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Something to think about...


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#1 Samiam

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 08:50 AM

The slot car hobby has outlasted Radio Shack.

 

So we got that going for us.


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Sam Levitch
 
When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything is a nail.
Support your local raceway, or you won't have one.
Slot cars are quad-pods.
Support your "Local Racer."
:laugh2:




#2 MSwiss

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 09:36 AM

I've thought about it, and don't see the correlation of comparing longevity of a hobby/activity with a business.


Mike Swiss
 
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990)
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder (pointless era - LOL) 
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#3 Samiam

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 09:45 AM

Radio Shack was a mainstay of do-it-yourselfers and hobbyists.

 

Not a precise scientific correlation. Just an observation. Thought about it when another blogger asked where to get some plugs for a controller. Just a few years ago Radio Shack would have been the answer. 


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Sam Levitch
 
When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything is a nail.
Support your local raceway, or you won't have one.
Slot cars are quad-pods.
Support your "Local Racer."
:laugh2:

#4 Mattb

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 12:58 PM

I do see a connection. For years RS was the place to go for wire, switches, little gizmos, plastic boxes for controller connections, terminal strips, all kinds of  things for the do it your selfer (slot car guys). Also the place to go for any kind of stereo, radio, speaker, or recording devices. Then RS got into the early computer market (probably too early). Then toys and cellphones and the do-it-yourself stuff became a smaller part of their business.   

 

This transition took place over the same time period as kids and adults got more hooked on entertainment from some kind of electric box rather than something they did with their hands. I always say slot car racing, building, and modeling in general has aged with all of us and younger people need instant gratification and do-it-yourself stuff is not important to them like it is to us.

 

How many of you guys 55 or older went to RS and got speaker or coax cable for wiring up your TVs at home? How many guys got some of those plastic work boxes for controller terminal or wiring boxes on their slot track? Even basic RCA plugs back when we all used them?


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Matt Bishop

Vintage Cox Slot Cars

#5 MSwiss

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 01:25 PM

Sorry, but all the stuff Radio Shack sells that a slot racer uses can still be bought, from Fry's or Micro Center, and in the case of Fry's, a much better selection.

 

Regardless, I don't see how a business being run badly, that has a minor connection to slot racing, has to do with a niche hobby surviving.

 

I.E. slot racing is never going out of business.

 

Slot car companies do go out of business, and many have... just like Radio Shack. :wacko2:


Mike Swiss
 
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990)
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder (pointless era - LOL) 
17B West Ogden AveWestmont, IL 60559, ( 708) 203-8003
mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address) 
Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516
Make checks out to Chicagoland Woodworking, Inc.


#6 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 01:53 PM

Solder and TV stuff - Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, or Ace have it... Electronics online - Allied,  Digikey, Mouser, McMaster-Carr, and others.


Larry D. Kelley, MA
retired raceway owner... (for now)
race directing around Chicago-land

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#7 Brinkley47

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 02:03 PM

Radio shack went out of business because of their connection to the wireless industry. The other products they sold made up a very small portion of their overall sales.

They got into wireless thinking they could be a major player. Reality set in and they burnt bridges with the top carriers. Goodbye, Radio Shack.


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#8 Dave Crevie

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 02:21 PM

I believe Will may be correct about RS getting into cell phones, etc. They didn't approach it well. 

 

And Matt is right about hobbyists now not being the builders they were years ago. A few years ago I dropped in on an R/C airplane club I used to fly with, but had dropped out of 25 years ago. There were as many RTF and ARF planes there as the old kit-built standards. Many were electric powered. This fact may also account for die cast models becoming so popular.

 

Somewhere we have lost the sense of accomplishment we once had from creating something.


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#9 gjc2

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 03:44 PM

The correlation is Radio Shack was and slot car raceways are places that rely on “do-it-yourselfers” for customers.

 

“Do-it-yourselfers” are an endangered species. 


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George Cappello

#10 Phil Hackett

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 05:06 PM

I recently had an appliance repairman fix the refrigerator... but I'm about to install a new garbage disposal... so I guess I'm 50/50...
Click HERE to contact Sonic Products. The messenger feature on my Slotblog account has been disabled.

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#11 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 12:17 AM

Many of the RS part numbers can be found in the Allied electronics catalog. Of the current 1,000+ stores, over a dozen are in the Chicago suburbs today.
 
Not fake news.


Larry D. Kelley, MA
retired raceway owner... (for now)
race directing around Chicago-land

USRA 2017 member #404
USSCA  member

Host 2006 ISRA/USA
Great Lakes Slot Car Club member
60+ year pin Racing rail/slot cars in America


#12 Rob Voska

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 06:27 AM

 all the stuff Radio Shack sells, that a slot racer uses, can still be bought, from Fry's or Micro Center, and in the case of Fry's, a much better selection.

 

Mike, when you live in the boonies Radio Shack was all we had. Almost every town over 30K people had one. There are no other options. Now we have nothing. 



#13 Samiam

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 07:42 AM

Where can I go when I need a coax connector for my K-5 CB antenna? 


Sam Levitch
 
When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything is a nail.
Support your local raceway, or you won't have one.
Slot cars are quad-pods.
Support your "Local Racer."
:laugh2:

#14 Mattb

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 07:53 AM

I could always walk in a RS and browse the store and find odds and ends I could use. There was never any other kind of electronics store in my area where this stuff was available. Yes, you can get all of it through the internet, but it's hard to pick up an item and get a close look on the net. You also don't just walk by an aisle of parts and maybe something catches your eye. Definitely browsing is much different on the net than in a brick and mortar.  

 

I do agree that they made some serious mistakes with their business model and plans. The shifting of their core business was a big part, though. How many of us guys built/put together nice stereo systems in the '60s and '70s? How many still have such a system? 1 in 10? How many of us have some type of TV service and no outside antenae or internal wiring? If you have TC wiring in your house, did you do it or the cable/sat company? When is the last time you bought a cassette player and put it in your car?   

 

Just been a lot of change in how things get done and many people now just have somebody else do it for them.   

 

I bet 60% or more of you guys want something, think about needing something and just assume you will make or build what you want.   I bet if you are under 50 that number would fall to about 25%.    

 

So, I don't think you can deny the changing market made RS outdated and the changes needed to be a viable business as the years went by were never made and what was made was wrong.


Matt Bishop

Vintage Cox Slot Cars

#15 slotcarone

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 07:28 PM

Anybody remember Lafayette Electronics?


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#16 Dallas Racer

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:31 PM

I was a guitar player as a kid and all Radio Shack music related merchandise was terrible. Even their 1/4" and XLR connectors were crap. It didn't seem like they had anything that was worth a damn.


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#17 Mike Patterson

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 09:44 PM

Where can I go when I need a coax connector for my K-5 CB antenna?


I know it's mail/internet ordering, but I like Parts Express out of Springboro, OH. Plus, they have print catalogs, a vanishing breed.
 

Anybody remember Lafayette Electronics?


Oh, yes. I have one of their old catalogs somewhere in the archives.

We all need to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer.


#18 Half Fast

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 11:16 PM

Anybody remember Lafayette Electronics?

 
 I bought a big shortwave receiver from Lafayette Radio.
 
There was an Allied Radio as well.
 
Cheers,
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#19 Cheater

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 05:39 AM

My first stereo, built in my college dorm roon, was a Heathkit AR1500 received, at the time one of the best receivers available.

I think it's still kicking around the basement somewhere.

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#20 Bill from NH

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 06:37 AM

I'm a Heathkit guy myself. I gave my receiver & several others away, but still use an ultrasonic cleaner, power supply, & motor speed control built in the 70's.


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#21 Racer36

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 06:55 AM

They had electricity when you were in college, Greg? :laugh2:  :laugh2:  :laugh2:
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#22 Cheater

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 07:02 AM

Yeah, but only from Leyden jars. (Bet you have to look that term up... LOL!)

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#23 Racer36

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 07:42 AM

You got me...
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#24 MSwiss

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 08:18 AM

Yeah, but only from Leyden jars. (Bet you have to look that term up... LOL!)


Before I looked it up, I was right that you usually hear them referenced with Tesla coils.

Leyden Jar Battery for Tesla Coils

Mike Swiss
 
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990)
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder (pointless era - LOL) 
17B West Ogden AveWestmont, IL 60559, ( 708) 203-8003
mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address) 
Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516
Make checks out to Chicagoland Woodworking, Inc.


#25 Cheater

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 08:22 AM

Leyden jars were basically the first workable batteries.

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#26 Mike Patterson

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 09:33 PM

My first stereo, built in my college dorm roon, was a Heathkit AR1500 received, at the time one of the best receivers available.

I think it's still kicking around the basement somewhere.

I remember the AR1500, and yes, it was one of the best receivers at the time. Dig it out. See if it works. If it doesn't, old stuff like that can usually be fixed, and it sounds SO much better than most of the crap for sale to the average person today.

I'm a Heathkit guy myself. I gave my receiver & several others away, but still use an ultrasonic cleaner, power supply, & motor speed control built in the 70's.

I still use my Heathkit TA-16 guitar amp. I built it in the 8th grade, and it was my main amp for 20 years. 

 There was an Allied Radio as well.

Tandy Radio Shack bought out Allied Radio, and things were never the same. However, Allied Electronics still exists. I buy my Ungar elements from them.


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We all need to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer.


#27 Gator Bob

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Posted Yesterday, 02:16 AM

Anybody remember Lafayette Electronics?

 

Yup, Still have my first gen "4 Channel" from 1972... 35w per .. works great.

The speakers and the record/playback 8 track are gone now but were used in my shop in NJ until 2003.

 

A few years later "Crazy Eddies" put the hurt on many consumer electronic retailers in NY/NJ.


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