29 thoughts on “June 30, 2017

  1. I ironically had this same thing happen to me a few days ago. Dude came into my store needing a 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter. After checking around both in store and online I had to break the bad news that we didn’t carry it. Guy mentioned he wished radio shack hadn’t closed down since it seemed to be the only place where you could find difficult adapters.

    • Even in recent years, RS had moved far away from their reputation of a “get any type of electronics here from people who know their stuff” store, and towards “we have some electronics, but you can find everything we have and then some on the Internet and at half the price”. They were nice when I was doing some AV work at home and I wanted to just get it done and needed an esoteric adapter (HDMI-to-VGA) but, even then, the device didn’t work properly (read: at all) and the guys in the store only knew what it said on the package. Free Prime shipping and 24 hours later, I had a working adapter from “Sum Yung Gye”

      • “The guys in the store only knew what was on the package”. This is exactly what put Circuit City and Radio Shack out of business.
        They had knowledgeable, older employees who “spoke the language” and knew their products. Unfortunately, the Big Brass decided these folks cost too much. A bunch of ignorant – as in they don’t know, not refuse to learn – new hires took the companies down he drain.

        • I actually almost got a job there back in the 90s, since the manager liked my PC knowledge and knew me from the Software etc store in the mall, the problem was they wanted me to go 60 miles away for 2 weeks to take a special class in order to be hired, so I refused and ended up staying at software etc for another year until moving on.

  2. Specialty electronics stores still exist in my area for hobbyists and some have enough inventory for professionals. Failing that there’s always ebay.

  3. I think Radio Shack was the only chain store like that, but there’s probably other small stores in the area. I know of two that still exist, but then I live in the city.

    • In Canada, there’s still the Source, which picked up most of the old ex-Radio Shack locations, stock and mission statement. Their store numbers are slightly fewer, but they’re still good for a lot of things, and Home Depot, Canadian Tire, RONA, etc. haven’t completely wiped them off the retail map.

  4. There used to be a *real* electronics store in the Salt Lake area that put Radio Shack to shame with regards to the depth and breadth of its DIY inventory. I wouldn’t have been surprised if you could really find Niad pulse converters and Anza brushes there. Don’t know if they’re still in business or not.

  5. Great Scott! I’ll never be able to generate the 1.8 jigawatts of electricity needed to get back to 1985 to buy enough capacitors to have in case in 2017 Circuit Shack goes out of business.

  6. Both items are still widely used in electronics, especially capacitors. American Science and Surplus still sell various sorts.

    • I think they’re the only place by me that has them, Fry’s, which is about 3
      5 times the drive (the Science and Surplus is barely 5 min from home) barely has anythink like that any more.

  7. For everyone wondering where you can get most any electronics. http://www.digikey.com is my bible for all my prototyping needs. Been doing this for over a decade, and they have the most compete.. wow i’m sounding like an add. i swear i’m not.

    • Mouser and Allied is also good, as is MCM Electronics (not the range of the others, but still useful). Of course, there’s always eBay and Amazon, but they sometimes are harder to search for electronics (especially Amazon, whose search engine has improved, but is still extremely weak for specific unusual items).

  8. If you need electronics supplies, inquire at your local university’s engineering department. They often have an electronics shop for their EE majors.

  9. Just go into those places that cater to the wholesaler and contractors. EB Horseman, Bartle and Gibson,( Canadian places) to name just two. There are lots out there. While most say they dont’ do retail, it can’t hurt to go in ask nicely, most will help you out.

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