Smith-Kettlewell Technical File

The Smith-Kettlewell Technical File

The Smith-Kettlewell Technical File, edited by William Gerrey (WA6NPC), was a publication by and for blind and visually-impaired electronics professionals and enthusiasts. It was published by the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute from Fall 1980, through Spring 1998 and was at various times available in Braille, large print, audio cassette, and 5-1/4" floppy diskette.

Although The Smith-Kettlewell Technical File is no longer in active publication, we offer this online archive as a resource of both current and historical value.

While many of the articles about devices and techniques remain relevant for blind DIY makers, many of the details regarding component sources and other contact information are outdated. Occasionally we include updated links to component sources. When absent, a web search will often locate a modern supplier.

Questions regarding content can be sent to

Special thanks for assistance in the digital migration of this valuable resource go to David Vásquez, Laura Eberly, Charity Pitcher-Cooper and Joshua Miele.

Chronological List of SKTF Issues 


Soldering Series

This series, which spanned several years in the Smith-Kettlewell Technical File (SKTF), describes how blind people do electrical soldering. Bill Gerrey, Editor of the SKTF, originally intended this series to be the beginning of a book on soldering and the techniques used by blind technicians. Since there are as many different soldering systems as there are fabrication processes and materials, the compilation of an exhaustive blind soldering tutorial would be a monumental undertaking. Since such a thorough tutorial has never been compiled, we offer the next best thing: Bill Gerrey's own experience and recommendations about blind soldering, along with the suggestions and input from avid readers and contributors to the SKTF.

The following links lead directly to the Soldering Series articles in the SKTF issues in which the articles originally appeared.