June 14, 2024

Heathkit is Bringing Back the Magic

Heathkit SB100, front viewHeathkit has announced they will be getting back into the electronic kit business. The Heathkit Educational Systems was famous for opening the door to the magic world of electronics for countless hobbyists through their broad line of electronic kits. They are best known for their ham radio kits–many still in use today. Heathkit also sold kits for televisions, hi-fi audio, and a variety of kits for building test equipment and other gadgets. You could even get the EC-1 Computer kit long before PCs hit the market.

The thought of Heathkit brings back a lot of good memories for many of us gadgeteers. There was one family in our neighborhood that held out on buying a television because the parents believed it would corrupt the minds of their children. Even though they were clearly right about that, one day an incredible thing happened. The dad came home with a TV kit from the Heathkit store. The kit was amazing. It unlocked the secrets of television into what seemed like millions of little parts and multiple volumes of documentation. It took several months for him to assemble the kit and the anticipation was high when the switch was finally thrown. The set flickered on! (Although it worked perfectly, the set never found a home in their living room and is probably still on that workbench.)

Heathkits were not at all accessible, but that did not stop us from poring over the catalogs with our sighted friends and riding the bus across town to have a look at the latest electronic wonder. The first new kits Heathkit will be releasing this year are the Parking Garage Attendant and the Wireless Swimming Pool Monitor. They are also planning to have a ham radio kit available by the end of the year. We will get back to you with a full accessibility and gadgeteer worthiness report.

Source: Heathkit Educational Systems