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robotgrrl
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Heathkits!
robotgrrl   11/27/2013 8:07:30 PM
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Sweet photos of the insides of this Heathkit! It's really neat to see all of the old components and a tube!

 

I had the honour to start building an AC Voltmeter Heathkit when I was an artist in residence at Evil Mad Scientist (part 1, part 2). It was very interesting to build it, especially since Heathkits are recalled as legendary. It was cool having all of the wires being attached in 'mid air', compared to kits now where everything is on a pcb. Was definitely surprised at the amount of solder needed, since the 'lugs' were giant, as well as the leads from the components. Sometimes the instructions were confusing — but it's not like they could go and edit the documentation, since it's printed on real paper!

 

One of the pieces was missing, so we designed and laser cut a replacement part. People have actually downloaded the part from Thingiverse, so maybe there are other people out there who were also missing it (though unlikely)!

 

Noticed the 'mighty' capacitor in your GD-1A. There were also huge capacitors in the AC-VM, the metal enclosed one took up a lot of space. Why were capacitors so big back then? Were they made by hand or something?

Bert22306
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Re: More on the Dip Meter...
Bert22306   11/27/2013 4:15:53 PM
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"The only 'connection' is inductive."

Okay, that too. But in order to measure the change in current through the resonant circuit, or voltage change created by a changing current flow, you need current to flow through the circuit under test. The flow was created because the circuit was radiating RF.

w2aew
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Re: More on the Dip Meter...
w2aew   11/27/2013 4:05:43 PM
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The only "connection" is inductive.

Bert22306
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Re: More on the Dip Meter...
Bert22306   11/27/2013 3:55:03 PM
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At first, I wondered how you were measuring the resonant circuit by only connecting to one point. And then I concluded you were actually measuring an antenna.

Interesting. A poor man's oscilloscope and oscillator all in one.

Susan Rambo
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Re: More on the Dip Meter...
Susan Rambo   11/27/2013 2:45:28 PM
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Thanks for posting the Heathkit Solid-State Dip Meter video. Very cool.

vvc0
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Fond Memories of Heathkit
vvc0   11/27/2013 1:33:49 PM
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I built a few Heathkit devices, including a color television, an oscilloscope, and a printer. Heathkit did an extraordinary job of design in putting together their kits. The assembly documentation was second to none. The color television had at least 5 or 6 manuals, covering the assembly of the circuit boards, the mechanical assembly of the unit, tuning the varius stages, and adjustments to the set. It was a marvelous way of gaining experience in assembly and testing of complex devices. I don't think there are any equivalent systems today that even come close to the experience Heathkit provided.

junko.yoshida
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Re: More on the Dip Meter...
junko.yoshida   11/27/2013 1:14:52 PM
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@w2aew, thanks for posting the youtube clip. I had NO idea how people would use one of those devices until I saw the video!

Jonathan Allen
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Grid dip meter
Jonathan Allen   11/27/2013 1:08:11 PM
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As a power RF specialist I depedn on my trusty grid dipper.  Mine happens to be an Eico 710.  It's basically similar to the Heathkit shown but a bit more compact.  I carry it in a canvas case originally made for a "brick" cell phone.  The instrument and its coil set (The coils live in a mahogany block drilled to accept the pins.) fit perfectly.  There is even room for a spare tube, a BNC coil adapter, and the Manual which fits in its own zippered compartment.  I previously owned a solid state immitation "grid" dip meter, but it was almost useless so I traded it. 


In addition to analyzing resonant circuits, the GDO can test transmission lines for electrical length and measure the distance to shorts or opens.  As a wavemeter it detects RF leakage.  Amazing versatility for an instrument with just one triode section.  I won't leave home without it!

Caleb Kraft
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Re: More on the Dip Meter...
Caleb Kraft   11/27/2013 1:05:49 PM
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Oh cool, thanks for sharing that!

Caleb Kraft
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Re: My cousin had one!
Caleb Kraft   11/27/2013 1:05:33 PM
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I think I actually paid $20! 

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