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Offline rexxar

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Radio Shack Rant
« on: June 01, 2013, 04:02:18 am »
My latest trip to Radio Shack left me pissed off, as do every one of my trips there. Today I just needed to pick up a transistor. Just a transistor.

After wading through all the TVs and cellphones and consumer crap, I find the component drawers in the very back corner of the store. I thought I'd be in and out in two minutes, but no, of course not. I open the drawer, which says 'TRANSISTORS' on the front in big letters to find...

Lightbulbs.

I spend a few minutes looking through the stupid drawers until I get fed up and ask the guy at the counter. He couldn't find them so he asked someone else. After he spent a few minutes looking, he remarked "maybe they discontinued them, we don't sell a lot".

ARGH.  |O

In the end, I got my transistor and my opinion of this company has reached an all-time low. The disorganization was caused by a retail person who gave up halfway through reorganizing the stock, which isn't really all that bad, it's just bloody annoying.

What pisses me off about Radio Shack is that they still try to sell themselves to hobbyists and DIYers-- trying to use their old reputation. In my experience, however, they've been hostile to hobbyists, and instead want to focus on selling consumer crap. There are two stores in my town, and in both, all the hobby/DIY stuff is literally shoved in the back of the store. A few times I've noticed that when I opened the component drawers, an alarm goes off in the back of the store, and someone comes out and watches me, like I'm going to steal resistors or something. When I walk in, and one of the employees asks if I need help with something, the blank look I get when I ask for an LM357 regulator tells me exactly how much the company emphasizes component sales to their employees.

/rant
 

Offline PeteInTexas

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2013, 04:10:30 am »
My latest trip to Radio Shack left me pissed off, as do every one of my trips there. Today I just needed to pick up a transistor. Just a transistor.

After wading through all the TVs and cellphones and consumer crap, I find the component drawers in the very back corner of the store. I thought I'd be in and out in two minutes, but no, of course not. I open the drawer, which says 'TRANSISTORS' on the front in big letters to find...

Lightbulbs.

I spend a few minutes looking through the stupid drawers until I get fed up and ask the guy at the counter. He couldn't find them so he asked someone else. After he spent a few minutes looking, he remarked "maybe they discontinued them, we don't sell a lot".

ARGH.  |O

In the end, I got my transistor and my opinion of this company has reached an all-time low. The disorganization was caused by a retail person who gave up halfway through reorganizing the stock, which isn't really all that bad, it's just bloody annoying.

What pisses me off about Radio Shack is that they still try to sell themselves to hobbyists and DIYers-- trying to use their old reputation. In my experience, however, they've been hostile to hobbyists, and instead want to focus on selling consumer crap. There are two stores in my town, and in both, all the hobby/DIY stuff is literally shoved in the back of the store. A few times I've noticed that when I opened the component drawers, an alarm goes off in the back of the store, and someone comes out and watches me, like I'm going to steal resistors or something. When I walk in, and one of the employees asks if I need help with something, the blank look I get when I ask for an LM357 regulator tells me exactly how much the company emphasizes component sales to their employees.

/rant

Why are you going to Radio Shack for your transistor needs, was it an emergency?
 

Offline justanothercanuck

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2013, 04:19:54 am »
Radio Shack isn't what it used to be in the 80s(?)...  They're more interested in selling electronics than selling electronics supplies.  Sure, you can buy speaker wire and stuff there, but it's not a proper supplies store anymore.
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Offline MikeK

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2013, 04:25:01 am »
Just get used to it.  Radio Shack is totally changed.  They're not going back.  Some of it isn't their fault, some of it is.  Oh well.  The money you would have spent on their expensive parts can now be spent on faster shipping from real electronics suppliers online.
 

Offline rexxar

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2013, 04:30:01 am »
I'm not lucky enough to live in an area with a brick-and-mortar Mouser or DigiKey, so I have to deal with Radioshack's price hikes. Even with that, I can't justify paying shipping for a single transistor.

I normally use Mouser when I'm ordering enough that shipping isn't 3/4 of the cost.
 

Offline edavid

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2013, 04:55:25 am »
I'm not lucky enough to live in an area with a brick-and-mortar Mouser or DigiKey, so I have to deal with Radioshack's price hikes. Even with that, I can't justify paying shipping for a single transistor.

I normally use Mouser when I'm ordering enough that shipping isn't 3/4 of the cost.

Digikey has free shipping if you mail in a check.  Or, order from eBay.

 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2013, 05:21:38 am »
I remember in the late 90s, they were still selling 4116 memory ICs, 16K x1 bit, for $10 each. That was the correct price in 1980.....

Radio Shack did have a good run until the early 90s when someone decided it should just be another electronics retailer. They dropped all of their in house brands and exclusive products to sell 100s of models of cordless phones. They had a new moto:
"You have questions? We have answers". The joke about Radio Shack and the new useless people staffing their stores was: "You have questions? We have blank stares".

They even had the opportunity to dominate the personal computer market, but blew that away too.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2013, 06:43:41 am by Lightages »
 

Offline Jon Chandler

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2013, 05:34:27 am »
RadioShack does seem to be trying a bit harder to support the maker/ hacker community recently.  They are selling stuff from Seeed Studios, Parallax and other vendors...the price is higher but there's the opportunity for instant gratification.

Of course it will take a lot of improvements to reach good!
 

Offline rexxar

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2013, 06:28:37 am »
I'm not lucky enough to live in an area with a brick-and-mortar Mouser or DigiKey, so I have to deal with Radioshack's price hikes. Even with that, I can't justify paying shipping for a single transistor.

I normally use Mouser when I'm ordering enough that shipping isn't 3/4 of the cost.

Digikey has free shipping if you mail in a check.

That's a handy tip! I will definitely do that next time I just need a few of something.

I don't know where, but I somehow picked up the idea of the 80's Radio Shack before I ever really started with electronics. I always thought it was a place you could go to buy all sorts of electronic goodies. I just like the idea of going to a local store to pick up simple things like resistors, and 555s, and transistors.

I guess if Radio Shack doesn't want hobbyist money, they won't get any more of mine.  >:(
 

Offline Skimask

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2013, 06:35:18 am »
I'll go dumpster diving and take my chances on used pieces/parts pulled from non-working consumer electronics (as well as various diseases), such as transistors, before I'll go to radio shack.

radio shack is nothing more than cell phone and cheap chinese toy R/C car reseller these days.  And while they do RESELL various Ardunio boards, etc, unless you get just the right person, those clowns behind the counter don't know Arduino from anything else.
I bought my Mega2560 board from the local radio shmack, but only because it was priced the same as online and the local tax was less than the shipping cost at the time.  But..that was also only after I saw it listed on dealnews.com.
I didn't take it apart.
I turned it on.

The only stupid question is, well, most of them...

Save a fuse...Blow an electrician.
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2013, 07:01:55 am »
I guess if Radio Shack doesn't want hobbyist money, they won't get any more of mine.  >:(

Oh, they want your money. It is just that they don't want to do anything to get it.

OK, well, they do a little bit. In May 2011 they did put out a press release stating they want to do more for "makers". And just a few days ago they made yet another big announcement that they want to do more. http://ir.radioshackcorporation.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=84525&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1821278&highlight=

So, to get your money they have decided that doing a press release every two years, written and backed by some lying corporate sacks of shit, is all it takes.
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Offline millerb

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2013, 07:03:42 am »
When I was a kid, I used to get my dad to go to Radio Shack to get my free battery every month. I still hit up Radio Shack for common stuff I need right now, instead of waiting days for things to get shipped to me. Stuff like solder, perf board, wire wrap, bread boards, alligator wires, etc.

I think it's kind of unrealistic though to walk in and expect the guy working the counter to know what a 74hct244 is. These guys are average Joes trained to sell you on cell phones, cameras, batteries and help you pick out the right replacement wall wart. If you ask where the electronic parts are, they'll show you to the parts drawers.

For electronic parts, it's mostly a bag of fail. Limited selection, and for what's there, the qty is small and the price high. Still, if you need some dumbass 780 whatever reg or a zener or something... Then again, if you're a proper electronics geek your closet should be packed waist high with electronic crap boards you've been ripping out of stuff you've pulled out of the dumpster or found out on the curb. Once you've built a sizeable crap pile, you'll have little need for visiting Radio Shack for parts and for everything else, if you can wait three weeks you can get bulk stuff for next to nothing from Chinese eBayers.

It's nice to see that Radio Shack is boning up on their microcontroller stuff. Last time I visited my tiny little Radio Shack in Salisbury, MD, they had a wide assortment of various little kits.
 

Offline digsys

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2013, 07:04:49 am »
We have a similar store here in OZ, Dick Smith Electronics ... used to have a great range of stuff.
Then .. Dickie got rich and sold it to a grocery store .. he himself having a ball spending his $$s (And I don't blame him).
Now it's just another crappy consumer goods store, STILL using the original "name" to (hopefully) draw people in.
Same skunk, different name
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Online Rasz

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2013, 08:49:00 am »
This almost makes me feel good about living in a post communist country :) We have a long tradition of fixing everything and there are plenty of Electronics shops selling electronic components and test equipment. People working there are real engineers. I should probably do a photo tour sometime to make you all feel bad :D
Not to mention Electronic market every weekend that rivals Ham markets you get once a year :P
http://www.wolumen.com.pl/index.php?sh=0&page=infogielda
I would wager a guess this is the only place in Europe that could rival Shenzhen/Akihabara.
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Offline gerrysweeney

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2013, 09:20:57 am »
@Rasz - where is the market?  I want to go visit :) Is it held every weekend, are there good or bad times to go?  Gerry

Offline GeoffS

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2013, 09:34:52 am »
We have a similar store here in OZ, Dick Smith Electronics ... used to have a great range of stuff.
Then .. Dickie got rich and sold it to a grocery store .. he himself having a ball spending his $$s (And I don't blame him).
Now it's just another crappy consumer goods store, STILL using the original "name" to (hopefully) draw people in.
Same skunk, different name
The same people also bought the local radio Shack (Tandy) operation and re-branded them as Dick Smith stores.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2013, 11:23:57 am by GeoffS »
 

Online vk6zgo

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2013, 09:53:36 am »
We have a similar store here in OZ, Dick Smith Electronics ... used to have a great range of stuff.
Then .. Dickie got rich and sold it to a grocery store .. he himself having a ball spending his $$s (And I don't blame him).
Now it's just another crappy consumer goods store, STILL using the original "name" to (hopefully) draw people in.
Same skunk, different name

In more ways than one! ;D

We used to have "Tandy's",which was the Australian version of Radio Shack.
I'm not sure why it had a different name,but it had all the same stuff that the US stores had--same in house "Archer" brand,part numbers,etc.
It was always expensive,but if you just needed one item,or were looking for a strange IC,they were the place to go.

Eventually,they became pretty useless for other than consumer stuff,where they couldn't compete with the big retailers,anyway,so they were bought out & merged with Dick Smith.

Luckily for us,we still have such "brick & mortar" shops as Jaycar & Altronics,& if you want to buy more expensive stuff,RS Components who are the Oz version of the UK company of the same name

 :-[ OOPS---I should have waited & read the last post!
« Last Edit: June 01, 2013, 09:55:19 am by vk6zgo »
 

Offline GeoffS

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2013, 10:02:04 am »

We used to have "Tandy's",which was the Australian version of Radio Shack.
I'm not sure why it had a different name,but it had all the same stuff that the US stores had--same in house "Archer" brand,part numbers,etc.

'Radio Shack' was already a registered business name when Tandy started in Australia in 1973.
 

Offline justanothercanuck

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2013, 10:43:15 am »
I thought Tandy was just a line of computers made by Radio Shack...  You learn something new every day I suppose.  :P
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Telequipment

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2013, 11:11:09 am »
Radio shack , isn't that called Maplins in the UK, actually my local Maplins in Peterborough UK is really helpful, and if they don't have a part they get it within 24 hours, and ship it to you , no thinking about it we used to have a Tandy's here, maybe Maplins is a completely different company, it's an age thing.:-+ :-+
« Last Edit: June 01, 2013, 07:29:48 pm by Telequipment »
 

Online Rasz

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2013, 11:16:19 am »
@Rasz - where is the market?  I want to go visit :) Is it held every weekend, are there good or bad times to go?  Gerry

https://maps.google.pl/maps?hl=en&ll=52.285563,20.938874&spn=0.001708,0.00327&t=h&z=19&iwloc=lyrftr:h,3532761238348028316,52.285625,20.939215

There is about 40-70 permanent shops open all week (small components, speakers, service parts, small/car/ups batteries, tools). Saturday is Farmers' market :-). Sunday is Electronics market, Starts around 6 am, ends around 12-13.
Just be aware that this is more Shenzhen than Akihabara, no fancy Icom shops with $20K radios, but plenty stalls/tents with transistors/resistors/transformers/screws/electronic junk/fixed  appliances/appliances to be fixed/fake sdcards/stolen car radios :o.

junk:
http://bi.gazeta.pl/im/fb/82/d4/z13927163Q,Wolumen.jpg
bulbs:
http://arbiter.pl/files/g/2_958258435_449_4960_.jpg
one of the permanent shops located there (list of goodies they sell on the left, pretty impressive for mom&pop store):
http://rcs-elektronik.com.pl/index.php?i2,kontakt
another store:
http://members.chello.pl/k.wesolowski/
another shop
http://elektronikab2b.pl/images/stories/Jnc9NDI4Jmg9MzQz/67885:piekarz.jpg
http://elektronikab2b.pl/images/stories/Jnc9NDI5Jmg9MzQz/67886:piekarz.jpg

If you are going to visit Warsaw/Poland just to see electronics you should also see
http://wge.com.pl/
example shop from WGE:
http://elektronika-sklep.pl/sklep/index.php?d=katalog
WGE is mostly computers, but there are few electronic component shops there. Its closed on Sunday.

Additionally there is about 10-15 other shops scattered around the city dedicated to selling electronic components.
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Online xrunner

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2013, 12:10:55 pm »
I left a comment on their website last year, said to change the name from "Radio Shack" to "Cell Phone Shack"
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Offline 4to20Milliamps

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2013, 02:56:27 pm »
Radioshack has always been lame, I was surprised when they started selling  arduinos and propellers.


patience and resourcefulness rule in  this hobby.....especially when it comes to obtaining parts.
 

Offline jancumps

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2013, 04:53:14 pm »
I thought Tandy was just a line of computers made by Radio Shack...  You learn something new every day I suppose.  :P

They were called Tandy in Belgium too. Below a small collage of things I own(ed) from there.



I see that I forgot to add the long free torch that ate batteries like...



However hard you rant, they will have a special place in my heart forever  :-*
« Last Edit: June 01, 2013, 04:56:22 pm by jancumps »
 

Offline rdl

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #24 on: June 01, 2013, 05:11:19 pm »
Back in the late 80s/early 90s I spent tons of money at Radio Shack. I haven't been in one in almost 10 years, even though the local store is practically right next door to where I get my hair cut.

I'm lucky enough to live less than 400 miles from Mouser, so that's were I buy most stuff.  USPS shipping, less than $7, usually gets here in 2 days. No sales tax goes along way toward offsetting the shipping charge. They also have an "Economy" method for around $4, takes a about a week though.
 

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #25 on: June 01, 2013, 05:24:46 pm »
I live in Raleigh Hills, OR.  There is a Radio Shack less than a mile away from me, and the next nearest place I can go to find anything useful (other than the surplus place, which is obviously hit or miss) is Fry's over in Wilsonville, which is 20 miles away down I-5.  I go to neither place with the expectation of getting competent help - meaning I'm on my own - but since that's my expectation, I'm rarely disappointed and am pleasantly surprised when I actually do get competent help, which happens occasionally.

I have been to RS a few times recently.  I got both my arduinos there and a few shields.  I think if I were to get another, now I would find a knockoff on the web for much cheaper, but it was a good place to get my feet wet.  They even had the mega 2560, which I'm using to power my lightboard project.

I consider RS to be exactly what they are, and no more, and as long as that's my expectation and I'm willing to work with it, everything's just fine.

Fry's has a *huge* selection, though recently they've not had things that I needed.  But it's almost always worth a trip.
 

Offline MacAttak

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #26 on: June 01, 2013, 06:35:32 pm »
Tandy *IS* Radio Shack.

I presume most readers are old enough to have used a TRS-80 computer. These were ubiquitous educational computers in the 80's (well, "ubiquitous" among the small percentage of schools wealthy enough to offer any computer science education at all). The "TRS" stands for "Tandy / Radio Shack".

You might have also heard of the venerable Tandy 1000 series, which was one of the original "IBM PC Clone" systems. These were sold at Radio Shack (or Tandy, depending on what part of the world you were in).

Tandy bought Radio Shack before most of us were born (prior to that they had NOTHING to do with electronics), and the company went back and forth about what they wanted their name to be. Stores opened in the US tended to be named "Radio Shack" but stores opened in other regions tended to be named "Tandy". Eventually they just dropped "Tandy" and kept with "Radio Shack".
 

Offline gerrysweeney

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #27 on: June 01, 2013, 08:20:15 pm »
@Rasz thank you for the information, I will look it up and be sure to pay a visit.  Gerry

Offline Smokey

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2013, 09:59:49 pm »
I always wonder about the component isle in Frys.  Some of those packages of resistor bandoleers and random ICs are all yellow and cracked and look like they have been there for 20 years.  It can't possibly be economical for them to dedicate most of an isle of floor space to that stuff when it doesn't sell.  It is probably just there so they can say, "hey look, we are the last place on earth that stocks components".  Our Frys has that isle located right in the prime location space in the middle of the store too, not tucked away in the back or in the basement or something where it probably belongs.  Go figure.  Whenever I buy a BNC T or Molex connector or something like that in those little blue bags, the checkout person always has that "did you find that here in this store?" kind of look on their face.
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #29 on: June 02, 2013, 01:34:30 am »
With how the internet changed the way we source components even as hobbyist, I doubt very much a brick and mortar component store can exist profitably.

Visiting a store for parts will be more a thing of the past.
 

Offline tom66

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #30 on: June 02, 2013, 01:41:26 am »
Maplins aren't that useless in the UK. In fact they have found quite the interesting niche as a larger gadget shop but they've kept the components division, even if it is quite small. I've gone there a few times for parts in my repair adventures. They would have regular business from me if:

- they stocked more common diodes in SMPS (have replaced quite a few) e.g. 100V/150V schottkies and 3A through hole types
- they stocked fusible resistors (quite a few replaced)
- they had a decent assortment of low-esr quality capacitors (Panasonic, Nichicon, Rubycon, United Chemicon)

Their components collection is odd, sort of like they had a purchasing manager in charge of it about 10 years ago who upped sticks and left or was fired for embezzling resistors. For example, they stock a low-impedance capacitor marked 1000uF 35V for "computer use", which is one of the least likely uses of such a rated device. They've got plenty of stock of certain thermal fuses -- but not the more common fusible resistors.

I also appreciate their cheaper speaker cable options. While not the cheapest you can get at some 50p a meter, it's pretty handy if you're in a pinch and want to avoid buying the extremely expensive "Monster" cable. And, because it's all copper wire, there is no audible difference.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2013, 01:43:40 am by tom66 »
 

Online xrunner

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #31 on: June 02, 2013, 01:42:12 am »
I always wonder about the component isle in Frys.  Some of those packages of resistor bandoleers and random ICs are all yellow and cracked and look like they have been there for 20 years.  It can't possibly be economical for them to dedicate most of an isle of floor space to that stuff when it doesn't sell.  It is probably just there so they can say, "hey look, we are the last place on earth that stocks components".  Our Frys has that isle located right in the prime location space in the middle of the store too, not tucked away in the back or in the basement or something where it probably belongs.

I LOL'ed at that! You might live in the same city where I do, because it's the same way at the Fry's here.  :-DD

I'm 55, and back in the day Radio Shack had all sorts of neat stuff, like CB radios (yea it taught me a lot about RF), communications receivers, scanners, they even had an in-store repair guy!  :wtf: Unheard of now!

Reminds me of the intro to the movie "Gone With the Wind", a society really gone with the wind.
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Online vk6zgo

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #32 on: June 02, 2013, 03:22:37 am »
With how the internet changed the way we source components even as hobbyist, I doubt very much a brick and mortar component store can exist profitably.

Visiting a store for parts will be more a thing of the past.

Jaycar seems to manage----but they do online as well!

Quite often firms under order from their normal supplier & run out--on those occasions it's good to be able to go over to the local components shop & pick up what you need,rather than waiting a week for the wrong bits to come from China! ;D
 

Offline GeoffS

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #33 on: June 02, 2013, 06:25:18 am »
I don't think I ever bought components from Tandy despite being, at one time,an employee. Way over priced.
Audio equipment used to sometimes be a good buy as Tandy used to source well known brands and have them re-badged.

These days, I get basic stuff from Jaycar - the only store in town ( 60kms away)

If I'm ordering a bit of stuff, I get it from Farnell/Element 14. Free overnight shipping. order by 6:00PM and I have it by 3:00PM the next day. Not bad considering my location.
 

Telequipment

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #34 on: June 02, 2013, 10:57:00 am »
Maplins aren't that useless in the UK. In fact they have found quite the interesting niche as a larger gadget shop but they've kept the components division, even if it is quite small. I've gone there a few times for parts in my repair adventures. They would have regular business from me if:

- they stocked more common diodes in SMPS (have replaced quite a few) e.g. 100V/150V schottkies and 3A through hole types
- they stocked fusible resistors (quite a few replaced)
- they had a decent assortment of low-esr quality capacitors (Panasonic, Nichicon, Rubycon, United Chemicon)

Their components collection is odd, sort of like they had a purchasing manager in charge of it about 10 years ago who upped sticks and left or was fired for embezzling resistors. For example, they stock a low-impedance capacitor marked 1000uF 35V for "computer use", which is one of the least likely uses of such a rated device. They've got plenty of stock of certain thermal fuses -- but not the more common fusible resistors.

I also appreciate their cheaper speaker cable options. While not the cheapest you can get at some 50p a meter, it's pretty handy if you're in a pinch and want to avoid buying the extremely expensive "Monster" cable. And, because it's all copper wire, there is no audible difference.

I like Maplins myself, I suppose they are a bit more expensive, that said I like them and their products, help is always available, the guy in the parts dept is also a hobbyist, at the one I use, and always up to date with the lastest stuff, I often use them instead of the internet :-+
 

Offline tom66

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #35 on: June 02, 2013, 11:17:28 am »
Same at the one I go to. Well, he does know his stuff. He knows about soldering irons, solder wick and asked what I was buying some particular parts for. If only they could improve their components range a little more I'd go there a lot more. I'm quite happy to pay a small premium if I don't have to make up the £5 minimum trade counter order for Farnell.
 

Offline saturation

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #36 on: June 02, 2013, 12:10:19 pm »
For the USA, I haven't been to an RS in a while, but the OP original approach is not efficient since components isn't a key for them  for a long time now; but its favor waxes and wanes over the past 10 years.  Solid hook up wire seems to be reasonably priced, and since its retail it saves me time to pick up a roll or two.  Also solder when you are really in a pinch.

A good way to buy from RS is to use their website.  It checks inventory real time, better than the salesperson.  Hopefully its still accurate, but its always worked for me, before I even get to the store.  For e.g. transistors, but its heavy price to pay:

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062609&znt_campaign=Category_CMS&znt_source=CAT&znt_medium=RSCOM&znt_content=CT2032230

$1.50 for a $0.05 item; its the only logical way to keep them stocked in retail; the packaging cost more than the transistor.

It will either be stocked at the store you wish, or you can have it shipped there for free for local pickup from another store that does have it.

« Last Edit: June 02, 2013, 12:12:39 pm by saturation »
Best Wishes,

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Online xrunner

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #37 on: June 02, 2013, 12:22:20 pm »
They have some horribly priced parts selection packs. Here we have 60 resistors - yes folks - 60! - in a plastic box - for the low price of ...

$19.97  :--



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duskglow

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #38 on: June 02, 2013, 03:22:18 pm »
I called the RS guy out on the price of the resistors.  His response?  "Well, this is just for people who are just starting out and may not know what to get, and besides, it's a really nice box".

It was hard to argue with that, honestly.  One could argue that they're just gouging the beginner, but one could also argue they're making it accessible, and once the beginner gets deeper into it, they'll learn where to find the parts they need without paying the RS tax.

I think what a lot of people on this forum are going to forget is that when people are just starting out, they have no clue where to find what they need, and while RS is horribly overpriced, they do have kits, etc., that can be a good place for a beginner to start.  I think there is some value to that.  I also think that if someone who does know what they're doing buys those kits, there's something wrong. :)
 

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #39 on: June 02, 2013, 03:34:07 pm »
... but one could also argue they're making it accessible, and once the beginner gets deeper into it, they'll learn where to find the parts they need without paying the RS tax.

Overcharging for parts that should cost mere pennies each and a plastic box that's worth about a dollar is making the hobby accessible:wtf:
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duskglow

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #40 on: June 02, 2013, 03:36:06 pm »
Well, there are RS *everywhere*, and finding the parts anywhere else that doesn't involve going online, especially when you don't even know what parts to get is a challenge, so yeah, I stand by that.

If you have any inkling that the parts can be found elsewhere, then yeah, it's a better idea to go elsewhere.  But people with money to burn will walk into a radio shack and say "what do I need for this project", and for basic stuff, they might even have it.  I think there is value to that.

Remember, I am not talking about beginners who have some inking about what's going on.  I'm talking about utter, rank beginners who think "I need a part" and head right for RS because it's close and what they've always done.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2013, 03:38:04 pm by duskglow »
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #41 on: June 02, 2013, 03:37:14 pm »
I called the RS guy out on the price of the resistors.  His response?  "Well, this is just for people who are just starting out and may not know what to get, and besides, it's a really nice box".

It was hard to argue with that, honestly.  One could argue that they're just gouging the beginner, but one could also argue they're making it accessible, and once the beginner gets deeper into it, they'll learn where to find the parts they need without paying the RS tax.

Lets say it is against conventional marketing wisdom. It is hard and expensive (marketing etc.) to acquire a new customer. It is therefore good to have regular customers. But the moment a customer recognizes he's ripped of he is unlikely to become a regular customer. So it is a rather clever idea to price stuff significantly below the ripoff level.

Sure, they have a lot of additional cost compared to ebay sellers and can't match their prices, but 0.33 cent/resistor?
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duskglow

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #42 on: June 02, 2013, 03:42:53 pm »
Lets say it is against conventional marketing wisdom. It is hard and expensive (marketing etc.) to acquire a new customer. It is therefore good to have regular customers. But the moment a customer recognizes he's ripped of he is unlikely to become a regular customer. So it is a rather clever idea to price stuff significantly below the ripoff level.

I can't argue with that.  They are definitely not making any effort to keep customers that actually know what they're doing.  But then, I suspect that anyone who knows what they're doing is not a customer that RS really wants to keep, and that's the real shame.
 

Offline MikeK

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #43 on: June 02, 2013, 04:11:15 pm »
Overcharging for parts that should cost mere pennies each and a plastic box that's worth about a dollar is making the hobby accessible:wtf:

So don't buy from them.  I really don't understand the gripes about Radio Shack.  They can only afford to sell those parts for pennies, in the THOUSANDS of stores they have, if people are constantly buying them.  Well guess what?...People aren't.

You're expecting the impossible.  You want every single little thing you could possibly want, right around the corner, and for the same price that online suppliers offer.

The OP complained about wanting just one transistor.  Well I want to be able to get buy one mint, instead of an entire roll/package.  It doesn't work that way.  Buy a bunch of items from an online supplier and pay the shipping.
 

Offline Jon Chandler

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #44 on: June 02, 2013, 04:26:01 pm »
Sure, they have a lot of additional cost compared to ebay sellers and can't match their prices, but 0.33 cent/resistor?

0.33 cents per resistor is a good price. 0.33 dollars per resistor is outrageous!
 

Offline MikeK

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #45 on: June 02, 2013, 04:36:26 pm »
0.33 cents per resistor is a good price. 0.33 dollars per resistor is outrageous!

Not at all.  Radio Shack doesn't sell a lot of resistors.  Go inside a store and see what fraction of it is devoted to selling resistors.  0.33 dollars per resistor is just fine from a place that's a) local, b) has thousands of stores, c) has to play employee wages and benefits and rent and taxes...

If you want a 1/3 cent resistor get it online.
 

duskglow

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #46 on: June 02, 2013, 04:40:47 pm »
Not at all.  Radio Shack doesn't sell a lot of resistors.  Go inside a store and see what fraction of it is devoted to selling resistors.  0.33 dollars per resistor is just fine from a place that's a) local, b) has thousands of stores, c) has to play employee wages and benefits and rent and taxes...

If you want a 1/3 cent resistor get it online.

I would argue though that they are missing out on an opportunity - if they would just think about it.  Maybe if they partnered with digikey and were able to get parts shipped to their local stores within a half a day or a day, at just above online prices (they have to account for the convenience, shipping, etc) I bet people would snap it up.  I know that there's an RS within a mile of me, and if I could get parts shipped there for a reasonable price where I could pick them up the next day, I'd be all over that.

In general, though, I agree with you.  You're paying for convenience.
 

Offline MikeK

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #47 on: June 02, 2013, 04:49:01 pm »
I would argue though that they are missing out on an opportunity.

Why would Radio Shack care about making a few pennies - or likely a fraction of a cent - on something that few people are going to buy from them?  This sounds like sour grapes reasoning.

Yes, it would be nice to be able to go into RS and get that specific thing I need at the last minute, and for a really good price.  But there really - and I can't stress this enough - there really are NOT enough people needing that for RS to be concerned about it.  They're going to spend time and money setting up a system with DigiKey, so they can make a few cents from a handful of hobbyists?

Two things that changed RS forever: 1) too few hobbyists anymore and 2) so many cheap online suppliers with so much less overhead than RS has.
 

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #48 on: June 02, 2013, 05:26:10 pm »
So don't buy from them.

Simmer down now, I never said don't buy from them did I? I buy things there quite often. I buy solder, I've bought an Arduino shield, and various other odds and ends.

Quote
I really don't understand the gripes about Radio Shack.  They can only afford to sell those parts for pennies, in the THOUSANDS of stores they have, if people are constantly buying them.  Well guess what?...People aren't.

Oh, but they can sell for more reasonable prices in the stores if they want to, just look at this -

500-Piece 1/4-Watt Carbon-Film Resistor Assortment $14.49.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062306

Oh crap - well it doesn't have that all-important plastic box, but hey ...

The box is a cheap gimmick and I hope new hobbyists don't think they need a plastic box to get started with resistors.  :-//

Quote
You're expecting the impossible. 

Apparenty, I'm not.

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Offline G7PSK

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #49 on: June 02, 2013, 09:08:22 pm »
We had Tandy's in the UK for a short while but they packed up in the early 90's, I still have some bits that I picked up when their local store closed down, one I acme across the other day, some form of voice recognition chip from the late 80's still in its blister pack with instruction/data sheet also a jumbo red led, never get used I guess but I cannot bring myself to dump them in the rubbish bin.
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #50 on: June 02, 2013, 10:19:15 pm »
They have some horribly priced parts selection packs. Here we have 60 resistors - yes folks - 60! - in a plastic box - for the low price of ...

$19.97  :--



http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=17085906&retainProdsInSession=1#

Yeah, but the higher price is probably because they offer gold plated leads to minimize contact resistance...

Seriously, when they are selling a pack of 5 resistors for $2.99, 60 in a plastic box for $19.97 is a good deal looking from that perspective.  I personally preferred the hand-packed no plastic box stuff from Tayda at 10 resistors for $0.12.
 

Offline jmacqueen

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #51 on: June 03, 2013, 01:04:50 am »
Yup a lot has changed about radio shack since I was young, the store I used to go to as a kid is no longer even there.

I live out in the middle of the country and I have two choices of radio shack stores, each 20 miles from me in opposite directions. Each in a very small rural town in Texas.

 One is a rather new strip mall store manned by young kids with blank stares when I ask about anything but a cell phone. They do have a little arduino stock and an aisle of electronics tools and components though.

The other was a shocker when I first went in there about 2 years back. It is part of an old hardware store and was manned by one old 70 year old guy and was a real radio shack, not a cell phone in sight. I picked up a channelmaster antenna and a rotator from him and some cable and connectors, I don't think the other store even carries antennas. And the old guy did electronics repair as well.

Sad part is last time I went in they had moved all the radio shack stuff out of the guys little shop into more or less regular store aisles in the corner, I'm thinking the old guy retired and they are now just going to sell out the stock. I just went in for a fuse for a DMM and they still had that and a whole lot of components but I think it's over, and was so glad to have a real radio shack again to go to. Ahh well life goes on and UPS delivers cheaper than I can drive to a bigger town anyway.
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #52 on: June 03, 2013, 02:36:00 am »
This almost makes me feel good about living in a post communist country :) We have a long tradition of fixing everything and there are plenty of Electronics shops selling electronic components and test equipment. People working there are real engineers. I should probably do a photo tour sometime to make you all feel bad :D
Not to mention Electronic market every weekend that rivals Ham markets you get once a year :P
http://www.wolumen.com.pl/index.php?sh=0&page=infogielda
I would wager a guess this is the only place in Europe that could rival Shenzhen/Akihabara.
excapt ts full of old vacuum tubes and 5 kilowatt 2 ohm resistors...  good luck finding a chip that was designed later than the 80's...
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Offline c4757p

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #53 on: June 03, 2013, 02:40:30 am »
excapt ts full of old vacuum tubes and 5 kilowatt 2 ohm resistors...

Those power resistors are hilarious. I've got an old signal generator that needs a 400V rail and a 20W 5K resistor to put out a 10V sine... When it's been running for more than half an hour it's genuinely uncomfortable to hold your hand on the top of the unit.
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Offline TerminalJack505

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #54 on: June 03, 2013, 03:44:05 am »
I was in a Radio Shack just today and found a pretty good deal.  They have these AC to DC power adapters with battery backup on clearance for $9.97.  They have pretty decent specs for the money.  The built-in backup battery could come in handy.  They have several selectable voltage settings and output up to 2A--which is plenty of current for most projects.

I think they were regularly $60.  No, they're not worth that much but they're definitely worth $10.  I might try to hack one as a poor-man's switching pre-regulator for a 0V to +10v linear regulator.  I haven't taken mine apart yet put I imagine the manual voltage selector switch can be replaced with an automated MCU-controlled selector.  In which case the MCU can select the most efficient setting for the linear regulator's output voltage.
 

Online vk6zgo

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #55 on: June 03, 2013, 04:08:32 am »
This almost makes me feel good about living in a post communist country :) We have a long tradition of fixing everything and there are plenty of Electronics shops selling electronic components and test equipment. People working there are real engineers. I should probably do a photo tour sometime to make you all feel bad :D
Not to mention Electronic market every weekend that rivals Ham markets you get once a year :P
http://www.wolumen.com.pl/index.php?sh=0&page=infogielda
I would wager a guess this is the only place in Europe that could rival Shenzhen/Akihabara.
excapt ts full of old vacuum tubes and 5 kilowatt 2 ohm resistors...  good luck finding a chip that was designed later than the 80's...

Who cares?
Most of the chips I've used since the '80s were designed then,or earlier!

Not that I'm a big builder of stuff!
I'm a "ticket carrying" Old Fart,& I haven't built any tube stuff since about 1967--not a lot of solid state,either! ;D

I've changed a lot of tubes,though,some of which are a bit hard on the poor old back!(TV Transmitter PAs)
 

duskglow

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #56 on: June 03, 2013, 04:17:51 am »
Wow, ever change one of those mercury arc rectifiers?
 

Offline TerminalJack505

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #57 on: June 12, 2013, 04:01:10 am »
I was in a Radio Shack just today and found a pretty good deal.  They have these AC to DC power adapters with battery backup on clearance for $9.97.  They have pretty decent specs for the money.  The built-in backup battery could come in handy.  They have several selectable voltage settings and output up to 2A--which is plenty of current for most projects.

I think they were regularly $60.  No, they're not worth that much but they're definitely worth $10.  I might try to hack one as a poor-man's switching pre-regulator for a 0V to +10v linear regulator.  I haven't taken mine apart yet put I imagine the manual voltage selector switch can be replaced with an automated MCU-controlled selector.  In which case the MCU can select the most efficient setting for the linear regulator's output voltage.

Anyone else pick up one of these?  I bought two and think they're a great value for the money.  I'm still kind of wondering why they are on clearance, though.  I said in my earlier post that I thought their original price was $60 but it was actually $55.  (Yes, still overpriced.)

I took one apart and it wasn't terrible.  They really crammed quite a bit of stuff into a fairly small amount of space.  About 1/3 of the space is occupied by the battery.

I've been putting them through their paces and they work as advertised.  The output voltage isn't terribly accurate but they do put out the current specified for each of the voltages.  I ran nearly 2A through one at 6V and it didn't have any problems.  It didn't get hot.  Just a little warm.  There's surprisingly little switching noise on the output and no low frequency noise.  (I have another Radio Shack AC-to-DC switchingadapter that has an annoying low frequency (120Hz?) ripple on its output.  These don't have that problem.)

By the way--and this actually concerns the topic of this thread--if you pick one of these up be sure to get your free adapter plug.  When I bought the first one the sales person didn't seem to be aware that 1) you need one of these, and 2) you get one free with your purchase.  They're like $6 or $7 too (yes, overpriced) so you really don't want to have to shell-out that money unnecessarily.  Which is what I had to do since I lost my receipt for the first one I bought.
 

Offline Sigmoid

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #58 on: January 17, 2014, 04:41:55 pm »
Lol. I arrived in NYC from Europe about a year ago, and well, my experience with Radio Shack here is pretty bad. It's essentially a low-end Best Buy, selling shitty devices for unreasonable prices in Apple-inspired store interiors.
I think Radio Shack is a perfect example of how a company can implode from mismanagement and bad strategy. They apparently tried to become a competitor of Best Buy, seeing the surge in consumer electronics... and failed miserably. There is just no reason to go to a Radio Shack as opposed to a Best Buy. They have squandered their street cred and clientele, and gone from market leader in their own market to laughing stock in the market of Best Buy and Apple Store.
To my chargrin, during my brief stay in NYC, I've seen two of their stores go out of business.
Thankfully I found a funny little electronics component counter in Chinatown for last minute component needs. It looks like something you might find in China. XD

Anyway, speaking of Europe, we have Conrad. Conrad is pretty much a German knock-off of the original, 60s-70s Radio Shack. Their Budapest store offers hobbyist supplies (boards for etching, veroboards, etching fluid, solder, soldering stations, etc.), components (they have a proper component counter with a guy who knows where to find anything), kits for various trivial applications like door chimes and cheap headphone amps, and an endless hoard of Chinese electronic "novelty" (from disco lights to automatic cat doors).
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 04:52:57 pm by Sigmoid »
 

Offline rolandpenplotter

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #59 on: January 17, 2014, 06:57:46 pm »
My latest trip to Radio Shack left me pissed off, as do every one of my trips there. Today I just needed to pick up a transistor. Just a transistor.

After wading through all the TVs and cellphones and consumer crap, I find the component drawers in the very back corner of the store. I thought I'd be in and out in two minutes, but no, of course not. I open the drawer, which says 'TRANSISTORS' on the front in big letters to find...

Lightbulbs.

I spend a few minutes looking through the stupid drawers until I get fed up and ask the guy at the counter. He couldn't find them so he asked someone else. After he spent a few minutes looking, he remarked "maybe they discontinued them, we don't sell a lot".

ARGH.  |O

In the end, I got my transistor and my opinion of this company has reached an all-time low. The disorganization was caused by a retail person who gave up halfway through reorganizing the stock, which isn't really all that bad, it's just bloody annoying.

What pisses me off about Radio Shack is that they still try to sell themselves to hobbyists and DIYers-- trying to use their old reputation. In my experience, however, they've been hostile to hobbyists, and instead want to focus on selling consumer crap. There are two stores in my town, and in both, all the hobby/DIY stuff is literally shoved in the back of the store. A few times I've noticed that when I opened the component drawers, an alarm goes off in the back of the store, and someone comes out and watches me, like I'm going to steal resistors or something. When I walk in, and one of the employees asks if I need help with something, the blank look I get when I ask for an LM357 regulator tells me exactly how much the company emphasizes component sales to their employees.

/rant

I feel that Maplin have been heading this way for years now. Mind you, they have LOTS of components on shelves and in their stores, but I bet there's nowhere near as much range as there was in the 80s and 90s.

Thankfully my local Maplin is only 4 miles away, and my local RS Components is the UK head office, in Corby Northants, only around 10 miles away - no hardship :)

Junk food tech, consumer throw-away society :(
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 07:01:39 pm by rolandpenplotter »
 

Offline rolandpenplotter

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #60 on: January 17, 2014, 07:08:22 pm »
This almost makes me feel good about living in a post communist country :) We have a long tradition of fixing everything and there are plenty of Electronics shops selling electronic components and test equipment. People working there are real engineers. I should probably do a photo tour sometime to make you all feel bad :D
Not to mention Electronic market every weekend that rivals Ham markets you get once a year :P
http://www.wolumen.com.pl/index.php?sh=0&page=infogielda
I would wager a guess this is the only place in Europe that could rival Shenzhen/Akihabara.

Hello :)

Which country are you in? My sister lives in Moscow, and is returning to England soon :D
 

Offline DavidDLC

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #61 on: January 17, 2014, 07:16:01 pm »
What I hate from RadioShack is that in most of their components or parts if you need only one, you need to buy a bag of 3 o 4  :-- :-- :--

David.
 

Offline rolandpenplotter

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #62 on: January 17, 2014, 07:21:29 pm »
To all the people moaning about Radio shack, hey - at least you have Radio shack. The UK "Tandy" stores were sold off to "Carphone Warehouse" in 1999, which says the lot really. If you know anything about England, CPW group and "TalkTalk", you'll know what I mean... and if you don't, here's a clue:

 

Offline GreyWoolfe

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #63 on: January 17, 2014, 07:26:48 pm »
They had a new moto: "You have questions? We have answers". The joke about Radio Shack and the new useless people staffing their stores was: "You have questions? We have blank stares".

When I worked for RS in the early 90's in south Florida, the parts bins were 3 times larger than what you find now.  You had to get certified in each part of the store including having a basic knowledge of the parts section.  You had to at least know the part names.  As for the motto now:  If you have questions, we have cell phones."  I was running errands the other day and stopped in one for a pack of fuses for my HP PSU repair project and was asked if I wanted my cell phone screen cleaned.  I should have asked him if he did windows.
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Offline mtdoc

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #64 on: January 17, 2014, 07:32:30 pm »
For all its flaws, Radio Shack fills an important niche for the relatively small portion of its customers that are electronics enthusiasts.

Yes, if I need a couple of components, I can get them much much cheaper from ebay China - but I'll need to wait a few weeks for delivery.  I can order from Digikey and the components will be much cheaper - but add on minimum shipping charge and there's not much difference - and I will need to wait a couple of days.

I rarely buy a component from RS but when I do - I do because I want something now and paying a couple of bucks for that availability is worth it IMO.  As others have said - accept that they need to charge that much to make it worth their while to sell these things -  the alternative would be no components at Radio Shack.. :(
 

Offline Sigmoid

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #65 on: January 17, 2014, 07:42:20 pm »
To all the people moaning about Radio shack, hey - at least you have Radio shack. The UK "Tandy" stores were sold off to "Carphone Warehouse" in 1999, which says the lot really. If you know anything about England, CPW group and "TalkTalk", you'll know what I mean... and if you don't, here's a clue:
Well no, not really. During my stay in the US, I've never been able to get ANYTHING I wanted at a Radio Shack beside an audaciously overpriced EU-US adaptor plug when I first arrived. Having Chinese knockoff phone stores labeled "Radio Shack", and "having Radio Shack" are two very, very different things.
Bottom line, NYC might as well lack Radio Shack shops entirely, the end result to availability of electronic components would be the same.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 07:46:38 pm by Sigmoid »
 

Offline deth502

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #66 on: January 17, 2014, 07:45:54 pm »
I remember in the late 90s, they were still selling 4116 memory ICs, 16K x1 bit, for $10 each. That was the correct price in 1980.....

Radio Shack did have a good run until the early 90s when someone decided it should just be another electronics retailer. They dropped all of their in house brands and exclusive products to sell 100s of models of cordless phones. They had a new moto:
"You have questions? We have answers". The joke about Radio Shack and the new useless people staffing their stores was: "You have questions? We have blank stares".

They even had the opportunity to dominate the personal computer market, but blew that away too.

lol, i remember that. or as a friend and i used to say, "youve got questions..............we dont know??" that was the answer to everything. "i dont know".
 

Offline denelec

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #67 on: January 17, 2014, 11:18:42 pm »
In Canada, Radio-Shack doesn't existe anymore.
Around 2005, Radio-Shack Canada went bankrupt, was bought by Circuit City and renamed "The Source".
When Circuit City went bankrupt a few years ago, "The Source" was bought by Bell Canada.
They still sell a few electronic components but they mostly sell cell phones.
 

Offline rolandpenplotter

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #68 on: January 17, 2014, 11:36:26 pm »
In Canada, Radio-Shack doesn't existe anymore.
Around 2005, Radio-Shack Canada went bankrupt, was bought by Circuit City and renamed "The Source".
When Circuit City went bankrupt a few years ago, "The Source" was bought by Bell Canada.
They still sell a few electronic components but they mostly sell cell phones.

You could have cut that down to a pun: "they mostly cell phones" ;)
 

Offline denelec

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #69 on: January 17, 2014, 11:41:18 pm »
When a was a teen (a few decades ago) I used to look forward each fall for their new catalog.
It was full of cool things like CB, scanners, stereo, computers and electronic parts.

You can view the US catalogs online at:
http://www.radioshackcatalog.com/

The canadian catalogs were very similar.
It brings back some memories.
 

Offline Homer J Simpson

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #70 on: January 18, 2014, 01:07:34 am »
Wow! Thanks for posting the link to the old catalogs.

That is a really amazing flashback for me. I was just looking at the 1981 catalog. I can remember exactly the house we were living in at the time and I was 14!

Saving up the money and having my mom take to the Radio Shack to get LED's, resistors, diodes, oh my.

Dreaming about the soldering irons and DMM's in the catalog.

Back then it was better than a candy store.

Remember the learning lab kits? 200 in 1 projects? with the springs to connect the wires.



35 years ago. Wow.

KT
« Last Edit: January 18, 2014, 01:12:28 am by Homer J Simpson »
 

Offline Smokey

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #71 on: January 18, 2014, 01:09:14 am »
I think one of the reasons people remember radio shack of yesterday so fondly and are so tweaked at what they have become is because at one point pretty much all electronics, consumer products and components, was once the domain of the nerd.  Your typical high school cheerleader would have been interested in about 0.1% of what a store like radio shack sold.  The way our world works now is that the cheerleader knows more about computers (well certainly cell phones) than her parents.  It doesn't help that even the nerds consider much of consumer electronics as disposable black boxes.  It's not economical to sell components out of a physical store, especially when none of the other things in the store could even use them.  It's not like you are going to fix your cell phone with any resistor you will find in the resistor bin, not unless they also sell stereo microscopes, ultra fine soldering irons, ultra tiny tweezers, etc....
 

Offline atw60444

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #72 on: January 18, 2014, 01:35:06 am »
There used to be a British version of Radio Shack called Tandy. It was never that great with regard to variety and range of electronic components afair. Maplin seems to have headed in the same direction?
 

Offline denelec

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #73 on: January 18, 2014, 02:18:28 am »
My first kit. 25 in 1!  :)
From the 1978 catalog...
 

Offline rolandpenplotter

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Tandy UK: I thought there were gone? :-/
« Reply #74 on: January 18, 2014, 02:33:05 am »
Weird... I'm sure they went in 1999...

http://www.tandyonline.co.uk/
 

Offline deth502

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #75 on: January 18, 2014, 02:46:55 am »
i never really thought about it before, but since my last post here, i got to thinking. i do believe that radio shack is my reason for NOT being in the electronics hobby.

back when i was a kid there was no internet, and im not in any big city where i had the luxury of going to any number of different retailers. im from a small town, and we had a radio shack. i learned everything from there, through forrest mims books. got all of my tools and supplies form there. the only exception was a small mom and pop store that was about 45 min away, and it was very few and far between that i could get my parents to go there.

around the time radio shack crapped out was probably about the time i just stopped the electronics hobby, there was not much i could do. (in hindsight, i suppose i could have been scavenging parts from products, but i dont think my parents would have been too fond of me hording just appliances either)

now, after many years, im starting to get back into it. its so much different today with the internet, ebay, and alllllllll the info, schematics, and forums for help out there, not to mention youtube. imo, radio shack will NEVER get back to what it was. it screwed itself out of a market that is just to big and simple today for them to be able to compete.
 

Offline Monkeh

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Re: Tandy UK: I thought there were gone? :-/
« Reply #76 on: January 18, 2014, 03:22:24 am »
Weird... I'm sure they went in 1999...

http://www.tandyonline.co.uk/

They cropped back up recently.. Selling a load of cheap tat.
 

Offline rexxar

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #77 on: January 18, 2014, 04:44:54 am »
I stopped by Radio Shack a couple weeks ago (I needed lead-free solder NOW), and they've got a new promo going on. You get 10% off most everything if you show college ID. Anyone else see this?

10% really isn't a whole lot, everything's still overpriced, but hey, starving (American) college students need all the help they can get! Between tuition and leaving my job, my hobby budget went down the drain :(

Remember the learning lab kits? 200 in 1 projects? with the springs to connect the wires.

[pic]

35 years ago. Wow.

KT

I had one like that when I was a kid, of course it was made of cardboard...
 

Offline Sigmoid

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #78 on: January 18, 2014, 04:45:46 am »
I think one of the reasons people remember radio shack of yesterday so fondly and are so tweaked at what they have become is because at one point pretty much all electronics, consumer products and components, was once the domain of the nerd.  Your typical high school cheerleader would have been interested in about 0.1% of what a store like radio shack sold.  The way our world works now is that the cheerleader knows more about computers (well certainly cell phones) than her parents.  It doesn't help that even the nerds consider much of consumer electronics as disposable black boxes.  It's not economical to sell components out of a physical store, especially when none of the other things in the store could even use them.  It's not like you are going to fix your cell phone with any resistor you will find in the resistor bin, not unless they also sell stereo microscopes, ultra fine soldering irons, ultra tiny tweezers, etc....

Well, you are just plain wrong.
http://www.conrad.de/ce/ They are still doing exactly what RS was doing 20 years ago. Servicing the market of hobbyists and makers. They have physical stores all over Europe.
Apparently they are quite prosperous.

And no, this isn't about some kind of "nerd pride". Servicing makers and hobbyists, and "consumer electronics", is quite different. They are separate worlds. It's not that the first became outdated or obsolete. In fact, with all the arduinos and 3d printing around, it's a larger and more profitable gig than ever.
Imagine a Radio Shack that carries arduinos (like Conrad does: http://www.conrad.de/ce/de/overview/2420142/Arduino-Boards), application arduino shield kits, 3d printers, etc...

What you've said is like saying that in this day and age of junk food, it's not economical to sell groceries from a physical store, especially since none of the powdered soups contain any actual vegetables. Okay this was a bad example but you see what I mean.
And as far as I know Conrad does carry stereo microscopes and SMD soldering tools. ;) So yea. Oh here they are: http://www.conrad.de/ce/de/overview/0609064/Mikroskope

And it's not like this is in some distant magical land of devoid of consumer electronics. It's in Germany. With lots of physical stores: http://www.conrad.de/ce/de/content/chainstores_page/Unsere-Filialen It's a working business model, one that RS could be successfully following up to today and into the indefinite future. Even in Star Trek, I bet people want to buy dilithium crystals and transporter buffers for their hobby projects.
Radio Shack becoming what it became was not the inevitable passing of ages, but a bad corporate decision.

EDIT: Okay here's the coup de grace. http://www.conrad.de/ce/de/category/SHOP_AREA_17618/Experimentierkaesten Educational maker kits for children. And may I direct your attention to the working fuel cell powered diy toy car. All this is not unlike the 100-in-1 kit, only XXI. century.
Nerd pride and flow of the times, huh?
« Last Edit: January 18, 2014, 05:16:30 am by Sigmoid »
 

Offline rexxar

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #79 on: January 18, 2014, 04:51:21 am »
And no, this isn't about some kind of "nerd pride". Servicing makers and hobbyists, and "consumer electronics", is quite different. They are separate worlds.

I agree with what people have said earlier in this thread: Radio Shack has become a watered-down Best Buy, and only sells "junk food" disposable consumer crap. In the Radio Shack in the mall here, all of the electronics stuff is on a six foot section of wall, in the very back of the store, it's pathetic. From what I've heard, the entire store used to be like that section of wall; stuffed with electronics. (Of course, I wasn't alive then...)
 

Offline rdl

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #80 on: January 18, 2014, 04:57:57 am »
Radio Shack pretty much lost their way back in the 90s, I doubt there's much chance they'll survive. The new guy in charge pretty much had a going out of business sale during the last part of 2013. He seems to think he can turn them into some kind of high-end version of Best Buy or something. Not gonna work.
 

Offline Falcon69

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #81 on: January 18, 2014, 05:38:28 am »
didn't Radio Shack report a record breaking DOUBLE LOSS last quarter?

I don't think they will be around too much longer.
 

Offline Smokey

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #82 on: January 18, 2014, 09:17:53 am »
I wasn't talking exclusively about nerd pride, although that is a part of it.  My point was that if you were buying radio gear or something you probably were a nerd and you probably knew how that gear works (or wanted to know at least) and you had a good chance of being able to work on the gear you just bought since things had big components and schematics available...  that is just not the case any more..  cheer leaders are a major market for electronics and they could care less what a resistor is as long as they can get on facebook.  Its no longer the domain of nerds.   You can't count on sales of components to go along with sales of consumer electronics.
 

Offline Smokey

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #83 on: January 18, 2014, 09:39:29 am »
One of the great things about capitalism is that if you see a demand for something that is not being filled, you can fill it yourself.  If confidence is so high that there is a market for a physical store that sells components then open the store and get rich.  You will surely get plenty of investor money if you can actually prove the demand is as high as you think. 
Sorry to kill the party.  There is a local store that does exactly what radio shack used to.  Its all hard core electronics.  Isles and isles of components.   Some test equipment.  Lots of cables.   It sure isn't a national chain and they sure don't look like they make a lot of money.  And its on the edge of a huge city surrounded by major aerospace industry, not in the woods somewhere. 
 

Offline oldrose

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #84 on: January 18, 2014, 10:18:36 am »
I also miss the old days of Radio Shack/Tandy and Dick Smith selling components. Even though they were expensive if you needed resistors/capacitors in small quantities they were available. I also remember the battery club and getting a battery for free every month. In Australia, my local Jaycar has less and less individual components and you have to buy packs which are very expensive if you are lucky. Altronics is too far away ($20 in petrol for a $2 resistor I don't think). Both sell a lot of overpriced junk you can buy off the 'net for significantly less and have you seen how much they want for 80's tech oscilloscopes and the like?
 

Offline rr100

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #85 on: January 18, 2014, 03:49:35 pm »
Lol. I arrived in NYC from Europe about a year ago, and well, my experience with Radio Shack here is pretty bad. It's essentially a low-end Best Buy, selling shitty devices for unreasonable prices in Apple-inspired store interiors.

Well THAT was my impression as well from my one and only visit to a RS.
The guy came immediately to pester me trying to find out my mobile provider and trying to sell me plans even if I assured him he doesn't have any from the right continent.
I now find it funny that I've been helping remotely a friend with some small projects and I've been sending him always to RS to get parts like micros and couldn't believe him that he can't find anything.
 

Offline edavid

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #86 on: January 18, 2014, 03:57:23 pm »
Imagine a Radio Shack that carries arduinos (like Conrad does: http://www.conrad.de/ce/de/overview/2420142/Arduino-Boards), application arduino shield kits, 3d printers, etc...

Well, they do:

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12272877
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=23160006

Somehow it's not enough...
 

Offline Sigmoid

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #87 on: January 21, 2014, 04:22:46 pm »
I wasn't talking exclusively about nerd pride, although that is a part of it.  My point was that if you were buying radio gear or something you probably were a nerd and you probably knew how that gear works (or wanted to know at least) and you had a good chance of being able to work on the gear you just bought since things had big components and schematics available...  that is just not the case any more..  cheer leaders are a major market for electronics and they could care less what a resistor is as long as they can get on facebook.  Its no longer the domain of nerds.   You can't count on sales of components to go along with sales of consumer electronics.
One of the great things about capitalism is that if you see a demand for something that is not being filled, you can fill it yourself.  If confidence is so high that there is a market for a physical store that sells components then open the store and get rich.  You will surely get plenty of investor money if you can actually prove the demand is as high as you think. 
Sorry to kill the party.  There is a local store that does exactly what radio shack used to.  Its all hard core electronics.  Isles and isles of components.   Some test equipment.  Lots of cables.   It sure isn't a national chain and they sure don't look like they make a lot of money.  And its on the edge of a huge city surrounded by major aerospace industry, not in the woods somewhere.

Well, you are of course fundamentally right, but I doubt that component sales ever "went along" with consumer electronics. Consumer electronics didn't always exist, but from its inception, it just means what it says. Electronics for consumers (ie. cheerleaders, quarterbacks, cowboys, old ladies, etc.) I doubt that even in 1960 when someone bought a radio or a television, they were necessarily electronics nerds.
My point is, components and test equipment sales have, and have never had anything to do with consumer electronics.

As for financial feasibility of physical stores, this has more to do with the e-commerce revolution than with consumer electronics becoming ubiquitious or being de-nerdified. True, if all hobbyists go to Digikey and order everything on-line, a small store in a small town may have to close down.

That said, back in Budapest (Hungary), which is a moderately sized city by US standards, with a heavily atrophied industrial sector, I know of at least three physical stores that carry electronics components and tools. One is the Conrad store I mentioned, aimed almost exclusively at makers, DIYers and hobbyists, and there are two electronics stores aimed mostly at industrial buyers, repair shops and other professional consumers of components, but with storefronts catering to individual hobbyists as well.
None of them look particularly strapped for cash. I'm sure they aren't cash cows, but are good, self-sufficient businesses - every time I've been to any of these shops, there was always a healthy amount of clientele hanging around shopping.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2014, 05:26:21 pm by Sigmoid »
 

Offline denelec

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #88 on: January 21, 2014, 10:59:25 pm »
Radio-Shack sold a little of everything in relatively small surface stores.

They sold stereos and TVs but they were not a real audio-video store.
They sold toys but they were not a real toy store.
They sold computers but they were not a real computer store.
They sold telephones but they were not a real telephone store.
They sold electronic components but they were not a real component store.

Like they said: "Jack of all trades, master of none".

In today's market where you can buy anything via the Internet, I don't now how a brick and mortar store can survive without specialyzing.
 

Online vk6zgo

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #89 on: January 22, 2014, 02:00:23 am »
I think one of the reasons people remember radio shack of yesterday so fondly and are so tweaked at what they have become is because at one point pretty much all electronics, consumer products and components, was once the domain of the nerd.  Your typical high school cheerleader would have been interested in about 0.1% of what a store like radio shack sold.  The way our world works now is that the cheerleader knows more about computers (well certainly cell phones) than her parents.  It doesn't help that even the nerds consider much of consumer electronics as disposable black boxes.  It's not economical to sell components out of a physical store, especially when none of the other things in the store could even use them.  It's not like you are going to fix your cell phone with any resistor you will find in the resistor bin, not unless they also sell stereo microscopes, ultra fine soldering irons, ultra tiny tweezers, etc....

The Oz version,(Tandy's),was never a "hardcore" Electronics Store.

It always sold consumer stuff as well,particularly in the late '70s,when,like almost every other type of shop,it became "CB crazy"!

The 1970s Oz equivalent of your "cheerleader" may well have bought her CB radio from there,to join in the constant roar & heterodyne squealing on the AM calling channel.

This sounds a bit sexist,but she would be more likely to buy from Tandy's,Dick smith,or perhaps K-Mart,than any of the "hardcore" CB Stores the blokes frequented to increase their "street cred".

Consumer Products?

TV's,Broadcast radios,medium-fi audio systems were not really objects of "Nerd affection".
After all,they were sold in shops alongside Fridges,Washing machines,etc.

Waaayyy back,Audio HIFI was definitely a Nerd (might I say,Geek?) thing.

Guys that looked like Gyro Gearloose used to sidle up to the Electronics Parts counters & put down their
hard earned cash for such delights as 12AX7s,EL34As,Ultra-Linear output transformers & the like.

Getting back to "hardcore" Electronics,many of us from the slightly earlier  generation considered Dick Smith & the like,a little "effete".

In Perth,we were brought up on the likes of Atkins (WA),Carlyle & Co,A.J Wyle,etc,where you went to the "Radio" counter & waited to be served,like God intended! ;D
Their Kits were great big things for making serious stuff like TVs & Amplifiers,

One of the next generation was "General Accessories" which was a self-service store,& had some kiddy kits but wasn't bad otherwise.

They had a big "lolly"(candy) jar of unmarked NPN transistors,& a bunch of "lolly" bags.
You could buy as many as you could fit in the bag for a dollar.

We jokingly knew them as "BC10-?"s as they could be used in most circuits where BC series small signal NPNs were specified.
 

Offline Smokey

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #90 on: March 04, 2014, 08:24:58 pm »
 

Online xrunner

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #91 on: March 05, 2014, 12:11:36 am »
I thought this was funny - " analysts say it has not done enough to transform itself into a destination for mobile phone shoppers ..."

Hasn't done enough to transform itself into a destination for mobile phone shoppers! Huh? That's all I see when I walk in the door LOL.  :-//
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Offline Stonent

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #92 on: March 05, 2014, 12:12:55 am »
I thought this was funny - " analysts say it has not done enough to transform itself into a destination for mobile phone shoppers ..."

Hasn't done enough to transform itself into a destination for mobile phone shoppers! Huh? That's all I see when I walk in the door LOL.  :-//

Yes, but despite that, you most likely didn't go there for that reason.
The larger the government, the smaller the citizen.
 

Offline Stonent

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #93 on: March 05, 2014, 12:23:11 am »
Radio Shack posted today on their facebook page that they did cell phone and tablet repairs in store. So I commented "existence of store subject to change"
The larger the government, the smaller the citizen.
 

Offline N2IXK

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #94 on: March 05, 2014, 12:52:36 am »
I thought this was funny - " analysts say it has not done enough to transform itself into a destination for mobile phone shoppers ..."

Hasn't done enough to transform itself into a destination for mobile phone shoppers! Huh? That's all I see when I walk in the door LOL.  :-//

Yes, but despite that, you most likely didn't go there for that reason.

Exactly.. Do you know anyone who goes to Radio Shack to buy a cellphone?  Why would you choose RS over the local AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, or Apple store? You know, the people who will actually be providing the customer service after the purchase? If you want a prepaid or "burner" phone, RS is always going to charge more than Mall-Wart or the local bodega.

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Online xrunner

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #95 on: March 05, 2014, 12:56:49 am »
Radio Shack posted today on their facebook page that they did cell phone and tablet repairs in store. So I commented "existence of store subject to change"

LOL.
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Offline Rigby

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #96 on: March 05, 2014, 04:22:58 am »
They have some horribly priced parts selection packs. Here we have 60 resistors - yes folks - 60! - in a plastic box - for the low price of ...

$19.97  :--



http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=17085906&retainProdsInSession=1#

couple months back I got 5 of these on clearance for $10 after tax.  I'm pretty happy with how that turned out.
 

Offline mtdoc

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #97 on: March 05, 2014, 04:33:34 am »

Exactly.. Do you know anyone who goes to Radio Shack to buy a cellphone?  Why would you choose RS over the local AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, or Apple store?

To be fair, there are a lot of Radio Shacks in small towns with no cellphone provider stores. My town has one Verizon store (no other provider stores) and pretty much the only customers I see when I go into the local RS are  cellphone shoppers. Never more than a few though so I wonder if our store is on the chopping block...
 

Offline Tinkerer

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #98 on: March 05, 2014, 05:12:08 am »
Seems like Radio Shack has more of an identity crisis than anything else.
They are trying to keep up with what everyone else is doing but arnt really sure where to go.
 

Offline edm68

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #99 on: March 05, 2014, 05:26:22 am »

"Do you know anyone who goes to Radio Shack to buy a cellphone?"    - I bought both of my smartphones there cheap.

"Why would you choose RS over the local AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, or Apple store?"    - Because they were cheaper, I didn't want to sign a contract, they were in stock, and I didn't have to change providers.

I think it will be a sad day if Radio Shack ends the same as Montgomery Wards, Circuit City, Woolworths, etc. Just another piece of American history gone.  :'(
 

Offline calexanian

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #100 on: March 05, 2014, 05:45:02 am »
RS is a strange beast. They are shrinking, but still making money. I heard recently they have one of the largest cash reserves of any retail chain based on relative size, but they cant seem to figure out how to grow. Selling batteries at double price ensures profitability, but really limits the over all volume of sales. Also its where where people in small communities by default get their cell phones and satellite TV. I am glad to see their new AD campaign however. Gotta keep things fresh as a company. They know they cannot compete on price with online or large format stores, but when you need that XYZ cable or ABC battery right that minute, its nice to have them there.
Charles Alexanian
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Offline kolonelkadat

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #101 on: March 05, 2014, 05:51:26 am »
I went there the other day to buy some parts for a gate monitor. I walk up to the counter with like a project box and strip board, maybe a battery holder. The cashier asks me not "did you find everything okay" or whatever other upsell they are required to ask, but instead, dude asks me "are you building a bomb?"

It shocked me so much it physically knocked me back like I just took one on the chin. My mind was reeling. How do you answer some shit like that these days? I mean sure, hes probably just joking, but what if he isn't? Is he going to send my credit card info off to dhs so they can come swoop me.

I rolled the dice though. Went ahead and assumed he was joking. Got stopped by the cops on the way home. probably a coincidence. probably. :-//
 

Offline mtdoc

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #102 on: March 05, 2014, 06:01:47 am »

I rolled the dice though. Went ahead and assumed he was joking. Got stopped by the cops on the way home. probably a coincidence. probably. :-//

Good thing you didn't head to the local farm store and pick up some ammonium nitrate fertilizer first....
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #103 on: March 05, 2014, 06:03:40 am »
I went there the other day to buy some parts for a gate monitor. I walk up to the counter with like a project box and strip board, maybe a battery holder. The cashier asks me not "did you find everything okay" or whatever other upsell they are required to ask, but instead, dude asks me "are you building a bomb?"

It shocked me so much it physically knocked me back like I just took one on the chin. My mind was reeling. How do you answer some shit like that these days? I mean sure, hes probably just joking, but what if he isn't? Is he going to send my credit card info off to dhs so they can come swoop me.

I rolled the dice though. Went ahead and assumed he was joking. Got stopped by the cops on the way home. probably a coincidence. probably. :-//

Joking? They are asked to watch out for "you":
(Note: Only click on those links if you can afford to end up on some watchlist.)

You could be reported for being a terrorist!  ::)
http://info.publicintelligence.net/FBI-SuspiciousActivity/Electronic_Stores.pdf

And in hobby shops too:
http://info.publicintelligence.net/FBI-SuspiciousActivity/Hobby_Shops.pdf

Dave.

Comparing the old thread this is from

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/beware-buying-stuff-from-us-electronics-store!/msg150905/#msg150905

with recent events

http://www.eevblog.com/2014/02/24/element-14-holding-orders-based-on-us-government-watch-list/

might make you think ...

Just clicking on the links you provided will add you to some list.

Awesome!  :P

Dave.

Dave's wish got granted.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 06:14:21 am by Bored@Work »
I delete PMs unread. If you have something to say, say it in public.
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Offline calexanian

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #104 on: March 05, 2014, 06:46:04 am »
They used to pull this crap until somebody filed a lawsuit. They used to ask for your phone number. Now they can't. It did one time years ago lead to an arrest of somebody who did build a bomb timer with parts from radio shack, but it was found to be too much of a liability and somebody sued a few years back. No more asking. 
Charles Alexanian
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Online VK3DRB

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #105 on: March 05, 2014, 12:48:10 pm »

When I walk in, and one of the employees asks if I need help with something, the blank look I get when I ask for an LM357 regulator tells me exactly how much the company emphasizes component sales to their employees.

/rant

Here in Australia, we have a store called Dick Smith Electronics. You cannot even find a 1K resistor there, let alone a transistor. In general, the workers there don't even know what a resistor is.

What was once a reasonable electronics store where you could buy IC's, transistors and capacitors has become a laughing stock. They now only sell Chinese made consumer crap.

The former owner, Dick Smith, has his face still plastered on the store front. If it were me, I would be embarrassed.

This is what I think of Dick Smith...  :-DD
 

Offline mos6502

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #106 on: March 05, 2014, 01:04:07 pm »
I went there the other day to buy some parts for a gate monitor. I walk up to the counter with like a project box and strip board, maybe a battery holder. The cashier asks me not "did you find everything okay" or whatever other upsell they are required to ask, but instead, dude asks me "are you building a bomb?"

It shocked me so much it physically knocked me back like I just took one on the chin. My mind was reeling. How do you answer some shit like that these days? I mean sure, hes probably just joking, but what if he isn't? Is he going to send my credit card info off to dhs so they can come swoop me.

I rolled the dice though. Went ahead and assumed he was joking. Got stopped by the cops on the way home. probably a coincidence. probably. :-//

WTF? Sounds like a story from the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany.

How did the cop encounter go?
for(;;);
 

Offline rr100

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Re: Radio Shack Rant
« Reply #107 on: March 05, 2014, 01:21:09 pm »
WTF? Sounds like a story from the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany.

Ahaha, read the link posted before, seems to be from a different reality (but unfortunately is ours...): http://www.eevblog.com/2014/02/24/element-14-holding-orders-based-on-us-government-watch-list/

And to think I've got from the US a watch similar to the "CASIO terrorist watch" (my favorite since 20+ years...).
 


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