Some youth work

Well, I didn’t post much personal information in this blog yet. After all it’s about amateur radio and related activities and not my personal life. But with this blog entry both combine perfectly so let’s get a little more personal. 😉

My girlfriend Frauke (who also joined me on our last radio activities abroad) has 3 children, 2 boys and a girl. Annika (Annie) is the youngest one and now 13. Different to her brothers she’s also interested in how things work. She attended a school practice last year where she learned how to program a little game on a Raspberry Pi. She told us she liked it a lot so buying a Pi and digging deeper into it is on our to-do list. 😉

A few weeks ago her smartphone developed a fault – the speaker was not working anymore. Unwilling to buy yet another phone I had a different idea: I ordered a small audio amplifier kit designed for smartphones and MP3 players and told her she would have to build it on her own but of course I would be helping her. The kit arrived last Monday. She was excited about it and told us daily how much she was looking forward to learning to solder! Finally yesterday was the big day: mom was working and Annie and I spent a great father/daughter afternoon together. 😎

The kit is called SOL-EXP 78669 and available from Reichelt Electronics, one of my favourite electronics suppliers. It consists of some wood work for a nice enclosure as well as the soldering part. It is well thought out and includes very good step-by-step instructions. I can really recommend it as a beginner’s and fun project. It took us about 3 hours to complete working carefully.

Here are a few impressions …

Annie eager to finally start.

The kit comes complete with all parts.

First some woodwork …

… glueing the parts together.

Enclosure preparations done.

Enclosure preparations done.

Soldering the first component.

A few parts only, great for beginners.

PCB and wiring done.

It’s a snug fit.

Great looking, isn’t it? 😎

They even did labeling on the wood. 😉

I only soldered the first resistor to show her how to do it. Afterwards Annie did all the other parts on her own and she did it like a pro! I checked the soldering every now and then and it was really perfect! To be honest I would not have expected that as the vias on the PCB were not that big. Seems she’s a natural. 😉

Here’s a short video of her first component, see how excited she is!

She already asked what our next project will be – now how cool’s that? 😎 Unfortunately the soldering station is now packed already so the next one will have to wait until we’ve moved to Hamburg. Thinking about it I still have some transistor and small valve radio kits in one of the boxes … maybe that will get her even interested in amateur radio? 😉

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