors soldered.
note! the cable is hooked up incorrectly in this photo.
the cable points towards the outside of the grid. we suggest you attach the cable between the driver and logic before attaching the driver to the grid.
the mk ships standard with 8×8 firmware. if you're using a different size or want encoder support, it's time to flash your firmware: mk firmware flash