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Radio Shack
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Feb 18, 2019 12:04:53   #
pendennis
 
Radio Shack did have some decent, if rebranded, stereo equipment in the early-to-mid 70's. When I was putting together my component system, they were in the running for almost everything. Their receivers, amps, tape decks were comparable to TEAC, Garrard, Sansui, etc. However, they just wouldn't deal, so I went to a specialty shop, and they actually had me "pick and choose" my components, then put them into a package that was much less expensive than RS.

They also had CB radios, but their house brand was nowhere near the quality of Midland and Cobra.

After a few years, it got to the point where they just handled RC toys, and fewer on-the-shelf components and electronics repair items. No wonder they went out of business.

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Feb 18, 2019 12:11:42   #
SoHillGuy Loc: Washington
 
I have been buying some items from Radio Shacks on line store.

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Feb 18, 2019 12:24:45   #
Rickoshay Loc: Southern California
 
The internet has changed how we shop. Radio Shack was one of many casualties.

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Feb 18, 2019 12:27:34   #
Longshadow Loc: Audubon, PA
 
LCD wrote:

......... cut into the corporate bottom line, so a succession of executives made themselves look good to the short-sighted stock-holders by temporarily fattening up their quarterly dividends. This has been the tragedy of American business for the last four for five decades.

Yes SO true. The all-mighty dollar and the bottom line.

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Feb 18, 2019 12:36:18   #
Rich1939 Loc: Pike County Penna.
 
dougbev3 wrote:
Radio Shack, Tandy Leather, Sears, they used to be the cats pajamas. Then they decided to raise prices and lower quality , ( I guess so people would buy more when it broke). And with all companies that think that way , they become a memory of times gone by.


Trust me on this, Tandy Leather's demise was not due to price increases.

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Feb 18, 2019 12:41:35   #
Longshadow Loc: Audubon, PA
 
Rickoshay wrote:
The internet has changed how we shop. Radio Shack was one of many casualties.

Not how I shop, it's p'ing me off. Stores carry less or go away, I cannot go SEE/handle what I'm buying to evaluate the quality, etc.

Also, how may electronics tinkerers are out there? I'll bet nowhere near as many as years ago.
I quit repairing my own electronics YEARS ago, when it started costing less to replace it, IF I could find parts...

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Feb 18, 2019 12:43:56   #
Lcfitt Loc: Cameron Park, CA
 
My take on the demise of Radio Shack is a little different, though I do agree with most of the previous posts. I received a General Class (Ham) Radio license in the early 60s. I recall that the "man cave" where the equipment was kept was generally referred to as the "Radio Shack". With the decline of the hobby over time, I always wondered why they kept the original name. Today, my main hobby is amateur build aircraft. I have built two and helped on two others. When I built my first airplane, the factory was averaging 40 kits per month shipped with a reported high of 90. Today, the average is about 3 per month. My general take on both situations is a fundamental shift in the nature of our hobbies. Early on in amateur radio, we built a lot of our equipment from scratch and the customer knew about as much as the store rep did - or maybe more. Attached is a picture of the video camera mount on my most recent airplane. Cable control with about 100° vertical and 190° horizontal movement. The design is based on the one on my first airplane built in the late 90s. Lots of parts and trial and error - cost about $300 including video camera. Today for $5000 I could buy one far more sophisticated but no more effective and without the fairings - or I could buy the GoPro with all the issues that go along with fixed focus, wide angle and the nature of the sensors. I felt I needed at minimum, zoom and aperture control. In short, just not so many of us tinkerers around.



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Feb 18, 2019 12:44:54   #
Angel Star Photography Loc: Tacoma, WA
 
Largobob wrote:
I took engineering courses as electives in college ('67-'72), including several 'Computer' courses. Programming languages included binary/hex/machine code, assembler, BASIC, FORTRAN, COBOL, etc. Later, as a Secondary Science Teacher, I got a job at a local Science Center that had a Honeywell Mainframe that it transitioned for "timesharing" applications. It was great fun. Our students re-wrote the entire operating system, to make it "bullet-proof" to the outside users. At the time, I believe it had 8K (no, that is not a typo) of RAM....the magnetic core memory was very expensive then.

At the same time, I remember Atari, NEC, Apple, and a few others. I went with Apple, with two 5-1/4" floppy drives. Because I was a programmer and 'application' software was not available, I had fun with this machine....it even had compilers for Fortran and advance basic. ( I'm guessing my machine was made in 'Ol' Waz's garage.) Except for my working life, I have personally stuck with Apple. Just a preference.....
I took engineering courses as electives in college... (show quote)


Even before the Radio Shack, Atari, Apple and others, there were such computers as the IMSAI 8080, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMSAI_8080; The Polymorphic, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymorphic_Systems_(computers), and few others using the S-100 bus. The IMSAI 8080 was an impressive, expandable machine that you could swap out any of the components, CPU included, and with a tweaks in the BIOS via the bit switches on the front panel you would be back up and running. You could then load just about any compiler you wanted. CP/M was a common operating system for those using the computers for business applications. That was my foundation for later working with the DEC PDP 11 series computers. Ahhh, the memories....

Btw....the link for Polymorphic Systems requires the (computer) as part of the link. Copy the entire link to the last parenthesis and paste it in the browser address.

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Feb 18, 2019 12:55:28   #
Angel Star Photography Loc: Tacoma, WA
 
Pixelmaster wrote:
The other day I was looking at some of my old photo equipment and came across these two
batteries. Radio Shack became bankrupt and it was sold to a company that filed two years
later for bankruptcy as well. In 2017 Radio Shack's stores closed down. The company did
sell off the use of its name to places in Mexico and a few other countries where it was
totally independent of the parent company in the US. I would guess that those who dabbled
in building and repairing of electronic equipment have found other sources to replace what
Radio Shack use to sell. Either that or you go to Mexico. All this is hard to believe since
the company has been around since its start of its first store in Boston in 1921.
The other day I was looking at some of my old phot... (show quote)


I haven't seen a Radio Shack for years though the name crosses my mind occasionally. I didn't shop there much as I became tired of asking for something and in many cases no one knew what I was talking about. I had to hunt for the item myself. I really miss Heathkit, though, and sure wish they could have stayed in business. Now I find my parts online at places like Digikey but also shop at Fry's Electronics. We have one "locally" in Washington. In those days you could even write to Intel, Texas Instruments, etc. and ask and receive not only sample parts but the data books of their components. I once talked with a Texas Instruments rep and upon agreeing to use TI components in my projects and designs, he sent me two complete sets of data books for every component they made! I was in heaven!

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Feb 18, 2019 13:09:42   #
Longshadow Loc: Audubon, PA
 
Angel Star Photography wrote:
Even before the Radio Shack, Atari, Apple and others, there were such computers as the IMSAI 8080, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMSAI_8080; The Polymorphic, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymorphic_Systems_(computers), and few others using the S-100 bus. The IMSAI 8080 was an impressive, expandable machine that you could swap out any of the components, CPU included, and with a tweaks in the BIOS via the bit switches on the front panel you would be back up and running. You could then load just about any compiler you wanted. CP/M was a common operating system for those using the computers for business applications. That was my foundation for later working with the DEC PDP 11 series computers. Ahhh, the memories....

Btw....the link for Polymorphic Systems requires the (computer) as part of the link. Copy the entire link to the last parenthesis and paste it in the browser address.
Even before the Radio Shack, Atari, Apple and othe... (show quote)

Oh yes, I remember the IMSIA 8080, CP/M, and the S-100 Bus.
I designed a CPU card and some static memory cards, but never got around to building the S-100 card cage and maintenance panel. A friend designed an interrupt controller card.
I used a test systems that was controlled by a PDP 5 or 7, and we had an 11 in the device evaluation lab That i used a lot.

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Feb 18, 2019 13:20:05   #
E.L.. Shapiro Loc: Ottawa, Ontario Canada
 
Man, am I old- or what? Y'all must be a bunch of kids! I remember when Radio Shack was Allied Radio and Electronics from Chicago. Radio Shack was in existence before that but they somehow at one time took over or merged with Allied and created what most of us remember as Radio Shack.

In New York City, I used to buy form Allied and Lafayette Radio. Back in the 60s those were the real heavy-duty electronics stores- all kinds of components, amateur radio gear and everything for the hobbyist and professional technician. The sales staffs actually had product knowledge-wow! My father was an electronics repair technician and I have been dabbling in electronic since I was a kid.

When I returned from the service and came back to New York, the old Allied brand was gone and most of the Radio Shack was low to middle end stereo, citizen's band, police band scanners and electronics odds and ends imported from Japan and Korea- not bad for the price. They did have their private brand batteries. Frankly, I don't remember if the were as good as the name brands. I still remember when Eveready had a cat logo and stated that their flashlight batteries had 9 lives- I told y'all I was old! The annual Radio Shack catalogs were always fun. Well- I ran a Realistic brand stereo receiver in my studio for 20 years, day and night, and when I gave it away it was still working. Can't complain! Nowadays, um here in Canada, all the old Radio Shack stores are now The Source. The have some OK stuff but I can't "source" a resistor, capacitor, potentiometer, IF coil, transistor, or any of that stuff there. I'm lucky if I can find a good old surplus joint with those kinda parts. Too old!



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Feb 18, 2019 13:28:21   #
Rich1939 Loc: Pike County Penna.
 
E.L.. Shapiro wrote:
Man, am I old- or what? Y'all must be a bunch of kids! I remember when Radio Shack was Allied Radio and Electronics from Chicago. Radio Shack was in existence before that but they somehow at one time took over or merged with Allied and created what most of us remember as Radio Shack.

In New York City, I used to buy form Allied and Lafayette Radio. Back in the 60s those were the real heavy-duty electronics stores- all kinds of components, amateur radio gear and everything for the hobbyist and professional technician. The sales staffs actually had product knowledge-wow! My father was an electronics repair technician and I have been dabbling in electronic since I was a kid.

When I returned from the service and came back to New York, the old Allied brand was gone and most of the Radio Shack was low to middle end stereo, citizen's band, police band scanners and electronics odds and ends imported from Japan and Korea- not bad for the price. They did have their private brand batteries. Frankly, I don't remember if the were as good as the name brands. I still remember when Eveready had a cat logo and stated that their flashlight batteries had 9 lives- I told y'all I was old! The annual Radio Shack catalogs were always fun. Well- I ran a Realistic brand stereo receiver in my studio for 20 years, day and night, and when I gave it away it was still working. Can't complain! Nowadays, um here in Canada, all the old Radio Shack stores are now The Source. The have some OK stuff but I can't "source" a resistor, capacitor, potentiometer, IF coil, transistor, or any of that stuff there. I'm lucky if I can find a good old surplus joint with those kinda parts. Too old!
Man, am I old- or what? Y'all must be a bunch of ... (show quote)


From Wiki
History

Quote:
Allied Electronics was founded in 1928 by Simon "Sy" Wexler[7] as the radio parts distribution arm of Columbia Radio Corporation (founded in 1921 by Wexler).[8] The company distributed radio sets, tubes, capacitors, amateur radio equipment, citizens band radios, communications equipment, electronic kits and consumer audio systems through retail and mail order. In 1970, the Tandy Corporation, Radio Shack’s parent company, purchased Allied Radio, the consumer division, along with Allied Electronics, the industrial division. Over the years, Allied Radio was folded into Radio Shack and Allied Electronics focused on distribution of electronic components to electronics engineers. After multiple owners between 1967 and 1993, Allied was purchased by Electrocomponents in 1999. Today, Allied Electronics is the North American distributor for Electrocomponents selling more than three million parts from about 300 suppliers to engineers and purchasers around the world.[9]
Allied Electronics was founded in 1928 by Simon &q... (show quote)

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Feb 18, 2019 13:34:54   #
OhioJoe
 
when I was a kid we had a store called Olson electronics,anybody remember them?

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Feb 18, 2019 13:41:50   #
Longshadow Loc: Audubon, PA
 
OhioJoe wrote:
when I was a kid we had a store called Olson electronics, anybody remember them?

Yup, I remember Olsen. Forgot until you mentioned it.
Did most of my business physically going to Lafayette Radio and Radio Shack.
Before Allied closed, they had a minimum order, so only a few orders with them. Mid 60's maybe?

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Feb 18, 2019 13:45:05   #
Longshadow Loc: Audubon, PA
 
E.L.. Shapiro wrote:
Man, am I old- or what? Y'all must be a bunch of kids! I remember when Radio Shack was Allied Radio and Electronics from Chicago. Radio Shack was in existence before that but they somehow at one time took over or merged with Allied and created what most of us remember as Radio Shack.

In New York City, I used to buy form Allied and Lafayette Radio. Back in the 60s those were the real heavy-duty electronics stores- all kinds of components, amateur radio gear and everything for the hobbyist and professional technician. The sales staffs actually had product knowledge-wow! My father was an electronics repair technician and I have been dabbling in electronic since I was a kid.

When I returned from the service and came back to New York, the old Allied brand was gone and most of the Radio Shack was low to middle end stereo, citizen's band, police band scanners and electronics odds and ends imported from Japan and Korea- not bad for the price. They did have their private brand batteries. Frankly, I don't remember if the were as good as the name brands. I still remember when Eveready had a cat logo and stated that their flashlight batteries had 9 lives- I told y'all I was old! The annual Radio Shack catalogs were always fun. Well- I ran a Realistic brand stereo receiver in my studio for 20 years, day and night, and when I gave it away it was still working. Can't complain! Nowadays, um here in Canada, all the old Radio Shack stores are now The Source. The have some OK stuff but I can't "source" a resistor, capacitor, potentiometer, IF coil, transistor, or any of that stuff there. I'm lucky if I can find a good old surplus joint with those kinda parts. Too old!
Man, am I old- or what? Y'all must be a bunch of ... (show quote)


I used to order from Allied Electronics. (My dad wrote the check for me.)

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