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Author Topic: Return Of Heathkit  (Read 23415 times)
KD0REQ
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Posts: 856




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« Reply #60 on: June 24, 2014, 12:33:29 PM »

1H14 is almost over.  no changes on the website yet.  need to see something Friday or Monday.
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KA5PIU
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Posts: 446




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« Reply #61 on: June 24, 2014, 01:12:20 PM »

The problem is that  hams  have such low technical skills and very poor building skills due to the lack of practice. Hams also have  a poor attitude and mistrust of what other hams build or  make.

 For example I tried to sell some of my homebrew 4cx1500B  amplifiers. All bands, perfectly engineered, laser engraved, all new parts. The amps were loaded with new Vacuum Variables, new Eimac tubes, vacuum relays. If you were a technical skilled amp builder  you would have known the new price for these parts alone.  I had all professionally drawn  CAD/PCB files that any good ham could have figured out or fixed. I took these amps to the ham fest. Along side me were other tables with  a Yaesu FL2100Z and a AL80 and a old Hunter bandit. All these amps sold for less money  and everyone offered less than the price payed for these commercial amps. Sure I got hundred of compliments on the fine engineering etc etc but every ham thought it was a risky buy. They also thought that a commercial amp and even one as low as Hunter  Bandit was considered a better buy than a 4CX1500B amp filled with the best new RF parts. While I know there is a lot of homebuilt ham junk out there, this attitude  is prevalent amongst hams these days. What annoyed me is that one of the vacuum variables the price alone was worth more than the price of one of these cheap ham amps. While I call it technical ignorance, the real reason is hams dont trust other hams and we have basically evolved into  consumer black box operators not technically skilled hobbiest that cant build  anything. If I was modifying or building cars or aeroplanes and I sold  a partially built muscle car, the half built car with new parts would have been snapped up. This is really a damning  indictment of  the kind of people in our hobby today and their poor technical skills and judgement.

Another example. Is that I built  a few K2's for  various operators in our club. One guy bailed out and did not want the last K2 anymore. Despite building this K2 and aligning to the point where you could not tell the difference between a K3 and the K2 on RX, and many hams in the club knowing my background in electronics, the offer prices were all ridiculous. If it was a crap Icom IC706 It would have gone in 2 minutes flat.

So when you have this  kind of mindset and poor technical skill levels in the broader ham community you will never  have a company like Heathkit return. There just is no market for homebrew kits, and unfortunately there will never  will be any market in the future. We see the same  thing happening on the Micro-controller forums like the Arduino and AVR. People cant solder or are just too lazy to put together a simple breadboard circuit. They all asking where they can buy something as basic as a LED and regulator board for their micro-controllers. They too lazy and seem to have no ability to even solder up the must basic circuits. They all just want to the easiest, laziest  and cheapest way out. There also seem to be the attitude  that everyone else should help them fix their stupidity when they cant get it to work. Its just how the world is these days.  I have  men at work who  cant check the oil or water on their cars. Yet they engineers. I get skilled engineers who never laid their hands on basic tools like a drill. Their whole worldly experience only existed on a PC. When you chat with them you can understand why they are like they are. They never built  a cart when they were kids nor did they  build a catapult  to shoot rocks. Everything was bought or they learned about it on the PC. Is it hardly a surprise that we have hams that buy and cant tune a dipole? I had a ham at the club ask me how do I make 220 volts in my car to run the 2 meter radio and amp. He had a ham licence however his knowledge was so poor he did not know that  the car had a 12 volt electrical system. Its just a  reflection of society as whole. It would just be as easy to find a female that cant sew on a button on a shirt or even one that can cook a basic meal. Its the new  dumb world order.

Heathkit  dont even think about it. If it did happen they would be closed in 3 months. Not enough skilled hams around  anymore.  We in the era of shopping hams they buy everything and expect the same respect as our forbears. Its not what you can do its about how big your back balance is and how long your ham shopping list is.

This is 100% CORRECT!
Hams, as a rule, could not build crap.
I will tell you, I scrounge parts out of junk consumer electronics, and sort of make it work, not quality by any means.
Yet, I can sell crap-o-tronics all day long.
It is all about the perception of value.
Sure, I can sell an amp/power supply in a hand varnished wooden box for $149.
But, I will be the first to tell you, it has the heart of a used computer power supply.
It uses a really cheezy amp module and used speaker.
But it looks nice and sounds good! and is cheap!
Quality is in the eye of the buyer!
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KD8MJR
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Posts: 2066




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« Reply #62 on: June 24, 2014, 03:26:19 PM »

I can see why Zenki says what he says and I agree to a point but the truth is its not just hams, it's also true of a lot of other hobbies.

Build a Kit Airplane or Helicopter (real thing)  and see what you get for it on resale.

Kit Cars also don't fetch anything near what it cost to actually make the car plus the kit price.

Same thing with RC planes, if a nobody builds one it's a hard sell, but if it is built by a Professional builder it can go for big bucks.

Bottom line is that unless the builder himself has a reputation the item will always be a hard sell, but If the builder is a well known pro then that's another story.

Lets say Nobuki Wakabayashi the designer/owner of Tokyo Hy-Power built a custom amp for his own use and then at a later date tried to sell it, that amp would go for an incredible price.


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KA5PIU
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Posts: 446




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« Reply #63 on: June 24, 2014, 05:22:02 PM »

Hello.

This has nothing directly to do with who built it, but the 'Designer label.
I am also known as Arabhacks and Cowthief, and under the 2 brands, I can market all sorts of CB and Islamic centric stuff.
I market a special type of paddle and modulator for the "Speaking Drum" FSK mode.
All the bigger mosques in Canada, Mexico and the USA sell this.
I and others make and sell the 'Hideaway' CB mount and antenna.
The antenna looks just like any pole lamp.
The radio and power supply looks like any coffee table.
I do NOT market on the web, as that would change things from a 'Designer' product to a simple consumer item.
And both products look like the real thing because they ARE the real thing.
The room lamp idea is the companion antenna Philco produced for TV sets years ago, just adjusted for 27 MHz.
The coffee table is a 'Hide a Brew' popular in the 20's.
I did not invent anything, Hell, I don't even build the things anymore! I am just good at marketing!
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K1ZJH
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Posts: 901




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« Reply #64 on: June 26, 2014, 01:01:40 PM »

Moderators... isn't enough enough?
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KA5PIU
Member

Posts: 446




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« Reply #65 on: June 26, 2014, 02:17:27 PM »

Moderator?

No! I want a kit MODULATOR!
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N0YXB
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Posts: 302




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« Reply #66 on: July 01, 2014, 05:04:15 PM »

Moderators... isn't enough enough?

I agree, and am reminded of the recent news about a nanny that refuses to move out of her ex-employer's home.  eHAM has been blessed lately with the lid equivalent.
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Vince
KD0REQ
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Posts: 856




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« Reply #67 on: July 02, 2014, 10:44:05 AM »

1H14 is over.  AC5UP's prayers appear to have been answered.  now he can start his garage sale of fine 10-owner vintage Heath equipment, collector quality
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K9MHZ
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Posts: 393




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« Reply #68 on: July 06, 2014, 05:47:23 AM »

REQ,

Didn't quite follow that, but it sounds funny anyway.   Grin

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W3WN
Member

Posts: 179




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« Reply #69 on: July 07, 2014, 12:08:27 PM »

1H14 is over.  AC5UP's prayers appear to have been answered.  now he can start his garage sale of fine 10-owner vintage Heath equipment, collector quality

REQ,

Didn't quite follow that, but it sounds funny anyway.   Grin

1H14:  First Half of 2014
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K9MHZ
Member

Posts: 393




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« Reply #70 on: July 08, 2014, 05:43:24 AM »

Sorry, I meant the AC5UP part.  A Heath collector(?)

There was a guy a few years back who gave a presentation at Dayton on "rekitting Heathkits".  Long, in-depth descriptions on stripping down the components, cleaning the corrosion off of the cabinets, and then rebuilding them with new/NOS components.  Had some interesting points and his work did look good, but after 90 minutes of his talk, I  went away wondering what the point was.  The gear itself was still "Heath sucks bad", maybe with the exception of the DX-100 which is a 57 Chevy, IMHO.  But the rest seemed like cleaned up old junk.  I wanted to say to the guy...."time to move on".  To each his own....glad he was having fun.

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KD0REQ
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Posts: 856




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« Reply #71 on: July 08, 2014, 11:01:02 AM »

AC5UP is well known in the boat anchor forum as dumping on everything Benton Harbor Green.  basically too much "clever" engineering and not enough value, AA5 radio grade parts, lightweight, sloppy first-time kitbuilder workmanship, takes too many dumpsters to absorb them all, etc.  his take is quite humorous, probably a hoot to work on the air.

Heathkits were not milspec.  they could not have been affordable if they were milspec.  the trick was to get the features in that were in vogue at the time at a price point below Collins, Drake, etc.  most were OK and a few were absolute classics.

so there is the REST.... of the story.  there probably was more, but he cleaned out his garage last weekend and threw away box after box full...
« Last Edit: July 08, 2014, 11:04:25 AM by KD0REQ » Logged
K9MHZ
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Posts: 393




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« Reply #72 on: July 08, 2014, 05:00:33 PM »

AC5UP is well known in the boat anchor forum as dumping on everything Benton Harbor Green......

Gotcha.  Yeah I had them all, and wish I had a nickel  for every dollar I sent to Benton Harbor.    

".....he cleaned out his garage last weekend and threw away box after box full..."   Kind of like a monkey off his back.  Probably missed an opportunity to be on a reality show....Hoarders of the Ham Radio Hobby.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2014, 05:05:24 PM by K9MHZ » Logged
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