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Radio Shack?

Discussion in 'General Electronics' started by Paul Bunion, Dec 19, 2006.

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  1. Paul Bunion

    Paul Bunion Guest

    I can't believe the looks I get lately when I want an electronic part
    from Radio Shack. A few weeks ago I wanted a prox switch. The counter on
    my tread mill failed. The spinning magnet on the pulley swithes the prox
    switch to step the counter and timer. I think they thought I was
    building a bomb. The store clerk didn't know what the hell I was talking
    about. Just the other day I walked in and ask to see the muffin fans and
    two clerks jaws dropped to the floor. The didn't have a clue what I was
    talking about; never heard that name before? I can't believe how stupid
    these people are getting.
  2. Nermal

    Nermal Guest

    That's Orlando you should have seen the blank look on the
    persons face when I told him that I was looking for some LEDs!
  3. Karl Uppiano

    Karl Uppiano Guest

    Unfortunately, Radio Shack is scaling back their electronics components. The
    hobby is going the way of ham radio and high-fidelity. Our mall outlet has
    no components anymore. I get all of my stuff from Mouser Electronics now.
  4. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    ....And RS carries them!
  5. Alison

    Alison Guest

    You try going into PC-World and asking for a DB9 female to female gender
    changer. I'm surprised the twat who I asked didn't call the police. Now if
    I'd asked for a big shiny laptop I'm sure they'd have been all over me
    whilst drooling at their mouths and making snorting heavy breathing noises.

    That's the trouble with these places. They're overextending themselves to
    the point where they don't do anything particularly well. Our local grocery
    stores sells 40" LCD televisions and bicycles. And their fruit 'n veg is

  6. There is no such thing. The proper name is DE-9:

    "D" is the connector type.
    "E" is the shell size.
    "9" is the number of positions for pins, no matter how many are

    People ASS U ME that if the 25 pin is a DB connector, so is the 9

    The SVGA monitor most people use has a HDE-15 connector

    "H" is "High Density Connector"
    "D" is the connector type.
    "E" is the shell size.
    "15" is the number of positions for pins, no matter how many are

    Yes, there are idiots selling both of these under the wrong name, but
    if you contact any manufacture or OEM distributor it will show that you
    don't know what you're doing.

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  7. Nermal

    Nermal Guest

    I found then in the store.
  8. Eric Sears

    Eric Sears Guest

    While it sounds like Michael is absolutely correct - I don't think it
    detracts from the point of the original poster, that people working in
    "electronics" stores simply have so little knowledge of "common
    information" today.
    I suspect that the "DB9" referred to above, probably came about
    because it was frequently named as such in electronics articles in
    popular magazines. (Even in "little old NZ" I have only ever heard it
    referred to as a DB9).

    Our equivalent of Radio Shack has been the Dick Smith stores, and 15
    years ago they carried a good range of components. Now they are even
    going out of panel meters and any mains transformer over about 30W!

    I once got a very blank look when I asked about an equivalent for a
    transistor - and I asked the young salesman why they employed him -
    "because he knew something about electronics or because he was a
    salesman?" - He said it was the latter!

    If I go into an electronics shop asking for some "914 diodes" - I
    really expect that any reasonably knowledgeable salesperson should
    know I want a "1N914".
    Its bad enough that they don't know what a "914" is.
    Its worse if they don't know what a diode is.
    If they can only sell me a "part number", I think I'll go back to
    ripping old ones off circuit boards - It'll be quicker!

    Eric Sears.
  9. Alison

    Alison Guest

    I stand corrected. I'll start asking for DE9's with the person I'm having a
    conversation with not having the slightest clue what I'm on about.

    600k thousand hits for DB9. 22k thousand hits for DE9.

    Truly I couldn't give a shit. Sorry.
  10. default

    default Guest

    Yeah, Radio Shaft has been useless for parts for years - computer or
    TV cable they might have. The last time I was in one the only two
    transistors were a 2N3055 in metal and plastic cases
    Sounds like Walmart. mealy texture fruits - or one half of a fruit is
    ripe and the other half, hard. Don't buy anything already in plastic
    since it will be spoiled. Meats are in plastic "jewel boxes"
    hermetically sealed to keep the carbon monoxide in and keeping the
    stuff red.

    I can get eggs, frozen food, canned cat food, and canned milk
    there,nothing else - then stand on line for 20 minutes after taking 5
    minutes to pick the stuff out. grrr.

  11. And you complain when others don't know what you're asking for.
    You're part of the problem if you don't care. Those were designated as
    DE-9 connectors decades before IBM went on the cheap side for a RS-232
    connector. Everyone else was using the DB-25, with a full implementation
    of signals.

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  12. jasen

    jasen Guest

    Do you make the same fuss when someone calls an 8 conductor modular plug

  13. Do you even know what a REAL RJ45 is? The connectors are actually
    8P8C modular plugs and jacks. RJ45 is only one application for that
    configuration, and there are a number of modified 8P8C connectors with
    different keys to prevent them from being used in other jacks. When you
    work in manufacturing or design, you HAVE to make sure that you're
    buying the right parts for the job.

    Here is a hint: RJ means "Registered Jack", which is a telephone
    industry standard for telephone wiring, not computer networking.

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  14. Paul Bunion

    Paul Bunion Guest

    Common types

    * RJ11C/RJ11W: 6P2C, for one telephone line (6P4C with power on
    second pair)
    * RJ14C/RJ14W: 6P4C, for two telephone lines
    * RJ25C/RJ25W: 6P6C, for three telephone lines

    Uncommon types

    * RJ12C/RJ12W: 6P4C, for one telephone line ahead of the key system
    * RJ13C/RJ13W: 6P4C, for one telephone line behind the key system
    * RJ15C: 3-pin weatherproof, for one telephone line
    * RJ18C/RJ18W : 6P6C, for one telephone line with make-busy arrangement
    * RJ61X: 8P8C, for four telephone lines
    * RJ21X: 50-pin miniature ribbon connector, for up to 25 lines
    * RJ2MB: 50-pin miniature ribbon connector, 2-12 telephone lines
    with make-busy
    * RJ31X: 8P8C (although usually only 4C are used), allows an alarm
    system to seize the telephone line to make an outgoing call during an
    alarm. Jack is placed ahead of all other equipment.
    * RJ38X: 8P8C, similar to RJ31X, with continuity circuit
    * RJ41S: 8P8C keyed, for one data line, universal
    * RJ26X: 50-pin miniature ribbon connector, for multiple data lines,
    * RJ27X: 50-pin miniature ribbon connector, for multiple data lines,
    * RJ48S: 8P8C, for four-wire data line (DDS)
    * RJ48C: 8P8C, for four-wire data line (DSX-1)
    * RJ48X: 8P8C with shorting bar, for four-wire data line (DS1)
    * RJ49C: 8P8C, for ISDN BRI via NT1
    * RJ71C: 12 line series connection using 50 pin connector (with
    bridging adapter) ahead of customer equipment. Mostly used for call
    sequencer equipment.
    * RJ45S: 8P2C + keyed, for one data line with programming resistor

    "Unofficial" (incorrect) plug names

    These "RJ" names do not really refer to truly existing FCC RJ types:

    * "RJ9", "RJ10", "RJ22": 4P4C or 4P2C, for telephone handsets. Since
    telephone handsets do not connect directly to the public network, they
    have no Registered Jack code whatsoever.
    * "RJ45": 8P8C, informal designation for T568A/T568B, including
    Ethernet; not the same as the true RJ45/RJ45S
    * "RJ50": 10P10C, for data

    DB connector

    A family of plugs and sockets widely used in communications and computer
    devices. DB connectors come in 9, 15, 25, 37 and 50-pin sizes. The DB
    connector defines the physical structure of the connector, not the
    purpose of each line.

    D-subminiature connectors were invented by ITT Cannon , part of ITT.
    Cannon's part-numbering system uses a D as the prefix for the whole
    series, followed by a letter denoting the shell size (A=15 pin, B=25
    pin, C=37 pin, D=50 pin, E=9 pin), followed by the actual number of
    pins, followed by the gender (M=male, F=female). For example, DB25M
    denotes a D-sub with a 25-pin shell size and 25 male contacts. The pins
    in these connectors are spaced approximately 0.108 inch (2.74 mm) apart
    with the rows spaced 0.112 inch (2.84 mm) apart.

    There are now D-sub connectors which have the original shell sizes, but
    more pins, and the names follow the same pattern. For example, the DE15,
    usually found in VGA cables, has 15 pins in a shell the same size as a
    DE9. The full list of connectors with this pin spacing is: DE15, DA26,
    DB44, DC62, and DD78. Alternatively, following the same confusion
    mentioned above in which all D-sub connectors are called "DB", these
    connectors are often called DB15HD, DB26HD, DB44HD, DC62HD, and DD78HD,
    where the "HD" stands for "high density". They all have 3 rows of pins,
    except the DD78, which has 4.

    A series of D-sub connectors with even denser pins is called "double
    density", and consists of DE19, DA31, DB52, DC79, and DD100. They have 4
    rows of pins.

    There is yet another similar family of connectors that is easy to
    confuse with the D-sub family, but is not part of it. These connectors
    are named like "HD50" and "HD68", and have a D-shaped shell but the
    shell is about half the width of a DB25. They are common in SCSI
  15. AKA "Amphenol Blue Ribbon" family. Its the 50 pin version of what
    people call the "Centronics" connector.

    I was teaching telephone company workers the proper way to install the
    31 and 38 in the mid '70s. They insisted on revering the pairs, so that
    when the line was seized it seized the house phones instead of the CO

    You don't see the contradiction in these poorly written paragraphs?
    First it calls ALL of the connectors "DB", then gives the actual letters
    for the different shell sizes. There are also connector wit coaxial
    inserts that use the same metal shells that were designed by Cannon.


    From: <> (I
    don't agree with all his descriptions, as he is trying to write for the
    lowest common denominator)

    SCSI-I ~ Centronics 50 pin connector, 0.10 inch spacing, with 0.05 inch
    ribbon cable. [CN50], or a DB37 connector.
    SCSI-II ~8 bit data over a Micro D 50 pin, high density (50 mil), 16 bit
    data over a Micro D 68 pin (50 mil) [HD50]
    SCSI-III ~ 8 bit data over a Micro D 50 pin, high density (50 mil), 16
    bit data over a Micro D 68 pin (50 mil) [HD68, HPDB68]. The connector is
    2 rows by 34 pins, spaced on 0.05 inch centers. Also calls out an 80 pin
    connector. The connectors may be shielded or un-shielded (Plastic
    shrouded header).
    SCSI-V ~ uses a VHDCI connector [Very High Density Cable Interconnect];
    28AWG double-shielded twisted-pair cabling, .8mm 68-pin molded
    Embedded SCSI-1, SCSI-2 and Ultra-SCSI may also be found on a 50-pin
    male header, so the cable would be a 50-pin female IDE flat ribbon cable
    [IDC50]. SCSI-1 may also be found on a DB25 connector. Some Apple
    products may have an HDI-30 connector.

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  16. Karl Uppiano

    Karl Uppiano Guest

    Ok, but DB9 is the "common" name for a nine-pin D-shell type connector. I
    used to be an engineer at an electronics manufacturer that used lots of DE-9
    connectors. I suppose we all knew the proper name for it, but I don't recall
    anyone ever calling someone on the carpet for calling it a DB9. Even our
    warehouse manager knew what we were talking about. If I ask for "Kleenex",
    most people know I need facial tissue.

    The problem with sales people at most retailers is that they only know how
    to look in a book. If they don't find "DB9", they (and you) are screwed.
    Perhaps the books should list common names, or do what Google and Wikipedia
    do when there isn't an exact match, and ask "did you mean... DE-9?"

  17. Our stock room only knew the part by the company stock number. The
    computer system listed it under the OEM part number and description,
    which could be found on the BOM for any component, from any build
    level. All subassemblies were in the XXX-XXX format, so anyone that had
    been there a week or more could pull a BOM on a terminal and look up the
    stock number.

    As far as Wickis, they should try to teach the proper names and
    descriptions. I have had Google suggest an alternate name or spelling,
    with a lot more hits, even though I had the right name and spelling.
    Just for fun, do a search for SCSI as "Small computer SERIAL interface"
    and see just how many bad web pages describe a high speed parallel data
    buss as a serial interface. Some are on university servers.

    Tell me the truth. If you had several people applying for a job. One
    knew the proper names of a pile of components spread out on the table,
    wouldn't you think they knew more of what they were doing, and that they
    could be taught new things easier than the vague type who says "Its a
    got a couple thingamajigs, and fourteen doohickeys?"

    Any day you don't learn SOMETHING, was wasted.

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  18. Karl Uppiano

    Karl Uppiano Guest

    Wikipedia is very good about disambiguation. When I did a Wikipedia search
    on "DB9 connector", I got this:

    DB9 or DB-9 may refer to:

    Aston Martin DB9 British sports car.
    DE-9 connector, a common type of D-subminiature electrical connector
    (often mistakenly called DB-9).

    I think that is *exactly* the correct response. That is how salespeople at
    high tech outlets should be trained to respond.
    I'm not a terminology nazi. I would not disqualify a candidate if they
    called a DE-9 a DB9, if on balance, they knew their stuff. They get extra
    points if they say "It's a DE-9, often mistakenly called DB-9".
    I have no problem with that.

  19. They are trained to smile and run the register. Nothing more. Its
    nothing new. I started seeing these problems at electronic distributors
    about 30 years ago. A clerk yelling at me that I didn't know what the
    hell I was talking about, that the part had never been made. When he
    finally shut up I asked him to turn around and "Give me that thing with
    the red label that's on the wall right behind you".

    So you would give preference, if all other things are equal?

    We had 14 differed DE-9 connectors in stock for different products,
    and to service older generations of equipment. We used metal and
    plastic, machine screw, jack screw, and snap lock types. Different body
    depths for different PC boards,

    It was an engineer to order telemetry company with base product
    models that were built to the customer's demanding requirements. We had
    no choice but to teach the employees and purchasing about components.
    We had to watch purchasing, because distributors would try to sub a
    similar part "At a better price", but the part was on the list as a
    qualified component.

    Do you have any idea of the damage to your company's reputation if
    NASA has to return your product for service if it fails on the space
    station, or aboard a shuttle. Even worse: If one of the command
    destruct receivers failed, and a rocket can't be destroyed after it goes
    off course?

    As far as the newsgroups go, more people should say, "Oh, you're
    looking for a ..." and continue to use the proper terminology.

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  20. Karl Uppiano

    Karl Uppiano Guest

    If I had two *identically qualified* candidates (how on earth would I
    determine that?) and one of them called a DE-9 a DB-9 (and I noticed his
    earth-shattering gaffe), I might have to give the nod to the competing
    I agree, *someone's* job involves knowing the right part number, but
    *usually* not everyone's. Even the lead design engineer might tell the
    draftsman "put a right-angle PCB mount male DB9 with screw locks right
    there". The draftsman would discover the mistake when he tried to find the
    part in his OrCad or AutoCad library.
    You don't think they would test the product before placing it in service?
    Acceptance testing should find the problem long before it leaves the plant,
    and certainly before any rocket mistakenly crashes into a suburb. I think
    you're having trouble distinguishing between two hugely different scenarios:

    1. Engineer specifying the wrong part in a life-critical system and then
    everyone failing to catch it in myriad reviews and QA.
    2. Hobbyist walking into Radio Shack and casually using the common name for
    a part.
    I have no problem with that.
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