Heathkit may restart their Electronic Kit business - a survey for you!

Fringe Reception

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I have wonderful childhood memories from when my Dad and I worked together to build several Heath radio kits on our dining room table. For some reason, my Mother wasn't very happy about having her dining room table covered with a sheet of plywood and electronic parts spread all over it like a strange jigsaw puzzle. Dad taught me how to solder electronic components using a 25 watt Weller soldering pencil and I still use the same pencil over 40 years later.

The first Heathkit project Dad and I assembled was a General Coverage (Short-Wave) Receiver which was basically an "American Five" with two additional stages, so it had seven vacuum tubes in its circuits. We followed the instructions to align it (using no special equipment) and the darned thing worked!

The first station we received was Radio Moscow, next was Radio Habana Cuba followed by HCJB Quito, Ecuador. Then we heard the BBC, CBC, Radio Japan and of course WWV (global frequency standard) which helped us align the radio much better. As an 11 year old I was thrilled! I listened to Short-Wave Radio for years on that set and I learned Morse Code.



Two years later in Jr High School I passed the Novice Ham Radio Exam and I received my first Ham Radio License. I had several other receivers by then, but I didn't have a transmitter. I was given an older Heathkit DX-40 from a Ham that happened to live on my paper route, but it needed lots of internals replaced. Mom wasn't happy about her dining room table being 'commandeered' again, but this was a comparatively quick repair and not a complete build. My Heathkit DX-40 proved to be a great first transmitter.



Sadly, Heathkit stopped producing kits in 1992 do to low-price 'ready-to-go' equipment from the Orient that overwhelmed their business ... but ... they are now trying to regroup and they want your input via an online survey. What would YOU like to have them offer in kit-form for you to build with your son or daughter or to build for yourself?

The photos I used here (from Google Images) represent very old Kits, but before they closed business they advanced into home-built garage door openers, wireless door bells, home alarm systems and other devices.

The HEATHKIT survey offers text-boxes to respond with your personal answers and here is how I responded: I would like them to offer a Digital-to-Analog TV Converter box KIT that has HD (not SD) output, that is directly able to feed a Computer, a Digital TV recorder or an outboard hard drive. I offered the following link as the closest converter box that matches my idea, however it has SD output and not HD (high definition). They could trump that converter box.

http://www.dtvusaforum.com/converte...ta-converter-dvr-media-player-under-40-a.html

If Heathkit offered a (unique) unit with HDMI and (perhaps) Ethernet cable sockets, I think it could be a winner for them and it might put them back into business.

For the Wikipedia Heathkit history, click here: Heathkit - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

* To take the Spring 2013 Heathkit Survey please click here: Heathkit Surveys ::
(click the purple text on the page)

Jim
 

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