peridot build guide
First, you're going to want to solder in all the diodes. It might get a little cramped, but it's not too bad. The diodes should point towards the center of the board. To bend them. you can align the diode with the edge of the board and bend the leg over to the other side. This gives you about the length that you need, give or take a bit.
Now, if you're going to make the board hotswap, you can do all the switch sockets. If not, probably wait until the end to do the switches. For these, I like to put the tip of the soldering iron at the end of the connector, and insert the solder into the gap between the iron and the rest of the socket. Try to work quickly, or at a lower temp, so that you don't melt the sockets.
Next, you can put in the reset switch and the power switch. The reset switch is pretty easy. For the power switch, what I did is tin the pads just a tiny bit (so it doesn't stick up too much), fit the switch into the holes for its pegs, and then held down the switch with my finger while heating all three of its legs. You could use pliers if you are worried about burning yourself. It would also probably be much easier to tape down the switch before soldering it.
For the status LEDs, before doing anything make sure that the LEDs you are using have the same pinout as the ones that I designed this for. Sometimes they are different. The LEDs go on top of the board, facing upwards. Be very careful here, as it is easy to destroy them by overheating them. You might want to use a lower temp on your iron for them. It's easiest with a lot of flux for these to get the solder to actually go onto the led pads.
Finally, we can put in the microcontroller and sockets. Use masking tape to tape down the socket headers, and then solder them in from the back. They can be hard to get in straight, so you might try applying some pressure to them on the first few solder joints to get them where you want them. You will need the 3 pins in the middle of the nice!nano, so make sure you do these too. To solder the pins into the mcu, tape over all of the holes in the socket header, and line up the board on top. Then stab the pins through the holes in the mcu, through the tape, and into the sockets, and solder them on. The tape makes sure that solder doesn't flow into the sockets and fuse the pins to the sockets. Once you have finished, you can pull the nice!nano out and remove the tape.
If you will be using a battery, you can now solder the battery into the holes labelled + and - at the top of the board. I used some double-sided sticky foam I had on hand to attach the battery to the space to the right of the microcontroller on the pcb. And now you're done!