Fired up the new soldering iron tonight and built my first kit with it, a HF/VHF amplified antenna. In a couple of days (once the 800F tips and better solder arrive in the mail), I’ll be building this shortwave receiver kit.
I’ve also decided to get back into amateur radio. I passed my No-Code Technician license exam back in 2001, and was given the callsign KD5LQR. I eventually changed to the “vanity” callsign K5WCB. I’m digging my books back out, and along with the electronics stuff I’ve been doing, will finally be learning Morse code and getting my General-class license before they eventually eliminate Morse from the testing requirements. Fortunately there’s a regularly-scheduled license test not far from here. I’ve already got copies of all the study books, so it’s just a matter of brushing up on things and remembering stuff I’ve forgotten in the past four years.
I’ve dug up old passwords and updated my license address information with the FCC (at 3am; isn’t the Internet wonderful?), and will eventually rejoin ARRL. Not this month though, it’s $39/year and that’s what the shortwave receiver kit cost today.