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OT - The last of Radio Shack...

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
    If they had stuck to their roots, perhaps more people could answer those questions. I am amazed at the number of hobbyists that there are out there. And can only wonder how many more there would be if things were more available. Their greed was part of the problem.

    There is no end of people making money selling parts on line.
    I agree with Joel - if they stuck to their roots they would have been gone 30 years ago,,,
    it was just a unique era back then - to me Radio shack was a place of learning - they had electronic kits and all kinds of neat gadgets for kids to experiment with, with the little interest in learning anything these days that strategy would have failed miserably, maybe they should have sold spinners, that's more of what the drone masses want today...

    RS went through so many phases to stay alive - they sold PC's and then laptops and did everything they could along the way, stores don't stay open from guys like me showing up 3 times a year to drop 7 bucks on some resistors caps diodes and switches

    but I am a little perplexed because there are so many new electronic gadgets and all the special cords and chargers they take and on and on, but the stores were fairly small and could not stock it all so the general answer was that they could "order" it for you but they did not have it in stock.
    and like many have said most people then would just go home and do that on line and get it just as soon and a whole lot cheaper...
    It may have been inevitable no matter what - but I suspect that if a company like this is ever going to survive they better have allot of stuff "on the spot" and go for the impulse/convenient buy, otherwise what's the incentives for the customers...

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    • #32
      Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
      Those "poly paks"....

      Floor sweepings packaged in the reverse of static safe packaging.... unmarked semiconductors, marked ones that were rejects, etc, etc. The resistors were usually OK..... Them wuz the dayz.
      Poly-Paks, disc capacitors with un-decipherable markings and IC(s) with proprietary numbers.

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      • #33
        Theres nothing I can't get from Amazon for far less money, always with 2 day shipping including Sunday delivery. It's always 20 to 40 minute drive to go to the store one way... Screw it, just Amazon it.
        No way RadioShack, or any other brick and mortar store can compete with that. Only two things worth going to store for, groceries and clothes. Home Depot / Lowes also.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Baz View Post
          In the UK they were always a bit expensive and not really competitive with Henry's Radio for those that knew the hobby and didn't just wander down the high street. For a while in the late '70s & '80s which was the boom time for TTL and discrete resistors making add-ons for home computers a single mail order company Watford Electronics ruled. It was displaced by the Maplin chain which is an echo of the old Tandy with mostly audio stuff, computer cables and consumables, and a mall range of actual components in store and more online. They are hanging on and my local one is about two doors down from the old Tandy.

          As Baz says we had Radio Shack in the UK, but we also had another one with the RS initials called Radio Spares down in London who started off selling believe it or not radio spare but these guys must have been a bit canny and evolved into RS components who sell virtually anything in the Electrical,Electronic, Mechanical and H&S areas.
          Don't know if they still do the printed catalogues but they used to be released twice a year as a 5 volume set,1,2 and 3 being about 1 1/4" thick
          .

          Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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          • #35
            Ah yes, I sort of discounted RS (and Farnell) as trade only and in the defence industry we weren't allowed to use them.

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            • #36
              could care less about radio shack - I go to Mcgyver's basement. I just went and counted, 29 of the large sized parts organizer drawer things, have them almost all on wire racks on casters. Those of you paying attention know I'm an electronics beginner, but in learning and experimenting and building circuits it is so nice having everything at your fingertips. I probably don't have $300 into the whole collection.....some business or person puts up 10 sets full of parts and I scoop it for 50 or 100 bucks. Last one was 6 sets for $20. I'm done now, you're free to scoop without me competing. The real embarrassment would be if you saw the test equipment rack lol

              When I don't have stuff, newer ic etc, digikey, I'd go to digikey even if there was a full half a mile away.....oh so conveninent vs traffic parking, hunting through racks etc. Enginuity is right.
              in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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              • #37
                Originally posted by PStechPaul View Post
                I bought some things from Poly Packs, and I still have some old gold-plated transistors and 1960s era ceramic flat pack logic gates. I liked Radio Shack when they had small components and unusual items, and their "where is, as is" specials that were pretty good deals. Another thing I miss is the local Hamfest at the Timonium Fair Grounds where there once were hundreds of tables of vendors selling all sorts of items, and a big outdoor tailgate flea market. In their final years they shrank to just half a building, and it became financially impossible to support.

                Usually I can order any parts I need from Mouser or eBay and usually get them delivered to my door in 2-3 days for a few dollars shipping. When same-day shipping by drone becomes commonplace, the convenience of nearby stores like RS or Baynesville Electronics will no longer be an issue. Another factor is the huge range of parts in various SMT packages and specifications that make it impossible to maintain an up-to-date and complete inventory in a small local store.

                And if you are willing to wait a couple weeks, you can order parts as well as complete products from China at ridiculously low prices, making repairs on most things a "labor of love" or a challenge rather than a serious way to save money.

                I remember when I used to build prototypes of amplifiers and other electronic circuits, and tinker with them using a signal generator, multimeter, and oscilloscope, trying to produce desired bandwidth, gain, stability, and power, so I had drawers full of components I would use to see how they worked. But now, I often build circuits using LTSpice, or using reference designs where I can just design a PCB, solder the parts, and pretty much expect it to work right off the bat.

                And I have become quite comfortable soldering SMT components, at least those of reasonable size and lead pitch.
                Paul,
                Baynesville is GONE! They told me that what put them out was Radio Shack failing. All the local RS sent people there when RS didn't have the parts. Some RS stores printed little maps to Baynesville. When those referrals stopped they lost way more business than they gained from RS closing.

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                • #38
                  And who could forget the battery of the month club. Free batteries to bring traffic into the store. I still have a VOM that I bought at Radio Shack probably in about 1971. Original box with receipt and probably still works. Haven't used it since I picked up a Fluke 88.

                  Brian
                  OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

                  THINK HARDER

                  BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

                  MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

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                  • #39
                    Back in the day I bought vacuum tubes to repair tv sets from Radio Shack. That all stopped a long, long time ago.

                    Brian
                    OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

                    THINK HARDER

                    BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

                    MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC

                    Comment

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