Author Topic: Memories of Sydney Electronics Stores & Work Experience at Tandy  (Read 1289 times)

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Online EEVblog

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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.

 
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Offline OZ1LQB

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Re: Memories of Sydney Electronics Stores & Work Experience at Tandy
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2022, 01:34:09 pm »
Hi.
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 ?
 

Offline mag_therm

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Re: Memories of Sydney Electronics Stores & Work Experience at Tandy
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2022, 02:17:55 pm »
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.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Memories of Sydney Electronics Stores & Work Experience at Tandy
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2022, 02:25:53 pm »
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.
 

Offline SL4P

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Re: Memories of Sydney Electronics Stores & Work Experience at Tandy
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2022, 10:15:48 pm »
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.
Don't ask a question if you aren't willing to listen to the answer.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Memories of Sydney Electronics Stores & Work Experience at Tandy
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2022, 05:32:53 am »
Speaking of which ... who remembers George Brown?  Sounds like the same shop and same people - just a bit earlier.  Counter down the middle ... customers to the right, staff to the left.  "Twilight" is an excellent description of the illumination!

You could get sales tax exemption with a letter from Uni (if you could get it).  At 27.5% on components, that was worth having!

I remember going there to buy my first multimeter, shelling out five $2 notes and two $5 notes to walk away with my nice little moving coil 20kΩ/V multimeter.  Big day, that was!
« Last Edit: June 27, 2022, 05:48:17 am by Brumby »
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Memories of Sydney Electronics Stores & Work Experience at Tandy
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2022, 05:51:37 am »
they had pcb's from old computers(IBM1401) costing 20cent
this was back in 1970..
anybody other than me remember those pcb's ?
I remember getting some PCBs like that and the fact that some had a dozen or so components!  Some even had some transistors!!!  They're probably still around, languishing in a box somewhere.
 
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Offline lowimpedance

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Re: Memories of Sydney Electronics Stores & Work Experience at Tandy
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2022, 06:14:08 am »
Who else remembers RDS - Radio Despatch Service near Central Station on Broadway in Sydney ?
OMG mentioning that shop has sparked life into the few remaining neurons! I had completely forgotten they existed, looonnnnnng ago.
 
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.
Closing my eyes and I see myself as a fresh apprentice radio fitter at the counter getting the PCB and parts for an ETI project.

I used the Dick Smith store in (near?) Lane Cove from about 1973.
That would have been the Gore Hill store.
The odd multimeter or 2 or 3 or 4...or........can't remember !.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Memories of Sydney Electronics Stores & Work Experience at Tandy
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2022, 06:59:36 am »
Gore Hill ... or was it the Headquarters in Waterloo Rd?

I used to work at St Leonards back then and frequented both - mainly Gore Hill.  I also lived at Parramatta as well, dropping in to that store as well, on occasion.

I remember a competition where you had to fill in a crossword and drop your entries off in store.  I made use of the three sites in both collecting entries and dropping them off.  It ran for two months.  At the end of the first month, a draw was made for double tickets to a "Thank You" concert**.  At the end of the second month was a draw for a Hitachi V152 scope.

I won tickets to the concert, which I attended with my wife... and I won the scope.  I still have that scope ... and it still works!


** Early in his business, Dick Smith (that's his actual name) ran into some trouble due to delegating some management that was not done properly.  He had a choice to declare bankruptcy or trade out of it.  He took the bold and arduous journey and traded out of it - with the help and cooperation of a number of people.  This concert was a recognition of that help.  It was held in the Concert Hall of Sydney's Opera House.
 

Offline lowimpedance

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Re: Memories of Sydney Electronics Stores & Work Experience at Tandy
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2022, 10:23:08 am »
 I lived in  Lane Cove and the Gore Hill  store was closer than the North Ryde headquarters, coincidentally I also did my apprenticeship in North  Ryde not far from DSE and was also a regular there too.

I had a look at the Hitachi  CRO you scored and it looks  just like the ones Sydney Tech. (TAFE) used when I was doing  my trade  studies  :D

And   :-+ for keeping it.
The odd multimeter or 2 or 3 or 4...or........can't remember !.
 

Offline Shred

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Re: Memories of Sydney Electronics Stores & Work Experience at Tandy
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2022, 02:19:31 pm »
I remember Ellistronics in Melbourne - it was just amazing.  I still have an Ellistonics branded logic probe that I saved up for and bought when I was twelve.
 

Offline Shred

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Re: Memories of Sydney Electronics Stores & Work Experience at Tandy
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2022, 08:17:44 pm »
Reading the Durehall thread reminded me of Tandy in the 1980s.

Tandy had a “battery club”, where in return for giving them your name and address (so that they could bombard your mailbox with advertising), you would receive a little plastic card that would give you a free battery every month.  As a high school kid, batteries were expensive, so every month, I’d go to Tandy for my free battery.  I recently found a Tandy 9v zinc carbon battery in an old transistor tester,  Dead flat, must be 40 years old and not leaking!  Take that Duracell.

Apart from that, Tandy was the supplier of last resort.  If I wanted a BC547 and nobody else had one, Tandy would always have them in stock, but instead of buying the one transistor, they’d make me buy five in a little plastic bubble pack.  Grrrr.  For more exotic and expensive ICs, Tandy were great, because the dreaded bubble pack would include a copy of the manufacturer’s data sheet - very useful pre Internet.
 


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