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Heathkit's Amateur Radio Plans Taking Shape:

from The ARRL Letter on September 15, 2011
Website: http://www.arrl.org/
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Heathkit's Amateur Radio Plans Taking Shape:

Heathkit Educational Systems hopes to reenter the Amateur Radio market by the end of 2011. Back in August, Heathkit announced http://www.arrl.org/news/heathkit-returns-to-the-kit-business its return to the kit business and actively solicited suggestions. The response from Amateur Radio operators convinced Heathkit to develop several Amateur Radio products.

"When we made the announcement on our web page about a month ago, we had no intention of entering the Amateur Radio kit market," Ernie Wake, Heathkit's Director of Sales and Marketing, told the ARRL. "The response was really overwhelming, exciting and scary. The scary part is that the brand name has so much loyalty that we don't want to disappoint the people who have such fond memories."

Wake said that Heathkit is presently working on developing a few Amateur Radio kits. "Initially, the kit line will include a few 'accessories,' like kits for a Dual Watt Meter, Antenna Tuners and the Cantenna," he explained. "Once we are a little more 'settled,' I think we will develop a QRP receiver. We won't rush to market just to get there. We want to develop a line of kits in the tradition of Heathkit. I'm hoping to have one or two kits by the end-of-the-year."

Source:

The ARRL Letter

Member Comments:
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Heathkit's Amateur Radio Plans Taking Shape:  
by W7NWH on September 15, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Awesome news - a true American legend is alive and kicking again. Best of luck and I'll happily support such a venture with my hard earned dollar!
 
Heathkit's Amateur Radio Plans Taking Shape:  
by ND9X on September 16, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I can't wait until they decide to revive, update, and re-release the SB-104!
 
Heathkit's Amateur Radio Plans Taking Shape:  
by W9CW on September 16, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
The statement "I think we will develop a QRP receiver" concerns me a bit. Yes, a low-power consumption receiver certainly would be a neat offering, but do they really mean a "QRP transceiver." I would love to see Heathkit back in the market, as I built my first in 1957, and through the years, built a total of 54 Heathkits. However, I hope they don't underestimate the business model of competing in certain product sectors with the Japanese, now Chinese, MFJ, Elecraft, Ten-Tec and their kits, DZ Kit, and all other existing companies.

I wish them well.
 
Heathkit's Amateur Radio Plans Taking Shape:  
by VE2AMT on September 17, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
"Initially, the kit line will include a few 'accessories,' like kits for a Dual Watt Meter, Antenna Tuners and the Cantenna,"

It seems they are stuck in the stone age with their Cantenna. Haven't they learned anything? How many of us have had a bad experience when the oil got spilled?

Very disappointed.
 
RE: Heathkit's Amateur Radio Plans Taking Shape:  
by N4EYZ on September 18, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I think some are jumping to conclusions--I too am excited to think Heath is getting back into ham radio. Like many others, a Heathkit was my first rig.

Also--I built a Cantenna back in 1979, filled it once with oil and never spilled a drop in 33 yrs. What is this stuff of spilling the oil? ;)

Glad to see them coming back!!
 
RE: Heathkit's Amateur Radio Plans Taking Shape:  
by K5WLR on September 19, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Back when the Cantenna was being sold, transformer oil contained PCBs, a very dangerous substance. Spilling the oil would create a hazardous condition. If you have one of those, be careful and make sure the transformer oil is PCB-free.
 
RE: Heathkit's Amateur Radio Plans Taking Shape:  
by VE2AMT on September 19, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Because of it's low viscosity and high adherence, transformer oil also has the nasty habit of creeping out of the can. If you keep your Cantenna in a closet and haven't inspected it in a while, now would be a good time to do so.
 
RE: Heathkit's Amateur Radio Plans Taking Shape:  
by W9CW on September 21, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Heath offered the option of using transformer oil, which as a previous poster correctly stated contained PCBs at the time, or mineral oil. I used mineral oil, and it's worked fine for over 30 years while with my Heath SB-200 amp. Of course, with mineral oil, the "on time" of the transmitter/amp is de-rated significantly from transformer oil, but I keep the initial tune up times very short anyway. I still remember the confused look on the part of the drug store checkout person when I bought all those bottles of mineral oil!

A few weeks ago I checked the Cantenna against a new in the box Drake DL-1000 dry dummy, with a MFJ-269 and the Cantenna had less deviation from a 50 ohm resistive load than the Drake from 3 to 30MHz. I must admit, I was surprised.
 
Heathkit's Amateur Radio Plans Taking Shape:  
by NQ4A on September 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Ahhhh the cantenna! too bad many op's don't use them in stead of tuning up on a DX Station, and the DX is running split so they tune up on the DX Stations transmit frequency? go figure.

As for the cantenna leaking oil, why not set it in a plastic or metal bucket? Problem Solved!
 
RE: Heathkit's Amateur Radio Plans Taking Shape:  
by VE2AMT on September 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
You would only be adding a not so long delay time before the second metal bucket would start leaking. There is no stopping transformer oil unless the container is sealed.

As for using a plastic bag, best to keep it for your sandwiches.
 
RE: Heathkit's Amateur Radio Plans Taking Shape:  
by W9CW on September 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Even the mineral oil in my Cantenna seeps a bit. But, placing the Cantenna in a large clear glass pie baking plate keeps the very minute amount of oil that does seep from doing any damage.

Seeping mineral oil is no big deal, other than the possibility of leaving a stain. Seeping xmfr oil with PCBs is a totally different situation.
 
RE: Heathkit's Amateur Radio Plans Taking Shape:  
by K9MHZ on September 23, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>W9CW: I hope they don't underestimate the business model of competing in certain product sectors...<<<<


I think that's why they're going to "go slow." Maybe some boutique level accessories to test the waters. I don't think they would seriously entertain the idea of a kit equivalent of the Icom 7800.

A QRP transceiver would be great. Maybe even the resurrection of the SB-220? Looking forward to it.



 
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