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Author Topic: Heathkit rebooted  (Read 12207 times)

Lyle Williams

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Re: Heathkit rebooted
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2013, 01:59:55 pm »

Tube transceivers are definitely more fun.  I don't know why, but they just are.  The least fun radio I've owned was a FlexRadio digital beast.  It did everything perfectly but had no soul.

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Steve M Smith

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Re: Heathkit rebooted
« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2013, 02:12:06 pm »

I was the neighborhood "motor whisperer", I could start anything.... It was generally pretty simple with the old school car motors, is it getting gas? does it have spark?,,

There was a time when I could set ignition timing by ear.  I doubt that I could do it now.


Steve.
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Heathkit rebooted
« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2013, 02:56:11 pm »

There was a time when I could set ignition timing by ear.  I doubt that I could do it now.


Steve.
Within reason you can tell from the cranking speed/difficulty if there is too much timing advance. Timing will also affect idle speed, but not always more or smoother = better. I had a full race cam so idle was always loping. i had one old hot rod where I connected the choke cable to my distributor so I could retard it for easier cranking, then dial the advance back in to make horsepower at elevated RPM.

=======

OK here's a story about timing by ear. I used to brag about being able to start anything that could be started (i.e. ran in the past and wasn't broken). I was working nights pumping gas at a local gas station and have some interesting stories about troubleshooting repairs that came back with mistakes made by the day crew, but that's another (much longer) story. To keep this focussed, a friend who worked days in the same gas station and was not the sharpest stick in the bunch, had paid to have his car tuned up by the day mechanic, and they couldn't get it running again after a full tune-up. It had been sitting unstarted for a couple weeks, and I said "I can start that car"  8) 8) 8). It was a slow night so we used the station tow truck to push it up to 15-20 MPH or so to jump start it. This pretty much always works if there is gas and spark...  After pushing it about a mile down the road with it coughing and sputtering and doing everything but starting, I called an audible on the side of the road and asked for 1/2"-9/16" wrench. I unbolted the distributor and popped it over one tooth on the camshaft.  Presto it started right up with the key, and we drove it back to the station. To this day we never figured out how the distributor wound up one tooth off. The mechanic who did the tune-up swears he didn't unbolt the distributor, so my only guess is that it was only sort of running before the tune-up with the distributor pushed as far as it would go, with the points gapped crazy... With the points set properly it couldn't pull in the timing far enough to start. This should have been pretty obvious with a timing light, but generally they don't check timing with a light until it is actually running. So lesson learned is don't ASSume anything, check everything.

My reputation survived, and grew even stronger that night (I was already a legend in my own mind). 

JR 

PS That isn't even my best car whispering story... related to that gig.
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Don't tune your drums half-ass. Listen to what a properly "cleared" drum sounds like.   http://circularscience.com/

Mike Sokol

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Re: Heathkit rebooted
« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2013, 04:08:34 pm »

Tube transceivers are definitely more fun.  I don't know why, but they just are.  The least fun radio I've owned was a FlexRadio digital beast.  It did everything perfectly but had no soul.

I really miss the Hallicrafters S85 I had as a tweener. Once I got into a band at age 15 I traded it for some JBL speakers so I could play louder.  :-[

Since 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the ARRL, I'm sure there's going to be some hot ham-fest action this summer and some real deals. Plus this would be a great time to finish up getting my ham license. Now if Heathkit would only offer an ARRL Centennial transceiver kit.  ;D

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Mike Sokol
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Mike Sokol

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Re: Heathkit rebooted
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2013, 07:09:33 pm »

I found this in the spring, so here's the hidden magic link to Heathkit's online survey, which still seems to be active. So go ahead and vote for what you want them to offer as a kit in the future. Hey, if you don't ask, you don't get. http://heathkit.com/survey/index.php/278489/lang-en
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George Friedman-Jimenez

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Re: Heathkit rebooted
« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2013, 09:23:30 pm »

Wow this thread is a real blast from the past. I got my novice license (WN2UNQ) when I was in 6th grade but never had enough money to buy a transmitter and never went on the air. The novice license only allowed you to transmit in Morse code, not spoken word. I never had the practice needed to up my code speed from the 5 wpm novice level to the higher speed (I think 12 wpm) needed for a General license and the novice was a 1 time deal with no renewal after the year is up so I never did become an active ham. I think they dropped the morse code requirement about 25 years later but I never went back to it. I did build a few kits, starting with a germanium diode receiver, a real low end Lafayette regenerative SW receiver, a few diy circuits from books and magazines with parts from Lafayette and Federated. I can remember saving up my allowance and bugging my parents to drive me to Lafayette electronics to buy some resistors and capacitors. Years later I built a Dynaco kit 35 watt stereo amp with a quasi-quadrophonic option. I used that thing for years as my main home stereo amp until the pots and switches were all crackly and unreliable and I actually had a job and could afford a new one. Those were fun days, no money but lots of time on my hands.
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Jeff Bankston

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Re: Heathkit rebooted
« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2013, 10:30:53 pm »

alright , how about a D&A Maverick 250 or Phantom tube kicker.
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Mike Sokol

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Re: Heathkit rebooted
« Reply #27 on: January 01, 2014, 12:00:54 am »

Somewhere in my dad's basement is my old Eico capacitor tester with a magic eye tube instead of a mechanical meter. I really loved the magic eye which almost looked alive. An old ham guy gave it to me when I was maybe 12 years old to fuel my imagination. Once I figured out what capacitors and resistors did, things got really crazy and I started building my own audio stuff. Of course I had no money for new parts, and professional kits were an impossible dream. But I could go to the landfill (we called it the dump in those days) and scavenge tubes and transformers from old television and radios. Of course, this meant I was building and playing with live circuits that had hundreds of volts. I'm still amazed that I lived through those days since my dad was a history teacher who had no idea that what I was building in my bedroom could have killed me. Guess I've got to go dig in the basement to see if I can find that capacitor tester now.

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Mike Sokol
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Steve M Smith

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Re: Heathkit rebooted
« Reply #28 on: January 01, 2014, 03:56:57 am »

Of course, this meant I was building and playing with live circuits that had hundreds of volts. I'm still amazed that I lived through those days

At fourteen, I had built my own guitar amplifier with a 6V6 output stage in an old TV cabinet with grey foam as speaker cloth.  I regularly took this to school and no one ever questioned it on grounds of safety or suggested it should be tested.

Luckily no one looked inside as it looked a bit of a mess.  I couldn't afford or find a chassis and everything was screwed to a piece of wood.


Steve.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 01:07:06 pm by Steve M Smith »
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Heathkit rebooted
« Reply #29 on: January 01, 2014, 11:56:17 am »

At fourteen, I had built my own guitar amplifier with a 6V6 output stage in an old TV cabinet with grey foam as speaker cloth.  I regularly took this to school and no one ever questioned it on grounds of safety or suggested it should be tested.

Luckily no one looked inside as it looked a bit of a mess.  I couldn'y afford or find a chassis and everything was screwed to a piece of wood.


Steve.

EAW builds passive filter networks that way... on scrap wood... or at least they have done so in the past.
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

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Re: Heathkit rebooted
« Reply #29 on: January 01, 2014, 11:56:17 am »


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