Radio Shack

tony duell ard at
Fri Feb 6 14:45:33 CST 2015

> > [Maplin's] on line store is still good for some hard to get components.
> That's not really been my experience, except that they have relatively poor
> turn-over of components to the point it's almost a source of NOS parts.

Maplin are often known as 'Craplin' by my friends....

25 years ago they had a reasonable range of components, and had most in
stock in the shops. They were very useful for 'emergency' supplies -- to the 
extent that when I was in Bristol there was a common question in the lab
'Anyone going to Craplin today, if so can you get me a couple of 555 timers' 
or whatever. 

Now they have a few components, but worse, a lot of the interesting lines are 
'web only' and can't be ordered or supplied in shops. This means ordering them
is as big a hassle as doing an RS or Farnell order, where a much better range is

> > We do have Farnell, CPC and RS components, They are mail order only but have
> > huge number of different stock lines.
> RS have a few trade counters dotted around the country. The most convenient one
> for Londoners is probably the one in the industrial estate to the west of the
> former Olympic site. The River Lea makes public transport and pedestrian access
> a bit of a chore though. (I used to go over that way by bike.)

When I was in SW London, the local-ish RS trade counter was called 'Heathrow'. It gave
its address as Hounslow and is actually in Feltham (go figure). But I had several orders
delivered there for me to collect with no problems at all.

Now I am in SE London, getting there would be a bit harder. I must try the E London
one.. Not sure how I would get there, but I will work it out.

I can remember when Edgware road was lined with electronics shops on both sides, new
and surplus components. In the early 1980s you could get anything from valves to
microprocessors there. And then of course there was Proops in Tottenham Court Road
for interesting surplus stuff. All gone :-(


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