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Could this possibly succeed?

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Smarty, Aug 30, 2013.


    It's likely to be as successful as the attempt by former Polaroid employees to
    revive Polaroid integral materials. Which is to say, not at all.

    The whole point of electronic kits was to offer something you couldn't buy
    assembled (such as robots), or test equipment, Amateur equipment, audio
    amplifiers, etc, that cost a lot more assembled.

    This is over. Cheap labor from the Orient, combined with the switch to SMDs,
    have largely destroyed the possibility of kits being less-expensive than
    assembled items, let alone offering something you can't get assembled.

    Elecraft makes Amateur kits, but there's probably not a large-enough market
    for Heath to enter. As for test equipment...
  2. Guest

    I would not be optimistic right now.

    Actualy some of those kits are things you could buy cheaper but people bought them for the experience/satisfaction of actually building something. It was a different America then sadly. People were really gung ho on techologybecause so many things were new.

    One little niche market they could cover maybe would be custom USB devices.I had an idea for the service industry to store remote control pulse trains in the PC and build a little IR transciever to control these sets on the bench as you needed remoted for service menus and so forth. Of courrse thenI found out that some smartphones can do this.

    However that doesn't mean it's not a viable idea, but revealing it here obviously indicates that I do not intend to patent it. It's not worth it. Likeanything else, in the beginning I envisioned all sorts of neat things, like techs being able to email the pulse trains to each other, or even a web based repository or P2P sharing.

    Would have been nice but the fact is now the TV industry is reduced to bad electrolytics and a few powers supply repairs or 99 % of the time the unit is scrap.

    However if they can write a little software that is cross platform and comeup with a somewhat universal USB interface, there are possibilities. Peolecould build some of their own home automation devices etc., and maybe build some things you just can't get from Bestbuy. Sorta like a laymen's Arduino.....

    No matter what they come up with the market is extremely tough. People haveno time for this stuff, they need to work two jobs to keep their house, stuff like that. Perhaps worldwide. Believe it or not - Russia. They've come a long way and actually are more than an emerging market.

    привет ?
  3. Graymark still has an nice selection of real kits:

    I love that they haven't wimped out and still have kits with 120V power cords and
    those back of the stereo receptacles to run lights and stuff.

    We had a real badass science teach in grade school that had us build these and do
    other slightly weird things like "microchemistry" where all reactions were done
    in capillary tubes which we had to work into test tubes with alcohol burners.
  4. Ken Layton

    Ken Layton Guest

    Graymark, now that's a name I haven't heard in many years. Back in 1969 I was in the 9th grade and we each built a Graymark tube AM table radio kit for electronics class. It was fun.
  5. "Arfa Daily" wrote in message
    Please re-read what I said. (See above.)

    To paraphrase Lois Lane... How huge is it?

    Heath is going to have to come up with some come pretty Amateur and test
    products to compete with existing kit manufacturers.
  6. Why do people keep passing this on, and to a repair newsgroup to boot?

    All they have is the Heathkit name. That means nothing. No products, no
    business, no realistic understanding of the situation.

  7. The thing about Heathkit was it sold to everyone. LIke I said the last
    time someone posted about "Heathkit is coming back", they had the organ
    kit, the boonie bike kit, the marine electronic kits, and so on. The kits
    were made to be built by anyone, carefully follow the instructions and you
    will succeed. Indeed, those who tried to leap ahead might get into

    The kits were viable when they were tube based, so either someone
    assembled it at the factory (I just saw an old magazine with a photo of
    the Hallicrafter's assembly line, students in sweaters soldering the parts
    together) or you did it at home. Once circuit boards came along (and
    especially as automation took over) that cost faded, it ending up being
    more expensive to put out kits than to assemble at the factory.

    And when there was a money saving, then someone with no interest in
    electronics would build that color tv set or whatever, they were told they
    could if they followed the instructions, and they got the set for less
    than buying assembled.

    And one fo the factors I wonder about is how much that "nobody" kit
    building helped the bottom line. Was the amateur radio equipment and test
    equipment self-sustainiing, or did it need more popular kits sold to the
    masses? They had soe very interesting kits that were really aimed at that
    larger mass. And if the company relied on that larger population for
    sales, that's mostly disappeared now. The ones who want the kits are the
    hobbyists, since they can't get the kits cheaper than the finished

    There's a fixation on the name. There are kits still being made, but
    somehow they don't count since they aren't Heathkit. On the other hand,
    those other kits often aren't aimed at the total beginner, who blindly
    follows the instructions. The people wanting kits want the building
    experience, without having to collect the parts (or figure out suitable
    replacements). ANd that's a pretty small segment of the population.

    Bringing back Heathkit won't do a thing, just like bringing back Popular
    Electronics won't do a thing. It's the content that matters, and either it
    will fly by itself, or no amount of old branding will help.

    Yes, there's already ESR meter kits. And this new iteration of Heathkit
    will have to be unique, either sonething nice and cheap, or something
    other's aren't selling.

    Remember, last year (or I guess the year before) they made a big splash
    "Heathkit is back in the kit business" and everyone saw the name and
    rejoiced. ANd they offered a kit or two, none of which had any appeal to
    the hobbyist, and apparently not to the public. They set up lures, "we'll
    have more kits soon, even amateur radio equipment", but they failed before
    that happened. Until something changes, this won't work either.

    Or maybe they will sell the name, like all those Philco all in one stereos
    advertised late at night on tv.

  8. Adrian C

    Adrian C Guest

  9. There's little doubt that the ability to build your own projects created an
    interest in electronics.
  10. I though they were out of business for years as they had no website, and
    they don't mail me catalogs. They always included the PCB artwork so you
    could etch your own board, or lay it out with that etch resist tape, which
    is what their artwork is photocopied from anyways.

    They may have dropped tube kits, but everything else is untouched by time.

    I recall this kit

    The silkscreen has changed, and the old ones included grease for the
    gears, but the damn thing looks the same.
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