Once again, in 2019, the South Plainfield Amateur Radio Club will be participating in Maker's Day. Our goal this year is to offer a variety of rather simple electronic kits to the participants. We will be concentrating on soldering and kit building skills - not necessarily laser focused on Amateur Radio, although we plan to offer a lot of Amateur Radio "side content". We feel that if one knows how to solder well and can develop the skills to follow basic instructions, then the sky is the limit.
We still have some left over 4 States QRP Group Simple Code Practice Oscillator kits that we will offer for construction. In addition to those we are offering other kits - a clock, a digital volt meter/thermometer, an FM wireless microphone, and a simple electronic organ, among others. These were selected mainly for ease of construction and also because their cost fit within our meager budget; and also because they will be something "neat" and semi-useful for the builders to take home with them after construction is completed.
We got together last night as a group and built one of each kit. We came away with some thoughts.
1) We need to do some "pre-work" on a couple of kits. As we only have 45 minutes to an hour scheduled for build time with each Maker's Day participant, we decided that we would pre-mount and pre-solder any IC sockets. This will make sure that the builder can complete the kit in the allotted time, while still having the ability to solder other components.
2) We need to author our own instruction sheets. The instruction sheets that came (not all kits had them!) were a bad mixture of Chinese and English. Because most of our group are experienced kit builders, we were able to figure out what went where and it wasn't a problem. I'm thinking that our own instruction sheets will make things easier not only for the builders; but for those from our group that were not able to attend the buildathon last evening.
Maker's Day is not until March, but we don't want to be scurrying around like chickens with our heads cut off at the last minute. We will remember "The Five Ps" - Proper Pre-planning Prevents Poor Performance!
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!