Tandy - Old & New

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Visited Tandy Electronics today. Thought I'd see how its changed from the
1970s when I remember it so well.

The result - less than 1 % of the current stock was similar to that in the
1970s. I was surprised. Not Just that but almost everything now stocked
complemented technologies that weren't even invented then.

Surprised, I wondered how much electronics has changed, remembering that
they still had plenty of stuff to fill a store back then - all obsolete?

By the way, remember how they used to give a free card entitling you to a
monthly free 9 volt battery just for coming into the store.

John



Re: Tandy - Old & New



"John Smyth"
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** I recall Tandy stores had a  *valve tester * for customers to use and
carried a range of valves for sale !!!!

  DSE  followed suit  -  then worked out it was a very poor idea.





.............    Phil





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I loved those valve testers. They were so interesting.
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I think DSE missed the boat with valve testers.


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"John Smyth"
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 **  What "boat " was that   ??

     The SS Titanic  ???     ;-)




...........    Phil



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The Woolworths doppelganger brand names of Dick Smith and Tandy are consumer
electronics stores that bear little relation to the hobbyist stores of the
1970's.  Jaycar and Altronics are probably more directly comparable.  If you
want interesting then head to Rockby.

Cheers,
Alf



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On Wed, 4 May 2005 21:20:18 +1000, "Unbeliever"

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Interesting. When I started off as a hobbiest in the early to mid 80s I
never saw Tandy as a hobbiest store, with their resistors and other items
packaged in multiples and usually much much more expensive than DSE. My
opinion of Tandy back then, as it is now, is that it was really just a
consumer electronics store.

DSE is different, the company as I remember it in the 80s was definately
more hobbiest orientated, and yes it has over the years slowly moved more
into the consumer electronics area however at least it still carries the
basic parts needed for most hobbiest work. I liken DSE now to the 7-11 of
electronics.

Jaycar seems to be following the DSE path slowly but surely. While they are
at the moment still chock full of interesting parts they certainly don't
have the range they used to, with much of the store space becomming
dedicated to consumer computer items, alarm/security and gimicks. The
parallel with DSE is easy to see.

I never shopped at Rockby before, however I went into their shop not long
ago and was disappointed to see very little stock of anything on the shop
floor. Many trays were empty and glass cabinets only containing one or two
items, looked like a shop winding up business! However they did have what I
wanted and I grabbed a copy of their catalog which has heaps of stuff, I
guess much of it must be warehoused out the back? Looks interesting though.

Mike



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Funnily enough, though, when DSE & Tandy merged it was essentially all the
old Tandy/Realistic/RadioShack lines that were dropped.  Don't know why they
bother to have two signs and twee catalogues with the same specials shuffled
to different pages.

Cheers,
Alf



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On Wed, 4 May 2005 23:41:01 +1000, "Unbeliever"

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Prior to DSE taking over Tandy it wasn't much different. Last time I had
been into a Tandy they had very little of the old audio gear they were once
renowned for, and in had come the usual range of Panasonic and Sharp micro
hifi's, name branded cordless phones and so on. They still had RadioShack
and Optimus branded stuff in the form of cheap audio switch boxes and
cables. Since the takeover all I have seen is that DSE have continued that
philosophy and changed the cheapy Optimus/RadioShack stuff for cheapy
DSE/Digitor brand gear.

I think DSE want to keep the Tandy stores as pure consumer electrical
stores (which was where Tandy was heading anyway), and the DSE stores as
the combo they are. Slowly killing off Tandy stores as they find shop space
in the centers where they figure its worth having a DSE. I'm sure half the
reason DSE bought Tandy was just to get a foothold in some of the centres
they were previously unable to, and when the leases expire hound centre
management to give them larger shop space in return for the promise of a
nice new DSE store in its place.

Mike


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Ah you mean the old "Battery club card" and you got one of
a choice of  AA   C  D  or 9 volt battery.

Tandy also used to stock a lot of kind of  OK hifi gear in the
70s and early to mid 80s.

They also had a range of kits which were essentially stripped down
commercial products that you could build. I recall a shortwave radio
bought in 1978 which seemed pretty fancy at the time and, though I
could not build it myself I helped make it and it had a wood case
and looked pretty neat.

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Jaycar do this now, if you buy their catalogue.

Peter

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Real pity if you need more then one for a device  LOL




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put finger to keyboard and composed:

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I suspect that in the not too distant future even stores like Jaycar
and Altronics will either disappear or go the same way as DSE/Tandy.
After all, why bother stocking components if the low cost of a ready
made commercial item renders it uneconomical to repair, or if the item
costs less to manufacture than an equivalent kit?

I envisage a future where the majority of repairs will be done by
backyarders with low overheads, or by retired hobbyists looking for
something to keep them busy. The trend toward smt components and ASICs
will probably kill the kit industry as well.


- Franc Zabkar
--
Please remove one 's' from my address when replying by email.

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If want to see the change from an Electronic store to a consumer/Computer
electronics store just look at TECS.

You once where able to walk into their La Trobe street store and ask for
almost any electrical component, now you get very strange looks of "What are
you talking about?"

Radio Parts is another.

Just shows you how much of a throw away world we now live in!


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Remember, TECS is an abbreviation of their original company name: The
Electronic Components Store..

As early as 1987, TECS started selling non-core electronics products such as
computer parts (bought an 8 bit 64k VGA card and AOC VGA (640x480 max res)
monitor from them, waay back then when I sold them Talking Electronics kits
for the hobbyist market) and it's all been downhill ever since.

    Craig




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OMG someone remembers Talking Electronics...

Cool magazine too but remember those other ones
from the UK like Elektor?




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At $3.40 each their books were terrific value.   Was leafing through one
just the
other day.  Colin's business and life philosophies (which he often wrote
about) were 'interesting'.

DSE had them up to only about 3 years ago.

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There was an Elektor section in one of Roger Harrison's mags (either ETI or
AEM).

It's still available from newsagents.

Peter



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