We seek to understand and document all radio transmissions, legal and otherwise, as part of the radio listening hobby. We do not encourage any radio operations contrary to regulations. Always consult with the appropriate authorities if you have questions concerning what is permissable in your locale.

Author Topic: RadioShack’s Fate Part III: RadioShack Meets the Makers, Again  (Read 2173 times)

Offline ChrisSmolinski

  • Administrator
  • Marconi Class DXer
  • *****
  • Posts: 30368
  • Westminster, MD USA
    • View Profile
    • Black Cat Systems
“Gentlemen, we can rebuild RadioShack. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first bionic retailer. RadioShack will be that store. Better than she was before. Better, stronger, faster.”

The modern maker movement is not just about people who make things; it is about people who repurpose and remix objects using traditional and technological skills. Last year, 100,000 attended the seventh annual national maker event, Maker Faire, and at least that many are expected this year (looks like 120,000 attended).  DIY culture is clearly alive and well, but it has shifted.  Gone are the days where millions of Americans are focused on installing the perfect stereo, using RadioShack for their gold plated connectors and wiring.  Now, tens of thousands of new technology enthusiasts are building their own 3D printers, multi-purpose robots and musical instruments.

RadioShack has never abandoned this group, as you can see at from Shack’s DIY tagged blog postings. It even has a DIY site.   However, RadioShack must do much, MUCH more to become indispensible to this crowd. DIY items are seldom featured in weekly advertisements, nor is there much real infrastructure available to supporting that culture.  Yes, RadioShack sponsors an annual create competition, but it is only in its second year, another piece of evidence of how much catching up is has to do.  And only four of its blog posts feature ‘makerfaire’ as a tag. RadioShack needs its own maker blog, with prolific and charismatic Mr. Jalopy clones as writers...

Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 900 ft Horz skyloop / 500 ft NE beverage / 250 ft V Beam / 58 ft T2FD / 120 ft T2FD / 400 ft south beverage / 43m, 20m, 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop / Discone in a tree

Offline moof

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 223
    • View Profile
    • Email
Check out the map of Maker Faires.  I wish we had something like a maker group nearby.
I about crapped my pants when I saw there was one scheduled at the olde tyme village down the road in a few months.  Maybe meet my first radio freak.  Or old medical device fetishist.  In person.  I think I'll force myself to go.

Offline ff

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 443
  • Upstate NY
    • View Profile
I wish RS the best of luck with their transition plans.  I long ago tired of fighting off rabid salespeople hawking cellphone contracts on my way to the ever-shrinking parts cases way in the back.  I now shop online at places like Jameco and BG Micro, but would welcome their return to being "DIY-er friendly".  As the article mentioned, they can no longer compete with the tsunami wave of Chinese-made consumer knockoffs... so I wish they would stop trying.  They were a really good, cheap way to make things happen back in the day.  I STILL use a few pieces of Radio Shack studio equipment - all of which are at least 15-20 years old!  Hell, Boomer built his Grenade transmitters almost entirely from Radio Shack parts.  I would love to see RS re-adopt their older philosophy.  I would start buying there again.  However, they are gonna need to hire some more technically inclined salespeople than I've seen in there lately - or when you have questions - they'll only have blank stares...
Hailing from the upstate boondocks region of the progressive paradise which once was New York State

Offline jFarley

  • Marconi Class DXer
  • ********
  • Posts: 5922
  • near Chicago
    • View Profile
    • Email
Likewise, best o' luck, RS

I am fortunate to live just a couple of miles from a Fry's Electronics.  Essentially, it's just a bigger Best Buy, but it does have a pretty good parts department - about three long aisles worth.  It's nice to be able to get a CMOS gate or an NTE replacement transistor (my store seems to stock about 40-50% of the NTE line) without having to wait for an order.  They actually have stock of some the common Bud or Hammond enclosures,  which are generally an improvement over the RS cabs that deform in a stiff wind.

They only seem to be in about a dozen states, but are worth a checkout if there's one near you.
Joe Farley, Near Chicago
SDR-IQ / R8 / R7
Remote Resonant Loops for HF and LF / ALA 1530
Active 60" Whip / PA0RDT
QSLS appreciated to:    jfarley44@att.net


  • Guest
I miss Radio Shack :(

They've changed hands twice in .ca, each time becoming more of a really bad clone of Best Buy or Future Shop ::)


Offline sat_dxer

  • DX Legend
  • ******
  • Posts: 2276
    • View Profile
Gordon Gekko:
"because it's wreckable alright"
« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 0358 UTC by sat_dxer »
Most times & frequencies posted are only an approximation.

Offline .

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 33
  • NJ/NY Metro
    • View Profile
I missed the old Shack too. My local store doesn't even carry a pl-259 jumper cable anymore. Parts are scarce.


HFUnderground Mug
HFUnderground Mug
by MitchellTimeDesigns