A Supplier of Quality Kits for the Amateur Radio Enthusiast since 1996
Our current product line:
CW Transceivers: The RockMite Series
I took a ‘leap of faith’ in 1996, leaving the corporate world to undertake ‘Small Wonder Labs’ as a full-time venture. Since then, it’s been a great experience. I have to face facts, though: I’m getting older. The shortcomings in vision can be overcome with close-up glasses. More troublesome, though, are the muscular issues from spending hours a day at the computer, or with my head down, sorting parts into bowls.
Over the years, I’ve assisted countless customers with no-questions-asked replacement parts and troubleshooting advice. The issue of repairs has been problematic, though. While no one really objects to paying $50/hour to have a $1000 rig repaired, that’s not true of a $50-100 kit. I’ve had some good people doing repair work for me, but it’s just not economically viable. Neither can I do the work in a timely manner. Therefore, and effectively immediately, I will not be accepting returns for troubleshooting/repair.
It’s not clear to me at this point if I’ll release any additional product offerings. Although I love the creative process involved in a new design, everything that follows is now just ‘work’. Along the way, I lost the ‘hobby’ aspect of ham radio. I have not been on the air in almost 5 years. I want my hobby back!
I’ve finished our home here in the woods of New Hampshire, and it’s time for me to move on to other interests. I’ve still got a garage/barn to build, a garden that grows larger each year, and a wealth of outdoor activities I can’t seem to find the time for. Retirement is clearly not for the faint-of-heart!
I’ll continue to sell RockMites forever, apparently. Demand is still brisk, with more than 8000 of them out there so far. Ongoing activity for the RockMite as well as support for ‘legacy’ kits occupies me for 2-3 hours each day. At this stage of my life, that’s ‘enough’.
73- Dave Benson, K1SWL
19 November 2012
“Let’s face it, boys – I’m pooped” - Lili von Shtupp, ‘Blazing Saddles’
73- Dave Benson, K1SWL
Last updated 19 November, 2012
Scenery: Mount Ascutney anchors the Connecticut River’s ‘Upper Valley’ Region of VT / NH. The remnants of a ancient volcano estimated to have reached 20,000 feet, it’s now worn down to an elevation of 3143 feet. The summit hosts a number of commercial and public broadcast transmitters as well as commercial 2-way services and an amateur repeater. The mountain is enjoyed year-round with a number of hiking trails and a ski area. Its upper ledges are a popular launching spot for hang-gliders