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Dick Smith?

Discussion in 'Hobby Electronics' started by Ian Macmillan, Aug 30, 2010.

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  1. keithr

    keithr Guest

    I used to love those surplus shops as a kid, my room was full of bits of
    old aeroplanes and WWII army radio gear. The thing that I really wanted
    though was a Lancaster bombsight computer. It was a box full of
    beautiful little motors, shafts, and gears, but they cost 2 quid and my
    parents wouldn't give me the money for one no matter how much I showed
    off :(
     
  2. Don McKenzie

    Don McKenzie Guest

    Australia ended up with the later variant Lincoln bomber in the RAAF just after WWII. I had a ride in one just before
    they scrapped them. So I'll almost bet it was a Lincoln bombsite labeled as a Lancaster. The average Joe didn't know the
    difference. Very fancy for their time. My wage was 3 and a half quid in those days, so two quid was a fair chunk of cash
    for mum and dad to find. :)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avro_Lincoln

    Cheers Don...



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  3. keithr

    keithr Guest

    No this was in the UK, they scrapped several thousand Lancs after the
    war. There was a street in London, Tottenham Court Road that was lined
    with surplus shops. The best was Henrys it was just an empty shop with
    tea chests of stuff scattered around, you just fossicked through and
    took your finds to Mr Henry who made up a price on the spot (subject to
    some bargaining). You never knew what you'd find. Last time I saw the
    place it was a HiFi shop, no where near as interesting.

    I saw one of the two last flying Lancs at a museum in Canada a few years
    ago, they fired it up while we were there and flew it off to the
    beautiful sound of 4 Merlins. If you ever visit Toronto, go down to
    Hamilton on the way to Niagara you won't regret it.
     
  4. Mick DaDik

    Mick DaDik Guest

    You Beat me to it Old Fella....

    I thought I was the only bugger left alive that remebered him and his
    little shop..

    My favourite was the 2n5088 a direct replacement transistor to the BC108
    but in a TO92 case instead of the metal can.. about 1/10 the price.

    I really miss the old Jock Ellis shop.. Used to catch the train in just
    the browse around there.. If I couldnt get what I wanted I would then
    have to go to McGraths to pay a lot more for what I needed.

    RaRa 5x

    =:cool:
     
  5. Don McKenzie

    Don McKenzie Guest

    I was in Tronto (local pronunciation :) ) a couple of years back, didn't realize that had a running Lanc near there. A
    site to behold I'm sure. Long time since I heard 4 Merlins running at once. For me, perhaps 1956-57 I would think.

    Cheers Don...

    =============================




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    These products will reduce in price by 5% every month:
    http://www.dontronics-shop.com/minus-5-every-month.html
     
  6. Don McKenzie

    Don McKenzie Guest

    a few remember him Mick,
    I think if you google "Jock Ellis" and McGraths, mainly in the aus.electronics group, there are a few mentions of them.

    I remember building my first analogue multi-meter out of surplus parts scrounged from Jock. If I recall, I had to go to
    McGraths to get the 1% resistors. :) But Jock had some great gear in those days.

    Cheers Don...



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    Don McKenzie

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    These products will reduce in price by 5% every month:
    http://www.dontronics-shop.com/minus-5-every-month.html
     
  7. Same!

    I used to spend hours at a time in there as a teenager.
    Probably still have some of the parts I bought too.

    Clifford Heath.
     
  8. James

    James Guest

    The Jaycar outlet in Bendigo is probably a better example than an actual
    Jaycar store though. Since opening Peter has always been keen to supply what
    people wanted, and that wasn't, and I assume still isn't, limited to Jaycar
    products. The other key to their success is that they had a clue, unlike the
    mobile phone sales people at DSE. Peter and his son (Brett?) always showed
    interest in local bussiness and hobbyists, sharing their knowledge, and
    listening to others as well, and in developing those relationships got great
    word of mouth exposure.
    I notice also that one of the guys that previously worked at DSE is working
    for him now. His name escapes my memory now, but like the others, he has a
    clue as well. I'm sure they are well aware that electronics knowledge is the
    key to catering to the needs of their customers.

    James
     
  9. Grant

    Grant Guest

    ....
    I think Peter's retired, haven't seen him in the store since it crossed
    the road ;) Brett's there occasionally, and the 'regular' crew are mostly
    okay.
    Dunno, I don't go there often, know the store well enough to go the
    corner where the parts are, and to ask when I can't see them (usually 'cos
    I walked right passed them).

    Dick Smith I last went to because they had a sale of quality blank CDs
    really cheap, plus curiosity. Hard to find sale item, one had to ask,
    I guess that was the idea, some people rather pick something more
    expensive than ask where sale items were hidden?

    Grant.
     
  10. You might be hearing my take on this soon in a documentary on the
    Australian electronics industry:

    http://www.eevblog.com/2010/07/23/canon-5d-mark-ii-hd-video-documentary-
    behind-the-scenes/

    http://www.karlvonmoller.com/blog/2010/07/25/state-of-electronics-the-
    beginning/

    Although my comments were somewhat limited to the questions posed.

    There are many notable people involved in this project, including Tricky
    Dick himself.

    Trailer coming soon.
    I will provide details once it's done.

    Dave.
    www.eevblog.com
     
  11. terryc

    terryc Guest

    It will be what it has been for the last few decades; small run and
    custom jobs, but continuing to shrink as manufacturers face increases
    competition from overseas.

    Is there any company in Australia designing or building
    telecommunications gear now?
    Is all our defence requirements slavishly sourced from the USA military
    complex?
     
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