can someone help me identify this 80's "toy"?

I got one of these “kits” (for lack of a better word) for Christmas back when I was in junior-high, and just recently had a flashback on how much fun I had messing around with it.

Best way I can remember it, to describe it, would be as a “circuit board”. You’d take the top off the wooden box, and on this “circuit board”, you’d have a dozen or so different sections, with all these electrical “springy” connectors spread around all over it.

There were all sorts of different colored wires (of different lengths), and you’d go through the instructions and decide which “project” you wanted to put together. The instructions for that project would be “connect the purple wire from Section A, spring # 10, to Section F, spring # 15”, etc. Repeat that about 15-times over, and your project would be complete.

Then you’d press a button somewhere else on the circuit board, and either a light would light up, or it would make an audible noise, or whatever.

If I remember, it was supposed to be sort of a “kid’s introduction to science and electronics”.

Does this ring a bell to anyone?

Thanks for any input, or wild-assed guesses.

I had something similar from Tandy/Radio Shack. Looking on Google, they seem to be called an X-in-1 Electronic Kit.

ETA: Here’s an example: 100-in-1 Electronic Project Kit | When I was in the 3rd grad… | Flickr

I had one (maybe several) of these electronic kits when I was a kid. I had one where you could assemble an FM radio, among other things.

I think a number of different companies sold things like this so it’s difficult to identify which one you had.

ETA: You can still get them. Here’s one company: Kits & Modules

Holy crap, yes - that’s it! Thank you Lobot! I had forgotten about the 9V battery, and the dials, and all that other stuff. My goodness, that thing brings back some fun memories.

Thanks again!

Ooh! A friend of mine had one of those!

I never understood how it worked. Still don’t, actually. Electronics is a mystery to me.

I own one. I don’t pretend to understand it, but I own one.

I had one of those as a kid in the 70s, so when I came across the same kit at the thrift store, I had to buy it. It lives in my game cabinet now. I don’t play with it, but I have it, and that’s enough.

I had one as a kid in the 60s. Don’t remember the brand, not a major name. One of the more basic kits. A front “panel” with switches, knobs and a DIY galvanometer. A handful of components: one transistor, battery holder, simple telegraph key, one each of basic parts, etc.

But it was the best crystal radio ever. The ferrite tuning coil was screw adjusted and very accurate. I could get stations over 800 miles away.

I scrounged up parts and added things. I eventually figured out how to make a very crude AM transmitter. I used the crystal earphone as a mic and everything. Wonderful.

I took it with me on vacations despite it’s bulk. Lots of fun.

But, it had to go into the trash when I moved out and none of the kits out there today are at all like it.

I have a Radio Shack 100[and something]-In-1 electronics kit around here somewhere. As I recall, the speaker is missing. Loads of fun when I was a kid, but I wonder if some of the transistors, resistors, etc. are even being made nowadays.

Me too. I had the 200-in-1 kit as a child, and I bought it again on eBay about seven years ago. It’s pretty awesome, especially when you’re a young kid who likes to tinker.

ETA: Actually, that’s some newer version of it. This is the one I had/have.

While I didn’t have one, I remember these well. They were always in the same section of the toy catalog with the chemistry sets and microscopes (both of which I did have).

pfffft, there’s nothing mysterious about it.

It’s magic.

I still have my 150-in-1 board. The manual alone is handy as an electronics primer.

I wish I still had my 160-n-1. Loved that as a kid. And now, I’m an electrical engineer! I guess it worked.

I got several of those. For a while, I would get one every Christmas. The later ones had holes in the board where you would plug the wires, but the earlier ones had these tightly coiled springs.

Is this the same as a Heathkit? Mr. Legend had one of those he remembers fondly, and my brother had one, too. That was in the late 60’s - early 70’s. We still have one of them around the house somewhere.

No, from what I remember, Heathkits were actual DIY electronics kits that required soldering and stuff like that, and made a single functional electronic device. The X-in-1 kits were just a bunch of electronics components in a frame/box, connected to springs. You would then learn about electronics by going through the X-in-1 book, creating X amount of projects by interconnecting various electronic components via springs and short wires. Click on the various links above to see. Those are not Heathkits.

I don’t recall it having the Heathkit brand but I recall having a simple Heath Company spring-and-wire kit that was handed down from one of my brothers. It was from the late '50s/early '60s; I think it built a transistor radio.

Heathkits were dumbed down by the mid '80s, virtually all circuilt boards came presoldered and just needed to be connected to each other.

I had a couple of those, and man, I knew how to use them. My crowning glory was using one to make an analog-to-digital converter that I designed myself. Admittedly, it was literally a two-bit project, but still.

Nowadays, though, I can’t remember any of that. Man, I wish I had retained that knowledge.

On the off-chance that you return to the board, you’re probably thinking of a Heathkit Electronic Workshop. That’s probably the same model handed down from one of my brothers.