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. Our Chief Engineer
is a past Heathkit employee who designed and developed Heathkit kit products
decades ago, providing exceptional continuity of operations, practices, and culture.
We all own and use Heathkit® products ourselves daily. 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 R&D, light manufacturing and warehouse facilities in
Santa Cruz, California. (Think oscilloscopes, mills, lathes, presses, inventory, etc.)
We also have operations in several other locations throughout the U.S. Additionally, we have
specialty manufacturing partners in locations throughout the U.S. who manufacture
custom-component parts we have designd, to our specs and in accordance with our patent filings.
- Q. Can I visit your factory, or a Heathkit retail center?
- A. Not yet. Our manufacturing facility does not accommodate customer visits right now,
but we are planning a customer-friendly facility you can visit sometime in the future.
- 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.
We may not have mailed anything out lately. We strive to minimize the
clutter in your inbox, and only send mail when we have something to say.
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,
Microsoft (live.com / outlook.com / msn.com), AOL (aol.com and prodigy.net),
or ATT (incuding sbcglobal.net). Your email service provider may have moved
valid Heathkit 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. Other email, such as for order
confirmations or tech support, may come from a "heath.company" address.
Lately we find the worst delivery problems have been to ATT/sbcglobal, Microsoft,
and gmail accounts. Gmail is particularly aggressive in overcategorizing good mail
as spam. When you find our email in your spam box, please take a moment to mark it as
"not spam" to teach your provider that Heathkit sends valued email you want to receive.
- 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. Do you still sell Heathkit® books, training publications, and replacement manuals for vintage Heathkit® equipment?
- A. Yes. Heathkit has an active publications business selling our monographs
and training materials, as well as manuals for thousands of vintage Heathkit®
products, which we continue to provide for a very reasonable cost.
These and our other products are available at our website.
- Q. I read on the Internet that someone else owns the
copyrights to Heathkit® manuals.
- A. No, not correct. Heathkit did in the past have a contractual license
with certain specific companies granting them a limited right to reprint and sell
paper copies of specific Heathkit assembly manuals and related publications, to better
serve valued Heathkit customers on those special occasions when you spill coffee
on your original kit manual, or as part of a joint marketing agreement. Today Heathkit
performs all vintage manual printing itself, and there are no other lawful distributors
(Whether or not payment is made for the manual copies). Other past contractual
arrangements have been part of joint marketing agreements with corporate or institutional
industry partners. Such reprinting or joint marketing agreements are designed to outsource
Heathkit's reprinting operations to companies who Heathkit judges can provide replacement
manuals or facilitate distribute our publications cost-effectively, but do not
convey Heathkit's intellectual property, only permission to reprint authorized paper
copies under express license. The only lawful way today to produce, reproduce, or
distribute our publications and IP, in any form, is under to a modern, current,
fully-executed written co-publication license with Heath Company.
In summary, 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/ Heathkit.
- 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 immediately. There are statutory
penalties for this kind of violation. Ask your lawyer if you don't understand what
this can mean to you financially.)
- Q. I saw someone clearly misusing the Heathkit® name,
or violating your copyright or trademark, or distributing illegal digital copies of
your books and other publications. 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 or Internet service provider.
And don't buy their products. Here's why:
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. This is a lot of detail on IP. Remind me again—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. 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.