In the late 1950s Heathkit issued their Educational Series. This was quite different from the "trainer" series that came later. It was aimed squarely at the general public, basically at anyone who had any interest in electricity, electronics, or radio. It made no assumptions about prior knowledge but simply guided you from first principles. If you did all the parts in the series, you learned an enormous amount and had a lot of fun in the process. You built a VOM, a tube superhet radio, and a transistor intercom -- but along the way you built many, many other things too. Audio amplifiers, oscillators, crystal sets, regenerative sets, and so forth.
The manuals that came with this series were quite unlike other Heathkit manuals. Not only did they have the famous "step by step" instructions and illustrations, but they also included copious "how it works" material.
Fellow eham readers, I am proposing to do the entire Heathkit series and document it here in the Homebrew area. Although a lot of the theory material will be very familiar to most of you, I hope that you will enjoy seeing the way that Heathkit led its builders through this journey of discovery. As is my wont, this will be done by providing links to captioned Picasa photo albums. Each module in the series will have a separate thread. The current thread is just by way of introduction, and for general discussion about the series.
There are three modules in the series:
By way of introduction, here's what we'll be doing in the next few months:EK-1 Basic Electricity
(1) Electricity and Series and Parallel Circuits
(2) The Direct Current Milliammeter
(3) The Direct Current Voltmeter and Ohmeter
(4) Verifying Ohm's Law and the D-C Maximum Power Transfer Theorem
The final product of this course is a Volt-Ohm Meter (VOM) that you build yourself:EK-2A Basic Radio
(1) HOW DO VOICE AND MUSIC GET FROM A BROADCAST STUDIO TO YOUR HOME? How to Plot Your Broadcast Station Environment.
(2) WHAT IS A BROADCAST RADIO SIGNAL? How To Put Up a Broadcast Receiving Antenna.
(3) WHAT THREE THINGS MUST RADIO RECEIVERS DO? How To Rectify Current With a Crystal Diode.
(4) WHAT IS A DETECTOR CIRCUIT? How To Build a Radio Signal Detector.
(5) WHAT IS A TUNED CIRCUIT? How To Build a Tuned Circuit for Radio Signals.
(6) HOW DO DIODE VACUUM TUBES WORK? How To Build a Vacuum Tube Signal Detector.
(7) WHAT DOES THE GRID IN A VACUUM TUBE DO? How To Build a Vacuum Tube Amplifier.
(8) CAN ONE VACUUM TUBE DO TWO THINGS AT ONCE? How To Build a Detector-Amplifier.
(9) HOW IS FEEDBACK USED FOR EXTRA AMPLIFICATION? How To Build a Regenerative Detector-Amplifier.EK-2B Basic Radio
(1) WHAT IS A TRANSFORMER? Putting the Transformer to Work.
(2) HOW THE RECEIVER POWER SUPPLY OPERATES. Testing the EK-2B Power Supply.
(3) HOW TUBES USE OPERATING VOLTAGES. Using the Triode and Pentode Amplifiers.
(4) WHAT DOES THE AUDIO SECTION OF THE RECEIVER DO? Testing the Audio Amplifier.
(5) HOW THE DETECTOR CIRCUIT OPERATES. How To Build a Detector Circuit.
(6) WHAT DOES THE RF SECTION OF A RECEIVER DO? How To Build an RF Amplifier.
(7) WHAT IS AN OSCILLATOR AND HOW DOES IT WORK? How To Test an Oscillator Circuit.
(8) WHAT IS A CONVERTER CIRCUIT USED FOR? How To Build a Superheterodyne Receiver.
(9) WHAT DOES ALIGNMENT MEAN? How To Align Your Superheterodyne Receiver.
(10) WHAT ARE SHORT WAVE SIGNALS? How To Add a Short Wave Band and BFO to Your Receiver.
The final product of this course is a complete superhet receiver:EK-3 Basic Transistors
(1) WHAT ARE CONDUCTORS, SEMICONDUCTORS, RESISTORS, INSULATORS? How To Determine the Resistance of Some Common Materials.
(2) HOW DO RESISTANCES IN SERIES AND PARALLEL CIRCUITS AFFECT CURRENT FLOW? (Revision) How To Prove Ohm's Law.
(3) HOW DOES A TRANSISTOR REACT IN A SERIES CIRCUIT? How To Control Current in a Series Circuit.
(4) HOW TO CONTROL THE CURRENT FLOWING THROUGH A TRANSISTOR. How To Control the Current Flowing Through a Transistor.
(5) HOW DOES A TRANSISTOR AMPLIFIER WORK? How Signals Are Enlarged.
(6) HOW TRANSISTORS USE OPERATING VOLTAGES. Demonstrating the Effects of Changing the Bias in a Transistor Amplifier.
(7) HOW DOES A TRANSISTOR RADIO WORK? How To Build a Simple Transistor Radio.
(8) WHAT MAKES A TRANSISTOR OSCILLATOR WORK? How To Build a Transistor Audio Oscillator.
(9) WHAT MAKES A TRANSISTOR BROADCASTER WORK? How To Build a Simple Transistor Broadcaster.
(10) WHAT MAKES A TRANSISTOR INTERCOM WORK? How To Build Your Complete Transistor Intercom.
The final product is this intercom:
So, try to imagine that it's 1959 (I'm too young to remember that year). Sputnik was launched a couple of years ago. America, and the West, are trying to catch up to a perceived Soviet "superiority" in technology (which later turned out to be largely bogus). Riding the crest is the electronics industry and Heathkit is ready to feed the droves of would-be technicians!
I'm making no promises about the timing of this eham series, I'll post stuff when I have time.
73 de Martin, KB1WSY