Project Highlights

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.

Assembling Surface-Mount PCBs In-House

Until recently, outsourcing the assembly of small quantities of Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) which use surface mount components was costly. But with the purchase of new Surface-Mount Technology (SMT) equipment, multiple Engineering and Development project test boards can be prototyped in-house, including runs of 50 or even 100.

Though not fabricating the PCBs themselves, a vacuum pen allows placement of tiny SMT components onto the boards where they are held in place using a special paste. The board and components are then placed into a special oven and heated until the paste melts and permanently attaches the components to the PCB.

What used to take six hours now takes 45 minutes, and saves approximately $150 per hour. In addition, the flexibility of prototyping in-house PCBs provides a very practical tool.

Both Equipment Power Protection (EPP) and Water Monitoring have already taken advantage of the new equipment, but any project can benefit, such as the SonSet® radio. Over time, this equipment will more than pay for itself not just in time and funds but in helping to make equipment more efficient in reaching souls for God’s kingdom.

Spring Break 2017 Impact

Have you ever tried to use two dimensions to determine distances in three? This was one of the challenges facing four of 23 college students who came to SonSet Solutions for their spring break last month. The Equipment Power Protection (EPP) device was created by SonSet Solutions to record erratic power fluctuations and protect equipment from these anomalies that occur in many parts of the world. Previously drawn in two dimensions, the students created a three-dimensional model of an assembled EPP to analyze the spacing of components. This helped the team discover problem areas and implement design changes. The improved unit is now better equipped to handle a variety of dangerous power fluctuations.

“Our program introduces college students to opportunities to use their growing skill set and gifting in ministry,” explains Scott McConnell our College Liaison and organizer of our spring break programs. Seven of the spring break students applied for summer internships. Their lives have been impacted by the spring break experience… and so have ours.

The “Secret” is Out!

We often hear people say SonSet Solutions is “the best kept secret in Elkhart, Indiana.” While we are flattered with the compliment, we don’t want to be hidden. So, we are creating new opportunities to spread the word about the ministry.

Last year we began hosting informational desserts – a series of intimate gatherings with our friends and their invited guests. These times are for sharing stories about the ministry, making new friends and inspiring them to partner with SonSet Solutions.

In February, we invited some local pastors and their spouses to join us for lunch. We shared how God is using technology to advance the gospel worldwide, and how their churches can join with us through prayer.

Then in February, President/CEO David Russell embarked on a representation tour around the state of Florida. He had 19 opportunities to share about the ministry in just 10 days. Many of his contacts heard about SonSet Solutions for the first time.

We need your help to spread the news about the work God is doing through the ministry of SonSet Solutions. Please tell your friends and churches about us and come in for a tour. Together, let’s get the “secret” out!

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