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Memories of Sydney Electronics Stores & Work Experience at Tandy

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Extract from the live show.
Memories of Tandy 50-in-1, 150-in-1, and 200-in-1 kits, and the electronics stores in York street in Sydney - Tandy, Jaycar, Dick Smith, and David Reid's.
And doing work experience at 14yo at the Tandy/Intertan repair centre and headquarters in Mount Druitt, working on Tandy Model III and Model 4 disk drives. And the awesome back room at the Tandy HQ that had all sorts of weird stuff.
Also Sheridan Electronics at Redfern, Mike Sheridan and David Sheridan and the move to Blacktown.
The heyday of electronics hobby stores.
Buy and selling stuff in the Trading Post.
Early microcontrollers.

I remember getting 2$ of my mon,10cent for the train ticket to redfern.
they had pcb's from old computers(IBM1401) costing 20cent
this was back in 1970..
anybody other than me remember those pcb's ?

Yes,I remember  the Wireless Instute of Australia got some of those old computer boards and sold them to hams.
They had canned transistors with a 3 digit number like 034.

I used the Dick Smith store in (near?) Lane Cove from about 1973.

I was recently thinking about the annual Hi-Fi shows in Sydney.
One year ( maybe 1975) it was in upper room floors of a hotel at top of King's Cross.
Times were tough but that show was jam-packed, queues along the corridors to get in to the booths.

I later had a Tandy Trash 80 with the Motorola 680?,
making an I/O board to plug in to the port on the side
Programmed in Motorola assembler on audio cassette tape.
When I came to use the 808? in the real job I realized how much easier the Motorola was.

You were lucky, most of the shops by me are gone, though A1 Radio is still around, and Ron Tomlin survives barely. But the others are long gone, Hamrad, which still survives in Cape town apparently, though even the Maplin store there decided to rebrand and get away from paying for the name. All the other smaller ones gone, though I still have a big pile of databooks from Basic Electronics, which was just walking distance from me.

However there are new entrants, Mantech, having figured out retail was sort of worth it instead of wholesale only, and DIY Electronics, selling kits and such. Still run into the old A1 and Hamrad staff, though many are now retired or dead, and more lost jobs this last period as well.

But as to stuff, it was often cheaper and easier to order from the UK, dealing with Cricklewoods and Sendz, along with Maplin themselves direct via post. At least there you would get a copied datasheet or manual with the stuff more often than not.

Who else remembers RDS - Radio Despatch Service near Central Station on Broadway in Sydney ?
Certainly got my juices flowing!
So incredibly traditional and conservative - but they had EVERYTHING!
Walk in, long timber counter from the entrance back into the shop… a number of middle aged men, all wearing cardigans, with glasses propped up on their heads.
Thumbing through supplier catalogues in the twilight of the store.


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