Gertboard kit arrived yesterday lunchtime and I spent the afternoon building it.
I used a Weller PS-3D iron like this one:
22swg 60/40 solder (RS 555-235)
- and a solder sucker, which I used a lot, to tidy up blobby SMT joints!
I struggled with the SMT components, having never done those before. A strong magnifying glass was very useful for checking the components once soldered.
Tweezers didn't help me, but slightly long fingernails did, as they could hold the component against the PCB while it was soldered. The trick is definitely to only solder one side until you are 100% happy with the location of the component, then solder the other side, then solder-suck the 'blob' on the first side to tidy it up.
Once the SMTs were done, everything else was pretty easy.
Before you start, be sure to read "Gertboard_Assembly_Manual_Rev1.1_F.pdf" thoroughly. The Tandy information sheet is useful for telling you which SMT components are which, but the photo is of limited use.
The 'resonator' can be soldered in either way round (I looked this up as I wasn't 100% sure).
Be sure the LEDs are fitted the correct way round. I trial-fitted one on long leads to double-check first. When finally fitting them, I left a gap of about 4mm between the board and the body of the LED, as I think they look better that way.
The tags on the pushbuttons were a bit of a pain to bend to fit into the holes, some careful use of long-nose pliers was required.
The Tandy component packaging was excellent, and really helped determine which SMT component was which. Do fit these in the order in the kit, and don't open the 'bubble' for an item before the previous item has been soldered to the board.
Having now built the board, I'm trying to understand how it works!