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Secret Messages
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The self-build kits of...

This exhibition is now closed

Open from 6 June 2006, every first and third Saturday of each month
After the successfull exhibition Secret Messages the museum has been closed until 6 June 2009. This period has been used to clean up and pack away the rare exhibits. Furthermore, many items had been given on loan by other museums and private collectors. And these had to be returned, of course. The closing period has also been used to set up a brand new exhibition for you.
This time we've selected a less spectacular subject. A subject with nostalgic edges: the Heathkit self-build kits. Do you remember them: the blue cases with your self-built transmitter or receiver? Various generations of radio hams have grown up with these affordable kits. Many of these well known, and less well known, kits are on display in our museum now. Think about the heavy RX-1 (Mohawk) receiver and the matching TX-1 (Apache) transmitter. Or the 'lunch boxes', such as the Twoer, the Sixer and the Tener, for the 2, 6 and 10 meter band respectively. Some of the equipment is exhibited in working condition and for this occasion, the museum ham radio station, PI9JC, is running exclusively on Heathkit equipment.

Apart from transmitters and receivers, Heathkit developed a large range of measuring equipment, such as multi-meters, grid dippers, frequency generators, counters, SWR meters, power supplies and much more. Many of these devices were very popular amongst radio hams and electronics enthousiast. The museum has a nice collection of Heathkit measuring equipment on display. It shows the evolution of the kits over the years. We even have kits that haven't been built yet, and we've put them in the display cabinet next to a pre-built model. They clearly show the supreme quality of the Heathkit stuff.

   Not many people are aware that, apart from radio ham equipment, Heathkit also produced domestic equipment, such as guitars, amplifiers, digital clocks and alarm systems. Few people remember the fact that Heathkit was once at the forefront of the development of the modern home computer. Back in 1977, long before the introduction of the current PC, Heathkit introduced a real computer: the H8. As a kit, of course. The H8 was an expandable system that can now be seen running in our museum, together with some of the add-ons of the day.

If this has made you curious you might want to consider visiting us sometime in the nearby future and see how kits were once made. If you have any questions, our museum staff will be most happy to answer them. Perhaps seeing the kits brings back old memories. If that's the case, we would very much like to hear your stories. Below are a few pictures to give you a first impression. Click any of the images to enlarge them.
Electronic more key TX, RX and oscilloscopes The shack of PI9JC
Measuring equipment The HD-1250 solid state dipper The DX-series with add-ons
The SBA-300-4 2-meter convertor Expanding the H8 The H8 computer with add-ons


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