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Old 3rd May 2013, 04:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeTarzan View Post
I guess we are all to old to "Get" the commercial and we are not the intended demographic.
Yes, I knew I was getting old when I found myself on the other end of the generation gap. Everything is geared toward these youngsters. They actually have more disposable income than we do, because we have to pay bills and stuff. In my neighborhood, they drive Mercedes and BMWs whild I drive a 12 year old Subaru. I do have some expensive big boy toys but right now I can't even afford to play with them.

Quote:
In Aus we have historically had 'Radio shack', 'Dick Smith Electronics', 'Jaycar' and 'Altronics' stores to cater to the electronics enthusiast.
Consider yourself lucky. Even though I live in the greater Chicago area, the only OTC place for electronic components is Rat Shack. I rely on Mouser. When I was a kid, electronics was a very popular hobby and there was no less than 3 real honest to God electronics stores within a 5 mile radius of my house (not including Rat Shack which had 2 stores within a mile radius); and I grew up in a working class neighborhood. I was also taught by an old ham radio guy about electronics in general and electronics safety in particular.

Kids aren't even interested in this stuff any more.
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Old 3rd May 2013, 04:19 PM   #12
adason is offline adason  United States
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it's sad what happened to radio shack, it used to be fun store to go to...not anymore
it's fun though to browse through old rs catalogs...you can see how one era was replaced by another and another and another...
Radio Shack Catalogs
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Old 3rd May 2013, 05:55 PM   #13
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My problem is that I am old. A friend went to the shack last week to get some solderwick. The kid at the counter didn't know what he wanted and neither did anyone else that was working there.

I think that the technology has outpaced the hobby market to a point. When I was growing up everything was point to point wiring or through hole parts on a PCB. We used to build some pretty cool amps by combining parts from two or three dead tube tv's and a trip to the shack or lafayette for the rest of the parts. It is a lot harder and much more expensive to breadboard a 256 pin ball grid array chip today.
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Old 3rd May 2013, 10:16 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Phat Daddy Mark View Post
My problem is that I am old. A friend went to the shack last week to get some solderwick. The kid at the counter didn't know what he wanted and neither did anyone else that was working there.
Yes, if you don't know what you want or where it is, you're SOL.

And by the way Rat Shack does sell solder wick. They sell a lot of handy electronic stuff, but it's up to you to find it.

Quote:
I think that the technology has outpaced the hobby market to a point. When I was growing up everything was point to point wiring or through hole parts on a PCB. We used to build some pretty cool amps by combining parts from two or three dead tube tv's and a trip to the shack or lafayette for the rest of the parts. It is a lot harder and much more expensive to breadboard a 256 pin ball grid array chip today.
We come from almost the same era. But I like the modern technology. I admit it's nowhere near as DIY friendly.

Lafayette- I forgot all about them.
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Old 4th May 2013, 02:23 AM   #15
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I work in a Motorola plant that used to employ about 1000 engineers. There is a Radio Shack store a short walk away. Until about 5 years ago they stocked all sorts of parts and stuff you needed to make things. Why? Because you have a huge user base that looks for that stuff daily. Anytime I went there there were other Motorolans there.

About 5 years ago they got rid of most of it and started pushing cellphones and laptops. Yeah, this is giong to work right across the street from a plant that MADE cellphones. The RS is still open. I dont go there and neither does anyone else I know. If you see anyone in the store, they are from the nearby retirement community. The sales people don't know an Ohm from a Giggawatt.

If you need a part from RS, look it up online first. Check the store stock, and have the RS stock number when you go to the store. I have the best luck at the outlet mall store, but that is still about 50/50 after the computer said it was in stock. Try to get Ferric Chloride. Many stores do stock it, but have no clue what or where it is. Look up, at the dusty stuff on the top of the shelves. Thats where they put it 5 years ago. It doesn't go bad.

The local Lafayette Radio Electronics store was one of my hangouts when I was in middle and high school. The manager would let us play the guitars and talk on the CB radio. About 1980 I got my ham radio license. Through random luck my call letters were KB4LRE (Lafayette Radio Electronics). Even though I have upgraded my license several times, I kept the old call letters.

After high school I ran the service department of the local Olson Electronics store. We had a better parts selection than LRE or RS, probably because we were right next to the University of Miami, who had a engineering program, and a music school. We stocked every Switchcraft jack, cable, and switch that could be remotely wired to a guitar or synthesizer. Olson died when Teledyne bought them. I found my way to the Motorola plant 40 years ago....I still work there.
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Old 4th May 2013, 03:21 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adason View Post
it's sad what happened to radio shack, it used to be fun store to go to...not anymore
it's fun though to browse through old rs catalogs...you can see how one era was replaced by another and another and another...
Radio Shack Catalogs

+1 on the old RS catalog site adason...

But the current iteration of RS isn't what what it used to be, that's for sure.

Up here north of the 48th...they are now called "The Source,"...of nothing useful IMO.
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Old 5th May 2013, 05:25 PM   #17
JoeDJ is offline JoeDJ  United States
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Originally Posted by Fast Eddie D View Post
So that radio has a dual purpose? Very clever.

30 years ago, RS was a respectable store. Now it's full of absolute junk. I go there to buy electronic parts sometimes, and they always try to sell me a cellphone or some other garbage. And there is never anyone there that has the slightest clue about the parts. It's such a lowbrow store.
I agreee... I will ad to that about 30 years ago in my town (pop about 20k) there were three hi end stereo shops and two hi end electronic parts stores in addition to the local RS' that had their own high end stereo room .

In addition, all the shops also offered repair service for stereo equipment , etc.. This was in the mid to late '70s which was a sort of a golden age of home audio, IMO.

Then came DISCO and many in the general public just wanted heavy disco bass/drums and started to care less about quality, flat response audio . It has been down hill ever since for the general pubic who now listen to distorted highly compressed audio over a 1 inch speakers and thinks it sounds great.
Obviously, shops, like RS are now just catering to the masses as that is where the money now is. . Now, the goal is how small you can make the junk.

Last edited by JoeDJ; 5th May 2013 at 05:50 PM.
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