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remain relevant for blind DIY makers, many of the details regarding component sources and other contact information are outdated.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 

Winter 1980

Winter 1981

Spring 1981

Summer 1981

Fall 1981

Winter 1982

Spring 1982

Summer 1982

Fall 1982

Winter 1983

Spring 1983

Summer 1983

Fall 1983

Winter 1984

Spring 1984

Summer 1984

Fall 1984

Winter 1985

Spring 1985

Summer 1985

Fall 1985

Winter 1986

Spring 1986

Summer 1986

Fall 1986

Winter 1987

Spring 1987

Summer 1987

Fall 1987

Winter 1988

Spring 1988

Summer 1988

Fall 1988

Winter 1989

Spring 1989

Summer 1989

Fall 1989

Winter 1990

Spring 1990

Summer 1990

Fall 1990

Winter 1991

Spring 1991

Summer 1991

Fall 1991

Winter 1993

Spring 1993

Summer 1993

Fall 1993

Winter 1995

Spring 1995

Fall 1995

Spring 1998

Summer 1998


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.