Many of us remember Heathkit, a company that changed a lot over the years, but for most of us, what we recall are their electronic kits from the extremely simple to the impressively complex. Ham radio was a mainstay as well as quite a few televisions you could put together board by board and test as you went along. The catalogs were an electronic tinkerer’s dream with test equipment, stereo receivers, guitar amplifiers, educational kits and much, much more, just seeing the name is enough to make you think of a simpler time, before personal computers, before cable TV, ah, yes. Well, like so many companies from that era, Heathkit disappeared, but with very little fanfare, it’s now under new ownership and there seems to be some very slow movement toward restarting the business.
They’ve had a website up for a while now with very cryptic and limited information, promising updates, though very little ever changed. Then late last year, Adafruit Industries was contacted by the president of the company which gave them an interview with a few more, but still sparse, details. Adafruit had another post in February saying that Data Professionals of Pleasanton, California was purchased by Heathkit and will now be working with them. Data Professionals has the complete collection of Heathkit legacy manuals and had been selling some kits under the Heathkit name.
Just on a whim I visited the Heathkit website and it’s changed! It seems to have incorporated the products offered by Data Professionals and the website now links to their eBay page. So what is the current status of the company? What about new products? Well, the slow pace of the rollout continues so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.