2012-05-12, 01:04 PM
I hadn't thought about Heathkit in years. I remember building their stuff when I was young as well. I thought they perished years ago.
As for Radio Shack, my first real job was working for them when they were still part of Tandy Corp (before InterTAN, The Source by Circuit City, or the current Bell operation). Funny, some of the skills they taught me still serve me well as a professional negotiator.
This thread brings back fond memories of Hafler as well.
2012-05-12, 08:02 PM
My dad built his first stereo, a Heathkit. It came with this really nice roll-top cover, a BSR, or Garrard record changer (audiophiles cringe at the term "changer" :-) ) and an FM tuner, all horizontally oriented.
He ended up taking it to Mississauga to get it working. They said his soldering was excellent, it turned out to be a number of mislabeled resisters, of all things. They gave us a replacement set of parts if we ran into other problems. We finished the project with ohmmeter in hand, checked and found some more mislabeled (and open) resistors.... Needless to say, once all assembled, it worked great and kept working until it was passed onto a friend, who swore by it's great sound.
Heathkit also was well known for it's amateur radio line as well. A lot of that stuff just kept working...
I remember the Heathkit in Vancouver, it was at Rupert and Kingsway. I found the guy running it was easy going and easy to deal with, his female (maybe wife - I can't remember) co sales person was a by the book, no exceptions type of person. I used to look in the window before I went in to see who was at the till. My father built his first mono hi fi from Heathkit when we lived in the States years before and it was fantastic in it's day (with a Gerard turntable, gouged out many an album in later years as it was very heavy and did wear out softer plastic newer albums as I grew up).
2012-05-14, 10:28 AM
I missed the Heathkit boom. By the time I could afford things, the went under.
Now, Ramsey, they were of my time and economics.
There was, and still is several kit companies for amateur radio, including building an HF rig.
There were also several kit companies that supplied the boards and parts - you supplied the case.