After receiving a HapPi robot for Christmas it was time to really think about getting a soldering iron, or at least finding someone who had one. I should have known that my Dad had one set up on his workbench in his "man room", so a good start once I checked it out, just needed the time to get the robot controller out to assemble. This is far tricker than it sounds with 2 children running around and 3 dogs also running around, but on New Year's Day I managed to get some time to myself to sneak off and do some soldering.
At this point it should be mentioned that I don't think that I have soldered anything since my GCSE Design and Technology course - lets not discuss how long ago that was! So after setting up my work area, which consisted of moving all the random stuff off my Dad's desk to another part of the room, and piling a load of tools into a corner I was ready. I cautiously turned on the soldering iron and set a middle temperature, no luck as it was not hot enough to melt the solder so once it was turned up I was off. I decided quickly that I both like and dislike soldering, I like trying to make it all neat and tidy but not trying to rectify any mistakes that you makes as that is tricky. I discovered this as I soldered a hole shut by accident, after trying unsuccessfully to sort it out another pair of hands were required.
Having a Raspberry Pi and going to Picademy has made me try lots of different things that I won't have come across. The students at school love having a go at Minecraft Pi and using Python to code different things - generally arming TNT and so on, trying out networking the Pis together and lots of other practical computing they otherwise would not have tried out.