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Author Topic: Definition of a Boat Anchor?  (Read 17420 times)
N2EY
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« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2011, 03:03:05 PM »

A BA is any rig which is so old and different that it requires a different skillset to operate and fix.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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WB5BL
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« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2011, 08:55:11 AM »

I think that Lewis Carroll, speaking through Humpty Dumpty, said it all:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

73 de Brian, WB6RQN/J79BPL
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KA5N
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« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2011, 10:00:10 AM »

A BA is any rig which is so old and different that it requires a different skillset to operate and fix.

73 de Jim, N2EY

So I guess that to a dumb ass all radios are boat anchors.

Allen
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K8AXW
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« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2011, 08:19:23 AM »





[/quote]

The only exception would be Heathshkits. Like salmon migrate back to the river where they were spawned, Heathshkits try to migrate back to the landfill where they were born.
[/quote]

5UP:  I thought of you this past Sunday.  I attended a hamfest and I have never seen so many pieces of Heath gear in one place in my life!  And most of it was dirty and in pretty sad looking shape.  Saw one guy 'dicker' for several pieces at one table and paid $400.00 for the lot.  The seller put on quite a show of being in total agony about parting with the Heath gear for such a paltry price!

I thought to myself, "If AC5UP was here he would be having the snakes, twitches and jerks right about now!"  LOL.... did you somehow happen to be traumatized by a Heathkit in your younger days?  Like maybe not being able to get your first one to work?  LOLROFLMAO!!
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A Pessimist is Never Disappointed!
AC5UP
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« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2011, 01:07:45 PM »

LOL.... did you somehow happen to be traumatized by a Heathkit in your younger days?  Like maybe not being able to get your first one to work?  LOLROFLMAO!!

Back in the day I built kits from EICO and Dynaco without a hitch and enjoyed using them. Even bought a Heathshkit digital clock kit for the daughter of a friend as a Christmas gift. Kid thought it was totally bizarre to get a box of parts as a gift but with a little coaching the clock worked the first time and she learned to appreciate the DIY concept...

Then, around 30 years ago, I discovered the Heathshkit store in OKC sold "failed attempts" at less than half price. You'd think a sharp pencil like myself could save a bundle by straightening out someone's nightmare on a PC board, but you'd be wrong about that. Snarfed up a color TV test pattern generator and an audio function generator that ran me ragged. Never could find the first clue that leads to a second clue and ultimately the Eureka! moment. Then there was the HW-101 I picked up at a Hamfest. Was assembled with 40/60 solder and had the largest variety of cold solder joints ever seen on one chassis. It worked, but trying to polish that turd just made the rag smell bad.

Fate finally stepped in when the transformer in the HP-23 smoked. On one hand that meant I'd lost my initial investment <sniff!>. On the other, ding-dong the bitch is dead, the wicked bitch, the Benton Harbor witch... It was like the last day of that school semester when you had a bed wetter for a roommate.

Heathshkit used to promote the concept that if you can build it, you can fix it, as a sales motivator. Who knew how often the crap would break and how often that myth would be proven wrong? HELL YES I'd be cracking rude jokes about the concept of buying a pile of used Heathshkit gear 'cuz I know from experience it isn't being sold thanks to a minor problem that should be an easy fix..........

A few years back I was offered a Six Meter SSB station for the cost of carrying it out to the car. HX-30 and the matching receiver. I graciously declined the offer for two reasons...

1) Heathshkit hadn't blessed the transmitter with a catchy Indian name like "The Kickapoo" (which would have been poo-fect).
2) I've overcome any poor self image issues I may have had and stopped punishing myself with used Heathshkits.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! So this is what it feels like to step away from the track before the train goes by.............!

 Grin
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K8AXW
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« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2011, 08:46:20 PM »

LOL.... beautiful story!  I never allowed myself to think of what this guy was going to do with that pile of Heath gear he bought.  However,once he got the seller to even consider his offer of $400.00, I could see the excitement in his face.  The guy felt he had the seller on the ropes and was really dickering!

I've build a lot of Heath gear and had only one problem that required me to enlist the help of my Vocational School night class instructor because he had a scope.

I got into one kit that an electrical engineer really screwed up that took me several days to get straightened out.  But I was always successful.

I can understand your Heath rants better now.  Thanks for sharing your innermost feelings OM.  I hope you don't dream about this email tonight.
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AC5UP
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« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2011, 09:25:45 PM »

I can't imagine any joy involved in trading $400 for a pile of landfill fodder from Benton Harbor, but different strokes for different folks.

As you can tell from this thread: http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,4787.0.html there is a long history of Heathshkit commentary in this forum.

BTW: In case you haven't heard, "Heathshkit" is the Chippewa word for "throw in dumpster". That's why the name is always on the front panel in case Jay Silverheels should wander by..............

UPDATE:
While watching the PGA tournament on Sunday afternoon I caught an interesting commercial for FedEx. Story line is a corporate manager who develops a shrink-ray to save shipping costs by making everything smaller. If you ever catch the commercial, on the bookshelves against the wall to the right is a vintage Wollensak T1500 tape recorder.

http://retrothing.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/wollen_01_1.jpg

Of all the things in the world to use as shelf filler..........  Grin


« Last Edit: August 14, 2011, 01:51:57 PM by AC5UP » Logged

N9WW
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WWW

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« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2011, 04:34:41 PM »

Hmm..Boat anchors...I would classify the FT-2000/FT-5000/FTDX 9000 as boat anchors.  And let's not forget the Icom 7800...All modern rigs but their sheer size and weight would fit the boat anchor description in my book...
73,
Jim N9WW
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G3RZP
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« Reply #23 on: August 16, 2011, 01:04:53 AM »

I inherited from somewhere a Heathkit VTVM. It was pretty poor, claimed to handle 1500v input on phenolic wafer  range switch, and drifted like Kon-Tiki. I totally rebuilt it, scrapping the PC board, stabilising the heater and B+ supplies and arranging for AC to use a plug-in diode probe from a  scrap Marconi VTVM, which probe was good for 300 volts to 300MHz. It's quite a good VTVM now, AND it doesn't have any batteries to leak. What's more the drift as it warms up is negligible. So all that remains of the original is the case, meter and the zeroing pots. OTOH, the HW101 I built from a kit worked as well as a 101 ever could, and I had a lot of fun and worked quite a lot of DX with it on indifferent antennas.

YMMV as they say.....
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K8AXW
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« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2011, 08:10:51 AM »

RZP: 5UP: Let me 'splain sumthin to you guys.  First of all, Heath gear was by no means the best..... of any category.  That's a given. 

HOWEVER...... and this is the main justification, if any is needed, for buying Heathkits.  Heath allowed many, many hams to get on the air, service what they owned and enjoy music and electronics in general because they were affordable. 

I am a case in point.  While working all the overtime I could stand, raising a family and eventually buying a house along with the necessary automobile, two kids in college, etc.,  I could never afford to buy a Kenwood, Icom or Yaesu transceiver.  Nor could I afford to buy quality test gear to keep any of my gear operational. 

So, my choices were homebrew, Heathkits or find another hobby.  There was no way in hell that I could duplicate the features of a Heathkit with homebrew and this would be the case with the aforementioned many, many hams.  So Heathkits was the only way to go.  Plain and simple.

I had many years of ham radio enjoyment with Heathkits.  I never failed to get a completed kit going nor did I ever fail to get one going after it developed a problem.  How many can say that about their commercial gear?  I'm afraid not many.

5UP, I really enjoy your comments on Heath gear.  Please don't stop.  Even though I believe  in reality you're a closet Heathkit lover.  LOLROFLMAO!
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2011, 06:34:43 PM »

5UP, I really enjoy your comments on Heath gear.  Please don't stop.  Even though I believe  in reality you're a closet Heathkit lover.  LOLROFLMAO!

Anyone from the  Heathkit era loved them.They were fun to put together and when they actually worked, well words cannot describe the satisfaction of doing it yourself.

Ah, and the wonderful smell of lead solder drifting up your nostrils or the smell of burnt flesh when you accidentally tried to solder your finger to a terminal. Oh the thrill of trying to figure out why you had to many parts left over......  Wonderful memories.  Wink

Stan K9IUQ
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 06:36:32 PM by K9IUQ » Logged
G3RZP
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Posts: 1280




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« Reply #26 on: August 17, 2011, 09:36:10 AM »

AXW,

1500 volts on a phenolic switch is downright dangerous! I've used a ceramic switch and still only would rate it at 1kV max.

Previous to the HW101, I had a DX 40U and VF1U. (The 'U' models were the anglicised variety). One modification was pretty major - adding a further position to the bandswitch, and coils to make it go on 160 as well as 80 to 10. Plus key controlled changeover from rx to tx - not quite QSK but nearly. Fitting a 6146B in the PA and silicon rectifiers upped the input power nicely, too. (I had a free supply of 6146Bs..) Within its limitations, THAT was a fun rig, although I never could get all the drift out of the VF1U. The best was to arrange the oscillator tube to run with the same current on receive as on transmit while not oscillating. That got it to 'not perfect but good enough' on 10....

The main feature of the HW101 that I didn't like was no IRT, and the dial drive was sloppy. For its era, it performed as well as most transceivers of the time.

At work, we used Heathkit AF power meters and transistor testers without a problem. The difficulty was calibration......
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G3RZP
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« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2011, 09:26:14 AM »

AC5UP

Specially for you......

http://www.arrl.org/news/heathkit-returns-to-the-kit-business
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AC5UP
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« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2011, 12:41:12 PM »

So, this means 20 years from now someone will post a question in this forum regarding the Heathshkit garage parking assistant they picked up at a swapmeet and can't get to work............ I can hardly wait !!!

BTW: Heath is assuming that someone not bright enough to park a car without a gadget is bright enough to build the gadget from a kit?

Oy.

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