Who we are
Eric P. Nichols, KL7AJ, founder of AlasKit Educational and Scientific Resources, is an award-winning technical writer with seven amateur radio related books and several hundred technical articles to his credit.
For nearly forty years, Eric has taught electronics both through his publications and his electronics courses at the community college level.
During a long career in the commercial broadcast industry, Eric accumulated a vast inventory of surplus broadcast and military electronics equipment and basic components, which eventually grew to be the most comprehensive inventory in Interior Alaska.
AlasKit’s motto is, “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.”
AlasKit has hundreds of thousands of discrete electronic components.
While providing resources for every type of electronics there is, AlasKit has a special focus on radio science, and has developed a number of specialized instruments for radio science research.
We have many years of experience developing instrumentation for HAARP (High Frequency Active Aurora Research Project), as well as HAARP’s predecessor, Hipas Observatory (now decommissioned). We are now deeply involved in the next phase of similar ionospheric research, Project Skybender, in collaboration with 4th State Communications in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
AlasKit is also dedicated to promoting local high-tech manufacturing in Alaska. Alaska is gradually transitioning from merely a repository of natural resources to a state fully capable of creating value added products. We have helped launch several cutting edge electronics projects for other enterprising Alaskans. We have also recently launched our village apprenticeship initiative.
The concept of apprenticeship has fallen into disuse in recent years. In the not-too-distant past manufacturing jobs and other crafts were learned by long apprenticeships, with a protégé shadowing an experienced mentor. This process usually accompanies a student’s academic career. With the advent of the “information age,” apprenticeships have more or less fallen by the wayside. However, in the field of manufacturing, there really is no substitute for apprenticeship.
It is the intention of AlasKit to partner with numerous Alaskan Native villages to create apprenticeship programs with interested and motivated students. We realize that the isolation of many villages makes such a program challenging, but we also feel that learning a worthwhile trade at a young age is a powerful antidote to many of the problems facing remote villages. We plan on “in-sourcing” the assembly of some of our instrumentation products to interested villages. Negotiation with Alaskan village leadership is in progress.