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View Full Version : It says Heathkit is back, we'll see



Franklin
08-18-2011, 02:12 AM
http://www.heathkit.com/

wjsteele
08-18-2011, 02:38 AM
I hope they bring back the Heros!!! :-)

Bill

RobotWorkshop
08-18-2011, 02:43 AM
They don't own the original HERO line anymore. That was sold off to Mobile Ed Productions during the old Heathkit days before this new Heathkit was setup. Several years back I bought all the remaining HERO robot parts and rights to them from Mobile Ed. I've been supporting the HERO's for years. Original parts, reproduction parts, documentation, and new upgrades for each of them..... If you saw the article I had in the #19 issue of Make magazine there are pictures that show many of the original parts.

Robert

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
08-18-2011, 02:51 AM
First RadioShack, now HeathKit. Wow! This could be good news, or Heath may just be another overpriced Pitsco Lego Dacta, designed to relieve school districts of their hard-won funding. We'll see, as their pricing structure becomes more apparent. (I was rather hoping to see some ham radio kits, but I guess that was too much to ask for.)

-Phil

Microcontrolled
08-18-2011, 02:58 AM
According to their homepage, it appears they are doing something similar if not identical to Chris Savage's Garage Parking Assistant that he made for Nuts and Volts as their first kit. I'm curious to see what this brings.

Duane Degn
08-18-2011, 02:59 AM
They don't own the original HERO line anymore.

I'm not sure if they got the memo.

They have a HE-RObot (that's they way they write it).

I think Japan sells some SHE-RObots.

Duane

Martin Hodge
08-18-2011, 03:45 AM
I have a HERO-2000 with all the trimmings. Arm, mem expansion, 5-1/4 floppy, auto docking (bleh!). Every few months I get the itch to replace the 5 MCU arm controller board with a single Propeller. The thing that always stops me is that I've never been able to find the source code for the MCUs.

Ron Czapala
08-18-2011, 04:17 AM
Here is a link to the He-RObot

http://www.heathkit.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=34&Itemid=141

DEMO: http://www.heathkit.com/flash/robot_demo.swf

8417984178

Tubular
08-18-2011, 05:11 AM
I have to admit, I was a little underwhelmed when I went to their website and saw "Garage Parking Assistant" as their foremost focus.

If I was them, I would have said less than that, and let the happy memories of halcyon heathkit days let our imaginations run wild.

Speaking of which, I had a kind of block experimenter kit, made by heathkit but with lego style blocks for resistors, transistors etc. I remember thinking the Whetstone bridge wasn't good for much, how wrong I was...

Loopy Byteloose
08-18-2011, 09:31 AM
It would be more interesting if they revived there original VOM kits. They were a very good VOM and the assembly really taught the builder about how precision electronics is a combination of good design and good components.

They used to have a complete color TV kit as well - a tube version. Would they dare to have a HDTV kit these days? If not, they might do a lot better if they go 'retro' with audio tube amps and preamps.

erco
08-18-2011, 04:55 PM
Heathkit rocked the homebuilt segment many moons ago. I am the proud owner of all the original Hero robots: Hero 1, Hero Jr, and Hero 2000 (with all the trimmings). Awesome for their time.

Isn't the latest HeRo-Bot just a rebadged 914-PC bot? Which was Tom Burick's robot, bought out by Whitebox, bought out by someone now calling themselves Heathkit? Whitebox overpromised, overcharged, and underdelivered. Strung people along on waiting lists, collected deposits, then slowly trickled out the bad news. Hardly a model way to do business. I think the Heathkit re-badge was an attempt to distance the robot from those hopeful but hostile "early adopters".

http://whiteboxrobotics.com/ http://www.914pcbots.com/community/

GordonMcComb
08-18-2011, 05:17 PM
The problem with the Whitebox approach has always been they wanted to sell the concept of a PC on wheels. That may have caught the fancy of some, but it's just not a compelling story to mainstream. The fact that tablets now outsell laptops says people want small and personal. My tower desktop PC on wheels just isn't a picture that comes into focus for me.

It's the right form factor for higher ed and research, but too expensive. I think Madeusa is the better platform, and much cheaper. Willow Garage should replace the iRobot Create (fine base, but not a lot of HP) on their Turtlebot with the Madeusa. That thing is strong enough to cart a full grown man, HDPE and all. It could haul around my Sony Vaio, but I'd opt for a laptop. Funnily enough, this is actually a chapter in my next book! It's been fun putting the beast, which I call Big Brutus, together.

The kind of kits that put Heathkit on the map just aren't economically feasible today. It's far cheaper to buy a new TV than to make one. That wasn't the case in the 60s, when it wasn't unusual to walk into a living room and see a Heathkit televsion set. I'd be interested in how Heathkit kits are differentiated from the other kits out there. A lot of people have come in to absorb the DIY business. IOW, I think they may be their own tough act to follow. However, best of luck to them. The higher ed market always needs good material.

-- Gordon

erco
08-18-2011, 05:42 PM
And yet Heathkit products are still in demand on Ebay, commanding amazing prices. Occasionally you'll find an unbuilt kit that people go mad for, even a resistor substitution box or a slave flash adapter. Just the nostalgia of a simpler time, I guess. http://cgi.ebay.com/Heathkit-SW-7800-Digital-Shortwave-Receiver-UNBUILT-KIT-/370526700185?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item56451cc299

I keep looking for deals on vintage ham radio equipment. I need a HW-9 and an SB-104A to complete my collection. People always snipe at the last minute.

@Martin Hodge: What's so wrong with the auto docking adapter (bleh!)? I have most of the parts, but never hooked everything up. I assumed it worked...

Of course, Heathkit assumed Hero Jr would drive in a straight line... :)

Loopy Byteloose
08-18-2011, 05:48 PM
Yes, people want personal, but I am not sure about small. I didn't buy a laptop and waited for the EEEpc because it was small enough to fit in my motor scooter storage and it weighed only 1 kilo.

But later I found out that a lot people got laptops in the larger format to use at home BECAUSE they didn't like being tied to a desk and a rather large mess of wires.

It is hard to say where people are going to end up with new formats. The manufacturers hope to get a lock on a winner and just keep morphing. But the user really wants the right ergonomics. Personally, I think touch screens may be a passing fad as you get finger prints all over your viewing area.

The Asus EEEpad Transformer is about the best form factor I have seen recently. It is a iPad equivalent when you need that, but has a keyboard for tasks that require productivity.

Meanwhile.

Heathkit's revival seems to be a brand recognition play - similar to the revival of Abercromie & Fitch. Today's products are likely to very like to do with what Heathkit made in the 'good old days'. (BTW, I really enjoyed the old Abercromie & Fitch - it was as much a museum as a department store.)

Martin Hodge
08-19-2011, 02:53 AM
@Martin Hodge: What's so wrong with the auto docking adapter (bleh!)?

It just never worked right. Bad design. Under perfect conditions the robot would occasionally dock after about 10 minutes of complex triangulation. Though usually the battery would run out first.

$WMc%
08-19-2011, 03:22 AM
This is really great news
'
Who's gonna make the tubes?

erco
08-19-2011, 03:37 AM
Who's gonna make the tubes?

:)

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
08-19-2011, 04:30 AM
erco,

I, too, lust after one of those HW-9s. There's one on eBay now. But, wow, do they command a premium!

-Phil

Loopy Byteloose
08-19-2011, 04:42 AM
Who is going to make the tubes? Obscure Eastern European factories that still have the technology (if they exist). Of course, a second choice is for China to revive tube manufacturer. After all, they seem willing and able to make anything.

kwinn
08-19-2011, 05:54 AM
Who is going to make the tubes? Obscure Eastern European factories that still have the technology (if they exist). Of course, a second choice is for China to revive tube manufacturer. After all, they seem willing and able to make anything.

They may be willing to make it but can they make it so it works for a reasonable length of time.

erco
08-19-2011, 06:51 AM
erco,

I, too, lust after one of those HW-9s. There's one on eBay now. But, wow, do they command a premium!

-Phil

I already bought the WARC band add-on kit in antici-

pation. I'm ready to pounce when I find a nice clean HW-9 for $150. I'm dreaming...

erco
08-22-2011, 09:32 PM
Phil: Hurry to Ebay, just an hour left to bid on this HW-9 & PS: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180711157730

Over $400 shipped. Yikes! I may never own one to complete my collection. My HW-7 and HW-8 may have to do!

EDIT: Final price, $575 shipped. Yikes, these are going up faster than gold is.

erco
08-28-2011, 08:32 PM
OMG Phil, an UNBUILT HW-9: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160643186282&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123

I'm betting this will hit $600-700 easily.

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
08-28-2011, 09:14 PM
With four days to go, that would not surprise me. Funny thing is, it will probably always be worth more in its present condition than if one were to assemble it.

Are you going to bid on it?

-Phil

erco
08-28-2011, 10:04 PM
Sure, I put in a $200+ dollar bid that will stand for a day. I feel like a winner until I get steamrolled!

Yes, at this point it would not be wise to build it. So it's just an investment, but I'm sure it will outperform the stock market for a long time.

ajward
08-28-2011, 10:37 PM
And yet Heathkit products are still in demand on Ebay, commanding amazing prices. Occasionally you'll find an unbuilt kit that people go mad for, even a resistor substitution box or a slave flash adapter. Just the nostalgia of a simpler time, I guess. http://cgi.ebay.com/Heathkit-SW-7800-Digital-Shortwave-Receiver-UNBUILT-KIT-/370526700185?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item56451cc299

I keep looking for deals on vintage ham radio equipment. I need a HW-9 and an SB-104A to complete my collection. People always snipe at the last minute.
)

Hallicrafters is my particular addiction. I have:

S 38 Rcvr
S 120 Rcvr
SX 110 Rcvr
SX 140 Rcvr
HT 40 Xmtr
HT 7 Freq. Std.
HA1 Keyer
Some odd crystals and spare tubes

ctwardell
08-28-2011, 10:37 PM
Yes, at this point it would not be wise to build it. So it's just an investment, but I'm sure it will outperform the stock market for a long time.

I found an NIB unassembled Intel SDK-85 on ebay a few years back, I put it away for a rainy day. A year or so later I got it out and assembled it, the trip back in time was worth far more than any loss in monetary value.

C.W.

erco
08-28-2011, 10:43 PM
ajw & ctw, you kids are ALL RIGHT in my book!

ajward
08-28-2011, 11:48 PM
Forgot the R 47 and R 48 speakers!

doggiedoc
08-29-2011, 12:09 AM
OMG Phil, an UNBUILT HW-9: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160643186282&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123

I'm betting this will hit $600-700 easily.

I wouldn't mind having that one.

Paul

erco
08-29-2011, 03:08 AM
I'm revising my estimate, it will get closer to $900. Maybe even $1000.

Shall we start a pool?

Or a raffle? All interested parties chip in $100 for a community bid, then we draw a name...

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
08-29-2011, 07:31 AM
Yes, at this point it would not be wise to build it. So it's just an investment, ...
If I bought it, I'd definitely build it. It'd kill the investment value, but what kind of enjoyment could I ever get from a boxful of parts? I have a friend who makes violin bows. Some go to professional players, but others go to collectors who simply put them on display. How sad is a violin bow that never gets to make music? IMO, the same applies to these classic Heathkits. They need to be on the air, probing the ether, and playing Morse melodies!

-Phil

Loopy Byteloose
08-29-2011, 07:57 AM
It is just plain weird that a complete, unopened, unassembled Heathkit is worth so much more than a functioning item. In terms of economics, this is a somewhat perverse view of value.

It is even more odd that someone might buy it and set in on a dark shelf for 25 years in order to have it increase in value.

Old short wave transmitters and receivers are wonderful items, but they should be appreciated in their assembled and fully functioning form.

Still, I suspect that a complete unopened, unassembled Heathkit color TV would likely have a much higher price due to rarity. I had a friend whose father assembled one, but they are extremely complex and never as popular as other items.

erco
08-29-2011, 08:23 AM
People will pay a premium to recapture their youth... Heathkits remind us of a kinder, gentler era.

Microcontrolled
08-29-2011, 03:27 PM
People will pay a premium to recapture their youth... Heathkits remind us of a kinder, gentler era.

Than why doesn't someone bring back the original designs, and sell them? Would it really be that hard to find original components or similar-to-original components?

erco
08-29-2011, 05:00 PM
Supply/demand. Limited market appeal, and they're only valuable because they're rare.

mindrobots
08-29-2011, 05:21 PM
Than why doesn't someone bring back the original designs, and sell them? Would it really be that hard to find original components or similar-to-original components?

As with most anything these days, it comes down to money! If you have "retro" that is popular enough (rarely), the economic model will bend enough to make it affordable without ruining the original market dynamics (supply/demand). An alternative will be developed to tap the "retro feeling" - the new VW bug, kit cars, etc.

Some things, you truly can't make today within a reasonable/acceptable cost model to make it possible to recover costs and people can only trade so much retro-passion for food on the table!

I love old film cameras....I buy the old ones on e-bay. I would never expect any company to be able to produce some of the true classics anywhere near to an affordable or even almost affordable price. Some old things are pieces of magic that could probably never be reproduced to the same quality level.

But have no fear, some day all of us baby boomers(:innocent:) will die off and you won't have retro- and nostalgia to kick around any more!! :lol:

GordonMcComb
08-29-2011, 05:45 PM
I grew up with this set:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallicrafters_SX-28

At one time they were very plentiful, and I'm sure the one my step father owned was military surplus after the war (this would be WWII, of course). He'd occasionally connect it to one of his amateur radio antennas, but mostly it was just a wire loop, and I'm not sure how effective it was. Being so close to military installations and early over-the-horizon radar I mostly caught signals that were officially not there.

My step father spent much of his time in the 6-meter band, where a lot of the old time hams stayed. In addition to a few Collins and Drake radios, his favorite rig in the later years was this one:

http://www.pcs.mb.ca/~standard/250.htm (http://www.pcs.mb.ca/%7Estandard/250.htm)

manufactured just a few miles from here. Other people had lamps on their bedside table, he had a Swan 250.

He hand built one of these:

http://www.astromag.co.uk/quad/

and spent years tuning it. It sat atop a 70 foot telescoping mast. One day, a friend and I were joking around and I said, "See this pin here? If I pull it, the whole mast will come down." I didn't actually believe it would, but in fact it did. In about four seconds several tons of metal and my step father's pride-and-joy quad came thundering down, nearly slicing my friend and me in half.

I spent the entire summer working to pay to have the mast reconstructed. The quad was a loss. So for me, far from nostalgia these are memories I'd just as soon forget!

-- Gordon

erco
08-29-2011, 09:19 PM
@Gordon: Remember every redneck's dying words: "Hey, watch THIS!" :)

erco
08-30-2011, 01:36 AM
It just never worked right. Bad design. Under perfect conditions the robot would occasionally dock after about 10 minutes of complex triangulation. Though usually the battery would run out first.

Well for better or worse, it's the one Heathkit item that is available as an unbuilt kit in abundant supply at clearance price: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Heathkit-HERO-2000-Robot-Auto-Dock-NEW-BOX-/360387164914?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item53e8bfbaf2

CannibalRobotics
08-30-2011, 01:55 AM
My older brother built about 20 of those radios for himself and friends. If it hadn't been for HeathKit I would have never learned to solder or use a VOM. I used to go in and hang out in his room while he was working and "help".
I did find it interesting that in the 'About us' tab, the words 'amateaur radio' or 'Ham radio' never appeared.
Too bad to, it's the real legacy of the company in my opinion. I also built one of their digital VOM's. It ran great for about 25 years but recently hit the scrap heap.
I'm still occasionally using the HeathKit DA-100 logic analyzer too.
Jim-

erco
08-30-2011, 09:44 AM
That unbuilt HW-9 kit is $535 with over 2 days left to go.

Maybe it will get up toward $1200?

RS_Jim
08-31-2011, 12:05 AM
Brings back a lot of memories. My first Heathkit was a DX-20 Ham transmitter that I put together shortly after I got my novice license. Later on I built a stereo, a bunch of 6 meter and two meter "benton harbor lunch boxes" My last project was an H-8 which I built an X-ten control board and taught myself assembly language programming. That became my "electronic wife" made the coffee, turned the porch light on when I was expected home, etc. The H-8 ended up with 128K of bank switched ram and a Z-80 processor, hard and soft sector floppy drives, game card with sprites. When I finally got rid of it I had over $5K into it. Used it for a long time as a word processor running Word Star under Cp/M.
Jim

Loopy Byteloose
08-31-2011, 10:44 AM
The best place to get old tube equipment is at the dump, or the recyclers that is associated with the dump. Another good place is at the early morning auctions at a larger urban Goodwill collection center.

All merchandise is prices to go and go quickly. You just have to get up at 5:30am to be there and get it. Much of what goes to Goodwill is quickly turned over in this way as they have too much to fill their stores and tube equipment is likely in need of repairs that they cannot do.

erco
09-02-2011, 11:30 PM
That unbuilt HW-9 kit is $535 with over 2 days left to go.

Maybe it will get up toward $1200?

OOPS. I was just bidding it up for fun, I expected the snipers to swoop in at the last minute. Turns out, I was "in it to win it". I won the auction at $777.

Cue the sound of PhiPi lusting...

And I already had the WARC kit for it. Now I just have to decide whether to build or save...

graffix
09-02-2011, 11:40 PM
Really 777,What is it a CB or something?

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
09-02-2011, 11:40 PM
erco,

Congrats on winning the auction! (I am a little jealous, BTW!) Build vs. save is a no-brainer: build it! Get it on the air! Let it fulfill its destiny at last, instead of languishing in a moldy cardboard box.

-Phil

Microcontrolled
09-02-2011, 11:43 PM
You just paid $777 to relive the "gentler times"; this is your only chance, I suggest you build it!

erco
09-02-2011, 11:44 PM
"JUMP, JUMP, JUMP!" :)

You boyz are all right!

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
09-02-2011, 11:47 PM
"JUMP, JUMP, JUMP!" You boyz are all right!
Well, it's not like it was our money! :)

-Phil

erco
09-02-2011, 11:50 PM
Hey, I tried to get you guys into a bidding pool. Phil, you could have built your one-seventh of the kit!

Microcontrolled
09-03-2011, 12:01 AM
I suggest you savor the moment of building this obsolete electronics kit. First, clear off your entire workspace of all modern projects. Get out a roll of leaded solder, and your oldest working soldering iron. Unwrap each component carefully, examining each one and marveling at how things once were (this is sounding more like an old geezer's trip to the antique store every line, isn't it?). Solder them in slowly, taking time to enjoy the experience. The total soldering job should take around 7 hours.

Once it is built, use it every day for a total of 10 years, and if you listened earlier and used leaded solder, it will still be working long after that. Pass it down through generations, even though they may have no idea just what it is or what it does.

Hey, you just got your money's worth. :)

localroger
09-03-2011, 12:11 AM
erco, congratulations! I too vote for building it, but I also suggest that you document it with video in excruciating detail. Show us each step in the manual, then the parts being readied and the operation being carried out, then a tight closeup on the box as you check off the step. Considering how cheap cameras are compared to your bid you could have a stand set up for the manual and a couple of different cams preset on tripods for tight closeups and more medium shots, as well as the occasional establishing shot of the whole build area perhaps from behind you as you work. I know people who would watch the whole thing even if it was 10 hours.

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
09-03-2011, 02:02 AM
Also a video of it in operation would be nice -- showing off your 45 wpm Morse talents! :)

-Phil

erco
09-03-2011, 04:08 AM
Perhaps a live 24-hour "build cam" with banner ads would generate sufficient hits & dollars to pay for this thing. Or maybe a trip to "Antiques Roadshow" is in order, unless this kit turns out to be a fake... :)

@Phil: I better brush up on my CW speed to justify this purchase, huh?

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
09-03-2011, 04:12 AM
I better brush up on my CW speed to justify this purchase, huh?
Either that or program a Prop to send and receive Morse! :)

-Phil

erco
09-03-2011, 07:41 AM
The original catalog description: http://kr7w.org/hw9/Heathkit%20HW-9%20Catalog%20Brochure.pdf

From http://kr7w.org/hw9/index.htm

Mods: http://www.qsl.net/kk4kf/hw9-mods.html Smart or heresy?

DOH! Now I gotta find a matching unbuilt speaker & power supply... My quest continues. :)

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
09-03-2011, 05:35 PM
I was never able to copy Morse with from speaker. 'Had to use headphones.

-Phil

Loopy Byteloose
09-03-2011, 06:03 PM
I wonder what ever happened to my Heathkit VOM and my Heathkit Vacumn Tube Multimeter. Building them was fun, like doing a Sunday crossword puzzles. Be sure to let us see a copy of the instructions with all the check off boxes.

Morse Code is easy. All you have to know is CQ CQ and your call sign, right?

ctwardell
09-03-2011, 06:11 PM
Congrats Erco. Build it! Take lots of pictures during the process.

C.W.

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
09-03-2011, 06:58 PM
Morse Code is easy. All you have to know is CQ CQ and your call sign, right?
Based on my experience with a little QRP transceiver I recently built, yes: no one has answered me yet.

-Phil

erco
09-05-2011, 03:38 AM
Next best thing to an HW-9, and a bit more affordable at $22... http://www.ebay.com/itm/HEATHKIT-MODEL-HW-7-QRP-TRANSCEIVER-/290604551611?_trksid=p4340.m263&_trkparms=algo%3DSIC%26its%3DI%26itu%3DUCI%252BIA% 252BUA%252BFICS%252BUFI%26otn%3D5%26pmod%3D1807111 57730%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D2555553591698061392

RDL2004
09-05-2011, 03:48 AM
It's just too decrepidt for us to list as working

Lol

$WMc%
09-05-2011, 05:57 PM
I wrote a code on my old RadioShack CoCoII to convert text (ASCII) to Morse back in the mid 80's. Ya it was cheating but I sounded like a real Pro.
'
I was Afton asked to slow down. "hard to keep up"
'
I got pretty good at understanding Morse this way. I got to the point of hearing words and not just letters.
'
I tried and tried to write a code to convert Morse to text. I couldn't make it work. I look back at the problem now and I see it was the lack of an input buffer in my code with the CoCoII.
'
I still have my Heathkit SB-610 all tube scope that I built when I was a kid.

erco
09-06-2011, 09:47 PM
Here we go again, an UNBUILT HR-10B ham receiver!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Heathkit-Unbuilt-HR-10B-Receiver-Box-/230668942856?_trksid=p4340.m263&_trkparms=algo%3DSI%26its%3DI%26itu%3DUCI%252BRTU% 252BUA%252BFICS%26otn%3D5%26pmod%3D330607730528%26 ps%3D63%26clkid%3D2596257357002558997

I still have mine (!) from my novice days as a teenager, bought at a hamfest for $35. Sensitive, but not too selective. I'm guessing this will go for $500-600.

Microcontrolled
09-06-2011, 10:01 PM
Hmmm..... Are you planning to bid on this as well?

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
09-06-2011, 10:48 PM
OMG! It's up to $360 already. I paid $79 for mine when I was a kid. Of course, it took me a whole year to earn that much from my TV Guide route!

I don't have it anymore, though. I sold all my ham stuff for $100 to my high school math teacher's son when I got out of college. That included a teletype machine and a couple 4CX1000A tubes. (He got a bargain.)

-Phil

erco
09-06-2011, 11:48 PM
PhiPi: I still have it ALL my ham gear. Including my vintage (even way back then) Western Union telefax machine, with the mechanical spiral drum scan, and the transistor inverter I built following instrux from the ARRL handbook. Used that in my hich school science fair project. First place, natch. :)

http://www.cs.ubc.ca/~hilpert/e/deskfax/index.html

If a photo of it is worth $25, imagine what the unit is worth! Surely I'm a millionaire!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1953-Western-Unions-Desk-Fax-Wire-Photo-/290587468122?pt=Art_Photo_Images&hash=item43a85ce15a

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
09-06-2011, 11:52 PM
erco,

You must have a large barn to hold all that cool stuff you've kept! I have a feeling that those guys on the TV show, Pickers, would have heart palpitations if they ever came across your place! :)

-Phil

Ken Gracey
09-07-2011, 12:43 PM
Found a picture of their first kit this morning:

http://www.heraldpalladium.com/articles/2011/08/25/local_news/6216823.txt

Is that a Parallax Ping in the photo?

Ken Gracey

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
09-07-2011, 03:52 PM
Is that a Parallax Ping in the photo?
You'd know that better than any of us, Ken. :) Congrats on yet another high-profile product placement!

-Phil

Ken Gracey
09-07-2011, 04:22 PM
You'd know that better than any of us, Ken. :) Congrats on yet another high-profile product placement!

-Phil

Actually I don't know for certain if it is a Ping, which is why I ask the question. I can't tell by looking at the photo.

Ken Gracey

erco
09-07-2011, 04:34 PM
I'm betting it's a PING. The SRF-04 has 4 pins. Looks like 3 pins in the pic to me.

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
09-07-2011, 04:39 PM
Actually I don't know for certain if it is a Ping, ...

Oh, seriously? I thought you were being rhetorical. I can't tell from the photo either. If it is, though, they've added some spacers to it, but that's easy enough to do. A quick Google search didn't turn up any more info.

-Phil

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
09-07-2011, 04:46 PM
Nope, it's not a Ping))). Dang! The photo on the box shows two large "T" and "R" labels for the transducers, which the Ping))) does not have.

-Phil

Chris Savage
09-07-2011, 04:52 PM
I had a few Heathkits in my days. Last one was a scope. Very expensive, but I just had to have it. Never could afford the Hero Robot I wanted the most though. Somehow $2,500.00 was just out of my reach at 14 years old for something that my parents considered an expensive toy. The device in the photo does look like a PING))) and I find it interesting that most of the photo is so clear except the details that would stand out on the PING))). Nonetheless, I thought that the project looked VERY familiar...

Garage Parking Assistant (http://www.savagecircuits.com/forums/showthread.php?36-Garage-Parking-Assistant)

I guess in that sense if their kits will now be just stuff other people post on the web, will it be worth it?

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
09-07-2011, 05:24 PM
The range finder in the Heath photo appears to be this one:


http://www.futurlec.com/Distance_Sensors.shtml

-Phil

Chris Savage
09-07-2011, 06:02 PM
It's amazing how similar the specifications are of that sensor to the PING))).

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
09-07-2011, 06:24 PM
That's not the only PING))) knock-off. Do an image search on Google for ultrasonic rangefinder. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Parallax would be blushing from the implied accolades!

-Phil

RinksCustoms
09-08-2011, 05:41 AM
First RadioShack, now HeathKit. Wow! This could be good news, or Heath may just be another overpriced Pitsco Lego Dacta, designed to relieve school districts of their hard-won funding. We'll see, as their pricing structure becomes more apparent. (I was rather hoping to see some ham radio kits, but I guess that was too much to ask for.)

-Phil

.. or Tube amplifier kits =/ (which i have some schematics for ;D )

RinksCustoms
09-08-2011, 05:54 AM
The range finder in the Heath photo appears to be this one:


http://www.futurlec.com/Distance_Sensors.shtml

-Phil
they also sell waterproof automotive bumper distance sensors.. ;)

erco
09-13-2011, 07:52 AM
Unbuilt Heathkit transceivers are coming out of the woodwork suddenly! Here's another nice little novice CW rig, but not QRP. ~50 watts, the HW-99 http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260852221593

erco
12-13-2011, 10:11 PM
Check this optimistic seller! An unbuilt HW-8 for $621 and the reserve hasn't been met yet. With 6 days still to go! http://www.ebay.com/itm/Unbuilt-Heathkit-HW-8-Heathkit-transceiver-QRP-ham-ORIGINAL-BOX-/320810825524?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4ab1d0b734

Christmas bidding fever on Ebay got a Penguin kit up to $180 the other day. So maybe this guy will get $800+ for his HW-8. If so, that bodes well for my $777 unbuilt HW-9, which is much more desireable. BTW, I have not had a chance to start building it, but I did get the matching unbuilt WARC pack for it. Woo Hoo!

If I ever get snowed in here in southern California :) , there will be no shortage of projects.

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
12-13-2011, 10:26 PM
erco,

Did you ever assemble that Heath transceiver kit that you bought awhile back?

-Phil

erco
12-13-2011, 10:30 PM
Not yet, that's the HW-9 I mentioned. It'll happen.

So will the Corvair.

No rush.

:)

erco
01-10-2012, 03:30 AM
A somewhat complete, partially built Heathkit GR-81 radio: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Heathkit-Gr-81-Regenerative-Receiver-UNFINISHED-KIT-some-assembly-required-/160711174289?_trksid=p4340.m185&_trkparms=algo%3DSIC.NPJS%26its%3DI%252BC%26itu%3D UA%26otn%3D5%26pmod%3D230668942856%26ps%3D63%26clk id%3D5501828762135230216

I have one of these already built, neat regenerative radio. These get a fair price on Ebay. If someone gets this for $40, it's a deal!

Ken Gracey
08-22-2012, 06:18 AM
Came across this from Robert Doerr (Robot Workshop):

http://www.heraldpalladium.com/news/local/disassembly-complete-heathkit-is-no-more/article_c00ffaac-d15b-11e1-a9e7-0019bb2963f4.html

erco
08-22-2012, 06:26 AM
That's a shame in so many ways. I wonder if Robert will get in on the excess robot inventory?

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
08-22-2012, 06:42 AM
Ouch, that's sad! I got my start in electronics building a Heath HR-10 ham radio receiver as a teen. Their ham kits were, by and large, very well regarded and still command a premium in the used market -- as erco will attest to. (How's the HW-9 assembly coming, erco? I scan the band every day, hoping upon hope to hear your CQ. :) )

-Phil

erco
08-22-2012, 07:43 AM
This hoarder still has his HR-10B and DX-60B, HW-16, HW101, HW7, HW8, and unbuilt HW9.

Heathkit's a silent key for the second time now.

erco
12-09-2012, 11:41 PM
Another unbuilt HW-9 on Ebay, this one unleashed in the fury of the holiday buying spree. If it cracks $800, I won't feel bad. And no, it's not mine and mine ain't fer sale, PhiPi!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/230894456674?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1431.l2649

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
12-09-2012, 11:51 PM
It's up to $460 already with nearly six days to go! That's a sweet rig and probably a not-bad investment; but I'd buy it to put together and use, and $800+ is a bit over the top for that.

-Phil

nightwing
12-10-2012, 02:22 AM
Check this optimistic seller! An unbuilt HW-8 for $621 and the reserve hasn't been met yet. With 6 days still to go! http://www.ebay.com/itm/Unbuilt-Heathkit-HW-8-Heathkit-transceiver-QRP-ham-ORIGINAL-BOX-/320810825524?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4ab1d0b734

Christmas bidding fever on Ebay got a Penguin kit up to $180 the other day. So maybe this guy will get $800+ for his HW-8. If so, that bodes well for my $777 unbuilt HW-9, which is much more desireable. BTW, I have not had a chance to start building it, but I did get the matching unbuilt WARC pack for it. Woo Hoo!

If I ever get snowed in here in southern California :) , there will be no shortage of projects.

I built the HW7. The one previous to that HW8. Love it. Traded that and a few others for the original Atlas 180 way back when.

erco
12-17-2012, 03:15 AM
Another unbuilt HW-9 on Ebay, this one unleashed in the fury of the holiday buying spree. If it cracks $800, I won't feel bad. And no, it's not mine and mine ain't fer sale, PhiPi!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/230894456674?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1431.l2649

And then there were two. :)

Yup.

nightwing
12-17-2012, 04:37 AM
A year of change. :(

Between the heathkit, Edmund Scientific and the Wish Book catalogs. Were very happy memories...

Remember a Heathkit store in San Diego.

erco
12-17-2012, 04:46 AM
Remember a Heathkit store in San Diego.

I bought my HERO Jr kit from the Los Angeles store about 1986 or 87. It was a cool store. They had a HERO 2000 I couldn't afford in the corner that was never running. Pity.

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
12-17-2012, 04:48 AM
And then there were two.
You bought that? The twins' college endowment? 'Should be worth a bundle in 16 years' time! :)

Or, now you've got one to build and one to keep.

-Phil

erco
12-17-2012, 05:31 AM
Or, now you've got one to build and one to keep.
-Phil

PhiPi got my obscure reference. It was a bargain at just $608! My lowball (?) bid won. I've won a few other items at below market value while people are out Christmas shopping. I just won a Scribbler robot for $9.99! That's a hackworthy addition to my fleet.

And yes, now I can actually build one of my twin HW-9s with a clear conscience. By building one, the other unbuilt unit becomes even rarer and more valuable!

erco
12-22-2012, 11:56 PM
Here's a Christmas dreamer: $250 opening bid just for the WARC add-on kit for the HW-9. I think I paid $30 for one a while back.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=190774144921&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123

erco
01-08-2013, 01:21 AM
Built but untested HW-9 with WARC pack installed. A bargain at $203 with 40 minutes to go.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/321048624539

nightwing
01-08-2013, 03:55 PM
I bought my HERO Jr kit from the Los Angeles store about 1986 or 87. It was a cool store. They had a HERO 2000 I couldn't afford in the corner that was never running. Pity.

I know what you mean...

erco
01-08-2013, 05:00 PM
And then there were three.

erco
01-15-2013, 06:24 AM
Daddy like. Can BoeBots read CW?

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
01-15-2013, 06:30 AM
Are you on the air? I might have to hook up my antenna!

-Phil

erco
01-15-2013, 06:41 AM
No antenna yet, but that's coming next...

erco
02-04-2013, 06:27 PM
Here's the mother lode: an entire unbuilt HW-9 station, all accessories included. Should top $1000 IMO

http://www.ebay.com/itm/200888123713

PJ Allen
02-04-2013, 07:10 PM
I remember that catalog, the herald of the Zenith-Schlumberger acquisition.
They dropped practically everything radio for that xcvr and some wanker computer course demo stuff.
That was also when "Popular Electronics" had the bright idear of renaming itself "Computers and Electronics", minus the actual 'Electronics' content, and their own misguided descent into oblivion.

PE - maybe they can join forces with radio shack

erco
02-09-2013, 07:17 PM
Yowsah, nearly $2K with a day left: http://www.ebay.com/itm/200888123713