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ArthurS
Watch Those Blinking Lights
Premium
join:2000-10-28
Hamilton, ON
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Heathkit making another comeback?

Spotted this on the Heathkit yahoo group just now.

This is really interesting:
»www.heathkit.com/

Just when I thought the company was dead and picked over after bankruptcy auctions, seems like there may be a new version of this company re-emerging.

Here's a survey that is seeking direction:
»heathkit.com/survey/index.php/27 ··· /lang-en

Should be interesting to see what comes of this, and whether they can stay viable selling electronic kits.


tschmidt
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join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
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Thanks for the link.

I took the survey. Hope they will survive.

Was a little troubled they may be thinking about retro gear. If they want to succeed they need to come up with modern stuff that gets people excited. If I want old stuff I go to hamfests or eBay.

Glad they mentioned the maker movement - hopefully that will reverse the tend of the last couple of decades where it was very difficult to get hands on experience.

/tom


ropeguru
Premium
join:2001-01-25
Mechanicsville, VA
And the modern stuff they come up with needs to be solidly built.

I have gone out and looked for comparable kits like I used to have growning up and instead wood, metal, or good sturdy plastic, all I found was cheap crap.


ArthurS
Watch Those Blinking Lights
Premium
join:2000-10-28
Hamilton, ON
kudos:1
reply to ArthurS
I think one or two kits of vintage gear would be really cool, even if they "improve" an old design a bit to take care of certain issues.

It will be interesting what new equipment kits they come up with. With SMT being so prevalent now with computerized gear, likely it will be board assembly instead of component assembly for some of the kits.


SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
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Reviews:
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1 recommendation

reply to ArthurS
They forgot the part about keeping surveys a reasonable length

The other problem, I think they will have, is with the young people. I know my grandson wants to see something like a mobile phone. Where I was fascinated by a crystal radio and I thought the heath sixer was the greatest thing ever.

TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
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Reviews:
·NorthWest Tel
said by SparkChaser:

The other problem, I think they will have, is with the young people.

I think this will be the main problem. Young people these days don't get as much exposure to electronics and radio as they used to in the past.

Heck, a lot of young people have never even heard the term "ham radio".

Also in this world of smartphones and other smart gadgets, I think there won't be as much interest in the simpler things. People take a lot of things for granted now, that they use in their daily lives without even thinking about them.

To be successful, they would have to take a more modern approach. Perhaps using microcontrollers and other digital technologies to expand on the functionality of some of the kits.


BK3

join:2001-04-10
Geneva, IL
reply to ArthurS
I took the survey. One of the things I would like to see under "vintage" is some of the excellent vacuum tube amps from the past.
--
Gun control is being able to hit your target.

H_T_R_N
Premium
join:2011-12-06
Valencia, PA
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Reviews:
·voip.ms
said by BK3:

I took the survey. One of the things I would like to see under "vintage" is some of the excellent vacuum tube amps from the past.

A couple ST70's are on my Christmas list with a PAS-2.
not heath but definitely vintage gear. I want to pair them up with a set of Mark-6 Ariels »www.nutshellhifi.com/Ariel-6c.gi ··· l-6c.gif


BK3

join:2001-04-10
Geneva, IL
I know of the ST-70s.
When I was growing up in the 60's, my father had a setup with a Mark III amp.
--
Gun control is being able to hit your target.


aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
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reply to SparkChaser
said by SparkChaser:

I know my grandson wants to see something like a mobile phone.

Building a usable mobile phone from parts is not going to work too well. Maybe if they supply a fully populated PCB, and one just need to put the pieces together, but that would be kinda lame.
--
Wacky Races 2012!


OldCableGuy

@planetcr.net
not to mention mobile phones must be FCC certified. the reason you can build a ham transmitter is because self built kits are in the FCC regs. The FCC doesn't allow self built transmitters on either the cellular or the PCS or the AWS bands.


tschmidt
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reply to aurgathor
said by aurgathor:

Building a usable mobile phone from parts is not going to work too well.

Agree - it does not make sense to build a complex kit when it will likely cost more then a factory assembled mass market device.

What makes more sense is to develop cell phone accessories. Something with a limited customer base but large enough to justify creating a kit. Add capability to off the shelf phone and provide the ability for a hobbyist to add their own features.

How about a charging adapter that lets you use ordinarily POTS landlines phones when it is in the adapter, and/or you PC? Integrate landlines and cell phone seamlessly.

Smart phone - AV controller?

As been pointed out there is not much labor content soldering surface mount PCBs and they are hard for hobbyist to do well. Not to mention old farts like myself with limited depth perception struggle with through-hole much less surface mount.

/tom

lutful
... of ideas
Premium
join:2005-06-16
Ottawa, ON
kudos:2
reply to tschmidt
said by tschmidt:

If they want to succeed they need to come up with modern stuff that gets people excited.

Since new tube factories will be built to support analog audio, Heath could revive their analog computer kit. I actually liked it way more than slide rules and calculators and I am sure my son would love it too.

*** this is the one built by my uncle: »heathkit-museum.com/computers/hv ··· -1.shtml


SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to aurgathor
said by aurgathor:

said by SparkChaser:

I know my grandson wants to see something like a mobile phone.

Building a usable mobile phone from parts is not going to work too well. Maybe if they supply a fully populated PCB, and one just need to put the pieces together, but that would be kinda lame.

My frame of reference for kids is my grandson and nephews. When I explain what I'm doing. e.g. Arduino RF link to external temperature and assorted sensors. Grandson (6yo) says is that all. Can we make a robot?

Sure, but we need this and that and it will take time. We have to get parts, etc. Oh, let's play with Legos.

My nephew (10 yo) is slightly better. He's fascinated with paper money and I can show him some things that seem like magic but take that away and he's just as bored and the others.
--
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it." - Neil deGrasse Tyson


shortckt
Watchen Das Blinken Lights
Premium
join:2000-12-05
Tenant Hell
reply to ArthurS
I've been waiting years for them to decide to come back to kits. The range of viable products now would be much more limited than in the past, but I would suggest test equipment, weather station stuff, ham gear, and robots. Maybe resurrect some of their retro tube audio gear in limited quantities for the nostalgic.


BK3

join:2001-04-10
Geneva, IL
Reviews:
·AT&T Yahoo
reply to ArthurS
Received this email from Heathkit:

Dear Heathkit Insider,

Thank you for completing the Heathkit survey.
You now are a member of the Heathkit Insiders mailing list.

We appreciate the time you spent telling us what is important to you. We are listening. And we are reading---every single survey response is being read by at least one member of Heath Company's Board of Directors.

Many thousands of you wrote to tell us personal stories about your Heathkit experience and your hopes for us. We want you to know that we appreciate your well wishes, and we are working hard to bring this great company back.

As a Heathkit Insider, you are the first to learn today that this week we are publishing Frequently Asked Questions (and answers) on the heathkit.com website. This will answer many questions that you and other loyal Heathkit fans have been asking. You can be among the first to read it, at

»www.heathkit.com/heathkit-faq.ht ··· faq.html

We will be working hard, and mostly quietly, for the next several months, to define new products for you. From time to time, we will send out brief updates to you.

If you are a Facebook user, a good way to stay up-to-date is to join our Facebook page and "Like" us:

»www.facebook.com/heathcompany

Click the "Like" button on that page to receive notices whenever we publish Facebook updates. (We also will send occasional email messages, for those of you who do not use Facebook.)

We'll write again soon to tell you about our progress.
Meanwhile, we're thankful for your patience and enthusiasm.

Sincerely,

The Heathkit Management Team
--
Gun control is being able to hit your target.


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL
reply to ArthurS
said by ArthurS:

Should be interesting to see what comes of this, and whether they can stay viable selling electronic kits.

They are going to have to find a niche market and about the only one I can see them falling back into is analog tube based amps and preamps.

What’s old has become new and that might be a good wave for them to ride, but it will be a tough ride to assemble, considering the many electronic and mechanical disciplines required to produce such a kit.

lutful
... of ideas
Premium
join:2005-06-16
Ottawa, ON
kudos:2
reply to ArthurS
Click for full size
Heathkit would probably sell more RP1 units now than they did in the good old days.

b10010011
Whats a Posting tag?

join:2004-09-07
Bellingham, WA
Reviews:
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reply to ArthurS
Click for full size
Text size much?
This is what their FAQ looks like...

I am not holding my breath in anticipation of their triumphant return.
--
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ArthurS
Watch Those Blinking Lights
Premium
join:2000-10-28
Hamilton, ON
kudos:1
said by b10010011:

This is what their FAQ looks like...

I am not holding my breath in anticipation of their triumphant return.

The FAQ text size is perfectly sized in my browser. Maybe you have a setting off with yours?


SparkChaser
Premium
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Downingtown, PA
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Reviews:
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reply to ArthurS
Heath FAQ, forgive the formatting

Heathkit® Frequently Asked Questions
Big changes, big plans
Questions about the company
Heathkit Insiders
Intellectual Property
What Next

Big changes, big plans
Q. Is Heathkit back? A. Yes. We're back. Q. So are you really going to make Heathkit® kits? A. Yes. Q. Wow! That simple? Yes? A. Yes. Q. Will Heathkit products include entirely new designs? A. Yes. Q. Will you revive any old kit designs? A. Very likely. Tell us what you'd like �€“ take our survey. Q. When can I start ordering Heathkit® kits? A. They're coming. But it's a long road, and we need every product we offer to be Heathkit® quality. We will communicate with you, here and elsewhere, as we make progress. Thanks for being patient while we rebuild this great company. Q. I have great ideas�€”about products I wish you'd make, and past kits I'd buy if Heathkit brings them back. What should I do? A. You are our favorite customer. We want to hear from you. Of course, don't tell us anything proprietary unless you have a non-disclosure agreement signed with us. But if you want to tell us about yourself, your favorite past or future Heathkit product, and what you most hope to see and buy from us: Please�€”take our survey.
Questions about the company
Q. Who owns Heathkit? A. Heathkit® is a trademark of Heath Company, registered in the US and around the world. Heath Company owns all Heathkit® corporate assets worldwide. Q. I thought Heathkit didn't exist any more. A. To paraphrase Mark Twain: The reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated. Q. But I read it on the Internet, and Wikipedia. A. Yeah, we saw that too. (Wikipedia once reported that the Vatican has a Death Star. Who writes this stuff?) Q. Magazines also printed articles saying Heathkit went bankrupt last year, in 2012. A. Yes. Bankruptcy is a financial problem where you lack money. It is not always the end of life of a business. Many businesses go through bankruptcy and emerge stronger. Heathkit® is such a success story. Q. Who owns Heathkit now? A. Heath Company does. (Heathkit® is a trademark of Heath Company, registered in the US and around the world.) At Heath Company in 2013, Heathkit's destiny is in new hands, under new management and ownership. We know the value and trust you place in the Heathkit® name, and we are committed to making Heathkit succeed and flourish. Q. I thought the name of the company was Heathkit Educational Systems. A. This was widely misreported and misunderstood. Heathkit® Educational Systems is a trademarked use of the Heathkit® trademark, not the corporation name. (This and all uses of Heathkit® fall under Heath Company's trademarks, registered internationally.) Q. All these company names are really confusing. A. We understand. As devoted Heathkit® fans know, the parent company name and the ownership of Heathkit have changed a number of times in the 80 or so years since Ed Heath founded the business. Over the decades Heathkit has been owned by Daystrom, Schlumberger, and Zenith and has been independent several times. Really: Unless you're an industry historian, it doesn't matter. Here's the bottom line: Heath Company has restarted Heathkit®. High-quality kits, educational systems and instructional products always have been a major line of Heathkit's business, and we remain committed to education and the joy of building and learning as an important Heathkit® value and contribution. Q. So who are you guys? A. More on this later. Notwithstanding this FAQ, we're presently in stealth. But here's what we want you to know right now: We have enormous respect for the Heathkit® name, and we know you do too. We consider ourselves this decade's caretakers of the most respected name in do-it-yourself and educational electronics and related products over the past century. It's a terrific opportunity and a historical responsibility we take seriously, and we want to preserve and grow this opportunity, together with you. We know we need to earn and keep your trust every day. Meanwhile, to whet your appetite: Our new CEO/President, and every member of Heath Company's Board of Directors, are avid kit-builders and DIYers. We own and use Heathkit® products ourselves. For those with this interest, it happens we all are licensed amateur radio operators. (Also happy with our team will be: car buffs, pilots, musicians & artists, sports/outdoors enthusiasts, parents, educators, and people who value community service.) Our management team have substantial experience as high-tech executives, in startups and public companies, and in technology and finance. We are carefully growing a team of highly experienced industry advisors. Most importantly, we want you to help and advise us too. Ultimately, it is you, with your excitement and enthusiasm and interest in doing great things with great products, who will make Heathkit a success. Q. Why have you been in stealth? A. Efficiency. Here are two business choices. Choice (a) is, early on we spend lots of money, time and energy on press releases and marketing and public interaction. Choice (b) is, we quietly assemble a talented team, learn what our customer community wants, and put all our energy into creating great products for them. Which sounds better?
Heathkit Insiders
Q. I heard there is a group called Heathkit Insiders. A. Yes, there is. Q. How can I join the Heathkit Insiders group? A. Take the survey, and provide a valid email address. Q. I want to be a Heathkit Insider, but I am concerned about privacy. A. We understand. We are big privacy advocates too. You may feel more comfortable after carefully reading our privacy policy. Q. I took the survey and entered an email address, but I haven't received any Heathkit Insiders messages. A. There are several possible explanations. �–� It can take several days for your email address to be added to the list, since email addresses must be checked and corrected.
�–� You might have entered an incorrect email address. About 5-10% of email addresses are entered incorrectly or undeliverable. We work hard to decipher and correct entry errors, but sometimes they are not possible to fix.
�–� Your email service may be marking your Heathkit Insider communications as spam. This problem is especially likely if you use a very large email or forwarding service like gmail, Yahoo, or ARRL.net. Your email service provider may have moved valid Heathkit Insiders messages to your spam folder, or they may block the messages completely. Presently all Heathkit Insiders email comes from the (non-human mail robot) address "heathkit-insider-mailing-list-robot-2013" at heathkit.com, and you may need to "whitelist" this address or add it to your email address book stored at the service provider's website, so your service provider allows it to arrive. The ARRL forwarding service apparently filters email it forwards to you but does not provide a way for you to whitelist your favorite senders. So if you gave Heathkit an ARRL.net email address and you have not received your Heathkit Insiders communications, you may need to contact the ARRL and tell them you want to receive email from heathkit.com. (We recognize this is a bit ironic.)

Intellectual Property
Q. I read on the Internet that Heathkit publications are in the public domain. A. Not from anyone who understands intellectual property law. (Again: Who writes this stuff?) The Internet probably is not an ideal place to obtain primary legal advice. To be clear: No. This is false. Q. Who owns Heathkit's intellectual property? A. Heath Company owns all Heathkit® intellectual property �€“ all trademarks, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets. (This includes, for example, all current and historical Heathkit product designs, patents, manual copyrights, schematics, lines of business, contract rights, customer lists, relationships, marketing plans, photos, videos, trade dresses, catalog rights, textbook copyrights, logos, publication designs�€ï¿½.) 100% of it. Under U.S. and international copyright and other applicable IP law, this also means we own the rights over derivative works (roughly: if someone copies our intellectual property, we own rights over their work too). Of course, this is great news for Heathkit fans and customers. You want all the Heathkit® IP in one place under one roof. It means Heathkit can keep being Heathkit. Q. I read on the Internet that someone else owns the copyrights to Heathkit® manuals. A. No, not correct. (At least Wikipedia got this right.) Heathkit has in the past given a contractual license to certain specific parties granting a limited right to reprint and sell paper copies of specific obsolete Heathkit manuals, to better serve valued Heathkit customers on those special occasions when you spill coffee on your original kit manual. Such reprinting agreements are designed to outsource Heathkit's reprinting operations to smaller companies who can provide replacement manuals cost-effectively but do not convey Heathkit's intellectual property, only a big stack of old files together with permission to reprint authorized paper photocopies. All Heathkit® copyrights remain with Heathkit. Q. So Heath Company owns all Heathkit® copyrights? A. Yes. All Heathkit® copyrights, and all Heathkit intellectual property, are property of Heath Company. Q. What about using the term Heathkit? A. Heathkit® is a registered trademark of Heath Company. If you want to write about our products and services in a news article, blog, or club newsletter, or participate in the vibrant hobbyist reseller market for true original vintage Heathkit® products, we're delighted�€”please use the proper registered-trademark notation, Heathkit® whenever referring to us or our products. (On the other hand: To people who thought they could get away with advertising or selling their own products or services using Heathkit's name, logo or slogans, or who copy or mimick Heathkit's copyrighted works, falsely represent themselves publicly on social media or elsewhere using the Heathkit® name without Heath Company permission, try to scam the public by selling non-Heathkit® products bearing our trademarked name, or otherwise improperly use Heathkit® intellectual property: Please cease immediately.) Q. I saw someone clearly misusing the Heathkit® name, or violating your copyright. What can I do? A. If you know of someone doing this, please tell them to stop immediately. Consider reporting them to their seller venue. And don't buy their products. When people steal or leech off Heathkit's intellectual property, they are stealing from you, because money we spend pursuing violators burns up resources we could have invested in designing another great product for you, making someone available to answer your questions, or offering your club or school a group discount. We have to reserve our right to protect our good name and intellectual property, but truly, as much as we like our lawyers (we do have some excellent lawyers), we don't want to be in the lawsuit business. We want to invest our resources in continuing the honorable Heathkit® legacy by designing and bringing you terrific products. So please help us out. If you're reading this, you're probably already a fan of Heathkit®, and you respect the name and you understand the potential yet to come. Don't let irresponsible people steal opportunity from you and the Heathkit® community. Stop a thief today. The kit you save may be your own.
What Next
Q. How can I keep up-to-date on Heathkit's progress? A. You can become a Heathkit Insider. If you use Facebook, you also can "Like" us on the Heath Company Facebook page (visit that page and click the "Like" button). Facebook then will notify you when we post updates and announcements. Q. What else can I do? A. Take the survey. Then�€”since the best way to get us to create products you really want is to convince us there's a market for them: Share your enthusiasm�€”tell your friends to take the survey.


--
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it." - Neil deGrasse Tyson

b10010011
Whats a Posting tag?

join:2004-09-07
Bellingham, WA
Reviews:
·Comcast Formerl..
reply to ArthurS
Yeah, a setting that effects only one webpage on the internet...
--
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ArthurS
Watch Those Blinking Lights
Premium
join:2000-10-28
Hamilton, ON
kudos:1
said by b10010011:

Yeah, a setting that effects only one webpage on the internet...

I use firefox as well. No problems here!


shdesigns
Powered By Infinite Improbabilty Drive
Premium
join:2000-12-01
Stone Mountain, GA
Definitely something with their site.

I get the tiny text. If i display the privacy page first, the the FAQ page displays fine.