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Step 2: Prep

Tutorials

Learn how to solder with tons of tutorials!
Don't forget to learn how to use your multimeter too!

Tools

There are a few tools that are required for assembly. None of these tools are included. If you don't have them, now would be a good time to borrow or purchase them. They are very very handy whenever assembling/fixing/modifying electronic devices! I provide links to buy them, but of course, you should get them wherever is most convenient/inexpensive. Many of these parts are available in a place like Radio Shack or other (higher quality) DIY electronics stores.

I recommend a "basic" electronics tool set for this kit, which I describe here.

Soldering iron. One with temperature control and a stand is best. A conical or small 'screwdriver' tip is good, almost all irons come with one of these.

A low quality (ahem, $10 model from radioshack) iron may cause more problems than its worth!

Do not use a "ColdHeat" soldering iron, they are not suitable for delicate electronics work and can damage the kit (see here)

Solder. Rosin core, 60/40. Good solder is a good thing. Bad solder leads to bridging and cold solder joints which can be tough to find. Dont buy a tiny amount, you'll run out when you least expect it. A half pound spool is a minimum.

Multimeter/Oscilloscope. A meter is helpful to check voltages and continuity.

Flush/diagonal cutters. Essential for cutting leads close to the PCB.

Desoldering tool. If you are prone to incorrectly soldering parts.

'Handy Hands' with Magnifying Glass. Not absolutely necessary but will make things go much much faster.

Check out my recommended tools and where to buy.

Good light. More important than you think.
Cool hacking... <br /> <br /> <br />I just want to inform you that we also posted your project on our Arduino facebook page...Feel free to join us and answer community questions. <br /> <br />http://www.facebook.com/faceuino <br /> <br />Sincerely, <br />Faceuino team
My Kill A Watt has its bits behind the LCD screen. (AAARRRRRGGGHHH!!) Apparently its gone thru some kind of revision :(
I just got a Kill-A-Watt and took it apart. It still has an LM2902 but it is on the other side of the PCB. You have to remove the PCB that is attached to the display and buttons.<br>This LM2902 is a surface mount version, so the spacing between the pins is smaller and you would have to use smaller wires but it is probably still doable if you have good soldering skills and a soldering iron with a small tip. <br><br>I just noticed that the LadyAda website has an update for this:<br>http://www.ladyada.net/make/tweetawatt/solder.html<br><br>Lazy Old Geek
&nbsp;My P4400 kill a Watt serial no. YBJA2077 &nbsp;which I purchased a few months back does not have the LM2902 chip any place that I can see it ... so it looks like this project is now a no-go !!!
I just got a Kill-A-Watt and took it apart. It still has an LM2902 but it is on the other side of the PCB. You have to remove the PCB that is attached to the display and buttons.<br>This LM2902 is a surface mount version, so the spacing between the pins is smaller and you would have to use smaller wires but it is probably still doable if you have good soldering skills and a soldering iron with a small tip. <br><br>I just noticed that the LadyAda website has an update for this:<br>http://www.ladyada.net/make/tweetawatt/solder.html<br><br>Lazy Old Geek
We built four of these after seeing in MAKE magazine and on Adafruit. Lots of fun.&nbsp; We put one on our office coffee pot to tweet my cell phone when the coffee is ready. See <br /> http://twitter.com/tweetawatt1<br />
&nbsp;Sweet I was unaware I could get a KaW locally, thanks for the heads up!<br /> <br /> <br /> Great 'structable btw ;)<br />
Hi, very nice and really comprehensive instructable.<br /> Is it possible to use this to tweak consumption reading from electric companies? I know aroun here (argentina) thew tweak the turning weel on the meter. Obviously iligal. but just for imformation purpouses.<br />
Hey, this is a great project, all the instructions are very well explained. I made for only one transmitter, but now I am planning to build several in order to get a better control of my electricity consumption. congratulations
This is without a single doubt in my mind the best, most creative, and most extensive instructable I have ever seen since first discovering instructables.com! 5 Stars right off the bat and cheers to your hard work, Ladyada! Also like the additional router section (compared to the MAKE article which didn't have it).
hey, you should make a CD with all the software and coding on it, it might help you sell kits!
Ha Yeah,He Would Probably Need DVDs To contain all that Data/Programs/Coding/EXT
This must have taken awhile to write, good job....
Very Very good excellent your details your pictures perfect. Congratulations
Is there a way to wire it (phone line/ethernet) to cut down costs?
this is still great but have i seen it somewhere before? (this is the original right?)
awesome. i was totally thinking of doing something like this but i wasent at all sure how with the wireless info to the laptop. but now....... i am informed. and will start this project most likley in the next few weeks. thanks for all your hard work.
well thats cool
instead of tweet a watt call it a twat...JOKING..calm down. nice ible
Great Instructable , I hope i could do things like you : ) Congrats
Very nice repackaging of your excellent MAKE article! The additional assembly details and pictures are most appreciated.

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Bio: All-original DIY electronics kits - Adafruit Industries is a New York City based company that sells kits and parts for original, open source hardware electronics projects ... More »
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