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 Post subject: Heathkit AR-15 Restoration - Opinions?
PostPosted: Oct Wed 23, 2019 4:21 pm 
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Back Story: I built one of these 45+ years ago when I was a senior in high school. It sounded better than anything I'd ever heard. Maybe because I built it, maybe because of who knows. Possibly the Koss Pro-4/AA headset I also bought at the time.

Anyway, I sold it eons ago in a fit of dumbness. Picked this one up at auction for almost nothing. Opened it up today and found the start of a mousie hotel ... not too bad considering. Vacuumed it out. Looks like it will need a total restoration... see the photos. Someone in the past replaced some of the Electrolytics. Now the green mylar (or are they actually paper) caps are mostly all split open. So no powering this up until I invest a lot of time into it.

Plan is to remove all boards, scrub, clean, and bake dry.... replace all caps, check other components. Replace some of the wires that have not aged well. De-mouse the metal that has begun to corrode (not much, and not too bad all things considered) then put it back together and make it work.

The opinion requested ..... is it worth the effort or should I just find one that the mice didn't get into? It's kind of cool to re-live my past I guess but ..... will I run out of patience halfway through? :-D. I know I know, what's it worth to ME.

At the time it was one of the most powerful amps you could get without being rich, and for sure among the best kits out there. Am I nuts? (besides the obvious) ....


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File comment: TOP VIEW
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S07eWlHFRUuXBngLb0Zn4w.jpg [ 850.62 KiB | Viewed 530 times ]
File comment: TOP / FM BOARD OPEN
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JgPIy99MR5SujVMa+2pgOQ.jpg [ 917.38 KiB | Viewed 530 times ]
File comment: BOTTOM - PWR SUPPLY / AMP
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iJeIjauPTOO3Wfb4pGuzNw.jpg [ 977.03 KiB | Viewed 530 times ]
File comment: WORST OF THE MOUSE DAMAGE
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xDvC%RjzQZ+UGAybr9BzWA.jpg [ 764.21 KiB | Viewed 530 times ]
File comment: SPLIT OPEN MYLAR (PAPER?) CAPS
fullsizeoutput_915.jpeg
fullsizeoutput_915.jpeg [ 749.64 KiB | Viewed 530 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit AR-15 Restoration - Opinions?
PostPosted: Oct Wed 23, 2019 6:59 pm 
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Doesn't look all that bad to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit AR-15 Restoration - Opinions?
PostPosted: Oct Wed 23, 2019 11:54 pm 
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I agree that it doesn't look that bad. Go for it!


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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit AR-15 Restoration - Opinions?
PostPosted: Oct Thu 24, 2019 12:53 am 
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To those who say it doesn't look that bad ..... thanks. I tend to agree. We'll see how things progress, and I"ll probably document the restoration once I get to it. Got a few things to do first, before the snows fly.

.......will this make me young again? Or lots older lol

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit AR-15 Restoration - Opinions?
PostPosted: Oct Thu 24, 2019 2:12 pm 
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J. Hill wrote:
I agree that it doesn't look that bad. Go for it!

+1

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit AR-15 Restoration - Opinions?
PostPosted: Oct Fri 25, 2019 4:32 am 
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I dunno. The pics make me think you're already upsidedown on this. Better send it to someone who's used to that. Like me! :mrgreen:

I briefly owned an AA15, the amplifier-only version. $50 on the trade-in rack at a stereo shop, built and working. I was about the same age as you, WOW, my first introduction to a real Monster Amp. My dad, in the bedroom directly upstairs, hated the thing. I'm sure he was overjoyed when I accidentally shorted the speaker output to an input and fritzed the thing.

My penchant for using bare-wire kludges on my cables no doubt played a part. I lost track of how many transistors and other parts I pulled and replaced on a prayer and never did get it working again. Too much power for my uneducated self.

One day, he mentioned to me that he had a friend who offered to take it off my hands, and I gave it to dad to deliver it. May have just been a ruse on his part, to get it out of the house before I accidentally fixed the thing, who knows? But I always regretted nudging that opened pair of needlenose, laying innocently behind it, to where it could (and did!) span the distance between input and output to create that fatal spark. :cry:
-Ed

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit AR-15 Restoration - Opinions?
PostPosted: Oct Sat 26, 2019 1:51 am 
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I have one, that I found at a hamfest back in 1991. After some repairs, it got used for quite a while. It's now in the line for the bench, for some new capacitors. It's a fantastic receiver, with a very hot tuner.

It looks like someone has already been in there, with some new electrolytic capacitors.

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit AR-15 Restoration - Opinions?
PostPosted: Oct Sat 26, 2019 12:49 pm 
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Location: Sunbury, Ohio 43074
Some spark in my mostly idle mind says there was a mod that Heathkit had, which basically turned one of the oscillators in the FM system into an amplifier, because they were having problems with the oscillator drifting otherwise. I'm sure I'll find something on it eventually, but does anyone recall this? If memory serves, it manifested itself as "growling" in the FM reception.

Until I get hold of a manual for this beastie, it's going to sit. I've got other things going on at the moment anyway lol.

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 Post subject: Re: Heathkit AR-15 Restoration - Opinions?
PostPosted: Oct Sat 26, 2019 10:18 pm 
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Barry H Bennett wrote:
I've got other things going on at the moment anyway lol.

Unfortunately... don't we all?

Seriously, let us know how it goes. As I continue to read this thread, I am thinking, "Didn't I buy one of these things (or one like it) in a basket case at our local MAARC auction???

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