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RichardUK
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Adafruit buys Radio Shack! 8-o

Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:41 pm

https://twitter.com/adafruit/status/916473322203992064

Don't think it's April the 1st yet???

way cool :)

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DougieLawson
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Re: Adafruit buys Radio Shack! 8-o

Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:46 pm

That's probably a very smart move for Adafruit.

Back in the day Radio Shack (and Tandy UK) were doing the stuff that Adafruit are doing now. Radio Shack have been drifting in a big ocean of new tech for a long time. Tandy UK ended up as Carphone Warehouse.

Radio Shack has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection a couple of time in the last few years.

It'll be interesting to see what Adafruit do with their acquired retail business.
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Re: Adafruit buys Radio Shack! 8-o

Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:10 pm

I can find no confirmation around the net that this headline is what it seems.

I have always wondered how it is possible that RS was going down the tubes in the age of the "Maker movement", when the likes of the Arduino, and the Raspberry Pi were on the rise. There was clearly a lot of people out there who wanted what the the old RS delivered in the days of Forrest Mims and the TRS 80 computer.
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Re: Adafruit buys Radio Shack! 8-o

Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:26 pm

There are a lot of reasons but the most important ones are probably inventory carrying cost in the stores and the shipping cost.

RadioShack could sell products at the same cost as the China sites but since they were based in the U.S. or UK the International Postal Union classified them in the developed countries and they paid the highest international postal rates, while China was classified as an undeveloped country and paid the lowest international postal rates. So if RadioShack charged shipping the customer paid more in total than if they purchased from a China retailer who charged sipping. and if RadioShack offered free sipping their cost was more than a China retailer offering free shipping. The cost for the shipping rate for the developed countries is twice that of the undeveloped countries, so this difference is a a significant factor in the purchasing decision.

RadioShack has most likely dumped all it's retail locations and has been stripped down to warehouse inventory, which might appear to Adafruit to be a bargain for such an inventory. This sale will still need the bankruptcy trustee, bankruptcy court, and debtors approvals before it is a done deal.
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Douglas6
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Re: Adafruit buys Radio Shack! 8-o

Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:31 pm

I have my doubts about this as well. Adafruit has never relied on investors, loans or venture capitalists. Can't see how they could afford RadioShack.

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Re: Adafruit buys Radio Shack! 8-o

Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:53 pm

RadioShack now just a traded name, bears little resemblance to the days of the TRS80 business, apart from nostalgia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RadioShack
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Re: Adafruit buys Radio Shack! 8-o

Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:55 pm

DougieLawson wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:46 pm
That's probably a very smart move for Adafruit.

Back in the day Radio Shack (and Tandy UK) were doing the stuff that Adafruit are doing now. Radio Shack have been drifting in a big ocean of new tech for a long time. Tandy UK ended up as Carphone Warehouse.

Radio Shack has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection a couple of time in the last few years.

It'll be interesting to see what Adafruit do with their acquired retail business.

The NEW post 2012 UK Tandy, just a bought name: http://www.tandyonline.com
The information is out there....you just have to let it in.

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rpdom
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Re: Adafruit buys Radio Shack! 8-o

Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:07 pm

I just remember Tandy as being really expensive for general purpose components compared to somewhere like Maplin (when they did most of their stuff via mail order and a trip to their Westcliff shop was a fun day out for us kids)

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Re: Adafruit buys Radio Shack! 8-o

Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:21 pm

Wow, haven't thought about that in years. I used to love to go to the Maplin's store in Westcliff.

Years later a write up of one of my projects was published in the Maplin Magazine. It was about making white light holograms using the Maplin HeNe laser kit that I had built. Round about 1996/7.
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rpdom
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Re: Adafruit buys Radio Shack! 8-o

Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:48 am

Oooh, I think I read that somewhere!

I had one of those lasers but never managed to do anything really interesting with it. IIRC it was 0.5mW, but still had fairly good beam. I note now that you can get 40000mW (40W) CO2 lasers for about the same price as I originally paid for that one.

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Re: Adafruit buys Radio Shack! 8-o

Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:35 am

It was a different world back then.

The Maplin laser kit cost 100 pounds or so. Which was a lot cheaper than any other HeNe laser you could get at the time.

It was a great kit, easy to build. Worked first time. That 0.5mW beam was bright enough and coherent enough to make holograms easily.

It had the problem that the mains transformer was under rated and tended to overheat. Many of them burned out. As did mine. I never fixed it, just used an external transformer.

Wish I could find a copy of that Maplin Magzine issue with my project write up in it. I managed to lose mine somehow.
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rpdom
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Re: Adafruit buys Radio Shack! 8-o

Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:19 am

Yes, £100 was about what I paid. I maxed out my credit card to get that one (£100 was quite a lot in those days).

I don't remember a mains transformer, but there was a voltage multiplier board which boosted the mains up to around an initial 5KV to get the tube to fire, then maintained something like 750V to keep it running (vaguely remembered figures).

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Re: Adafruit buys Radio Shack! 8-o

Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:32 pm


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Re: Adafruit buys Radio Shack! 8-o

Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:54 pm

gkaiseril wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:26 pm
RadioShack has most likely dumped all it's retail locations and has been stripped down to warehouse inventory
I'd be really surprised if there was any inventory left. The few big electronics surplus places I go to are rancid with old Radio Shack and Dick Smith tat. I think Limor bought the name. Which was very smart: there's a tiny bit of goodwill attached to that. The inventory, not so much. Let's hope the name does better than Heathkit.

Here in Canada, Tandy remained the original leather crafts company, and shut down only a couple of years ago. What remained of Radio Shack became the utterly terrible The Source, a means of selling overpriced Bell mobile plans to passers-by.
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rpdom
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Re: Adafruit buys Radio Shack! 8-o

Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:30 pm

The local Tandy shop here closed down some years ago. It is now a charity shop. The shop next to it is now a Taco Bell.

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Re: Adafruit buys Radio Shack! 8-o

Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:54 pm

bensimmo,

I my God yes. Thank you. I found it there: "Holography, theory and practice", June 1996

http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Arc ... 996-06.pdf

I had seen that site before but they did not have it then.

That submission was not by me but that is my project and the pictures show my Maplin laser and apparatus on my kitchen floor.

Sadly the article does not have pictures of the finished holograms. They were pretty impressive. Viewable in white light. I had the plates, the "author" did not.

Neither did I get any credits in the article or any share of the payment.

Ah, well.
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Re: Adafruit buys Radio Shack! 8-o

Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:17 pm

Heater wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:54 pm
bensimmo,

I my God yes. Thank you. I found it there: "Holography, theory and practice", June 1996

http://www.americanradiohistory.com/Arc ... 996-06.pdf

I had seen that site before but they did not have it then.
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Ronaldlees
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Re: Adafruit buys Radio Shack! 8-o

Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:01 pm

Maybe Adafruit wants to test the waters for physical locations. Do they have any brick and mortar now? Anyway, according to the Wiki, RadioShack has only about 30 company stores that could be in the deal (I'd imagine). The other remaining 400+ stores were licensees and independently operated AFAIK.

So, it's not inconceiveable that an Adafruit company with $40M? revenue might try to put a toe in the water, especially since the corporate stores would tend to be the big ones in big cities. Then - there's the name recognition. We on the forum all know about Adafruit, but the man on the street would have no clue. Even some makers in narrow hobby niches (3d printing, etc) may not know (much) about Adafruit.

Hope it works out.
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Douglas6
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Re: Adafruit buys Radio Shack! 8-o

Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:08 am

On Adafruit's weekly uTube show, Lady Ada and Phil were coy about any RadioShack deal. But several graphics, and the weekly discount code ('radiofruit') made it clear that something is going on.

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Re: Adafruit buys Radio Shack! 8-o

Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:41 pm

Ronaldlees wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:01 pm
Maybe Adafruit wants to test the waters for physical locations. Do they have any brick and mortar now?
Last time I looked, Adafruit explicitly stated that one could NOT pick up orders at their facility (MCM does have that as a option...but I don't live anywhere near Ohio and 2000 mile drive--each way--would be a bit much...). I think Ameridrod has an actual store, so--at least in theory--I could drive to Ukiah to pick stuff up. Not really a viable option at the moment, even if I wanted to, though.

Maybe I'll get real lucky and there'll be an Ada Shack store in the SF Bay Area.

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Re: Adafruit buys Radio Shack! 8-o

Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:53 pm

I'm guessing it's about buying up some or all of of the parts inventory that Radio Shack has from closing stores. They've been trying to sell it off heavily discounted via their website for a couple years (https://www.radioshack.com/). I bought a bunch of stuff from them via the web at very good prices, 70 to 90% discounts off of RS store pricing, beat every other seller of similar items.

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Re: Adafruit buys Radio Shack! 8-o

Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:14 pm

Douglas6 wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:08 am
On Adafruit's weekly uTube show, Lady Ada and Phil were coy about any RadioShack deal. But several graphics, and the weekly discount code ('radiofruit') made it clear that something is going on.
It wasn't exactly subtle in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uPFIifv1tI where Limor is wearing a Radio Shack T-shirt.
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Douglas6
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Re: Adafruit buys Radio Shack! 8-o

Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:17 pm

No, but not exactly informative either.

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