Technical Blog

Kit Building - K0NEB January 2017

K0NEBKit Building Expert Joe Eisenberg K0NEB presents at SFTARC Tech Night - 1/20/2017

Joe Eisenberg made the trip from Lincoln to present "Kit Building" for the SFTARC Tech Night meeting. Joe is well known in the local Kansas City/Lincoln area and around the world as being the "Cat in the Hat" person at ham events. He is also the Kit Building editor for CQ magazine.

From Joe's QRZ page he explains his adventure in ham radio and the electronics hobby.

"I have been licensed since 1969 and am currently the Kit Building Editor for CQ Magazine. There is nothing better than sitting down at the bench with parts sorted and ready to be stuffed into a circuit board! My Elmer was Leo Meyerson, W0GFQ, who started me in radio at an early age in Omaha, Nebraska. I am available to speak on Kit Building for your hamfests, conventions and meetings. I can also put on group kit building events as well. Building a kit as a group can be a fun and educational experience. See you on the air!"

During his presentation Joe mentioned a number of companies that you can get kits from and here are some of the ones highlighted:

  • Nightfire Kits (
  • Velleman
  • Elenco
  • Elecraft

There are many good suppliers so get that soldering iron going and try some of them. Some of the most interesting kits include CW keyers, component tester (R,L,C) and low speed scope. Some of the kits are based on the Arduino processor and others aren't.

Some of the kit building equipment that was suggested is a good soldering iron preferably one that you can control the tip temperature. is a local company in Lincoln that has a good one. The right kind of solder is important and he mentioned 63/37 0.031 or 0.025" rosin core, no clean as a preferred one that he uses. If you are mounting surface mount parts you might use solder paste and cure it with hot air or a heat plate that has temperature control so its not too hot for the parts. Also to store kits or parts Joe mentioned the Plano 1354 Tackle/Tool Box is available from many stores and in a variety of colors. It has several drawers to hold parts or boards.

Joe finished the presentation with some of his video creations of picture taken at various ham events and then set to music. The final days of Hara Arena in Dayton which has been the home for the Dayton Hamvention event for more than 50 years is changing location and there was a nice video remembering the arena location.

Many thanks to Joe for a fine presentation and sharing of his knowledge.