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RadioShack may close but Heathkit is coming back.

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https://www.heathkit.com/

Not the same business model as back in the 70's though.

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This is the most fun computer I have ever owned.  It ran BASIC, had probably about 8Kb of RAM and came with about 1,000 ... (more)

Crazytree (Mar. 20, 2017 @ 7:03p) |

The sound it makes when you flip the pages of this catalog remind me of Myst.

BingBlangBlaow (Mar. 20, 2017 @ 8:01p) |

Sweet computer.  It reminds me just a bit of my Commodore Educator 64, if that's a green monochrome CRT I'm seeing.

shinobi1 (Mar. 20, 2017 @ 8:45p) |

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OK, I'll bite. What is Heathkit?

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How about Realistic?

I miss their line of quadraphonic stereos. The ones with 8-track tape players.

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Never heard of it. Looks like a bunch of overpriced analog parts for putting together (soldering!) vintage-looking electronics.

It's like a Raspberry Pi project, but more expensive and less useful

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Stubtify said:   OK, I'll bite. What is Heathkit?
  They sold electronic kits that you build yourself. TVs, radios, all kinds of gadgets, even early computers if I recall. 

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atikovi said:   
Stubtify said:   OK, I'll bite. What is Heathkit?
  They sold electronic kits that you build yourself. TVs, radios, all kinds of gadgets, even early computers if I recall. 

There were lots of things you could build from parts including computers & robots! Here's a link to a catalog from 1983. Kits start past the computer section on about page 25.

http://heathkitcatalogs.com/index.php/catalogs/1980/spring-summe...

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Stubtify said:   OK, I'll bite. What is Heathkit?
  Darn Whippersnappers.......

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Heathkits where the geek toys of the 60's & 70's! I built a color TV and it actually worked (assuming you call "color" green & white stripes). Cost me a small fortune to get it back to Heath to have all my solder bridges removed. Built lots of radio gear and test equipment. I'd get high every night sniffing solder smoke. Still have my 100000 watt Weller soldering gun! Always reversed the damned electrolytics!

Eico was another one with the same type of kits. The step by step instructions were amazing. I always kept extra R1's and C23's around but D2's were plentiful. It was very sad when Rat Shack stopped selling R29s though.

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Still have the police siren/PA and concealed under hood speaker kits I built in the 70's for a high school electronics class project. Page 15 at http://www.wd8afb.com/heath/Winter1978.pdf Put them in my moms Cutlass and, umm, scared a few speeders that passed by. Found more catalogs at http://www.wd8afb.com/heath.html

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I still have an Eico 3070 stereo integrated amplifier and Heathkit vacuum tube voltmeter (VTVM) I built in my teens. Also an Allied Radio KnightKit desktop tube-based CB radio and a Dynaco Stereo 120 amp and PAT-4 preamp, built from kits.

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Did any if you who used to tinker with these as a kid continue building and engineering into adulthood?

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Bring back Tandy.

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'Always considered an Arduino to be the contemporary Heathkit.  Well, closest thing we'd see, anyway.  

 

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DAK catalog? 150-in1 kit?

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burgerwars said:   How about Realistic?

I miss their line of quadraphonic stereos. The ones with 8-track tape players.

  I still have a long Boxed Realistic equalizer, a couple of moving magnet phono cartridges, and probably a couple of those free flashlights.  No battery of the month batteries, though.

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Crazytree said:   Bring back Tandy.
  Tandy Computers or Tandy Leather?

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If they adapted Heathkit to modern electronics, they might become just as popular as before. ie Projects using Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Android programming etc.
I doubt that people will be interested in 30 year old electronics projects at these prices. Nostalgia is nice, but it doesn't seem worth it. You don't learn much using obsolete components.

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Once in a while, I love to just browse the catalogs from the good old times (60's and 70's) and remember all the stuff I bought..

Old Radio Shack Catalogs

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amsetus said:   Once in a while, I love to just browse the catalogs from the good old times (60's and 70's) and remember all the stuff I bought..

Old Radio Shack Catalogs

  Awesome ... didnt realize PDF was invented that long ago  

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Stubtify said:   Did any if you who used to tinker with these as a kid continue building and engineering into adulthood?
I did. Started building these kits as a kid in the seventies (ouch, I'm old). Transitioned to early PC hacking in the 80s and ended up getting an engineering degree and moving on to a career in technology. 

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Stubtify said:   Did any if you who used to tinker with these as a kid continue building and engineering into adulthood?
  Absolutely, both in the Navy and now in the private sector.

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yes   yes  yes

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Knightkit, Eico, Lafayette

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Heathkit stuff rocks!!  Very good engineering.

Course the solder challenged among us should probably remain clear and go, instead, in a different direction.  

I learned how to solder as a youngster.  Built a working three tube, 1 watt, AM radio transmitter and (together with a friend) broadcast rock (and other) music from my room out across the neighborhood for at least a few hundred feet.  It was kid stuff, but it was fun.  He was the DJ, I was the technician who kept us "on the air".  

 

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cows123 said:   
Crazytree said:   Bring back Tandy.
  Tandy Computers or Tandy Leather?

  Obviously, Tandy Kake.

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Buckmann said:   I still have an Eico 3070 stereo integrated amplifier and Heathkit vacuum tube voltmeter (VTVM) I built in my teens. Also an Allied Radio KnightKit desktop tube-based CB radio and a Dynaco Stereo 120 amp and PAT-4 preamp, built from kits.
  
Still have my Dynaco Mk III (60W) with the original pair of KT-88's.  Forming up the electrolytic can is a concern, so many years having passed.

That darn amp has turned out to be an amazing investment.  I wish I had a second one.  But the old Dynaco stuff with tubes is worth a small fortune!

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atikovi said:   
Stubtify said:   OK, I'll bite. What is Heathkit?
  They sold electronic kits that you build yourself. TVs, radios, all kinds of gadgets, even early computers if I recall. 

  

They had the "Benton Harbor Operating System", didn't they?  z-80 based systems as in the H-8?



 

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My dad bought a frequency counter kit a few decades ago and never put it together, I think he paid around $100 for it. A few years ago he listed it on eBay, sold it for over $300. If you take inflation into account he probably lost/broke even but I was surprised by the interest in the kit.

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just saw 2 RS in my area with "store closing" signs outside. Employee said they have about a month to go at this location.

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scottvm said:   just saw 2 RS in my area with "store closing" signs outside. Employee said they have about a month to go at this location.
  
list?

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tandy (25.09kB)
Disclaimer
cows123 said:   
Crazytree said:   Bring back Tandy.
  Tandy Computers or Tandy Leather?

  This is the most fun computer I have ever owned.  It ran BASIC, had probably about 8Kb of RAM and came with about 1,000 games, most of which made no sense.  It was the anti-Macbook.

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BostonOne said:   
atikovi said:   
Stubtify said:   OK, I'll bite. What is Heathkit?
  They sold electronic kits that you build yourself. TVs, radios, all kinds of gadgets, even early computers if I recall. 

There were lots of things you could build from parts including computers & robots! Here's a link to a catalog from 1983. Kits start past the computer section on about page 25.

http://heathkitcatalogs.com/index.php/catalogs/1980/spring-summe...

  
The sound it makes when you flip the pages of this catalog remind me of Myst.

rated:
Crazytree said:   
cows123 said:   
Crazytree said:   Bring back Tandy.
  Tandy Computers or Tandy Leather?

  This is the most fun computer I have ever owned.  It ran BASIC, had probably about 8Kb of RAM and came with about 1,000 games, most of which made no sense.  It was the anti-Macbook.

  
Sweet computer.  It reminds me just a bit of my Commodore Educator 64, if that's a green monochrome CRT I'm seeing.

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