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Author Topic: Build That Heathkit!  (Read 4637 times)
KD2E
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Posts: 235




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« on: April 02, 2013, 05:11:33 AM »

Your thoughts??
I have an unbuilt Heathkit IM-2212 autoranging DVM kit.
I am thinking of building it.
I am considering it only for the fun of it, watching it come to life, and the challenge.
If I do, what components do you think are risky?
The dates on the update sheets and instruction manual are all from around 1979. So, I figured I should replace
all the electrolytics with new ones, and those cheap IC sockets that Heath used could be replaced with gold plated jobs
from Mouser.
In the end, this thing does no more than my handheld Fluke....but with a shoebox full of parts! (In fact, I don't think it has anything on those cheap 10 dollar units from Harbor Freight!!!)  Having worked for HP/Agilent....before they went down the tubes, I have about 5 more high end bench DVM's then I need, so the smart thing to do with this unbuilt kit would just be to put it on ebay.....but I'm still thinking about it.
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KA4POL
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Posts: 2127




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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2013, 05:29:03 AM »

Capacitors in general and electrolytic are the critical parts. I assume you did not store in a very humid and hot area. Else you should check for corrosion. With your background this is a piece of cake to do. You might still offer it in the Heathkit Yahoo group built or as original kit.
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AA4PB
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Posts: 13032




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« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2013, 05:57:14 AM »

I would think that it has more $$$ value as a complete, original unbuilt kit. There are plenty of new kits available to build if that's your goal - and you could get something that has more practical value to you personally.
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5689




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« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2013, 06:03:12 AM »

I would think that it has more $$$ value as a complete, original unbuilt kit. There are plenty of new kits available to build if that's your goal - and you could get something that has more practical value to you personally.


Agreed. 

It is your kit, to do with as you like, but first I'd take a look at what complete and unbuilt Heathkits of all stripes are selling for, the collectors and historians LOVE to find them like that and try to preserve this bit of untouched history. 

For what you could sell it for unbuilt, you might just be able to purchase quite a lot of hamming fun...


73
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KA5N
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Posts: 4380




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« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2013, 08:50:03 AM »

Easy choice,  SELL IT as an unassembled kit.  I once sold an unassembled  HeathKit for about
five times its original cost.  Some kits have sold for far more.  More often than not, an
unassembled kit stays unassembled even after being sold  (and often after being resold several
times).   
It's a pity that one can't just disassemble an existing Heath  and sell it as "unassembled"
I don't think that would play.

As I have found in life, "Whatever you do, you always wonder if it would have been better
to do something else."

Allen KA5N
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K8AXW
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Posts: 4002




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« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2013, 10:01:03 AM »

Allen:  Wouldn't that make a beautiful cartoon?  A guy setting at a table with an unassembled Heathkit in front of him, an agonizing look on his face with the thought "balloons" over his head saying, "What to do?  Sell it or build it?"

I agree that selling it would bring a lot of ham radio fun dollars but I also think that every ham should build one Heathkit to enjoy that piece of history.  Heathkit was no doubt the best of the lot!
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KA5N
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Posts: 4380




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« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2013, 11:21:35 AM »

I suppose so, but back in the day I built a dozen or so Heathkits, and twice that number
of Eico Kits, and quite a few kits from other companies including Elecraft (which I consider
the best of the bunch).  Most of my working career was spent working in electronics doing
everything from TV/ RADIO repair to breadboarding and circuit board layout and tape-up
(later PCB layout using a computer) to design of electronic equipment and work for the
US Navy anti-submarine warfare studies. 
So if I had an unassembled Heathkit, I would sell it and let some neophyte do the assembling.

73   Allen  KA5N
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K5LXP
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Posts: 4536


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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2013, 06:24:44 AM »

I've owned a number of heathkits over the years and frankly I don't get the hoopla.  Every time I expressed my dismay over the issues I've had I was told "it's because the guy that built it didn't do it right".  Well, considering the *volumes* of "mods" out there to make these things work half right I don't think it's the builder.  Yeah, in their prime they were a more economical alternative to commercial gear, but you got what you paid for.

Sell it.  After you build it and bask in the afterglow of proving you can follow step by step instructions all you'll have is a product designed to the lowest common denominator of required skills and functionality.  Even "collectible" assembled heathkits aren't worth much, so no point in locking in your losses by removing what intrinsic value an unassembled kit has.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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KA5N
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Posts: 4380




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« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2013, 01:35:58 PM »

Hey!!!!  An unbuilt Heathkit  SB220 has appeared on Ebay with a current bid of
about    $ 2,400.   It has been unpacked and repacked and the original Heath Box is shot.
(A pristine HeathKit Box increases the value as does an unopened kit)  Anyway,  Dear Tyros ,
here is your chance to assemble your own SB220  (no telling what the winning bid will be!)
There can't be many more unbuilt  SB220's out there!!   

Allen  KA5N
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5689




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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2013, 05:46:44 AM »

You don't have to pay upwards of 2400 bucks to get the same experience. 

Intead, try standing fully dressed in a cold shower while tearing up hundred dollar bills...


73
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AC5UP
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Posts: 3956




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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2013, 04:47:34 PM »


Or move to New Jersey.

 Grin
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KB1WSY
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Posts: 813




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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2013, 07:08:37 PM »

t's a pity that one can't just disassemble an existing Heath  and sell it as "unassembled"
I don't think that would play.
Allen KA5N

What I do is buy *assembled* Heathkits (and Eicos) for peanuts, disassemble, then reassemble them (replacing capacitors and other superannuated parts with new ones). Call me nuts, but it's quite fun, reasonably educational, and an order of magnitude cheaper than purchasing 50-year-old "unbuilt kits." The original manuals are easily available separately and the original builder's penciled checkmarks are usually easy to erase. The more beat-up, corroded and homely looking they are before reassembly, the better. Some of the results are visible here:

http://tinyurl.com/7xqnnrs

I mean, really, if what you want to do is build vintage kits, doesn't my approach make sense? If you don't actually want to build them, then you're a financial investor (not a radio homebrewer) and there are probably much less risky investments you could make than buying unbuilt kits!!!

73 de Martin, KB1WSY
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W1RKW
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Posts: 5




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« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2013, 01:23:58 PM »

Build it and savor the experience. 
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