Ramsey Electronics discontinues Hobby Kit Group

Ramsey-KitRamsey Electronics recently announced the following on their website:

ramsey-logo-tinyFor more than 4 decades, the name Ramsey Kits has been synonymous with some of the neatest and the greatest electronic products and hobby kits for the do-it-yourself hobbyist. In those 40+ years, we always thought “outside the box” when we designed a new kit, making us known worldwide as the number one hobby kit manufacturer.

Back in the early 70’s it all started with the infamous “LED Blinky Kit” as our first kit. As the standard first kit sold to schools, scouting groups, and individuals, that one single kit became the very first electronic soldering kit experience for hundreds of thousands of hobbyists. And from that very first kit with only 10 components in it, the 16 page manual was written to delve deep into the circuit to cover how and why it works, in a fun and very easy to understand format. This practice followed over all these years, some 311 products later, earning us praise from everyone from teachers, educators, and engineers, to school children, scouts, and do-it-yourself hobbyists.

While our Hobby Kit Group was busy churning out the kits and products you’ve become so familiar with, our Professional RF Test Equipment Group was busy achieving similar milestones in that industry. From the largest manufacturer of RF pager test equipment, the world’s largest pager test training school, the world standard for cost effective communications service monitors, to our patented RF Isolated Test Enclosures, Ramsey Test has become equally synonymous as the most trusted RF Test Enclosure manufacturer worldwide.

The rapid changes in technologies have made it difficult for the do-it-yourself hobbyist. You just don’t go out and build yourself an 802.11ac wireless router these days! You buy one at the corner big-box store for fifty bucks! One of my favorite kits I personally built was a 25” Heathkit GR295 color TV! It was considered ahead of its time for TV’s, and you had to build it. You just can’t do that today either.

Therefore, following our well respected predecessors like Heathkit, KnightKit, Eico, and others in the past, we are discontinuing our Hobby Kit Group January 1, 2016.

We are extremely proud of our 4 decade heritage of being the leading hobby kit manufacturer worldwide, and consider it an honor that we helped hundreds of thousands of hobbyists make their entry into electronics. We end our heritage with a smile, not a frown, and say thank you, to all our customers and fellow hobbyists.

For our existing Hobby Kit customers, for hobby kits purchased through the end of 2015, our premier tech and warranty support will continue as usual throughout the 2016 warranty period.

To help our Hobby Kit customers obtain some great deals in remaining hobby kit inventory, it has been relocated to Amazon’s fulfillment warehouses, and may be purchased directly at Amazon where you can take advantage not only of low close-out prices, but of their free 2nd day delivery with your Prime membership. The Ramsey Test RF Test Equipment Group is unaffected by this change, and remains to be the leader in RF isolation test equipment throughout the wireless industry.

If you came to this page looking for Ramsey Kit products, we urge you to check with Amazon, you will find some great deals.

If you have any questions or comments about the end of our Hobby Kit legacy, feel free to use the email response form below.

Once again, we feel honored that you trusted Ramsey Kits over these past 4 decades to learn about electronics. All of us in the Hobby Kit Group urge you to continue your pursuit. Some of the nation’s top electronic engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs started by learning and building hobby kits… pass it on to your kids!

Best regards,

The Ramsey Electronics Hobby Kit GroupRamsey Electronics® | 590 Fishers Station Drive Victor, NY 14564 | 800-446-2295

Click here to search Amazon for Ramey Kits.

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5 thoughts on “Ramsey Electronics discontinues Hobby Kit Group

  1. 13dka

    Classic analog electronics, even in kit form are much on their way out for us altogether. The days when hobby kits with discrete analog components often brought you very close to the state-of-the-art designs of their time and that kind of performance for less money are long gone. Today you apparently can’t offer much more than simple TRF radio kits or the ubiquitous active antenna kit anymore, because even soldering and learning how to do that is not what it used to be, not to mention the potential price of any kit that covers more than some educational or nostalgic purpose.

    There’s a whole new and lively radio and DIY scene emerging from the SDR “revolution”, with the new idols being unheard-of small businesses providing SDR receivers and kits, there’s open-source circuit design development and you can get parts (often rather in form of modules than discrete parts) and knowledge from the global village to make (or just buy) really amazing state-of-the-art radios at even more amazing prices.

    Just look at the HackRF (open source design SDR RTX), which really caters for some specific (cough) purposes only – no problem, some other guys just change the design, add some input filtering and stuff and join it with a Raspberry Pi computer and a small touch screen to turn that into some amazingly modern and powerful portable standalone SDR RX (IIRCthey dropped the TX part) almost covering DC to light, ultra-sharp variable IF filtering with adjustable slopes, audio filtering, baseband recording, waterfall display, a million memories and possibly onboard decoding… for a few hundred bucks. If a 40 year old classic company structure didn’t manage to assimilate this breathtakingly fast development, they just can’t sustain business because crystal and TRF radio lovers are going extinct.

  2. Robert AK3Q

    The sad fact is most hams no longer build things. It is not just about cheap prices – Ramsey could source parts from these same companies. The problem is the market is so low it becomes a question of sustainability. I did buy three pre-amps, one for 2m, one for 220, and one for 400. Not sure how I will use them yet (several options), but will enjoy building.
    I am a relative new-comer to the hobby (about 8 years) but I am fascinated by building and testing equipment, and hopefully one day restoring boat anchors. I am slowly but surely building up my workshop because I want to be a ham who is hands-on. Fortunately it seems like more and more hams are starting to get that itch again, and maybe one day we will see Ramsey and other companies get back into the kit-building market.

  3. Mario

    Sad news definitely, but business is business and decisions have to be made. I bought two of their receiver kits that I built several years ago. Kits are fun; they train you to be patient and give one a sense of accomplishment knowing it was put together by one’s own hands. I am glad they are staying in business though, their catalog has lots of unique products and I’ll remain a customer.

  4. Michael Black

    This is awful news.

    All the fuss about Heathkit over the past few years, as if the Heathkit name meant anything in itself. And long standing kit companies, admittedly they weren’t Heathkits, kind of ignored because they had the “wrong” name. I kept thinking about Ramsey and MFJ kits with the announcement of that overpriced Heathkit. Ramsey and MFJ did offer a variety of kits, over a range of prices, giving something more concrete than that Heathkit, and at a better price. So sad that Ramsey decided things are not viable at this point.

    Though, maybe it was that aero band receiver from China discussed here that looked a lot like a Ramsey kit that had been around for years that did in the company. Ramsey’s aero band receiver was still decently priced, just not as cheap as the Chinese knock-off. Even for fifty dollars, the Ramsey kit was decently priced, giving the kit experience and something sort of useful afterwards.

    This is not a good move.

    Let’s hope MFJ doesn’t decide to follow.


    1. rtc

      You are so right.

      Just like when the “Grand Old Companies”,
      Hallicrafters,Hammarlund,Allied Radio etc. went
      out now we are seeing this (not to mention
      Radio Shack).

      Just the other day there was an item about
      the “new” Ten-Tec.

      It is a shame,like losing old friends.


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