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Build Instructions

Looking for shorter instructions? Look no further. We’ve prepared a shorter page with the suggested soldering order.

What about printable instructions? Here are the full build instructions all on one page.

Have an older kit? These instructions are for the current TM2 kit. If you happen to have one of the original kits, we’ve archived the build instructions.

Step 0: Gather Tools

To build the Tap-Tempo Metronome, you will need a few common tools for soldering and electronics work. A soldering iron and solder are the most important tools. You can use any soldering iron, although a higher-quality, temperature-controlled adjustable iron will be easier to work with and give higher quality results. Any standard solder for small electronics will do just fine.

SolderSoldering Iron

To bend the leads of the push buttons, you will need a pliers or similar tool. We used the pliers on a wire strippers. To trim the extra leads on the bottom of the pcb a diagonal pliers will work very well.

Diagonal PliersWire Strippers

If you need some additional guidance and instruction on soldering, SparkFun, NASA, and Curious Inventor all have quality soldering tutorials.

Step 1: Part Identification

Open the bag of parts, and make sure you have all of the parts listed below. It might be easier to lay them out as shown in the picture. Click to enlarge.

Step 1: Parts

  1. (1) Tap-Tempo Metronome PCB
  2. (1) 3 AAA Battery Holder
  3. (1) PIC16F685 Microcontroller
  4. (1) 20 Pin DIP Socket
  5. (3) Seven Segment LED Displays
  6. (2) Push Buttons
  7. (1) Power Switch
  8. (3) NPN Transistors
  9. (1) 0.10 uF Ceramic Capacitor
  10. (1) Piezo Speaker
  11. (1) Power Protection Diode
  12. (1) 10 kΩ Resistor


This kit is easy to solder. However, the seven segment displays can be a little tricky to get properly aligned. The alignment is made much easier if the assembly can be set on a flat surface while the seven segment displays are being soldered. To do this, we’ll make sure to only solder parts that are shorter than the displays before getting to the displays. This will also give you a chance to practice your soldering on some easier parts with pins that are more spread apart, before getting to the trickier displays.

Some parts are polarized, and have to go in a certain way, but some parts are not polarized. In the steps to follow, if a part is polarized, we mention which way it must be installed. The PCB is also be marked to identify the polarization.