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Build Instructions

Looking for printable instructions? Here are the full build instructions all on one page.

Step 0: Gather Materials

To build Nerdle, you will need a few common tools for soldering and electronics work. A soldering iron and solder are the most important tools. A higher-quality, adjustable temperature iron will be easier to work with and give higher quality results, but an expensive iron is not required. Do not use a ColdHeat iron, but any other pencil-style iron should be fine. Any standard rosin-core solder for small electronics will work just fine. Avoid solder made for plumbing or welding!

SolderSoldering Iron

A diagonal pliers is useful to trim the excess leads off components. A Phillips screwdriver is also needed to attach the nerdle to the case.

Phillips ScrewdriverDiagonal Pliers

To power Nerdle, you’ll need two AAA batteries. To check your work, you’ll need a multimeter that can measure resistance and DC voltage. Ours looks like this, but they come in all shapes and sizes.

MultimeterTwo AAA batteries

Soldering is Easy is a one page cartoon guide to soldering by Andie Nordgren, and is included below. Click the image to view the entire guide. If you’d like to read a lot more about soldering, or watch some videos, visit SparkFun Electronics, NASA , or Curious Inventor.

Soldering comic

Step 1: Part identification

Open up the container of parts, and make sure you have all the parts listed below. It may be useful to check them off a printed copy of the instructions, or lay them out as seen in the photo.

Click to enlarge

You can tell the resistors apart by the colored bands.

Because some of the board is pre-soldered, not all the part numbers are in order.

Make sure you have all the parts before proceding to the next step.

  1. (1) Nerdle printed circuit board
  2. (1) Nerdle case
  3. (1) 2 AAA Battery Holder
  4. (1) 0.1uF ceramic capacitor
  5. (2) 22pF ceramic capacitors
  6. (3) 1K resistors (brown, black, red)
  7. (1) 10K resistor (brown, black, orange)
  8. (4) 10M resistors (brown, black, blue)
  9. (1) 10K potentiometer
  10. (1) Character LCD display
  11. (1) Piezo speaker
  12. (1) Push button
  13. (1) 8 pin EEPROM chip
  14. (1) 8 pin chip socket
  15. (1) 28 pin Atmega328 microcontroller
  16. (1) 28 pin chip socket
  17. (1) 16 MHz crystal
  18. (4) wires
  19. (4) copper pads