CONSTRUCTING THE CIRCUIT
The Photopopper is quite an easy project to assemble, as there are no special requirements for preparing any of the components, all of the parts are widely used in all electronics applications so their appearance and functions should be familiar.
Take the printed circuit board marked Photopopper and make sure all of the circuit symbols drawn on the board are familiar. Starting with the lowest standing parts, which are the resistors. There are 4 resistors to be placed down their appropriate holes marked 3k3 and 33k. When assembling this kit try and have all of the components flush and as close as possible to the PCB, this is Both for presentation and ultimately to make the circuit work as well as when it was designed. Once the resistors are in place, turn the PC board upside down so that the metal tracks and pads on the underlay side is showing. Solder and clip the excess leads off. Make sure to trim the leads as close to the PCB or just above the solder joint, so that there are no short circuits produced with flying leads.
The transistors are next. First note the sensitivity that the transistors have to excessive heat from the soldering process. Also if the transistors are forces down there holes on the PCB they may be damaged, so take your time assembling this project. Lay out all of the parts on the table and differentiate between the two different transistors by the writing marked on there case. Careful place the transistors down their marked holes, when they are in place you are to solder them in place so turn the PCB over again. Now there is to be a quick but even amount of solder wick applied to there track pad, there is contact between the transistors and the soldering iron for over just a couple of seconds they could be damaged, but the temperature and the power rating of your soldering will determine how it is that you make your solder joint safely.
The two 220n capacitors can now be inserted, soldered in place and then the leads clipped. Depending on how you wish your project to look in the end there might be three 1000microFarad electrolytics or just one 3300uF electrolytic. The electro(s) may now be put into place and soldered.
The last component, the red or green flashing LED may now be introduced to the board; there is several way of mounting the LED. You may have the clear red package flush with the PC board or you may have the LED protruding from the board connecting it to the board at the ends of its leads creating no excess leads to trim after soldering. Now the LED can be moved or bent into a suitable position.
All of the parts have been properly placed in their marked position. All the soldering has been completed and all of the excess leads have been trimmed from the underside of the board as to not create short circuits. If that is so then there are only two external components to be fitted.
Prepare the solar panels for attachment to the circuit. Take all 8 solar panels and lay them out upside down on the workbench. Closely look and the nut and bolts on the back. Marked next or close to should be there polarity. Now if there is to be one positive and one negative terminal left after the solar panels are joined together in series then following this method should do that. If the solar panels are to be all next to each other in a straight line then there should be either one positive or negative at either end. Start joining the armatures on the panels, but loosening and removing the hex nut on the terminal that does not have a metal armature which is the positive polarity now line up two solar panel besides each other and join the positive connection with the armature to the negative terminal without an armature on the next solar panel repeat this process until all of the panels have been use and you should have only one positive and one negative remaining. Make sure you have replaced all of the hex nuts that you removed from the negative terminals and securely fastened them with a miniature wrench or spanner or just a pair of pliers. Fasten all of the nuts on the positive and negative terminals. With the help of some insulated flying leads these will connect the solar panel arrangement to the previously completed PCB, now providing the power source to the circuit. The positive terminal on the end solar panel should be connected to the positive rail of the PC board and the same should be done with the negative terminal.
Take the electric motor and if there is a small plug on the end of the lead, cut it off closely, to save the length of the insulated wire. Carefully and with a slow movement of your side cutters, cut the insulation off the ends off the leads, about half a centimetre or a couple of millimetres from the end of the leads but be careful not to snip the wire concealed on the inside. Once this is done twist all of the strands together lightly and feed them down the holes in the PC board marked 3-12v electric motor. But before you do this make sure to turn the solar panels upside down or, cover them with non-transparent material to stop them from powering the circuit from available light sources while you are completing the task of connecting the motor.