Project Highlights

Advances in Water Monitoring

Cody and Emily Hall will be making an overseas trip to Kenya with a two-fold purpose. First, to install two distinctly different water monitors designed for two different pumps: a solar-powered pump that’s part of a larger water storage and delivery system for a children’s school, and an India Mark II hand pump (the world’s most common water pump) that serves the local community. Second, they will train local Kenyans how to install the water monitors themselves.

These are both applications of SonSet Solutions’ remote monitoring system called SonSetLink™. The solar-powered pump monitor adds a new method of water-level sensing for storage tanks (similar to the level sensor pictured that Cody designed and built for Ecuador) which is critical in balancing water usage with availability, while the India Mark II pump monitor can now sense the presence of water within the pump.

The most challenging aspects of both redesigns are accommodating additional sensor needs, determining what’s easiest to manufacture, maintaining functionality, and keeping overall costs as low as possible.

The team is currently working on a customized SonSetLink™ water monitor for partner ministry Design Outreach’s LifePump™. Looking ahead, challenges include production streamlining and additional testing. Praise the Lord that more than 300 water monitors have been shipped in the last three to four years. We are hoping to ship many more, ensuring that the water continues flowing in critical regions all over the world.

Solar Media Center

When the sun sets, most of us can flip a switch and enjoy instant light, but in many developing countries, sunset means an end to most everything – except sleep. A ruggedly simple device from SonSet Solutions, the Solar Media Center (SMC), is intended to change that and do a lot more!

Designed by our engineers, the SMC’s unique operation is the Central Control Unit. This adaptive unit provides virtual plug-and-play customization and expansion of select devices such as: a bright LED lamp, a smartphone recharging station, a public address (PA) system amplifier, and even devices that simulate a Wi-Fi connection by providing Christian audio-visual media and information accessible by smartphones. This simple way of interconnecting optional, off-the-shelf modules keeps the cost low and allows the user to add or remove devices as needs change or grow. The solar panel also provides a continual source of power. Remote villages without access to electricity can, for example, now provide light for water wells and show the Jesus film via projector – one African church is even using it to hold evening services.

Currently, two units are being field tested in Benin with TWR, and one in Kenya sponsored by a local Indiana church. We have already heard reports of people congregating around the Solar Media Center making use of the various devices, thereby creating a greater sense of community. This is our hope, allowing our ministry partners to provide beneficial services while building relationships and sharing the true Light of Life.

Year-End Campaign 2017

Our mission is to provide technology-based solutions to advance the Gospel worldwide. Ministries come to us with needs – we have the privilege of creating solutions to help them expand their reach and deepen their impact. Oftentimes, our partners present us with more needs than we have resources to create solutions. That is why it is so important to partner with people like you who financially support this ministry. You make it possible for us to equip ministries around the world with the technology they need to remain active and effective.

Our Year-End Campaign kicks off November 1. We’ve already reached 43% of our $353,000 funding goal for 2017, but there are still many more needs to be met. With your help, we can provide the solutions our ministry partners are asking for.

There are many unique ways to support SonSet Solutions – whether it’s by donating proceeds from a church Christmas tea/banquet, taking up a love offering at church, or donating a portion of the proceeds from a craft fair or family bake sale. We encourage you to think “outside the box” and help us meet the needs of our partners worldwide. For added incentive, any gifts given during the month of November will be matched up to $30,000!

We count it a privilege to partner with you in this work that harnesses technology for the cause of Christ!

Power Data Logger

No-one wants meticulous notes made of their failures; but helping protect broadcast equipment designed to communicate the gospel from erratic electrical power is a different story. The Power Data Logger is part of that process – a device monitoring and storing power fluctuation data to help engineers determine how best to stabilize it and keep the gospel message on the air.

Smaller than one foot square, it simply plugs into an electrical wall outlet and begins working. Detailed key data such as power drops, electrical noise, or surges – even lightning strikes – are saved to a Secure Digital (SD) card, and if needed, relayed via satellite to SonSet Solutions’ engineers for monitoring and analysis.

Although development has included a partnership with summer interns, the bulk of it was done in-house over the last eight years. The Power Data Logger exists as a subset of each Equipment Power Protection (EPP) unit and can operate as a standalone device working in the background by being temporarily isolated from the EPP. This enables ministry partners to gather and relay their power data to us, allowing any necessary operational adjustments to be made to the EPP before activation.

Its first use for Pioneer Christian Hospital in the Republic of the Congo provided the answer to their power switching problem; a simple increase in power solved the issue. And it may soon see use in Haiti to help gather power usage there – all for God’s glory by ensuring that the gospel message continues with minimal interruption.

SonSet Radio Upgrade

Since 2005, nearly 50,000 SonSet® radios have been shipped to partner ministries around the world. Despite the proliferation of mobile phones in third-world countries, FM radio continues to communicate the gospel to individuals and entire villages alike. But could the now 12-year-old design benefit from a hardware update? The answer comes in the form of our latest upgrade.

In development for over two years, this new model of SonSet radio provides much-needed internal improvements. The radio chip itself is newer, resulting in better overall performance and longer battery life. Circuitry design and embedded software are now done in-house, along with key enhancements to simplify adding a digital media player for a future edition, now in its early stages of development.

The only visible changes to the latest upgrade are the new, simpler function buttons on the front, enabling bidirectional tuning when multiple channels are programmed – a helpful feature allowing the end user to change channels faster and more efficiently.

Multiple partner ministries have expressed the need for an unlimited number to reach thousands with the gospel. Church/volunteer involvement through both fund raising and processing is key, and are two hurdles keeping the gospel from the hands of potential listeners.

If you are interested in helping us expand our reach with SonSet radios, email info@SonSetSolutions.org for more information.

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Celebrating the Past and the Future

“Hats off to the past, coats off to the future.” Not merely recognition of the warm weather in late July, this quote from Clarence Jones (one of HCJB’s founders) set the tone for a special HCJB Engineering Reunion and was a nod to SonSet Solutions’ second biennial Global Impact Celebration (GIC).

The three-day reunion of HCJB engineers from decades ago provided the opportunity to participate in interactive GIC activities showcasing how technology is used by God to impact lives worldwide for His glory. Newly illustrated this year was the Equipment Power Protection (EPP) unit that tested reaction times against electronic circuitry and a replica radio tower that children could climb.

Former president of HCJB Global and guest speaker Ron Cline reflected that, “So many times, during the weekend, I was transported back in time and felt as if we were doing it all over again. I have great appreciation for all of you. I realized anew what a privilege it was to serve our Lord with you.”

The continued faithfulness of the Lord was echoed by a former HCJB working visitor, Harry Chase, who noted that: “The HCJB legacy certainly lives on at SonSet [Solutions], and I pray it will continue and strengthen in doing God’s work.”

RV Parking Pads

The term “RV” or “Recreational Vehicle” often brings to mind vacations spent over miles of road. But with a new amenity at SonSet Solutions, the term “mobile home” (with an eye for ministry) might be more accurate.

We are grateful for the Lord’s provision through a generous local contractor, Bob Weaver of Anchor Construction, and some “in-house” contributors. An RV pad complete with electrical, water, and sewer lines, is now fully functional and able to accommodate trailers, campers, or motorhomes. This location is designed to provide those with a desire to use their God-given talents a place to literally “park and serve.”

SonSet Solutions’ President David Russell remarks, “Here in ‘the RV capital of the world,’ we are aware of the myriads of North Americans who, in their retirement years, travel about in RVs. Generous individuals have equipped us with parking and hookups for two RVs! Learn how you can serve as a working visitor at SonSet Solutions.”

Mobile Media on the Rise

Girl with smartphone

There are now 7.4 billion people on earth and, surprisingly, 7.8 billion mobile device subscriptions. Globally, the net worth of mobile technology exceeds that of radio, television, the internet, personal computers, and landline telephones combined. A recent international media conference revealed that mission organizations around the world are using cell phones for distribution of audio Bibles, discipleship materials, evangelistic films, and Christian media apps.

SonSet Solutions is learning how to use mobile media for God’s kingdom. Social media can interact with an audience in a two-way conversation. MicroSD memory cards, used in many cell phones, can be loaded with Biblical content, and distributed in restricted countries. Even people living off the cell phone grid can download content onto their mobile device using a solar-powered Wi-Fi media server.

Mobile media is a break from our traditional ministry of supplying technology to partners for the advancement of the gospel. We are leveraging new technology for that same goal. Man has created a wonderful opportunity to communicate with the world in unprecedented ways. We can use that same technology to communicate the wonderful message of love and hope in Jesus.

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