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Post by Dr. Radio on Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:08 pm

I actually got some what of a "kick" out of Radio Shack's Super Bowl commercial.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FRCLAE3lHw&sns=em


So is this the new "great idea" or just really bad timing?

http://t.money.msn.com/business-news/newsarticle?date=20140204&feed=OBR&id=17320302#tscptme


Unless you live in a cave, "the Shack" as its been called for a few years has been going downhill since about 2001.

There have been times I've said "good riddance" when waiting to purchase one part while the line is backed up at the counter because the 16 year old behind the counter is clueless about the contract problem the 65 year old has with their cell phone provider that they foolishly purchased through the Shack.

But there has been times I really need something in a hurry like solder wick and I'm glad the Shack is still there. Radio Shack was instrumental in my electronics hobby/education growing up as a kid in the 1980s so it's kinda bittersweet.

what are your thoughts /stories about this once great chain???
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Post by Wildcat445 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:23 pm

I avoid Radio Shack if I can. There are other places to get supplies for my old electronics that are more interested in my business than RS is.

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Post by Guest on Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:40 pm

I always preferred Lafayette to Radio Shack, but Lafayette didn't change with the times and went out of business. Radio Shack survived because they embraced consumer electronics at a time when our hobby was dying. The consumer market is now nothing but smartphones and Radio shack cannot compete in this market. Because of the internet we have some who can still make a living serving our hobby. This hobby will never be a brick and mortar business again. Radio Shack does have a presence for electronic components on Ebay and will most likely survive in that mode.

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Post by 75X11 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:19 pm

Each time I go to Radio Shack to get something they should have, it ends up with me being Charlie Brown and RS is Lucy holding the football for me to kick. Frustration does not build my character and I will not search it out.
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Post by Guest on Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:35 pm

It's been years since I've been on the west coast, is Frys still doing business with brick and mortar stores? I know you can find them on line.

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Post by 75X11 on Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:54 pm

They have at least one store in Atlanta.
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Post by Guest on Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:10 pm

75X11 wrote:They have at least one store in Atlanta.

Interesting, I never knew they were on the east coast too! You learn something everyday. I need to go to their website and see if they have a "store locator"

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Post by Guest on Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:14 pm

Fry's store locations;

http://www.frys.com/ac/storeinfo/storelocator/?site=csfooter_B

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Post by hismastersvoice on Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:03 pm

Mez, I LOVED Fry's when I lived in Las Vegas. I'm native NC, but I lived in Vegas for 4.5 years. I bought this very machine I'm typing on now (which is getting replaced today) at Fry's almost 6 years ago.

As for Radio Shack....I, too, grew up in the 80's and Radio Shack was a rarity. If I did go there, I never got anything because it was all so expensive. I'd actually sworn off the Shack several years back because I was looking for a cable connector and they wanted 15 bucks for something I could get for 5 (or less) at Walmart. As you know, I went in recently for obvious reasons being new to the radio world...I got some wire and desoldering braid.

The store was small and mostly dedicated to cell phones. I guess that's their bread and butter now. I could take 'em or leave 'em.

I did have some Realistic brand electronics growing up that were second to none, though.
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Post by Bill Cahill on Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:29 pm

Being a fifties child I remember their Archer kits, and, neat stuff like that. I used to be able to buy emergency parts there, but, over the last five years, they've cut their parts inventory way down. Now, they only sell small expensive rolls of Non rosin solder, quit selling my Weller soldering gun tips, and, resistors are nearly extinct there. No alligator clips either.
I kept warning them, and, they kept on telling me to wake up, and, modernize. "By the way. Can I interest you in a cell phone?"
NO!!!!!!!!!

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Post by Doug Burskey on Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:10 pm

There was 4 Radio Shacks in Mansfield Ohio and now only one store left.  I have given up on them years ago.

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Post by Wildcat445 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:24 pm

Fry's Electronics is still in business in the Phoenix area.

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Post by Guest on Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:53 pm

I've only been in one Fry's store (in San Francisco in 1994) and I loved it. I wish we had something like that hear.

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Post by 75X11 on Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:08 pm

For me, Ebay has taken the place of most of the other stores. The Fry's in Atlanta is on the other side of town and a regal hassle to get to. There is another place somewhat like it called BrandSmart. I've been there 4 times to find something I wanted with them having nothing close. I research what I want and can usually find it on Ebay or Amazon at a reasonable price.
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Post by Guest on Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:36 pm

Ebay and Amazon seems to be the way to go today, I've found a lot of what I need there too.

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Post by Ron Pond on Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:30 am

Tubes that were re-badged "Realistic" were some of the worst ever offered for sale anywhere.

In the 1980s, I remember buying eight Realistic 6BQ5s (gold pins and all!) from RS (Tandy here in Oz) and after about 3 months in two amps, things were sounding decidedly bad. Three tubes were almost dead and the rest were at about 40%-50% of new tube specs.

New Mullard tubes solved the problem.

I used a calibrated AVO Mk2 tester, which tests tubes under load conditions, to test them all, so it was the tubes and not the testing procedure.

Ron.
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Post by hismastersvoice on Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:32 pm

Bill Cahill wrote:No alligator clips either.

I found a big pack of alligator clips at Harbor Freight. I'm pretty sure they were under 5 bucks and there were like 10 pairs in all different colors. Just FYI. I dig some Harbor Freight....just wish it wasn't all Chinese imports.  Mad 
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Post by 75X11 on Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:15 pm

I guess if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

http://stores.ebay.com/RadioShack?_trksid=p2047675.l2563
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Post by Bill Cahill on Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:48 pm

I looked. They didn't have it under any name.

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Post by Guest on Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:43 pm

75X11 wrote:I guess if you can't beat 'em,  join 'em!

http://stores.ebay.com/RadioShack?_trksid=p2047675.l2563

I have purchased a lot of IC's from Ebay/Radio Shack with no problems and a decent price.

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Post by Guest on Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:45 pm

hismastersvoice wrote:
Bill Cahill wrote:No alligator clips either.

I found a big pack of alligator clips at Harbor Freight. I'm pretty sure they were under 5 bucks and there were like 10 pairs in all different colors. Just FYI. I dig some Harbor Freight....just wish it wasn't all Chinese imports.  Mad 

We have a Harbor Freight store in Newport News Virginia and I saw several different packs of alligator clips there.

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Post by Dr. Radio on Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:02 pm

Jameco Electronics has a "store" on eBay. They have lots of test leads and test clips. Just and FYI.

Weren't Realistic branded vacuum tubes supposedly sold with a "lifetime" guarantee????? You could just bring them back and they were to replace them no questions asked??? Thought I heard that once upon a time.
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Post by Guest on Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:44 pm

Weren't Realistic branded vacuum tubes supposedly sold with a "lifetime" guarantee????? You could just bring them back and they were to replace them no questions asked??? Thought I heard that once upon a time.

I seem to remember it that way also!

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Post by Bill Cahill on Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:49 pm

Yes. I actually have one of them, and, it brags life time warranty on it.

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Post by Guest on Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:32 am

Bill Cahill wrote:Yes. I actually have one of them, and, it brags life time warranty on it.


I wonder if they would still honor the "lifetime warranty"? Question 

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