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Old 2012-05-11, 03:12 PM   #16
reidw
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Sad News. My Heathkit digital clock is still working. In the beginning their kits were often cheaper than the same type of product bought assembled. Over time that changed mainly thanks to solid state electronics and a ridiculous cross border markup that made the cost in Canada almost double the US price.

Their instruction manuals were models of clarity. Almost anyone could assemble their products. Knowlede of electronics was unnecessary. They even taught good soldering skills. In fact I once heard a comment that the worst problems were experienced by people with some knowledge of electric/electronics. The guiding principle in their manuals was to follow the instructions step by step without any questions or deviations. There were never any explanations of what you were doing. The problem for those who might have some knowledge was that they would think that they knew better or had a quicker way to do it and that often led to their problems. Fortunately Heathkit had staff on call to help any caller figure out what was wrong and how to fix it.

Thanks for giving me this chance to be nostalgic.

(Yipe! I see I've made 2005 posts at DHC. I gotta find something else to do. Just kidding!)
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Old 2012-05-12, 02:01 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailmaker View Post

Heathkit was on Dundas Street (#5 highway) in what is now Mississauga. They had a retail outlet there also.
Speaking of which... I remember this other electronics parts store my father use to take me to, on Dundas in Mississauga, called Atwater Electronics ... does anyone remember this place?

They use to sell new model 500 dial telephone sets.... I think that had fallen off of a Bell truck... this was the 1970's at the time.

They had all kinds of radio tubes and other stuff... I loved going in there... it was way better then Radio Shack. I remember the cashier being this big fat woman that was kind of scary LOL!
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Old 2012-05-12, 07:21 AM   #18
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^^^^
I also remember Atwater. They were on Dundas, near Tomkin, IIRC, and Heathkit was further east, just east of Dixie. Back in those days, there were a lot of local electronic parts stores that catered to the TV & radio repair business.
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Old 2012-05-12, 09:35 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by HTGuy2 View Post
My first Kit was a 22" colour TV, which was Heathkits first solid state TV in 1970. I had ordered a tube model but while waiting for delivery they introduced the solid state line. So cancelled the original order and waited another month for delivery. Built numerous pieces after that and at one time I built demo pieces for the store they opened on Portage Avenue in Winnipeg.
I remember that. My childhood friend's father built a colour tv that was remote controlled. Instead of an electronic tuner, a servo motor was connected to the tuner and you could only go up the channels, and the rotary dial physically turned while using the remote. The colour was really finicky as I recall, and constantly had to be adjusted.
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Old 2012-05-12, 10:26 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Spike4881 View Post
I remember that. My childhood friend's father built a colour tv that was remote controlled. Instead of an electronic tuner, a servo motor was connected to the tuner and you could only go up the channels, and the rotary dial physically turned while using the remote. The colour was really finicky as I recall, and constantly had to be adjusted.
Yes colour back then was very finicky. It was during the advent of color TV that the initials NTSC (National Television System Committee) began to be jokingly claimed to stand for "Never The Same Colour".
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Old 2012-05-12, 12:04 PM   #21
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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.
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Old 2012-05-12, 07:02 PM   #22
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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...

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Old 2012-05-12, 10:50 PM   #23
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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).
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Old 2012-05-14, 09:28 AM   #24
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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.
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