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Re: Component Prices Rip off in Australia
As a thirties something, that lived electronics as a kid, was in York
St every Sat, built numerous projects including Super 80 PC which led
to my IT career I am saddened what has happened to electronics in
Australia.  eg Went to Dick Smith flagship store in Penrith - the "oooh
- Power House" and they dont even have the complete range of resistors
- how much do resistors cost??, this shows how little they care!!
Their store staff are just pc gamers, not electronic buffs.   Its so
sad.  Jaycar is much better, but sell other crap (farting keyrings) I
guess to pay their overheads but really I just see these stores selling
a range of PIC devices a few components here and there and thats it for
electronics..    Disposable electronic black blobs on pcbs, nothing
servicable, just send back to manufacturer for board swap.   (BTW: It
career also diluted with cheap inported labor (Qantas how could you!))



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Re: Component Prices Rip off in Australia

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Yep, our so-called leaders today should wake up to themselves. And on the
subject of Dick Smith, I remember when they used to have a store full of
components etc. Now, (at least in Nowra, where I live these days), there is
about 80% consumer gadgets, with a small corner dedicated to the few
electronic components still stocked.... Oh, for the good old days, when we
had brains worth "draining".
I know I'm living in the past, but I don't care. Give me Led Zeppelin or
Pink Floyd over ???? any day.
(No, I don't know how the subject changed to music either - must be
Alzheimers.)

... Johnny



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Rubbish.
Jaycar are selling a wider range of components than they ever have,
same with Altronics.
Just compare catalogs from 10-15 years ago.
See page 9 of the current catalog for their explaination of why they
have the sell the farting gadgets.

Dave :)


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G'day Dave,
   I gave my copy to a mate. I can't find anything on the Jaycar
website explaining why they flog all those stupid toys.
   Can you summarize what page 9 says, for those of us who don't have
the catalog?

Bob



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Hi Bob
No problemo.
Much quicker to photograph than type though!
http://www.alternatezone.com/electronics/images/JaycarPage9.jpg

Dave :)


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selling
for

Hello David,
                 I'll check that out too. On another note, although you've
probably forgotten, I had a discussion with you once before publishing one
of my circuits in Silicon Chip, the AT Keyboard Translator, which I did in
conjunction with Bob Nicol, (Microzed), in about 2000. If you didn't know
already, Bob died last year, of a massive heart attack. He was a nice bloke,
with a good heart, (not that good, it seems). A shame, there aren't enough
people like him in the world.

... Johnny (alias Steve)



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Hi Steve
I think I remember the discussion, but can't remember if I remember
correctly! :-/

I didn't know about Bob, sorry to hear that, sad news indeed.

Regards
Dave :)


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it
they
have
you've
one
in
know
bloke,
enough

    Hi Dave, yeah, I for one, miss him. I believe that Margaret, (his wife),
sold the business, but have no idea who now owns it.
    Regarding the Keyboard Translator, (which didn't do too well in the
end), I contacted you at the time because you'd done a similar project and I
didn't want  to step on your toes.
    On an aside, I've enjoyed your various projects and articles over the
years.
    Anyway, that's all irrelevant now. I just thought I'd let you and others
that read this group know about Bob, in case you didn't already know.

... J (Steve)



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Bob passed away in June 2005, and the business was taken over by David (Surname
escapes me for now) from Chittaway Bay NSW. David is concentrating on the Pixaxe
side of things, and has let most of the other items go.

As it turned out, Bob passed away within a week of Peter Crowcroft's
(kitsrus.com) passing, but I wasn't able to confirm this until about two months
later.

Which bring me to a strange story.
About 5 or 6 years ago, one of my customers told me that Bob had passed away. I
rang Bob up to verify it, however he said he was feeling fine. :-)

After this episode, I wasn't going to ring again, to see if he had died again,
when I was informed by yet another customer again.

I know you will see the funny side of that Bob.

Don...



--
Don McKenzie
E-Mail Contact Page:               http://www.dontronics.com/e-mail.html

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(Surname
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Pixaxe
months
away. I

     Hello Don, I vaguely remember Bob mentioning that he'd heard about his
own death. (Everything that I remember seems to be vague these days.) That
was about the time that we were preparing the Keyboard Translator kit, in
2000. Bob DID think it was funny. I haven't had any dealings with Microzed
since it changed hands and have never tried the PicAxe series. I usually use
raw PICs in my projects.
    I'd also heard that David 'someoone' had bought the business, but my
source didn't know his surname either. Maybe he's reading these posts and
will reply.
    Incidentally, one reason that I have very little time for Parallax these
days is because they did quite a number on Bob. While still leading him to
believe that he was the sole Australian distributor of their products, they
started supplying Dick Smith with the Stamp directly, whereas previously Bob
sold to them as the middle-man. They also stole the extended-memory Stamp
from us. (That wasn't too big a deal, since the Stamp series was ancient
history by then anyway.) Sounds like sour grapes, but it's the truth.

... J (Steve)


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again,



Re: Component Prices Rip off in Australia

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it
they
have
you've
one
in
know
bloke,
enough

    I just had a look at the page you referred to - I do understand Jaycar's
position and, to be fair, they're still way in front of DSE. So are
Altronics. They've also managed to keep a good range of hobbyist components
in stock.
... J (Steve)



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    I agree with all you said. Sounds like I'm in the same age group
as you.
    What worries is me is that in-depth knowledge of electronics is
gradually getting confined to a smaller and smaller section of the
population, and most of them are in Asia now that very few Aussie kids
are showing any interest in this subject or anything
technical/scientific for that matter.
   Things are gunna be pretty crook in another decade or two. Will
there be enough hobbyist interest in electronics to keep even Jaycar
and SC in business?

Bob


  


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   Wasn't Australia gunna become "The Clever Country" and move away
total dependence on exporting primary products? Our politicians have
made sure that won't happen.
   As for Qantas being just one more nominally Australian company
exporting jobs to India and putting local IT and other specialists out
of work, I can't believe that it'll make a significant difference to
their bottom line when you take fuel costs into consideration.
   Yeah... I'll take Pink Floyd, the Moody Blues and even Abba in
preference to what the FM stations are pumping out these days! :-)

Bob


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Thanks Dave! :)

Bob

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   It's interesting if sad to read the Wikipedia entry about DSE at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Smith_Electronics , part of which
says:

     ---------------------------------------------------
Replacing the kits, books and radios are aisles of domestic products
such as kettles, coffeemakers, toasters and frypans. Although
Powerhouse stores still stock small components, tools, leads and
connectors their main emphasis is the mass markets of Harvey Norman,
JB Hi Fi and Retravision rather than the niche markets of Jaycar,
Altronics or Radio Parts.

It must be said however, that the shift of the whole company away from
practical electronics is a consequence of two factors. The first is
the declining enthusiast market. With cheap pre-assembled electronics
from China and many technically-inclined people into software and
gaming rather than hardware construction, kitbuilding has diminished
since its heyday in the 1970s and 80s when (at one point) it supported
no less than four commercial magazines.

Secondly there are the aspirations of its owner, for whom gross
turnover and profit are king. No matter how good the company is, high
turnovers cannot be sustained from a niche market. Hence the push to
appeal to 20 million Australians as opposed to 200,000 electronics
enthusiasts or less than 20,000 radio amateurs. Though some have
regretted these changes, they seem to have had the desired effect,
with Dick Smith and Powerhouse major contributors to the health of the
Woolworths group.
     -----------------------------------------------
  
   Apparently there are Australians, then there are electronics
enthusiasts and amateurs...
   DSE has abandoned electronics people, so it's only reasonable that
we support the opposition.
   One wonders what Dick Smith himself thinks about what Woolies have
done to his chain which was successful only because it was supported
by people like us.


Bob

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I think as long as he can still fly his helicopter, he doesn't give a rat's
:-(

MrT.



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rat's
    Somehow, Bob, your message didn't appear on my newsreader, (via
Optusnet), only Mr. T's reply.
    Anyway, I don't think that Dick Smith would be too pleased with the way
things have gone. Way back when it mattered, I believe that he had pretty
high ideals. Woolworths have done to DSE what they do to everything.
    It would be very interesting to hear what DS himself has to say about it
all, but that's unlikely.
    Despite the "fresh food people" label, have you seen the quality of many
of their veges etc.? Lettuces full of some sort of flies, sausages that have
almost no real meat and so on ...... No wonder that DSE is f......
    ... Steve



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Doesn't Garry Johnson fly an F4 Phantom?
Nice one-upmanship on Tricky Dick! :->

Dave :)


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Mightn't be that easy to get out of the Powerhouse museum...
http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/collection/database/?irn11%0000&search90%-816&images=&c=&s =




Re: Component Prices Rip off in Australia



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rat's
http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/collection/database/?irn11%0000&search90%-81
6&images=&c=&s=

Are you saying he has flown no other helicopters beside that one?
(But it was really meant to be metaphorical rather than literal anyway)

MrT.



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