RadioShack

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by zane9000, Oct 20, 2007.

  1. zane9000

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 16, 2007
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    I know a lot of people are disappointed by RS' electrical component selection these days, but I thought I would let everyone know they are expanding again. It is not too much, about 140 more items throughout the parts drawers, but at least its something. And if it does well they may expand more. They do have some really interesting items coming in, like HDMI connectors, accelerometers ICs, UV LEDs (a ton of new LEDs for that matter), etc.... unfortunately no logic chips or transistors yet as far as I know, but maybe eventually the selection will grow again.
     
  2. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    15,815
    282
    Don't go there except as extreme emergency. I can recall when they were selling bags of spider pack IC holders (IC's first came out with the legs straight out from the metal case) as IC sockets.
     
  3. cumesoftware

    Senior Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    1,330
    10
    It dissapoints me that they didn't expand in the essencial components. Fortunatelly for me, there is no RS in Portugal, so the market here is not monopolized by them.
     
  4. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
    22,182
    1,728
    I've noticed they're expanding their offerrings, which I welcome. I was surprised to find one RS a few miles from me is going to start selling SMA connectors/adapters. It may be the rapidly-growing QRP community that's driving this kind of expansion.

    RS used to offer a lot more components back in the 60's and 70's. In the late 70's, they started carrying computers; in the late 80's, they started carrying cell phones. Somewhere along the line, they discontinued stocking Forrest M. Mims III's books, which I feel was a huge mistake; as Forrest's mini-books led to purchases of RS components, which led to more books, etc. Until recently, it seemed that their preferred item to stock was cell phones and accessories. :rolleyes:

    Perhaps folks are finally getting tired of their PS2's and Xboxes? ;)
     
  5. HarveyH42

    Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    425
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    I wasn't to pleased with the price or the quality of RS parts back in the 70's, but it was pretty much the only place around. I did most of my projects from salvaged parts back then, but still needed a few items occasionally. They didn't always have what I needed, but they would order form me or suggest a substitute. Mid 80's, the store clerks seemed to be fairly clueless about parts, doubtful they could identify even the most basic components.

    I think they are out of luck these days, unless they can afford to spend a lot of money to turn things around. Don't think they can compete with internet sources for price or volume. Not much profit in convience parts. I think they might find something in the educational/beginner market, with books, kits, basic components, tools and materials. They might catch some younger people between high school and college to work the stores, with some knowlege of electronics to help beginners. Some of whom, will get jobs with company. Add some training incentives for employees to get classes in college, there are government grants that pick up most of the cost.
     
  6. zane9000

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 16, 2007
    19
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    Not to nitpick, but there is a HUGE profit in parts... just not much volume.

    I feel this is why thy cut back so drasticly on parts in the early 2000's and moved to the parts drawer set up. It was occupying too much space and didnt have enough traffic. It seems the market now is made entirely of begginers, people who just cant wait for their internet order to come in, or older folks who think they can wire an 8088 computer from scratch, but cant seem to figure out how digi key works.

    That being said, while their isnt much demand these days, the profit potential is so great that RS decided that they should make another go at it with a more expanded product line.
     
  7. HarveyH42

    Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    425
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    The 'convience parts' I was refering to were the one or two parts you forget to order, or burned up. RS might do some business if the hobby people brought in their parts list in for the whole project, not just a few pieces needed to complete it. Online ordering takes time, and shipping costs make it unreasonable to order a few resistors, or a single transistor.

    RS needs to make it real easy for a beginner to dive in and build something that works. There are is so much information on the internet, tutorials, schematics, theory. Just need to make easy to find and access. Throwing together a few books to sell in store shouldn't be hard to do. Then just make sure the stock most of the parts need to build from.
     
  8. Nomad

    Active Member

    Oct 21, 2007
    43
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    RS has always been overpriced, and in my opinion understocked. BUT in an emergency sometimes can be just what you need. had a semi loose a speed sensor, truck refuses to run highway speeds without it. a trip to rs, a 555, pot, iso transfrmer, perf board, wire, a few passives. Hour later truck had a fake signal to go on at highway speeds to get back home. (1300 miles away)
     
  9. zane9000

    Thread Starter Member

    Mar 16, 2007
    19
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    Couldnt agree more. The books were great. I remember buying the mini books when I was a kid. I loved those.

    I originally read this as "... beginner to DRIVE in...". I saw someone literally drive into an RS once... that was a bad day for a lot of people...
     
  10. chesart1

    Senior Member

    Jan 23, 2006
    269
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    The market [hobbyists] for electronic components has shrunk since the 1960's. The best bet is a local distributor who is willing to sell components to people who walk in.
     
  11. jpitz31

    Active Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    37
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    Yes, their prices are very high, but having local access to parts is really nice. If I am working on a project where I have the time to order all of the parts I need at one time I of course will order from Digi-key or any of the other parts warehouses. But If I need a few parts I will go to RS, It is still cheaper as the minimum shipping from Digi-key still applies even for one part and I have to wait 4 - 6 days for shipping.

    I just wish that RS would stock the inventory that is did back 10 - 20 years ago.

    Who knows with DIY electronics and open source hardware taking off again maybe RS will start stocking more parts again.

    Thanks

    Joe
     
  12. Voltboy

    Active Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    197
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    I don't like Digi-key.
    Mouser is way better, and have no minimum orders.
     
  13. jpitz31

    Active Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    37
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    They are about the same. I order from both depending on available inventory.

    You can purchase single parts, you just have to look for the part numbers that have a quantity of 1+.

    At least the stuff I buy I have been able to purchase more from Digi-key then mouser, based on what is in stock. I would rather just order from one distributor for a project, but someone is always out of stock on something.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Thanks

    Joe
     
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