7-Segment display & LED Backpack

I'm a new Arduino user. I recently got one of these 4-digit 7-segment displays:

http://www.adafruit.com/products/879

It came with a LED backpack. I had two questions about.

  • Is it possible to test it out w/o soldering? Can i plug it into my breadboard?
  • What is the purpose of the LED backpack?
  • What is some good beginner soldering equipment?

If i have to get some soldering items, i will. But if possible i would like to try it out now.

I noticed this similar display is shown in the preview pictures being straight attached to a breadboard.

http://www.adafruit.com/products/811

Which makes me wander about the purpose of the LED backpack and if they are possible different.

Thanks

Is it possible to test it out w/o soldering? Can i plug it into my breadboard?

Probably not. You'll have to electrically connect somehow (wires?) the 14 terminals of the display to the 14 holes in the breakout.

What is the purpose of the LED backpack?

It makes the connections between the LED display and the driver chip (SMD, soldered to the "backpack").

What is some good beginner soldering equipment?

Ladyada also sells selected soldering irons: https://www.adafruit.com/products/1204 It will probably last you a lifetime.

florinc:
Ladyada also sells selected soldering irons:
https://www.adafruit.com/products/1204
It will probably last you a lifetime.

Really nice, but I doubt a beginner will want to make that kind of commitment for the next few years. And, unfortunately,

For use in 120V countries only

I’ve been using one of these for several years. Only now am I beginning to think about something more sophisticated like florinc suggests.

can you reply with a real photo of the display (backpart)..?

Gardo950: can you reply with a real photo of the display (backpart)..?

It's on the website. |500x375 |500x375

gmaker0507: Is it possible to test it out w/o soldering? Can I plug it into my breadboard?

No, because you have to assemble the display to the driver board by soldering and you have to assemble the four pin header to the board in order to plug it into the breadboard.

Adafruit: A bit of soldering is required to attach the matrix onto the backpack but its very easy to do and only takes about 5 minutes.

Not too infrequently, fellows come here having tremendous difficulties and after much back-and-forth questioning, it turns out they have just sat the parts together without soldering.

gmaker0507: I noticed this similar display is shown in the preview pictures being straight attached to a breadboard. |500x375

Indeed. Because the display itself has pins on it which can either be soldered into a PCB or pushed into a breadboard.