[Boatanchors] Another Parts Store Closes...

Phillip Carpenter carpenterpa at tds.net
Sun Aug 30 14:42:01 EDT 2015

I agree with Bill, there will always be people who invest in history and antique technology. The key to helping these folks, who in the future will maintain our past, is to provide discussion of:

1) How to substitute new components for unobtainable parts. This should include specific specifications and where to buy. Part numbers, etc. uH/mH values for inductors should be included with the wire size, number of turns, and core. Some folks would rather buy the correct value inductor than wind one.

2) How to make better. Yes there are certain modifications, however minor, that most of us make to improve our radios. Be it better filter capacitors, tube substitutions, recapping, ensuring good chassis grounding, etc. that make the radios perform better. 

3) Locate and tell others about online sources for parts:

Such as Richard at Leeds, Antique Radio Supply, Gary at Play Things of Past, Dan at Dan's Small Parts, Gary at Boat Anchor Parts, Mike at SND Tube Sales, John at Radio Daze, etc. There will always be parts guys out there to supply antique parts as long as there is a demand. These guys offer a valuable service to collectors and enthusiasts but they need to pay the bills and eat so we need to give them business and encourage others to purchase from them so they can continue to offer needed parts.

4) Continue to sponsor Boat Anchor Forums and discussion groups to talk about specific radio units and how to keep them going.

5) Recognition that the cost of the hobby goes up over time. Fewer antique parts being available, fewer sources, and required use of new replacement components will all drive up costs. This is an unavoidable fact. Audiophiles are driving up the cost of tubes. Perhaps we need to focus on collecting fewer units. Specializing in one one brand or line rather than many. Whatever it takes to keep the hobby going within our economic limits. I collect Hallicrafters, Heathkits, and a few Military radios. I focus on specific series so I'm not spreading myself too thin. I've found this helps to contain costs.

6) Encourage each other. Maybe hold homebrew contests, restoration contests, mods contests. Something similar to what auto enthusiasts do where you have awards for best stock restoration, best mods/performance improvements, best homebuilt/innovative, etc.

The radio hobby will not die but will evolve as the future unfolds. Those that follow the evolution and seek out the new sources will keep it going.

I'm constantly looking for a new source of parts beyond eBay or the normal known suppliers. They're out there, you've just got to take the time to search them out.


Phillip W4RTX

Sent from my iPhone

> On Aug 30, 2015, at 11:19 AM, Bill Carns <wcarns at austin.rr.com> wrote:
> As past president of the Collins Collectors Association I will add a comment
> and suggest a slight modification.
> Re: Part of your good comments. . . " When we are gone and others like us no
> longer exist, the large solderable parts will be gone as well."
> Our ranks have never been bigger and growing. Contrary to our (and many
> others) fears that as the oldsters die off, so will the collecting and
> repair of old radio,  we are seeing quite the opposite. Many young hams and
> collectors of things antiquated are joining our ranks and buying their first
> piece of Collins.  They are just asking different questions - more
> fundamental ones - like how does a tube work or even what is a tube. These
> are neophyte questions, but coming from motivated and intelligent people. 
> So, the market (and the collector or maintainer) is not disappearing but
> just shrinking maybe and changing nature.  The market is certainly getting
> smaller, but it does still exist and will remain even after we are all gone.
> Our challenge is to leave a trail of understandable educational material
> aimed at that market and the hope is that these hordes of radio parts will
> wind up somewhere where they can still be found....albeit probably at
> increasing cost. 
> The Collins Collectors Association is working hard to leave a resource of
> "Experience" and educational material so that the next generations can pick
> up where we left off.
> Bill
> Bill Carns, N7OTQ (Trustee K0CXX)
> Past President, Collins Collectors Association
> Founding Board, Collins Radio Heritage Group
> Editor, Signal Magazine
> Wimberley, TX
> 512 618 2762  (Cell)
> 512 847 7010  (Home)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Boatanchors [mailto:boatanchors-bounces at puck.nether.net] On Behalf Of
> Van Lincoln
> Sent: Sunday, August 30, 2015 9:51 AM
> To: William <w_b_morton at hotmail.com>
> Cc: boatanchors at puck.nether.net
> Subject: Re: [Boatanchors] Another Parts Store Closes...
> Good Morning William:
> This is Van Lincoln.  I read your message and felt your pain.  All I can add
> to your note, is that the market is changing, and a large chunk of the OLD
> electronics business is going away due to the digital age, and that it will
> never return, except for what old-timers manage to keep in existence, and
> foster along with their memories.  The days of the soldering iron and its
> attendant large sized parts is rapidly drawing to a close.  The only users
> of the large parts trades, repairs and equipment, are those who are reliving
> their memories in the old days.  When we are gone and others like us no
> longer exist, the large solderable parts will be gone as well.
> On the other hand, the knowledge of electronics will still be there, and
> engineering and design available and widespread, it's just going to be all
> about digital parts and miniaturization of devices.  When you look at the
> field of electronics closely, you'll find that it was all about
> communication over distance, and recording data, (sounds, music, famous
> politician's speeches, and other data of the like.  Now all the before
> mentioned can be done digitally, paring down the size and cost, requiring
> less power and resources, and therefore less expense due to costs of
> production.  AND still accomplish the same tasks.
> We all cry in our beer, but it is not stopping for any man, in fact it is
> accelerating in its adoption by the peoples of the world.  The hobby of
> electronics is still with us and will be for the foreseeable future, but
> will be ever-changing in many faces and facets.  We ALL have to keep on
> learning or risk becoming antiquated.  When there is NOTHING left to invent,
> we will be in trouble as a world population.  The only other cataclysm that
> might befall our world is the ability to wipe the face of the globe of its
> residents.
> Van
> At 08:53 8/30/2015, you wrote:
>> Hello All,
>> I have to 'let it all out'.  Call the following a rant, excess  >whining,
> loads of lamentations, or whatever.
>> Last week I had a 'Dad's Day Out' with my father to have breakfast and
>> stop by an electronics shop in Minneapolis.  The store was ABC
>> Electronics (http://www.yelp.com/biz/abc-electronics-minneapolis) and  >I
> had not been there for a few years.  I figured my dad and I could  >poke
> around for a while.
>> After a great breakfast at Louisiana Cafe
>> (http://newlouisianacafe.com/) where heart attacks are served on large
>> plates, we zipped over to Minneapolis only to find out that ABC was
>> closed for inventory.
>> Well, actually closed for more than inventory purposes.  After the
>> initial disappointment of seeing the sign stating they were closed -
>> which of course was after we paid for parking - we poked our heads in  >the
> door and spoke to the manager.  He mentioned the place is closing  >its
> doors and everything was already bought out by another firm.
>> On the plus side:  The company that purchased the entire lot was Ax  >Man
> Surplus (http://www.ax-man.com/).  A fun store with lots of odds and ends.
>> On the down side:  There is no way all of the stuff from ABC will be
>> able to be set out on the shelves at Ax Man for all to see as their
>> stores are already quite crowded.  Thus I fear the ABC inventory will  >be
> stuck in a warehouse and parcelled out over the coming years.
>> So the past few years have seen the following:
>> *  ABC Electronics closed.
>> *  Radio repair shop on Prior Avenue in St. Paul closed.  This place  >was
> run by Paul March, a true gentleman, who has retired.  His shop  >was only
> open a couple hours during the week and a few hours on  >Saturday mornings,
> but it was filled to the gills with all sorts of cool stuff.
>> *  Marty's Second Hand Store on University Ave in St. Paul closed  >(RIP,
> Marty).  This was a true junk store that would have a true  >treasure every
> so often.  Marty was a crusty old soul with a heart of  >gold.
>> (http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_27612233/st-paul-martys-second
>> -hand-store-close-its)
>> *  This year's HAM swap meet normally held in the 3M parking lot was
>> cancelled at the last minute and now needs to find a new location for
>> next year (http://www.skywarn.ampr.org/tailgate.html).
>> I did receive a recommendation to check out Leeds Radio in Brooklyn  >from
> one of the Boatanchor folks a couple years back.  I was able to  >visit the
> place (heaven on earth), but I now see he has moved shop to  >the Bronx.
> Not sure when I will be able to make it over there from Minnesota.
>> Kutztown is too far away, too.
>> I recognize things change, people pass, and capitalist economics does
>> not always suit the small-time hobbyist.  My hope is that I will still
>> have access to parts and suggestions on how to use them... and for  >that,
> I will thank the Boatanchor community in advance.
>> Thanks for reading.
>> Best Regards,
>> William
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