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Local electronic parts?

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  • #16
    It's a veritable brick and mortar nightmare for electronics parts. I live in the Boulder, Colorado, area. I had two Radio Shacks in the area until a year ago. They were great for picking up parts you needed ASAP. Also in Boulder, there was Saunders Electronics, basically a cluttered storefront with a two level, dusty warehouse off to the side where the guy had about any electronics part you wanted offered in bin after bin. Geeks like us could go in there for two hours and just look around. All kinds of wire, bins of surplus transformers, any cap, resistor or coil you needed. Tools, meters, solder, clips, connectors. It went belly -up a couple of years ago. Now there is poop. It's all on line. Here is classic example I lived this week: my old 52 inch Westinghouse LCD TV down in my man cave went black two weeks ago. I read about this set on line and all kinds of folks were talking about a bad capacitor being the culprit. I took the main board out and found the troubled cap. Looked OK, but, what the heck, I may as well change it. I needed a 470 uf, 15 volt cap. The famous McGuckin's hardware in Boulder had a few small 4-packs of caps by Philmore. One pack had a 470 uf 25 volt cap. I bought the pack for $4.50. I got home and my Radio Shack soldering iron was not heating up and my trusty Radio Shack butane soldering iron leaked like a bucket with holes when I filled it the butane. Back into Boulder to buy a $13 Weller iron. Took the old cap out, popped in my replacement, stuck the board back into the TV and it worked great. I don't mind ordering on line, but I also like a local place for quick needs or emergencies. The little cap pack at McGuckin's was pretty much a miracle find. After years of having it all within 5 miles, I am SOL now and have to order everything on line. Another example: I bought Pete Millett's PCB and Nutube buffer/preamp. I ordered all the parts from Mouser. Several caps in order were on back order. Not shipping until Feb 13. Yes I can order somewhere else, but would be nice just to have place to buy them. Such is progress for us DIYers