2023 Spring Student Interns- Soldering 101

The 2023 Spring semester JSC Student Ham Radio Internship Committee kicked off with a JSCARC sponsoried “Soldering 101” class.  Utilizing W5OC’s bulk buy of Kelvin LED Flashing Kits, which is comprised of 12 components including 2 2N2222A transistors, 2 LEDS, 2 electrolytic caps, 4 resistors, a SPST switch and a 9v battey holder, this kit has been used successfully as a introduction to soldering.

7 JSC students interns from organizations NE, EX, EC, EV, EX, come at noon during a convenient Flex Friday to partake in the activity led by Curtis Evans KI5RHQ.

Many thanks to Jerry N5FWB and CLARC’s Kelvin K5KVH who came in early to help setup and provide hands-on mentoring throughout the activity.  Jerry is a certified NASA soldering expert, so he was able to provide formal guidance and tips to the student; of which many were inexperienced.

We spent about 1.5 hours in the activity which included an introductory powerpoint presentation provide via the big screen television in the ham shack.  The presentation included a general coverage about components, their physical orientation for the LEDs, transistors, electrolytics, safety precautions, and the general soldering technique were provided before the handson effort began.  Terry Quick, Dwyane Williams and Samuel Miller wer instrumental in providing us the formal signature approvals  to allow a Hot Work Permit to be authorized which paved the way for us to utilize soldering irons in the scuba shack.

Incredibly, all 7 LED kits worked the first time!  This is a tribue to the great work of the students as well as the active instruction and monitor from Jerry and Kelvin.  Admittedly a few students miswired their components (prior to powerint it up), but got a chance to learn how to desolder using both a solder sucker and the more elegant solder wick (braid).

Around 2:00pm, Milt K5KRM, made a surprise visit to the student group and gave an impromptu chat about career pursuit.  The biggest take away conveyed to the students as for them to follow their passions, which is what Milt did during his illustrious career at NASA.  Many of the students were aware of Milt’s contributions to the agency, but it’s likey for those did not, they will have google searched Milt’s impressive career including his 9 splashdown recover roles across Apollo, Skylab, Apollo-Soyuz and his overseeing role as flight director for 20 shuttle missions, including 7 as lead flight director.

We’ll be on standby to support Curtis’ plan to rollout to his student group for additional ham radio activities.

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