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Thread: farewell to Heathkit

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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Broken Bow, OK
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    --KC8VWM: Was the link you gave (http://www.heathkit.com/index.php?op...123&Itemid=237) supposed to say something about Heathkit going out of business? If so, they changed the text on the page. It now reads: "Amateur Radio kits are simple to complex to maximize skill levels and operational levels. We are developing new kits now based on your recommendations. Please check back for updates and product launches." I looked at the Heathkit website and could not find any info. regarding going out of business...then again, I only looked at 5 or 6 pages. I hope they remain in business, of course. Thanks.
    Adam
    K5AHH

    We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. --Sir Winston Churchill

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Jacuzzi
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    Quote Originally Posted by K5AHH View Post
    --KC8VWM: Was the link you gave (http://www.heathkit.com/index.php?op...123&Itemid=237) supposed to say something about Heathkit going out of business? If so, they changed the text on the page. It now reads: "Amateur Radio kits are simple to complex to maximize skill levels and operational levels. We are developing new kits now based on your recommendations. Please check back for updates and product launches." I looked at the Heathkit website and could not find any info. regarding going out of business...then again, I only looked at 5 or 6 pages. I hope they remain in business, of course. Thanks.
    I see someone is paying attention.

    I spoke with Ernie Wake at Heathkit sometime in the fall of last year regarding future product development which lead to the idea of rolling the ball out on developing kits for the amateur radio community. I managed to convince them to get back into the amateur radio kit business even in the form of simple kits like meters, dummy loads and that sort of thing to get started. They requested I help them to put the feelers out there to seek additional input from the amateur radio community to develop kits, so I contacted Bill Pasternak of Amateur Radio Newsline who made the official announcement. They did in fact receive many product development suggestions from the amateur radio community however, no kits have been developed as of yet.

    I'm not sure where the author of this thread received his information exactly, (no names of people he spoke with at Heathkit were given) nor did I confirm what he stated with Heathkit myself.

    It does seem unusual they are supposedly pulling the plug according to the author of this article and yet, they continue to have the Amateur Radio link posted on the Heathkit website.

    http://www.heathkit.com/index.php?op...123&Itemid=237


    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by KC8VWM; 05-08-2012 at 06:23 PM.
    73 de Charles - KC8VWM
    North American QRP CW Club #3159, SKCC# 5752

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
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    Middle TN, 50 mi NW of Nashville
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    Quote Originally Posted by W9OE View Post
    "farewell to Heathkit"

    HeathKit has been gone for a long time. Heathkit is HeathKit in name only. Just like RCA, you can still buy an RCA TV. However some company in Korea owns the rights the the RCA name. They did not buy the company they only bought the name. This company and their products have no relationship to the RCA we all grew up with. RCA Just like HeathKit are long gone!!!
    Another example is Taylor Tubes. They were a popular and trusted source of good quality, reasonably priced transmitting tubes before WWII and for a while following the war, but went out of business early in the post-WW2 era. One story I heard is that they couldn't compete with the glut of war surplus tubes that saturated the market at pennies on the dollar.

    About 10-15 years ago, "Taylor Tubes" re-appeared in the ham radio ads, with the exact same logo as the original. But to-day's Taylor tubes are not a re-birth of the old company. Some Chinese manufacturer bought (or perhaps appropriated) the Taylor name and logo and registered it to use with their product.
    Hard Core AM since 1959

  4. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by K4KYV View Post
    Another example is Taylor Tubes. They were a popular and trusted source of good quality, reasonably priced transmitting tubes before WWII and for a while following the war, but went out of business early in the post-WW2 era. One story I heard is that they couldn't compete with the glut of war surplus tubes that saturated the market at pennies on the dollar.
    I think the real reason was related, but somewhat different. Note that RCA/GE and Eimac survived the postwar transmitting-tube glut, but Taylor, Raytheon, Hytron and others did not.

    Here's what I think happened:

    Before the war, there was a wide selection of transmitting tubes for amateurs and similar users. RCA had their 8xx series, Eimac had their xxxTH and xxxTL triodes, plus other tubes, Raytheon had thier RK-xx series, Taylor their T-xx series, Hytron their HY-xx series, etc. Sometimes the same number (such as 807) had different ratings from different makers.

    Eimac also made magnetrons and special microwave tubes - very important for radar.

    But to fight the war, very large numbers of relatively few types were needed. All tube-manufacturing resources had to be focused on tubes needed for the war effort. The standard list of VT-xxx numbers was used for the purpose. Only tubes on the list were made in any quantity.

    If you look at the VT list, it's almost all RCA and Eimac types. Raytheon, Taylor, Hytron and others were all but shut out of the game. Their factories were licensed to make tubes on the VT list, and they did, but meanwhile their own lines moldered on the sidelines.

    Note that when the Hallicrafters HT-4 was reworked into the BC-610, the tube types changed to either Eimac or RCA types. Look at the HT-4 tube lineup and the BC-610's and see.

    What this did was to put the other tube companies at an extreme disadvantage after the war. Hams and others knew the VT-list tubes well, but had all but forgotten the others. They would be considered "old hat" anyway, even though tubes like the 813 and 811 were actually of the same vintage.

    Why were RCA and Eimac tubes so dominant in the VT list? Could it have anything to do with the job General David Sarnoff did during the war? (Yes, that David Sarnoff).

    Just my opinion...

    73 de Jim N2EY

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Cincinnati, Ohio
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    1,364

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    Quote Originally Posted by N2EY View Post

    Why were RCA and Eimac tubes so dominant in the VT list? Could it have anything to do with the job General David Sarnoff did during the war? (Yes, that David Sarnoff).

    Just my opinion...

    73 de Jim N2EY
    Hmmm...let's hold a seance and ask Armstrong's ghost.
    73,
    Bill WA8FOZ

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Houston Texas
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    6,285

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    Quote Originally Posted by WA8FOZ View Post
    Hmmm...let's hold a seance and ask Armstrong's ghost.

    Sometimes things from the past can come back to haunt you. Be careful playing with a Ghost.

    How did Heathkit get its name in the very beginning ?

    I would start my Heathkits after eating a Heath Bar, and then eat a Payday and drink a Beer after I finished them.
    "Theory only works perfect in a vacuum." KA9JLM Don

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Syracuse, Utah, USA
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    It's truly sad to see Heathkit go. I wasn't into ham radio when Heathkit was in their glory days but I sure wish those days were back. I have an SB-200 amplifier and HM-102 SWR/Watt meter. Truly nice instuments for their date of manufacture. Thank you Heathkit !!

    73
    Bob

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Park Hills,MO
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    3,453

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC8VWM View Post
    I see someone is paying attention.

    I spoke with Ernie Wake at Heathkit sometime in the fall of last year regarding future product development which lead to the idea of rolling the ball out on developing kits for the amateur radio community. I managed to convince them to get back into the amateur radio kit business even in the form of simple kits like meters, dummy loads and that sort of thing to get started. They requested I help them to put the feelers out there to seek additional input from the amateur radio community to develop kits, so I contacted Bill Pasternak of Amateur Radio Newsline who made the official announcement. They did in fact receive many product development suggestions from the amateur radio community however, no kits have been developed as of yet.

    I'm not sure where the author of this thread received his information exactly, (no names of people he spoke with at Heathkit were given) nor did I confirm what he stated with Heathkit myself.

    It does seem unusual they are supposedly pulling the plug according to the author of this article and yet, they continue to have the Amateur Radio link posted on the Heathkit website.

    http://www.heathkit.com/index.php?op...123&Itemid=237


    Hope that helps.
    Try to buy the GPA 100, you get nothing but timed out.

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    New Castle, Delaware (FM29ep)
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    1,271

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    Quote Originally Posted by KA9JLM View Post
    Nobody builds kits anymore.

    It is cheaper to buy them from cheap labor builders.

    It does suck.

    What a bummer.
    I'm glad that these comments aren't actually true. Kit building and homebrewing is probably the only thing keeping me in the hobby at this point.

    Here's a link of some great resources http://www.amqrp.org/misc/links.html

    ADD: I just read your other reply #12:

    Quote Originally Posted by KA9JLM View Post
    I guess I should have said Not to many people build kits anymore.

    It is true that there are kits out there, and many people buy them assembled and tested.

    Heathkit was a good teaching tool for many operators, and when it broke they could fix it.

    Sad to say that is not the case much anymore.

    Most people of today want to plug it up and start using it, and are spoiled for the most part.
    I agree with these statements 100%.

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    New Castle, Delaware (FM29ep)
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    Quote Originally Posted by KI4NGN View Post
    Sorry, but being an AR op does not imply that one enjoys building anything, and it never did.
    I know one instance where it applied. The only reason I got my license was to be able to design, experiment and build my own designs. Most hams don't realize the actual privileges that their license actually gives them. It's more than just a license to talk.

    But, on the flip side of the coin, I've never designed or built a FM transceiver. I prefer to go to HRO for that. So, I guess I'm spoiled that way....among many other ways.

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