SparkPunk Hookup Guide

Contributors: Byron J.
Favorited Favorite 6

Electronic Assembly I - Diodes

With a PCB like this, it's usually easiest to assemble if you start with the shortest components, and work up to the tallest ones. That way, you don't have work around the bulk of the larger components.


The silicon diodes are the shortest components, so we'll start with them. Find the Silicon diodes in the kit - they have a small orange body that looks like a glass bead, with a black stripe near one end.

The silicon diodes are installed side-by-side in the locations marked below. It doesn't really matter which one you start with.

Silicon Diode Location

These diodes are polarized. The glass body has a black stripe on one end, which matches the white stripe on the PCB silkscreen:

Diode Orientation

Align the stripe on the diode with the stripe on the PCB

The diode gets mounted on the top the the PCB, the side with the silkscreen outline. Bend the leads so they fit through the holes, and push them through until the body sits on top of the PCB. You can bend the legs outward slightly to hold the diode while you work.

Lead Bending

Turn the board over, solder the diode in place, then trim the excess leads near the fillet.


Install the other diode next to it. Again, it should be inserted with the stripes on both the body and PCB aligned, facing the same direction as the first diode.

After both silicon diodes are in place, let's install the Schottky diode. (Okay, it's a tiny bit larger than the resistors, but not so large that it will interfere with later steps).

It's a black cylinder with a gray or white stripe on one end. It goes here:

Schottky Diode Location

Like the silicon diodes, it's polarized. Match the stripe on the body with the stripe on the PCB. Solder it in, and trim the excess leads.

With all the diodes installed, your PCB should look like this:

Diode Waypoint

Before proceeding, take a moment to verify that you have the stripes on the diodes oriented correctly.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

The pattern we've established here (insert, solder, trim) will be repeated for each of the other components on the PCB.