Boatanchors in Ft Worth TX

Dick Dillman ddillman at IGC.ORG
Wed Feb 2 20:43:35 EST 2000

At 06:59 AM 2/2/00 -0800, Rob Dunn wrote:

>Anybody have any favorite boatanchor haunts in Ft Worth, TX or Huntsville,
>AL.  I am on the road again and always in pursuit of the proverbial
>boatanchor graveyard as well as perfect barbeque.  Of course for both
>boatanchors and barbeque the worst I ever had was great!

Rob, you give me just the excuse I've been looking for to re-post my report
about a BA place I visited in Ft. Worth some time ago.




Greetings, folks.  I'm back from my trip to Dallas and, let me tell
you, I'm glad to be back in the cool fog of San Francisco.

My job in Dallas was to inspect a newly-acquired PBY Catalina
amphibious aircraft of 1943 vintage with a view towards coming up with
a design for the communications suite.  But, keeping to my motto that
there's no such thing as too much heavy iron, I was of course on the
lookout for any BA emporia to be explored.  While such places appear
scarce in Dallas two list members tipped me off to Nortex in Ft.
Worth.  With the A/C in the rental car cranked up to the "meat
locker" setting I headed west to see what Nortex offered.

The place is located on an out of the way loop road populated largely
by nondescript industrial buildings of unknown purpose surrounded by
rusting hulks of various mystery machines.  I considered this a good
sign.  Nortex is located in a building - actually a couple of
buildings - of this type except that outside its front door were the
hulks of two dynamotor powered DuMont land mobile radios.  I
considered this an *excellent* sign.  Steeling myself for the
inevitable I turned off the engine and stepped out into the simmering
heat of Ft. Worth in July.  Crossing the threshold of the open door of
Nortex revealed shelves of equipment of every description and vintage
disappearing back into the recesses of the store.  The corrugated tin
roof thoughtfully supplied by the management served to amplify the
heat almost to the melting point of solder.  Feeling a bit like
Indiana Jones I pressed on into the interior.  The two guys at the
counter ignored me completely, another sign of a real surplus shop.

The first things I noted were vast quantities of Tek scopes, both
tube-type and modern, along with plug-ins of all descriptions.  I'm
not a Tek man so I can't report if any of these were particularly

Among the items with which I was more familiar were ART-13s in
apparently good condition for $150, one ART-13 LF unit for an unknown
price, lots of tube testers as prices that seemed high to me such as
Hickock 539B, 750 and 752 and military TV-2/U for $200 and up.  But
there were also I-177s at more reasonable prices.  A BC-221AH with
book was available for $65 while two Galaxy accessory consoles with
clocks could be had for $12.50.  But BA receivers were conspicuously
missing, a bit of a disappointment for me.

Nevertheless, I scored.  I've had a Webster-Chicago wire recorder in
non-working condition for some time.  I've been absolutely hooked on
the idea of getting it running both to amaze my friends and to hear
what's on some reels of wire that, according to the labels, contain
speeches recorded in the 40s!  At Nortex I found a beautiful
Silvertone wire recorder complete with original microphone and power
cord.  Upon picking it up its weight spoke to me of solenoid controls
and this was later revealed to be true.  After plugging it in the
selection of "rewind" produced a satisfying "thunk", spinning wheels
and a low hum from the speaker, all more than my W-C will do.  I made
it mine for $40 and added a complete year of 1947 QSTs for $10 for
reading back at the motel to get me in the mood for working on the PBY.

Lew Clearly, apparently the owner, was very friendly and supplied many
tips on wire recorders, having been a warranty repair man for them!

I'd say Nortex is worth a special trip if you're in the area.  The
only thing that keeps the place from getting a full rating is the
absence of BA receivers but of course that may change tomorrow.
3-1/2 stars, Skyking says check it out.

Nortex Electronic Co.
5156 Vickery Loop East
Ft. Worth, TX 76116
Phone: 817-731-6611
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 9:00 - 5:30

                         Dick Dillman, W6AWO
 Chief Operator at K6KPH of the Maritime Radio Historical Society
                      Collector of Heavy Metal:
               Harleys, Willys and Radios Over 100lbs.

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