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P***ed at Heathkit




 
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KB2WIG
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« on: June 20, 2017, 03:46:42 PM »



The bozos didn't even send me the new catalog.

https://shop.heathkit.com/shop/product/precision-rf-meter-hm-1002-pre-order-33

I guess its too late to return the DixiSixti.  B


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n2bc
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« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2017, 03:59:13 PM »

They could put the entire catalog on a postcard...
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W1ITT
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« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2017, 03:59:50 PM »

The advertising copy is full of hyperbole and inaccuracy.  They claim that "for about 50 years, swr/power meters haven't really changed at all."  I suppose they haven't heard of the Telepost line of equipment.  Their LP-100 will even read out the R and jX of your load, in the same general price neighborhood.
I suppose someone thinks that by buying the Heathkit name they automatically acquire some sort of legitimacy, as well as the warm familiarity that many of us had with Heath in the long past days of our youth.  Good luck to them....
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W6TOM
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« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2017, 07:19:47 PM »

  Although I grew up in the 60's, like many of us, I didn't become a ham until I was in my mid thirties so I missed Heathkit. Having owned a number of Heathkit products it seems to me a lot of this is nostalgia for our youthful years. I bought a Cantenna when I was first licensed and a HW-100 (junk) and have owned a HW-101 ( junky too) I've had a few SB-200 amps, OK but the band switches are junky. I still have the Cantenna and currently use a HL-2200 Amp that I needed to replace the cheap ON/OFF switch, had to remove the front panel and enlarge the hole as the US made switch is unobatianium.

 All in all not real impressed with their stuff.
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W3NE
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« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2017, 10:46:19 AM »

Sorry you missed out on the real Heathkit era. At a time when we were not as affluent as we seem to be today and when there were few if any commercial products comparable to Heath equipment available at affordable prices, we were very happy to equip our shacks with the ham radio and test equipment we made from Heathkits. Those considerations do not even touch on the numerous intangible benefits of Heatkits: anticipation of arrival of your kit, the sublime satisfaction of unpacking the box, inspecting and fondling each major part (even those "cheap" switches  (and yes, we knew they were not first quality Mallory or CRL products), putting them together, step-by-step, and finally getting advertised results right off the bat, assuming due care had been excercized in assembly.

Please do not attempt to compare a Yaecomwood transceiver or a $3000 linear amp to a Heathkit designed and manufactured more than 30 years ago in Benton Harbor. And if looking for vintage equipment without those dreaded "cheap" components, by all means consider products from Johnson, Collins, Barker and Williamson or the many other first-line manufacturers of the '50s-'60s, but at multriple cost of contemporary Heathkits.

Heathkits may not be perfect, but they were fun to build and use while they were here and above all, they enabled young men and boys to enjoy amateur radio at a very reasonable cost.

I personally have so little regard for the current holder of the trademark that it's best not to make any comment in their regard.

Bob - NE
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VE3ELQ
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« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2017, 01:17:41 PM »


Heathkits may not be perfect, but they were fun to build and use while they were here and above all, they enabled young men and boys to enjoy amateur radio at a very reasonable cost.

Bob - NE

I owe my start in electronics to Heathkit. As a young fellow I built many HI FI amps (AA100s) some tuners, a VTVM, a TV set and other stuff all for Dad and friends and neighbors, even some O scopes and battery eliminators for my High School .  It was a great learning experience.  Later in life my first HAM receiver was a HR10B, terrible by today's standards but it worked and later with the knowledge I had gained figured out how to make it double conversion and work even better. Thanks to the real Heathkit, it was a good run while it lasted.

Nigel
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« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2017, 04:58:41 PM »

my first heathkit building experience was an FM tuner when I was 12 years old. It was the start of building my first audio system as I was big into music and wanted a system better than my friends. I never built any ham gear but did build a few pieces of test equipment all of which I still have including the tuner and amplifier and all work today. The first building experience launched a career in electronics.

I too have little regard for the current trademark holder. 
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Bob
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« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2017, 10:13:51 PM »

Some of the kits were very fine. One was the AP-1800 audio preamp.
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« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2017, 10:47:33 PM »

In Jr High I built a GR-91 SW receiver, which was a glorified AA5 with SW and a BFO but it worked great on a long wire out in the country and close to a sunspot peak.

I also built a IM-11 VTVM which was a great little instrument too.

I now have a couple of IM-11s and a GR-91 in the rebuild line-up.

The current owners don't impress at all but it's a different world.
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K1JJ
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« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2017, 11:23:22 PM »

Ahhh, Heathkit.  I have a few stories...

Back in 1967 I built the Heathkit Starmaker 60 watt guitar amp. Nice amplifier. We started a group called the "Motown Review" and actually played two paying gigs. My career ended when the drummer accidently walked into my propped-up guitar and broke the neck. It's true that the girls were at every gig (two) and were EZ pickings for us teen "rock stars."

I remember seeing the insides of an SB-300 Grief-kit that was built using acid core solder. There was acid leakage all over the boards.

Then there was a ham store that took trades in the late 70's. After a while Heathkits dominated the used shelves. Mostly SB XXX series. Nobody wanted them and they were a nightmare to fix and guarantee - ghosts that kept haunting and coming back. The store finally refused to take any more in trade. That inventory stayed around for a long, long time.

Speaking of kits, I was always amazed how little the $ difference was between factory wired and a kit, ala Johnson's Viking series. But all in all, Heathkit had a wonderful business through the 50's, 60's and 70's that got many guys started for cheap and many went on to build up more complex homebrew rigs as a result. The ham whirl is a better place due to Heathkit's existence. Who could axe for more?

Is this the same Heathkit trademark owner who was promoting some other Heath product a few years ago? What was that about and how did it work out? There was a similar uproar about the sales hyperbole.

T


* Heathkit_starmaker.jpg (366.38 KB, 1115x609 - viewed 61 times.)
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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2017, 12:21:14 AM »

My very first piece of electronics (aside from a Cub Scout crystal set) was a Heathkit V-7A — that I still own and use, by the way.

Then an Ocean Hopper (non-Heath of course), followed by an AR-3/Q-Mult, DX-20, and then a DX-40 (and shortly thereafter an Eico modulator), and an Apache.  For many years after that, I built a lot of Heath test equipment, but no more radio gear.  And then around 1970, the SB-102 was released …. and that started it all over again.  My wife sold her Martin guitar and bought me the radio as a Christmas present.  Wish I knew if the radio and all of the accessory units I eventually built were in a landfill somewhere or still gracing someone's shack.  I should have put my call somewhere on the chassis.  Used that radio almost 10 years ….

To this day, I fondly recall the fine aroma of the (original) Heathkit boxes when you first opened them up.  It was almost magical.  Nothing else like it :-)
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« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2017, 08:30:13 AM »

My first and only piece of Heathkit gear was a HW-9 QRP transceiver. I wish I still had that one. I left it at father's house when I joined the military 20 years ago. I've asked about it but he can't remember anything about it, and they've moved several times. I'm sure it's layers down in a landfill by now.

Jon


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WD8BIL
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« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2017, 09:47:51 AM »

I have to agree with most of you. Heathkit gave many a young JN the chance to have a reasonably good station without the cost. Building and reading the theory of operations provided a source of knowledge not readily available in jr. high and high school which, by the way, was part of their "mission"!

I built many of their kits for myself and others. Let's see; (3) HW101s, (2) 2036 2meter FM rigs, (4) SB200s, (1) SB220, (5) HM102s, one of their 50 MHz frequency counters, (1) Color TV, (1 set) AS-1352 stereo speakers still in use today, (1) engine analyzer scope, (1) digital clock still in the shack and working fine.

Was it the highest quality stuff? No. But it was never meant to be. To judge them out of context shows little appreciation for the knowledge and fun Heathkit provided the masses back in "the day".



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« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2017, 10:00:29 AM »

I'll agree with the Budster and add to this as another who missed out on most of the Heathkit era (did use their SMT course). While it wasn't TMC, Collins, or even EFJ design quality, it surely wasn't bad. Take a look inside the Apache sometime at those big, black blocks. Also the DX-aHunnert. Or the Mohawk (though not a good AM receiver in stock form). None of these rigs are cheap or cheesy. More that, like anything else built by a number of different people, it's all about the build quality. Even the AT-1 and AR-3 I have aren't as flimsy as other equipment of the period.

As time progressed, all of the US manufacturers suffered from quality as well as design issues and most eventually went out of business. Hammarlund, Hallicrafters, National, etc. - gone. It's not unique to Heathkit.

While I'm glad someone is trying to ressurect the name, it's too bad they appear to be relying on the sideshow-carny approach for hyping their product. Perhaps due in part to the high price they're asking, they need to make it seem like all that and a bag of chips. Apples and oranges compared to the old gear, though.
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« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2017, 12:52:10 PM »

The new heathkit is based out of, and run from, Santa Cruz, CA.  I lived their.  Went to high school there.  Oh so beautiful.  Arguably the home of surfing and modern skateboarding.  (both are untrue) Neither of which has anything to do with tech.

Not many places more out of touch with reality though.  Santa Cruz had decent tech, but screwed everyone out of the area damn near.  Santa Cruz Operation XENIX, Seagate, Plantronics and many other major tech companies in that area.  Anything Lockheed makes that has explosive ordnance in it (explosives and hipees...  What a combo!) is made at the end of the road, so to speak.

The new heathkit is giving a couple old men warm fuzzies. It is NOT the heathkit of yesteryear.

I've never had a group of people be more unfriendly to a new to the area ham operator as their.

Elecraft is also based their.  They are fairly expensive, but I'd say they make up for the price differential with customer service.  I hear it's legendary (never used their customer service, so can't comment).

Good luck, they are going to need it!  Especially marketing that wattmeter.  I'll take an lp100 over that, any day.

--Shane
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« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2017, 01:53:43 PM »

T,
A perfect chance to try again at being a R&R star.

On EPay is a Starmaker. In pretty good shape too.

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Bob
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« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2017, 10:42:30 PM »

I have been watching for several years at the "return" of Heathkit. I even logged into the lame chat a year or so ago. I am just not feeling that this is much more than a half a$$ venture or ultimately some sort of scheme that will end badly with lost deposits for kits that were never delivered.   Cry
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« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2017, 11:11:49 AM »

T,
A perfect chance to try again at being a R&R star.

On EPay is a Starmaker. In pretty good shape too.

Bob,

Do you think the seller will guarantee I will be the next R&R teen idol if I buy that StarMaster amp? It's an appealing thought and I'm certainly game.

T  
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“Remember, remember, this is now, and now, and now. Live it, feel it, cling to it. I want to become acutely aware of all I’ve taken for granted.”  -  Sylvia Plath

Favorite Song - Trololo thru the years:  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVqUecYGnoM
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« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2017, 12:22:53 PM »

T,
Need to come up with a stage name.  might be tough competing with the Bieber if you lead off with the Trololo song. A tattoo or 2 and some body piercings might help. But then again, with the right agent ya never know.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTSA_sWGM44
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Bob
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His fear was when I turned it on for the first time life on earth would come to a stand still.
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« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2017, 02:19:17 PM »

Quote
T,
Need to come up with a stage name.


The Whirl-Wide Review!!

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« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2017, 04:32:26 PM »

I knew a lady that at 70 built a Heath-kit color television. It was the first kit that she ever built and it worked! She has passed now but what a lady. Her husband was a quiet, shy fellow but she was a go gitter. One of her last adventures was to fly on the Concorde to London.  Cheesy
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« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2017, 08:01:47 PM »

T,
Need to come up with a stage name.  might be tough competing with the Bieber if you lead off with the Trololo song. A tattoo or 2 and some body piercings might help. But then again, with the right agent ya never know.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTSA_sWGM44

Start a goth band. Goth isn't dead (well technically it is morbid and somber but alive..) Age doesn't matter as much as people think, if over 50 you're just an Elder Goth.. Might get some respect and definitely got 'cred' age wise from being in it in the late 70's -80s when it evolved from punk and old dark hippies, death metal, and contains 2% of lesser ingredients... Don't even have to be good looking, goths tend to let themselves go anyway.. Just make sure you got stunning goth girls/ladies to front at your shows.

https://www.google.com/search?q=goth+ladies&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwivx9fTnd_UAhUDNSYKHb5JBgMQsAQIIQ&biw=1278&bih=734




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« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2017, 09:38:02 PM »



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« Reply #23 on: July 02, 2017, 12:54:20 AM »


childhood crush
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« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2017, 09:29:14 AM »

So my buddy Frank WA1VNR and I went out for lunch last week and he says he has a surprise for me in his trunk. Huh? A DX-40! Gee wonder what those black binding posts are for? Maybe I will just touch them and see if they are hot...

I never had one of these. As brand new novices, my friend Billy got one and an HR-10 passed down to him - and with an awesome Gotham Vertical!  And I was 3 blocks away with my ARC-5 and BC-652 - stuck on 80M.


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