The cold of winter…

Yes I know it’s not really cold here in the UK, especially having spent a few winters in Montreal. But it’s damp… always damp. I had set up an electronics bench in the workshop but I was always conscious of the humidity. Recently it’s been hovering above 80% and so I have finally given up the idea and moved the test gear inside.

My original aim was to have the shack in the workshop but three things always stopped me: the fact that having a lot of relatively expensive gear in a wooden workshop in the garden is generally a bad idea; the humidity; and the fact that all my antennas are in the loft. So the radios stayed indoors, now joined by the test gear, which makes sense anyway. Plus there’s more light ‘up here’ with a large south-facing window.

So far, so good…

Another new toy

Not the most startling of new toys but I’ve never had a PCB holder. All my construction until recently has been on Veroboard or just lash-ups of wires, until the QRP Labs board. That made me realise there was a gap on the bench.

So, this has joined my armoury. The board is a random “let’s fiddle with SMD” kit that comes with numerous bits and bobs. I’ve never had a go at SMD and yet I have two projects waiting to be built which are just that, so this board will hopefully get me up to speed. I figured it best to practice on something that doesn’t matter first. I have a headband magnifier, various fine tweezers and tiny soldering iron bits, so should be good to go. Let’s see how much of a mess I can make.