The only mandatory tools you’ll need to build the electronics projects in this book are those included in the standard soldering kit (and even some of those can be faked).

The Standard Soldering Kit

You’ll need a 25-watt soldering iron with a chisel or pencil tip (shown in Figure A-11). You can work on electrical projects with irons of 15 to 40 watts, but a 25-watt iron is probably the handiest: Cooler irons are great for soldering little components but will be a royal pain for soldering hardware, and hotter irons (great for quickly soldering plugs and jacks) can ruin ICs, LEDs, and diodes in a flash.

Here are a 15-watt (bottom) and 25-watt soldering iron with stand (top). The damp sponge in the stand is used for cleaning the tip, although many tinkerers prefer to use a copper scrubbing pad or old bolt instead.

Figure A-11. Here are a 15-watt (bottom) ...

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