In the mid 1980s while in my early 20s, I built the Heathkit LED digital indoor/outdoor thermometer. It was before the LCD digital thermometers become prevalent. This thermometer was a work of quality and encased in a classy wooden box. The temperature sensor was not a thermister but rather two diodes in series encased in a metal container. I did not think the varying voltage drop across the diodes would change linearly in respect to changes in temperature but the unit is surprising accurate given the whole degree resolution. The guy who told me about Heathkit said they had digital tuning kit TVs in the 70s, way before it was offered in commercial products. A few years after building my thermometer, the place went out of business. For people who have experienced Heathkit what products have you built?
In the '60's I built an AM/FM tuner and a photoelectric eye that had the coolest gas-filled vacuum tube in it for the amplifier, ( [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] ) and a VTVM. (That's Vacuum Tube Volt Meter for those who've never heard of one. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] )
I built Heathkit's first transistorized vom. Also built their gated-rainbow color bar & pattern generator (Motorola RTL logic chips running at 3.6vdc) and their tube-based AM radio transmitter. Great stuff! I still have the TVM and the color bar generator.
[ QUOTE ] tvodrd said:
In the '60's I built an AM/FM tuner and a photoelectric eye that had the coolest gas-filled vacuum tube in it for the amplifier, ( [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] ) and a VTVM.
[/ QUOTE ]
Was that a 930 phototube or a 2D21 argon-filled Thyratron? I remember that the thyratron was a popular vacuum-tube "latch" for photoelectric circuits, a predecessor to the SCR. The little thing lit up with a neat purple glow when it was triggered and latched! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]
Hi ! Back in the mid 60s my dad and I built a Heathkit CB radio. Back in those days, CB radio was very popular and didn't have the "chicken band" connotation it has today. The quality was very good and of course it was a "tube" radio. I used that radio for 20+ years and sold it for more than I paid for it!! It most likely is still working today. I should have never sold it. It took about 40 hours to build and it was made of top of the line(60s) components. I still like to throw in my mobile side band CB in my truck when I take trips. The truckers are great at helping with directions if you get lost and keep you entertained 24 hours a day !! I wish I could still buy Heathkits today.
In the 60's when I was a kid I built a Heathkit multiband shortwave receiver. Took me a long time, so many parts, but I finally got it working. Wish I still had it, my parents tossed it when I went into the Marines. I still remeber how it hummed while it warmed up ( tubes- not transistors ! ). I later built one of their IBM PC clone kits, that I still have somewhere.
Now I'm studying CMOS receivers, nearly the whole dang recever on a single chip, but the fundamentals are the same.
I must have built a couple dozen HeathKits (for myself and others) from their first VTVM in the 50's to their Dot Matrix printer in the 80's just before they died.
One of my favorites was the Six Meter "Benton Harbor Lunch Box" "Sixer" transceiver back in 1959-60. A group of local Hams used them for passing time in the traffic around MD/DC/ Northern VA. Mine was in a black VW with a ring halo antenna mounted on the rear bumper, used to tell the curious it was where I hooked the shower curtain when I went camping.
One of my brothers built many of their kits also including the H8 computer an a couple of color TVs.
Built at least eight HEATHkits for myself or others from the middle 1970s (age 11?) thru the middle 1980s (age 18) before they folded. Here is a list in roughly the order in which they were bulit:
Short-wave radio (Still works)
Stereo receiver (AR 1515, I think) (Discarded)
Huge bookshelf speakers (they still work, but not using now)
Wired remote touch switch (discarded)
Digital thermometer (to my knowledge still in use)
Exhaust gas analyzer (lost)
Digital scale (discarded)
Groundtracker metal detector (still works)
Of course, you never really had to know very much about electronics to build a Heathkit, but the process did instill some basic knowledge and gave good experience with a soldering iron. To this day, I occasionally open up faulty electronic gear and sometimes manage to get it working again by just poking around. I guess I learned that electronic components are sensitive, but not so fragile as to never touch.
Several A-23, 25 watt (RMS), six tube, mono hi-fi amps. I modified the magnetic phono stage to accept electric guitar and sold several to rock band friends. The big transformers and 7951 outputs running at 450 volts crank out peaks of over 50 watts. I still use one I made in 1968 along with a Heath fuzzbox from 1971. A FET 11 meg. ohm/volt VOM (1968).
Never actually built one, but I did rescue an AW-1U audio Wattmeter from the bin at college a couple of months back. Fixed a broken solder joint, and it worked good as new! Currently have it connected up to the output from my TV.
The multimeter (still use it)
10 watt novice transmitter
Cross Hatch and color bar generator
25" console and 19" portable TVís - basically Zenith TVs that was kitted by Heath. Both were very reliable and by salvaging junk Zenith TVís for spares I was able to keep both running until 2 years ago when a power surge blew the main boards and I couldnít get replacements anywhere.
Back in the 1970s, I had a Heathkit oscilloscope (I don't know where it came from, but it was already built) that needed a power transformer; we ordered the transformer and I installed it. If I remember, it used a mixture of vaccume tubes and transistors. I don't know what happened to that scope, but I believe it worked properly the last time I used it.
In my post above I was thinking about what I built years ago that I don't have anymore. Duh... sitting on a shelf here is a working classic HW-101 transceiver. Never did get my HAM ticket [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]
i have several unbuilt heathkit items waiting for me to have time.
as a teen i got to build 12 gr2000 tv's
everyone in my class got them but were lost trying to assemble them.
i still have one with all options.
like osd,remote,clock ect.
they were way ahead of thier time.
I built a binary clock. It uses single individual red LED's to tell the time, in vertical culumns; hours, minutes, seconds. I still have it somewhere....I had it set up for a long time, and I got very good at reading it quickly.