Heathkit® Frequently Asked Questions
- Q. Is Heathkit making and selling new Heathkit® kits?
- A. Yes.
- Q. Will Heathkit continue making and selling replacement parts, updated software, and support kits for vintage Heathkit® kits?
- A. Yes. We have been doing this continuously for many years, and will continue.
- Q. Do Heathkit products include entirely new designs?
- A. Yes.
- Q. Will you continue to offer vintage kit designs?
- A. Yes. Tell us what you'd like – take
- Q. How can I order the latest Heathkit® kit designs?
- A. On the Web. We offer our products on our website and at our eBay shop.
Please understand, the design process is a long road,
and we need every product we offer to be Heathkit® quality. We will communicate with you,
here and elsewhere, as we make progress on each kit we sell. Thanks for being patient
while we continue the legacy of this great company and add to its spectacular product line.
- Q. What kind of products does Heathkit sell today?
- A. We sell products that include include hardware and software, publications,
vintage kits, upgrade kits, new electronics kits, and lots more.
See our website and
- Q. I have great ideas—about products I wish you'd make, and
past kits I'd buy if Heathkit brings them back. What should I
- A. You are our favorite customer. We want to hear from you. Of
course, don't tell us anything proprietary unless you have a
non-disclosure agreement signed with us. But if you want to tell us
about yourself, your favorite past or future Heathkit product, and
what you most hope to see and buy from us: Please—take
Questions about the company
- Q. Who owns Heathkit?
- A. Heathkit® is a trademark of Heath Company,
registered in the US and around the world. Heath Company owns all
Heathkit® corporate assets worldwide.
- Q. I thought Heathkit didn't exist any more.
- A. To paraphrase Mark Twain: The reports of our death have
been greatly exaggerated.
- Q. But I read it on the Internet, and Wikipedia.
- A. Yeah, we saw that too. (Wikipedia once reported that the
Vatican has a Death Star. Who writes this stuff?)
- Q. Magazines also printed articles saying Heathkit went
bankrupt in 2012.
- A. Yes. Bankruptcy is a financial problem where you lack
money. It is not always the end of life of a business. Many
businesses go through bankruptcy and emerge stronger. Heathkit®
is such a success story.
- Q. Who owns Heathkit now?
- A. Heath Company does. (Heathkit® is a trademark of
Heath Company, registered in the US and around the world.) At Heath
Company, Heathkit's destiny is in new hands, under new
management and ownership. We know the value and trust you place in the
Heathkit® name, and we are committed to making Heathkit succeed
- Q. I thought the name of the company was “Heathkit Educational
- A. This was widely misreported and misunderstood.
“Heathkit® Educational Systems” is a trademarked use of the
Heathkit® trademark, not the corporation name. (This and all
uses of Heathkit® fall under Heath Company's trademarks,
- Q. All these company names are really confusing.
- A. We understand. As devoted Heathkit® fans know, the
parent company name and the ownership of Heathkit have changed a number
of times in the 80 or so years since Ed Heath founded the business. Over
the decades Heathkit has been owned by Daystrom, Schlumberger, and
Zenith and has been independent several times. Really: Unless you're an
industry historian, it doesn't matter. Here's the bottom line: Heath
Company owns and operates Heathkit® today. High-quality kits, educational
systems and instructional products always have been a major line of
Heathkit's business, and we remain committed to education and the joy of
building and learning as an important Heathkit® value and
- Q. So who are you guys?
- A. The company is privately held, and notwithstanding this FAQ,
the team has not been seeking personal publicity. We want the products
we sell to speak for themselves. But here's what we want you
to know right now: We have enormous respect for the Heathkit® name,
and we know you do too. We consider ourselves this decade's caretakers of
the most respected name in do-it-yourself and educational electronics and
related products over the past century. It's a terrific opportunity
and a historical responsibility we take seriously, and we want to
preserve and grow this opportunity, together with you. We know we need
to earn and keep your trust every day. Meanwhile, to whet your
appetite: Our CEO/President, and every member of Heath Company's
Board of Directors, are avid kit-builders and DIYers. We own and
use Heathkit® products ourselves. For those with this interest, it
happens the entire board and about half of the team are licensed amateur
radio operators. (Also happy with our team will be: car buffs, pilots,
musicians & artists, sports/outdoors enthusiasts, parents, educators,
and people who value community service.) Our management team have substantial
experience as high-tech executives, in startups and public companies, and in
technology and finance. We have carefully grown a team of highly
experienced industry advisors. Most importantly, we want you to help
and advise us too. Ultimately, it is you, with your excitement and
enthusiasm and interest in doing great things with great products, who
will make Heathkit a success.
- Q. Why have you been quiet about your management team?
- A. Efficiency. Here are two business choices for how to grow the company.
Choice (a) is, we spend lots of money, time and energy on press releases
and video blogs and marketing and public interaction. Choice (b) is, we
quietly assemble a talented team, learn what our customer community wants,
and put all our energy into creating great new products (while sustaining or
improving great vintage products). Which choice sounds better?
- Q. Does Heathkit have a factory? Where?
- A. Yes. We have our own product manufacturing and warehouse facility in
Santa Cruz, California. (Think mills, lathes, presses, inventory, etc.)
- Q. Can I visit your factory, or a Heathkit retail center?
- A. Soon. Our manufacturing facility does not accommodate customer visits right now,
but we we are working hard on a customer-friendly facility you can visit.
- Q. I heard there is a group called Heathkit Insiders.
- A. Yes, there is.
- Q. How can I join the Heathkit Insiders group?
- A. Take the survey, and provide a valid email address.
- Q. I want to be a Heathkit Insider, but I am concerned about privacy.
- A. We understand. We are big privacy advocates too. You may feel
more comfortable after carefully reading
- Q. I took the survey and entered an email address, but I haven't
received any Heathkit Insiders messages.
- A. There are several possible explanations.
It can take time for your email address to be added
to the list, since email addresses must be checked and corrected.
You might have entered an incorrect email address. About 5-10% of
email addresses are entered incorrectly or undeliverable. We work hard
to decipher and correct entry errors, but sometimes they are not
possible to fix.
- Your email service may be marking your Heathkit
Insider communications as spam. This problem is especially likely if
you use a very large email or forwarding service like gmail, Yahoo, or
ARRL.net. Your email service provider may have moved valid Heathkit
Insiders messages to your spam folder, or they may block the messages
completely. Presently all Heathkit Insiders email comes from the
(non-human mail robot) address "heathkit-insider-mailing-list-robot-2013"
at heathkit.com, and you may need to "whitelist" this address or add
it to your email address book stored at the service provider's website,
so your service provider allows it to arrive. The ARRL forwarding
service apparently filters email it forwards to you but does not provide
a way for you to whitelist your favorite senders. So if you gave
Heathkit an ARRL.net email address and you have not received your
Heathkit Insiders communications, you may need to contact the ARRL and
tell them you want to receive email from heathkit.com. (We recognize this
is a bit ironic.)
- Q. Why do you have a FAQ section on intellectual property?
- A. Customers ask us about it. They want to know that we are
continuing the Company's great traditions unabated. (We are.)
- Q. I read on the Internet that Heathkit publications are in
the public domain.
- A. Not from anyone who understands intellectual property law.
(Again: Who writes this stuff?) The Internet probably is not an ideal
place to obtain primary legal advice. To be clear: No. This is
- Q. Who owns Heathkit's intellectual property?
- Heath Company (including its subsidiaries) owns all Heathkit®
intellectual property – all trademarks, copyrights, patents, and
trade secrets. (This includes, for example, all current and historical
Heathkit product designs, patents, manual copyrights, schematics, lines
of business, contract rights, customer lists, relationships, marketing plans,
photos, videos, trade dresses, catalog rights, textbook copyrights, logos,
publication designs….) 100% of it. Under U.S. and international copyright
and other applicable IP laws, Heathkit owns the exclusive right to copy,
modify, or adapt its designs, products, and materials that are its
intellectual property (roughly: if someone copies, modifies, or adapts
our intellectual property--even with the intent of "improving"
it--they would have to get permission from Heathkit first). Of course,
this is great news for Heathkit fans and customers. You want all the
Heathkit® IP in one place under one roof. It means Heathkit can keep being Heathkit.
- Q. I read on the Internet that someone else owns the
copyrights to Heathkit® manuals.
- A. No, not correct. Heathkit has in the past given a contractual license
to certain specific parties granting a limited right to reprint and sell
paper copies of specific Heathkit manuals, to better serve valued
Heathkit customers on those special occasions when you spill coffee on your
original kit manual. Such reprinting agreements are designed to outsource
Heathkit's reprinting operations to small companies who can provide
replacement manuals cost-effectively but do not convey Heathkit's
intellectual property, only permission to reprint authorized paper
photocopies. All Heathkit® copyrights remain with Heathkit.
- Q. So Heath Company owns all Heathkit® copyrights?
- A. Yes. All Heathkit® copyrights, and all Heathkit
intellectual property, are property of Heath Company.
- Q. What about using the term “Heathkit”?
- A. “Heathkit®” is a registered trademark of Heath
Company. If you want to write about our products and services in a
news article, blog, or club newsletter, or participate in the vibrant
hobbyist reseller market for true original vintage Heathkit® products,
we're delighted—please use the proper registered-trademark notation,
“Heathkit®” whenever referring to us or our products. (On the other
hand: To people who thought they could get away with advertising or
selling their own products or services using Heathkit's name, logo or
slogans, or who copy or mimick Heathkit's copyrighted works,
falsely represent themselves
publicly on social media or elsewhere using the Heathkit® name without
Heath Company permission, try to scam the public by selling
non-Heathkit® products bearing our trademarked name, or otherwise improperly use
Heathkit® intellectual property: Please cease
- Q. I saw someone clearly misusing the Heathkit® name,
or violating your copyright or trademark. What can I do?
- A. If you know of someone doing this, please tell them to stop immediately
and please report it to us at "ip-abuse" at "2014.heath.company".
Consider reporting them to their seller venue. And don't buy their products.
When people steal or leech off Heathkit's intellectual property, they are
stealing from you, because money we must spend pursuing violators burns up
resources we could have invested in designing another great product for you,
making someone available to answer your questions, or offering your club or
school a group discount. We have to reserve our right to protect our good
name and intellectual property, and we do and will enforce those rights.
But truly, as much as we like our lawyers (we do have some excellent lawyers),
we prefer investing our resources in continuing the honorable Heathkit®
legacy by designing and bringing you terrific products. So please help us out:
If you see someone misusing or violating our intellectual property, say
something, and we will do the same. If you're reading this, you're
probably already a fan of Heathkit®, and you respect the name and you
understand the potential yet to come. Don't let irresponsible people steal
opportunity from you and the Heathkit® community. Stop a thief today.
The kit you save may be your own.
- Q. How can I keep up-to-date on Heathkit's progress?
- A. You can become a Heathkit Insider.
You can visit our Heathkit® News site.
If you use Facebook, you also can
"Like" us on the Heath Company Facebook page (visit that
page and click the "Like" button). Facebook then will notify you when we post updates and announcements.
- Q. What else can I do?
- A. Take the survey.
Then—since the best way to get us to create products you really want is to
convince us there's a market for them: Share your enthusiasm—tell your friends
to take the survey.
And visit the Heathkit web catalog site often to check out our latest kits.