Larson Scanner Review

Justin over at WyoInnovations writes:

“My 14 year old daughter put together the Larson Scanner Kit offered by the Evil Mad Science Laboratories (EMSL). We have put together quite a few soldering kits around here and this one is, simply put, the best “learn-to-solder” kit I’ve ever come across.”

Thanks, Justin!

Kits are in stock over at the Evil Mad Science store, just in time for Halloween!

11 thoughts on “Larson Scanner Review

  1. Awesome that kids are getting involved in electronics!
    Not so awesome they might loose their eye’s without safety glasses.

      1. I don’t think so. Unless you have a total spaz attack, I really don’t see how you could lose an eye using a soldering iron. Gravity tends to pull things down. The girl’s 14.

      2. Is there a real safety danger if you don’t have goggles on while soldering? Is there a real chance that you’ll get eye damage from soldering? I’m not saying goggles are a bad idea, I just want to understand not only the outcome if something goes wrong (loosing eyesight) but what the actual chances of such things happening really are.

        P.S. the reviewer is dead on – my daughter built 2 of the Larson scanners last year and loved them. Absolutely great kits.


        1. The chances are there, regardless. Grab the soldering iron incorrectly, drop something accidentally, and stuff can go flying. Wires are malleable, and tend to fling hot solder around if they flex and then snap back to shape. Never mind the fumes that come off of solder from the flux, which aren’t good for one’s eyes.

          Granted, the chances are higher that a piece of metal may fly into one’s eye while snipping off excess leads from a component, but do you really want to put on and take off glasses in between component wire snips while soldering?

          Safety glasses are a good idea because, no matter how low the percentage chance, spit happens, and it’s little consolation that the chances are so low if something actually goes wrong.

        2. And, of course, never mind the fact that hair likes to smolder and burn; a headband was one of the first safety items I noticed missing in the picture. Not to pile on, just sayin’…

  2. I built one of these kits before…
    …one of the first things that happened, I tested an LED by connecting it to a battery. Without the resistor, it died in seconds. Physics don’t lie, and I quickly determined that I would be using the spare, or maybe calling the dead one the spare.
    …I followed the schematic designs, but made one modification: I made it into a shirt. I put the schematic diagram on the front, made a pocket for the battery, attached the circuit, and used a ribbon cable to attach the LEDs to the front of the shirt, with plenty of spacing. It turned out great, I only wish that I could have made it more like Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories’ "Soft Circuitry", and made the LEDs stick better. They kept disconnecting, and I had to apply more solder.
    …I used my dad’s old lead-based solder (carefully). I do not recommend this. Make sure you know what is and isn’t lead free.

  3. Re: safety glasses:
    I did get solder in my eye once upon a time. required Ophthalmological services on a holiday weekend. Being well over 14 (by about 55 years) I still have not learned to use my safety glasses,
    the one incident should have taught me but some of us are slow learners,

    1. I got a small drop of cyano-acrylic (superglue) in my eye once, that was a painful surprise. I never would have thought of using safety glasses when building a model airplane. Fortunately, it cured before I could blink, so I didn’t get my eyelid glued on.

      I sometimes wonder if we should all wear safety glasses at all times except when sleeping.

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