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View Full Version : ISO buying advice for the Radio SHACKENING



Zangrief
02-05-2015, 08:32 PM
Okay, so Radio Shack defaulted, then went Chapter 11 Bankruptcy this week. Just went by my local store and they have a "Clearance Up To 60% Off" sign up, but were closed due to new, shortened, company-fucked hours.

I own a supergun. What do I buy? Here's my wishlist, and please let me know what I'm missing and any "don't even bother with their crap" items:

Multimeter - I don't own one. Yeah, I suck
Type(s) of solder for pcbs that are best (and flux, maybe)
Soldering Iron, maybe - own a cheap-o from Bob Roberts, should I upgrade?
Soldering Iron tips?
Wire for any soldering projects - which guage?
???

Thank you.

kuze
02-05-2015, 09:11 PM
Looks like it's time to grab a project box or two.

goombakid
02-05-2015, 10:03 PM
If they have soldering stations, pick that up and some pointed and flat tips.

Dunno how good their multimeters are, but nab one. It'll come in handy for at least continuity checks.

Zangrief
02-05-2015, 10:29 PM
Looks like it's time to grab a project box or two.
Fur wut?

If they have soldering stations, pick that up and some pointed and flat tips.

Dunno how good their multimeters are, but nab one. I'll come in handy for at least continuity checks.
Absolutely committed to grabbing a multimeter of some sort, regardless.

goombakid
02-05-2015, 10:43 PM
Absolutely committed to grabbing a multimeter of some sort, regardless.

They have/had a digital pocket MM that my cousin had that was pretty accurate for voltage measurements and had the chime for continuity.

Also, LOL at my typo. *It'll come in handy...

SNKorSWM
02-06-2015, 03:38 AM
Buy only the stuff that you don't mind being unable to return. This is like when Circuit City went out of business and people who bought defective merchandise can't return them after the stores closed for good.

Tripredacus
02-06-2015, 11:06 AM
Multimeters I wouldn't bother with, but it depends on what else you have in your area. Near here we have Harbor Freight and you can get basic multimeters for $3-5 or sometimes you can get one for free. Of course, if RS has some whoop-ass meter at a discount, that might be a good deal.

The only thing I am thinking about scooping would be the 7805 voltage regulators that are used in the SMS. It couldn't be a worse time for travel to go to any sort of stores. Driving around here is a super-chore due to weather, but there is on one the way home I can check out. So far that one has not had any signs up indicating any discounts.

Zangrief
02-06-2015, 11:28 AM
Thankya for the responses! I'm likely going by there tomorrow. They don't have a digital multimeter on their own website with a review greater than 3/5 stars, so I'll be weighing that for the (non-returnable) decision time. There also is a Harbor Freight here that I've never been to, and a friend gave me a sales flyer with some cheap multimeters in it.

Keep 'em coming.

lastcallhall
02-06-2015, 11:49 AM
I bought as much silver bearing solder and desoldering tips as I could. I tried looking for a conductive pen or paint but they were out. There's another one near by my work so I'll stop in today and see what I can nab.

Reclaimer
02-06-2015, 12:14 PM
I can mail you a free harbor freight multimeter, brand new, if you want to pay the shipping. Although you might be able to snag one for the same $5-6 shipping price straight at the store.

SignOfZeta
02-06-2015, 12:45 PM
%60 off would still make most of the electronics supplies significantly more expensive than Mouser or whoever. When it comes to LEDs or DIN sockets they are often as much as 32x the price of the competition. The only reason I can see going there during the going out of business sale would be to bask in the sick satisfaction that they are going out of business.

hyper
02-06-2015, 12:47 PM
wow, I thought this day would never come

lastcallhall
02-06-2015, 12:51 PM
Johnny 5 would be fucked in this day and age.

Jibbajaba
02-06-2015, 01:18 PM
C&P'ed from a post I made in a similar thread over on PCEFX:

I'm surprised they lasted this long, but it still makes me sad. I used to fucking LOVE going into RS when I was a kid. Dicking around with the TRS-80s, checking out the toys. They had an awesome selection of toys during Christmas back in the day. Radio-controlled cars, pocket games, etc. I used to have one of those howevermany-in-1 electronic project kits and loved it. Radio Shack was also my first job out of high school, which was definitely at the tail end of their relevant years. RIP Radio Shack.



Back in the early/mid 80s Radio Shack was basically paradise. The first place I ever saw a portable CD player was RS. I've purchased tons of components and cables there.

Back in the day they used to need your name address and phone number written on carbon triplicate forms just to buy a blank cassette tape.


God, that was the worst part of my job when I worked there. Fucking EVERYBODY would ask why I needed their name and address, and I don't blame them. But we had to ask. They literally kept track of that shit, like what percentage of customers you got names and addys for. One of my friends actually got fired because he put some smart ass comment in the name/address section of someone's receipt. Something like "this job sucks". So someone was actually reading that shit.

One of my fondest memories of working there was this: We used to sell a shitty little guitar amp at the store. My co-worker and I both played the guitar, so one day I brought my electric guitar in. We would open the back door to the stock room and stand in the doorway smoking weed, then take turns playing the guitar. I just remember being high and helping some customer find some whatever thingy while Duane was in the back room wailing on my guitar with the amp turned up to 11.

We also used to sell computer games there, and for some reason sometimes the boxes weren't shrink-wrapped. So we had a copy of that game "Indy Car" by Papyrus (this was in 1995) and it wasn't shrink-wrapped. Literally NOBODY ever bought those games, so I took the disks out and took them home to play the game, fully intending to return the disks to the box. Well, before I had the chance, my manager discovered that the disks were missing (probably because he wanted to do exactly what I had already done) and he went off on us, saying that people were shoplifting in the store right under our noses and we weren't paying proper attention. So obviously I couldn't return the disks at that point or he would know that one of us took them. I still have them. :P

Lastly, I bought my Atari Lynx from one of my co-workers there (the same guy who got fired for the address thing) and I actually bought a Lynx game out of the Radio Shack Shop-at-Home catalog. I thought it was pretty neat that we sold those, since the Lynx was pretty much a dead platform by then. Desert Strike, in case anyone is wondering. Still have that, too.

I also remember one time as a young teen (maybe like 1991) going in with my best friend to a RS that for some reason still had a TRS-80 for sale. It was on but just sitting there with a prompt, so I typed:



10 PRINT "RADIO SHACK SUCKS"
20 GOTO 10


And then hit "Return".

At first the salesman was annoyed that a couple of kids were fucking around in his store, but then he was all fascinated that I got the computer to do that and wanted me to show him how. Of course he also didn't know how to make it stop. A far cry from the people who worked there in the 80's, who were all either computer nerds or electronics nerds.

cdamm
02-06-2015, 06:31 PM
i went to mine today.

it was a shit show. nearly everything was gone.

I did get a couple of things- a 3 pack of 20' spools of wire for $5. a really nice durable case for my phone for $2.50. a good precision driver set for $6.

Bargains of the day:
a 15 pack of wire shrinks 50% off for the low low price of $6.49.
Small can of air 50% off for the crazy clearance price of only $8.99.
A really fancy multimeter (there were like 4 in the pile) in a pile with a big sign that said everything $9.99 for the fab price of $59.99 (after 50% off that is).


I find it hard to feel bad for them when they take 50% off and are still a ton more expensive than amazon/ local hardware store.

Neorebel
02-06-2015, 06:37 PM
God, that was the worst part of my job when I worked there. Fucking EVERYBODY would ask why I needed their name and address, and I don't blame them. But we had to ask.

Ha, when I worked there we just had to try and get people's zip codes.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgfaYKoQxzQ

Zangrief
02-06-2015, 07:38 PM
i went to mine today.

it was a shit show. nearly everything was gone.

I did get a couple of things- a 3 pack of 20' spools of wire for $5. a really nice durable case for my phone for $2.50. a good precision driver set for $6.

Bargains of the day:
a 15 pack of wire shrinks 50% off for the low low price of $6.49.
Small can of air 50% off for the crazy clearance price of only $8.99.
A really fancy multimeter (there were like 4 in the pile) in a pile with a big sign that said everything $9.99 for the fab price of $59.99 (after 50% off that is).


I find it hard to feel bad for them when they take 50% off and are still a ton more expensive than amazon/ local hardware store.

Funny thing is I got a 3 pack of 20' wire a few months ago at Radio Shack for $.52. 22 guage though.

cdamm
02-06-2015, 08:18 PM
Funny thing is I got a 3 pack of 20' wire a few months ago at Radio Shack for $.52. 22 guage though.

lol. mine was 20 gauge. i may have overbought, but it was there.

MuppeT
02-06-2015, 08:32 PM
Liquidating companies have the habit of lying so be careful with the "60%" sales. Don't buy anything without checking actual online prices.

Xavier
02-06-2015, 08:33 PM
Radio Shacks totally sucked since the early 90's.
I blame junk inventory, really they have store filled with useless trash at inflated prices.
Stuff like remote controlled submarines and cassette karaoke machines.
Here's an example of why a purchasing agent is important.

In this day and age everybody has gizmos.
There's so much stuff they could've sold.
Tons of cheap Asian electronics that they could rebrand.
They could have $4 hdmi & usb cord sale in thier flyer.

I wouldn't suggest anybody buy any tools like a multimeter or soldering iron from them either.
That $4 Harbor Frieght muli's gone to hell as well. I had one for about 8 years, then the battery went dead.
Didn't work right after I replaced it. Next one battery went dead after a couple months and the probes frayed at the plastic end, plastic broke. Last one batteries about dead after not even a month.

They had a store for a bit called radio shack.com, a huge store filled with just resiters, caps, project boxes and so on. A modders dream. Expensive though, but convenient.

kuze
02-06-2015, 08:54 PM
They are still good for stuff like battery holders, you'd end up paying more after shipping for a few online.

goombakid
02-06-2015, 11:00 PM
The one near me didn't have any sign of them closing. Tomorrow's another day.

Anybody else ever had the employees there try to sell you a warranty on a pack of resistors? I have, but on a 7805.

Yodd
02-06-2015, 11:10 PM
The Rat Shack at the local mall already closed up shop.

Not sure exactly when that happened.

ReplicaX
02-06-2015, 11:46 PM
Liquidating companies have the habit of lying so be careful with the "60%" sales. Don't buy anything without checking actual online prices.


This is like when Circuit City went out of business and people who bought defective merchandise can't return them after the stores closed for good.

These 2 quotes go together as Circuit City really didn't liquidate a damn thing. Prices remained the same on new items as they shifted all inventory back to main warehouses for online sales and stock merged into tigerdirect.

bustedstr8
02-07-2015, 12:38 AM
At 60% off it might just be worth it to stock up on some basics.

Westcb
02-07-2015, 08:10 AM
These 2 quotes go together as Circuit City really didn't liquidate a damn thing. Prices remained the same on new items as they shifted all inventory back to main warehouses for online sales and stock merged into tigerdirect.


The circuit city in town took 40% off their xbox 360s when they were going out of business. This was the only deal we could find in that store so we bought a few. Everything else was still priced higher then you could find online. I'll swing by my local one and see if they have that electronics cleaner in a spray can. It's really easy to use and seems to work ok for a quick cleaning.

Westcb
02-07-2015, 03:36 PM
And the location down the street is not going out of business boooooo. I asked him what deals I could find at the locations in town closing and he said not much. Anything over 50 bucks was pulled and carried over to the two locations they are keeping open. I wouldn't mind getting some odds and ends like deoxit, flux, battery holders etc.. But in guessing by now they are pretty picked over.

Zangrief
02-07-2015, 05:59 PM
Went to Harbor Freight and RShack today. Cash only now at the RS, and you gotta take the shit to the register to check the price. Checked 1 multimeter and it was more $$ than their own website. They had 160GB PS3s for $78 and Nintendo 3DSs for $99. Some food for thought for now.

Zangrief
02-07-2015, 07:56 PM
I can mail you a free harbor freight multimeter, brand new, if you want to pay the shipping. Although you might be able to snag one for the same $5-6 shipping price straight at the store.

A friend in town that literally was at the same Harbor Freight as myself today (~30min after I left) just drove by and gave me a free one he got with a coupon. That takes care of that for now!

Xian Xi
02-07-2015, 08:08 PM
Johnny 5 would be fucked in this day and age.

LOL.

Reclaimer
02-08-2015, 02:12 AM
A friend in town that literally was at the same Harbor Freight as myself today (~30min after I left) just drove by and gave me a free one he got with a coupon. That takes care of that for now!

Ha! That's exactly how I ended up with a handful.

ReplicaX
02-09-2015, 07:14 PM
Johnny 5 would be fucked in this day and age.

Hollywood is replacing Johnny 5 with some shit called Chappie.

To those in the hunt, here is the list of stores closing in order by Store #:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/255034573/RadioShack-store-closures

Zapf
02-09-2015, 11:19 PM
some shit called Chappie.

except chappie looks to be p cool sorry dude

Zangrief
02-10-2015, 12:29 AM
Hollywood is replacing Johnny 5 with some shit called Chappie.
No disassemble my childhood, goddamnit.

Tripredacus
02-10-2015, 10:29 AM
The store near me was announced to be closing yesterday... it was in the local news and they had a list of stores. The issue for me is that they all seem to be open when I am at work, so they are closed by the time I get there. I may check one on my lunch break and see if they have anything.

ReplicaX
02-10-2015, 01:44 PM
except chappie looks to be p cool sorry dude

Still a typical recycle of Hollywood, whether its better or not.