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Soldering fun: Geekcreit Christmas Music Box kit

Soldering project kits are a fun way to practise your soldering skills. And because it’s almost Christmas, we will have look at the “Geekcreit® DIY Full Color Christmas Snowman Music Box Kit” from Banggood this time. This Christmas Music Box kit only uses DIP components so it is easy to solder and therefore suitable for beginners.

Soldering fun: Geekcreit Christmas Music Box kit - Finished project front
Soldering fun: Geekcreit Christmas Music Box kit – Finished project front
Geekcreit® DIY Full Color Christmas Snowman Music Box Kit
Tested and recommended by OneGuyOneBlog.com:

Geekcreit® DIY Full Color Christmas Snowman Music Box Kit

Christmas music box kit contents

The kit includes a printed circuit board (PCB), a small bag of components and a mini USB cable with a length of about 90cm. You can use a phone charger or power bank as a power supply for the assembled Music Box. The PCB is about 20cm x 4cm in size and shows 10 snowman images and the text “Christmas!” on the front. The layout of the components and their orientation is printed on the back.

Soldering fun: Geekcreit Christmas Music Box kit: Contents
Soldering fun: Geekcreit Christmas Music Box kit: Contents
Soldering fun: Geekcreit Christmas Music Box kit - PCB
Soldering fun: Geekcreit Christmas Music Box kit: PCB

The included components are:

  • 10 RGB LEDs (5mm)
  • 4 resistors
  • 2 switches
  • 1 buzzer
  • 1 PNP transistor (S9012)
  • 1 microcontroller (IAP 15w413AS)
  • 1 mini USB socket
Soldering fun: Geekcreit Christmas Music Box kit: The components
Soldering fun: Geekcreit Christmas Music Box kit: The components

The kit doesn’t come with instructions or a manual. This is not really a problem because the PCB has all the necessary markings and everything is pretty self explanatory  But if you really do want instructions then you can download them from the Banggood product page, or follow the steps below.

Christmas music box kit features

The assembled Music Box plays 14 different Christmas songs, see the list below.  Every song has it’s own colorful animated backlight LED effect. Every time you power it up it plays a different song. One of the two switches will let you turn off the buzzer so you can enjoy the light show without the music. The other switch is the power on/off switch.

  1. We wish you a Merry Christmas
  2. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  3. Silent Night
  4. When a child is_born
  5. Christmas blessing song
  6. O Christmas Tree
  7. I saw three ships
  8. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
  9. White Christmas
  10. Joy To The World
  11. Merry Christmas
  12. Christmas Day
  13. Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer
  14. Jingle Bells

Assembling and soldering the kit

Assembly is very straight forward. As the instructions mention, be aware of the following:

  1. Keep the temperature of the sodering iron below 320 °C (608°F)
  2. Solder quickly so you will not melt and damage the LEDs
  3. Make sure you solder everything on the back side of the PCB, not the front side (with the snowmen)

For soldering the components, I did not follow the order suggested in the instructions. I prefer soldering the low profile components (like ressitors) first, then then working towards the tallest ones (the buzzer and USB connector). But the PCB doestn’t have many components close together so it doesn’t really matter. If you are not sure, just follow the instructions.

So I started with soldering the four resistors:

Soldering fun: Geekcreit Christmas Music Box kit: Soldering the resistors
Soldering fun: Geekcreit Christmas Music Box kit: Soldering the resistors

The orientation of resistors on the PCB doesn’t matter. And yes, I know the top resistor is soldered a bit crooked, you should do a better job and solder it flush to the board :p

Next, I soldered the single transistor. Make sure you match the flat side of the transisrot to the flat side of the symbol printed on the PCB. After that I soldered the two switches of which the orientation is not important.

Soldering fun: Geekcreit Christmas Music Box kit: Soldering the transistor and switches
Soldering fun: Geekcreit Christmas Music Box kit: Soldering the transistor and switches

Then, I soldered the microcontroller. Make sure the notch on the chip matches the marking on the PCB. After the microcontroller, I soldered all the LEDs. The tallest pin of the LED goes into the hole with the square pad. Try to solder the chip and LEDs quickly because excessiive heat might damage them.

Soldering fun: Geekcreit Christmas Music Box kit: Soldering the microcontroller and LEDs
Soldering fun: Geekcreit Christmas Music Box kit: Soldering the microcontroller and LEDs

Then I solderded the buzzer. Match the + sign on the buzzer to the + on the PCB. And finally, the mini USB connector.

Soldering fun: Geekcreit Christmas Music Box kit: Soldering the buzzer and mini USB connector
Soldering fun: Geekcreit Christmas Music Box kit: Soldering the buzzer and mini USB connector

The finished project

Hopefully, your finished project now looks like this.

Soldering fun: Geekcreit Christmas Music Box kit - Finished PCB
Soldering fun: Geekcreit Christmas Music Box kit – Finished PCB

Power it up, and hope that the magic smoke won’t escape. If everything went well, you should be greeted with a glorious RGB LED light show.

Soldering fun: Geekcreit Christmas Music Box kit - Finished project back
Soldering fun: Geekcreit Christmas Music Box kit – Finished project back

This was a fun and easy kit to build. You should have no problems soldering this project. The PCB is of good quality and there are only a handful of different components. Next time we will try something more challenging!

Geekcreit® DIY Full Color Christmas Snowman Music Box Kit
Tested and recommended by OneGuyOneBlog.com:

Geekcreit® DIY Full Color Christmas Snowman Music Box Kit

The soldering tools

The tools I used for soldering this kit:

Another fun kit to build:

Bouwkit Kerstboom - 3 kleuren LED's
Tested and recommended by OneGuyOneBlog.com:

Bouwkit Kerstboom - 3 kleuren LED's

If you like fun holiday projects then you should also check out the Lightning & thunder: Arduino Halloween DIY project.

This post is also available in Nederlands.

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