I’ve been meaning to post for a few weeks, but it seems I can never get to it. That’s kind of how this fall has been!
I have been completely swamped by an over-busy fall semester of classes. I had anticipated things being busy, but not THIS busy. I’m in the midst of a mid-life career change and the coursework necessary unfortunately has almost nothing in common with that I took for my engineering degrees. So, it’s like I’m 20 again, except…well, I’m not.
But on balance I’m still happy to have made the switch and the feeling of overload is starting to subside a little bit, to the point where I can see myself carving out some hours to melt solder again. When, I’m not sure. It could be as soon as today or it could still be a week or two off, but probably not more.
I really miss the blog and more importantly the learnings and the fun of building radios and just experimenting with various parts and things. Now that some down time has passed I have the benefit of some reflection on what I accomplished last winter through summer, and it was pretty impressive. Not only did I get two monkeys off my back (finally finishing the Bitx20 kit and refurb of an old direct conversion project), but I learned a LOT of practical stuff and even applied some theory. It was as intense of an experience as an engineering course, quite frankly. But the difference was no exams, and it was a lot of fun!
But this career stuff demands almost all of my thought and attention, as I’ve said, and so I just won’t be able to move forward on the hobby side as rapidly as in the past. Still, I will NOT abandon it or the blog! It’s an important part of my life.
Another important part of my life that I’ve never discussed on this blog (mainly due to a “yawn” lack of interest from readers) is running. I’ve been able to incorporate it back into my life in a much bigger way as of this summer, and so some of the hours I might have spent bent over the workbench I’m now spending out on a trail somewhere running. So that takes up some of that free time too, and I prioritize it higher than ham radio due to the health aspects (basically, in my life, there’s breathing, eating, sleeping, running, and then everything else).
In light of all this, I think I’ll set my sights on a pretty easy target for the hobby: finishing the old Small Wonder 40 kit. Yeah, I meant to throw that together in a week or two back in August, but didn’t quite get there. If I can get that one done before the end of the year, I’ll think about some other things. As with the Bitx project, my hope is to do more than just simply stuff a board. I may build some sections off-board in my own breadboard to tinker and play with and learn from (and modify). It all depends on how much time I have. But the basic “stuff it and put it on the air” is something I’m trying to move away from because I don’t really learn anything from it, and at this stage in my life I’ve certainly made enough QSOs that it’s no longer that interesting in and of itself.
So…still alive, still hoping to solder, just not blogging. Here’s hoping for a real radio update very soon!