10 Dollar Rig at Project Night

January 2017 Project Night

I wanted to take another moment to share a few thoughts about last night’s Project Night. Sometimes, when I’m speaking on the spot, everything I want to say doesn’t come to me all at once, so please bear with me again. I really was very impressed by the level of talent that was showcased. And, more importantly, I know there is even more of it out there amongst the folks who didn’t get the opportunity to present. But I hope you will during a future club meeting.

Dennis, K1LGQ At Project Night
Dennis, K1LGQ Shows QRP Kits at Project Night

The Jan 2016 Project Night was my first Nashua Area RC meeting. And, it was that first meeting which played an instrumental role in sucking me completely into the hobby: and I’m in pretty deep right now.

I’ve noticed over my years on this pale, blue dot that part of my personality is to think big, try to generate a lot of ideas, but then sometimes get fearful to execute. I think it’s because I’m afraid to fail and I’ve convinced myself (probably through some poor advice by the few poor mentors I’ve had in my life) that I should be able to do everything on my own. My graduate school advisor once told me after someone’s defense that a good physicist should know everything. (Crap! What should a great physicist know then?) If you’re a theorist, you should know every experiment being done. If you work on string theory, you should also know solid-state physics incredibly deeply. This is, of course, complete and utter nonsense. But, nonetheless, I still lean on that ethos like a bad crutch — but I’ve been doing it less.

Charlie, AB1ZN Showing A Vintage Rig at Project Night
Charlie, AB1ZN Showing A Vintage Rig

Project night helped served to snap me back to reality. There I saw people work for months on projects, and no doubt encounters obstacles and challenges along the way, and they happily discussed who they went to for help and even welcomed advice and Elmering from club members after the presentations were finished. It was clear they were not discouraged by the challenges they knew they would face, and the time being invested into their project. And honestly, it made me feel a little better to see that even the best of us get stumped and need to collaborate. In fact, that is expected.

Hamilton, K1HMS Explains CPLD Technology
Hamilton, K1HMS Explains CPLD Technology

We have many experts in the club. Hamilton, (K1HMS), did a great job presenting a super-technical talk about CPLD’s.

Anita, AB1QB Demonstrates her Raspberry Pi DX Alarm Clock at Project Night
Anita, AB1QB Demonstrates her Raspberry Pi DX Alarm Clock

Anita, (AB1QB), had a really entertaining and pedagogical talk about software, DX spotting, Raspberry Pis, and annoying Fred (AB1OC) with DX alerts.

Mike, AB1YK Shows His Home-Build Transceiver at Project Night
Mike, AB1YK Shows His Home-Build Transceiver

But one talk which really stood out in my mind was given by Mike (AB1YK) who said during his talk that he’s mainly a digital guy with a ton of Arduino experience. But, he was interested in diving into the analog world, and so his first foray into that world was to construct a QRP transceiver from scratch and teach himself what he needed.

Jeff, WA1HCO Shows His Optimized Matching System at Project Night
Jeff, WA1HCO Shows His Optimized Matching System

What last night was for me was inspirational. It gave me the peace of mind I needed to believe I can tackle subjects I really don’t know much about at all, and be somewhat successful at it. I won’t be a Hamilton, but I’ll know enough to make me dangerous, and that’s good enough for me.

Thank you, Nashua Area Radio Club members for opening my eyes, again. I look forward to crossing some of the projects I want to get busy on, off my list.


Brian, AB1ZO

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