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Posts: 1,325 Member Since: 12/07/08


Aug 22 11 12:39 AM

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Heathkit will return to the kit supply marketplace

Heathkit says it is re-entering the kit business that it abandoned almost two decades ago, this according to a report appearing in this week's Amateur Radio Newsline.
In an announcement posted to its website, Heathkit Educational Systems which is the current name for the company states that
in late August the company will debut its new line of do-it-yourself kits for common around-the-house items.
Don’t look for ham radio gear to be a top priority even though the word on the street is that kits for the amateur radio market may be down the pike. Right now the company is starting off with more general interest kits with their first entry being a Garage Parking Assistant or G-P-A for short. The Garage Parking assistant kit lets someone build their own system that uses
ultrasonic sound to locate a car as it enters the garage. The system signals to the driver using LED lights mounted on the wall when the car is detected and in the perfect spot for
parking. Next on the market will be a Wireless Swimming Pool Monitor kit followed by many more novel items.
For those of you to young to remember, it was on March 30, 1992, that the then managers of Heathkit announced that after some 45 years the company was closing out its kits and leaving the business. In its hey-day, Heathkits were products of the Heath Company of Benton Harbor, Michigan.
Their build it yourself product line included everything from electronic test equipment to high fidelity home audio equipment,
television receivers, and of coarse amateur radio gear.
It was the emergence and subsequent domination of the world electronic marketplace by Pacific Rim manufacturers who could produce and market completely assembled equipment at prices
far less than Heathkit or anyone else could supply a do it yourself version that lead to the demise of names like Eico, Paco, and of coarse Heathkit.
So why has Heathkit decided to re-enter the kit market?
To hazard a guess you have to remember that the current incarnation of Heathkit is an educational materials supplier.
As such it has likely taken notice of the burgeoning maker and
hacker community. This is an ever expanding group of technology hobbyist’s world wide that in recent years has grown into a multi-million dollar business opportunity for those smart
enough to recognize it and are ready to fill the void. These are also the people that many believe will be the next generation of technology leaders and radio amateurs.
The Heathkit announcement says nothing about the business rationale for going back into the kit supply business but it does state that the company wants to bring to its customers
interesting and unique products. As such it is interested in learning what types of products that kit builders would like to see brought to the marketplace. Anyone interested can submit
their suggestions by mail addressed to 2024 Hawthorne Avenue St. Joseph, Michigan, 49085 or at
Source: ARNewsline™ with some information supplied by KC8VWM, N4OZ and others.

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Posts: 1,579 Member Since:11/05/08

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Sep 16 11 5:29 AM

Heathkit's Amateur Radio plans taking shape

The ARRL reports that Heathkit Educational Systems hopes to re-enter the Amateur Radio market by the end of this year.
They say:
Heathkit Educational Systems hopes to re-enter the Amateur Radio market by the end of 2011. Back in August, Heathkit announced its return to the kit business and actively solicited suggestions. The response from Amateur Radio operators convinced Heathkit to develop several Amateur Radio products.
Read the full ARRL story at

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Posts: 1,579 Member Since:11/05/08

#2 [url]

Jul 29 12 2:43 PM

Disassembly complete: Heathkit is no more

The St. Joseph Township company that delighted hobbyists for decades and at one time employed up to 1,800 people locally is selling off what’s left, the Herald Palladium reports.
The remnants of a once-proud company with a long history in the Twin Cities are now on the auction block. Owner Don Desrochers confirmed this week that Heathkit is dead.
Last known as Heathkit Educational Systems, the company that once employed hundreds of people has closed after defaulting on a lease at 2024 Hawthorne Ave. in St. Joseph Township. The work force at the end was a half-dozen.
In a phone interview from his home in Dallas, Desrochers said he has filed for bankruptcy and a bank now owns what’s left of Heathkit. Several bank-seized items are being sold in online auctions.
Lori Marciniak, Heathkit’s last president and CEO, declined to comment on the company’s demise.
Desrochers said she and the remaining handful of workers did a good job to the end.
“The situation was purely one of the economy,” he said. “Heathkit (Educational Systems) was primarily dependent upon federal and state funding for schools. Spending in education continued to drop down, and it was economically unfeasible to continue operating.”
The Heath Co. was founded in 1926 as an aircraft company but shifted its focus several times to remain competitive. After World War II the company switched to the electronics industry and bought a large surplus of wartime electronic parts to build kits. The company once employed as many as 1,800 people in the Twin Cities.

Read the full Herald Palladium article at:
Our thanks to Reg Woolley, G8VHI for spotting this item

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