DIY

RadioShack & The DIY Community: You Talked, We’re Listening

Since 1921, RadioShack has had a large following in the DIY arena – the folks out there who are building cool projects with things like capacitors, transistors, and circuit boards. We have over 1,800 technical parts and pieces currently available in our stores, but we know that’s not enough. We’ve been listening to you, we hear you say that you want more, and our RadioShack team is eager to deliver just that. Watch this quick video from Amy Shineman, Brand Manager, to learn more about what we’re up to.

So, as Amy said in the video, we want to hear from you. Leave a comment below with the top three DIY-focused parts, pieces, or products that you would like to be able to find in a RadioShack store. We’ll compile the results and get to work bringing in the top products to help make your projects bigger and better. We wouldn’t be here without great customers, so we really appreciate you taking the time to comment.

UPDATE: Hey everyone! Thank you all for the generous amount of feedback you have given us. We continue to receive comments daily and we read each and every one of them. All of us are excited to share what we’ve been working on for the past few months, and we hope that you’ll join us in the movement.

Let us introduce: The Great Create http://www.radioshackdiy.com/

UPDATE 2: We’ve now posted the list of Top Ten Suggestions from YOU.

Comments

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638 Comments

  • Wesley K.

    More Sound Tech Equipment.

    Balanced XLR Cords
    1/4 TS and TRS

    are the primary things I would love to see.
    Cheaper Prices.

  • Snake

    I would love to see you guys carry latching 3PDT switches used in Guitar Pedals.
    The store near me has none. I would assume other pedal builders like myself would enjoy seeing them.

  • Tommy

    I went to my local radioshack to get a mosfet for a circuit I’m implementing in my electrical engineering capstone design class. There was only 1 type sold. Luckily it was an N-FET like I needed, but I might have been able to use a P-FET. On top of that, there was only 1 in stock and I needed 3…MOSFETs are kind of a big deal in many circuits so it would be nice to see even 2 types, but preferably a drawer full of different types.

  • l_b

    What ever happened to the 74 series chips? They were the best components in the whole store.

  • Hot Rod

    How about developing a DIY LED light bulb kit that will work in home lighting situations 110/120 v AC and possibly 12 v DC to be used with solar panel assistance. Something that may just require pushing in of the LED’s w/o soldering. Something that would be = to a 60 w bulb but reduce electricity requirements as LED’s would. All for around $10 or so.

  • Randall

    You know, there was a time when I was a kid, that radio shack used to have all these "nifty little doodads" that my dad would buy to fix or upgrade things in his professional recording studio. I used to love going with him, I would look through the catalogs, dreaming about machines.

    Later on, in high school, I went to work for radio shack. That was fun.

    However, when I finally started fixing and repairing things for my own recording studio, all of a sudden, radio shack only sold cell phones and over priced crap. Honestly, I don’t know how you people stayed in business.

    Top 3 things? Resistors, capacitors, and transformers.

  • Randall

    Oh yeah, neutrik connectors. Xlr, trs, ts, etc.

  • Lartomar2002

    i would like to see a HTPC kit that a noob could put together. for that matter how about some noob kits for the most popular items? thanks

  • VirgilGuitar

    Hard to believe you all don’t carry braided wire for grounding use in small electronics and guitars. I called the local Radio Shack here in Tampa, the guy said he had some and when I got there he pulled out this big stiff roll of wire that looked like you could barely use for picture hanging, let alone a small grounding strap. The flexible stuff. It looks like mostly musicians/recording studio people that have commented here thus far – do you actually read these?

  • Flash

    Since the DTV changeover, all of us on the Gulf Coast have lost our emergency TV’s. Sure, you have some battery TV’s but they all run on rechargeable non-replaceable batteries. We need a TV that works off of replaceable batteries! When IKE hit our area, we had no power or water for 9-10 days. If we could pop new batteries in the TV, we’d be back online.

    I use 12 volt car batteries in my house for lights and fans. It’s hot after a hurricane and a fan is worth it’s weight in gold. The TV should also have a 12 volt input jack for that power source.

    Thanks!

    Flash

  • ledojoh

    You may want to get someone to look into the modder community/forums… I ‘mod’ as a hobby and like modding anything and everything i own, but the local radio shack just doesn’t carry the components necessary to do so. I hardly ever go to radio shack to find these parts. But, then, I found out that Fry’s doesn’t carry some and All Electronics doesnt either. But, imagine if Radio Shack did carry all the parts necessary to…. it would be a modder’s trove…. just an idea….

  • Minis

    HIgh quality tiny motors and gears
    Finer gauge wire
    More of the specialty items that are on the website–like switches

  • foxy

    You need to be more accurate with your technical specifications of the electronic components you are selling.
    For example, your Part No: 275-002 – a tactile switch – does not state whether it is a normally closed or normally open contact type. If you are expecting people to go into a store with an ohmmeter, open a package, and check for themselves, then you are going to have a nice mess in a lot of places. I for one would do that rather than purchase it first and go home and check it out – only to probably have to make a trip back to return it if it was not what I was looking for.
    So, GET REAL!!!!!! – Go back to the days when your electronic components were classified properly – you just might sell a lot more than you are…….

  • Michael

    Great to hear RadioShack isn’t slowly forgetting the DIY’er! I was beginning to wonder if a name change to CellularShack was imminent. It does seem to be the largest area in and emphasis of all RadioShack stores now.

    My suggestion would be something I’m fairly certain RadioShack has carried in past, and that is speaker components, (woofers, midranges & tweeters) & crossovers. I occasionally enjoy designing & assembling custom speaker boxes, and it would be convenient to locate the components for them from my local RadioShack.

    Thanks

  • Bill Sandbrink

    It was called Radio Shack for a reason. If you folks would carry amateur radio equipment at competitive prices if even through mail only, you would increase your business by leaps and bounds. The problem you had years ago with sales of Ham equipment was that you limited your inventory to a 10 meter transceiver, a 2 meter mobile and a 2 meter HT. And with that you didn’t even have accessories available! And how about a desk top shortwave receiver? Whats it been, 30 years since you carried a desktop? There is also a lot of digital communications on amateur radio using dongles and computer supported equipment. There are more than twice as many licensed hams today as there were 20 years ago. The market is wide open. So if you contracted with the manufacturers of amateur equipment, you would certainly be able to out sell the 15 or so amateur radio retailers, as you would be able to make larger purchase contracts that would be at lower prices to you and sell at lower prices at all your retail locations and on the internet. You folks need to grow or you are just going to be a little cellphone kiosk in all the malls. And that is truly a shame.

  • Ki6FHX

    I would love to see micro-controller kits (especially ones that support Microsoft .NET Micro-framework that can be programmed using C# and free Visual Studio Express) as well as more robotic parts.

    Large assortment of 74 series (or 4000) chips would be a huge plus.

  • Don

    4000 series cmos digital logic in dip package. These parts are easy to use and pretty flexible e.g. with respect to power supply voltage. Maybe sell a pack of assorted parts if you want to limit the number of SKUs.

    Also consider Arduino boards.

  • Anthony

    It would be great to have a one stop place to learn about and buy sustainable energy products like wind and solar. Apparently solar panels will roll up like carpeting in a few years– perfect for DIY. I’d love to be able to design my own system, save money, and buy locally. Just hire the electrician to make the final connection to the house.

  • Blackplates

    There is one LARGE(and rapidly growing) community of electronics DIY’ers which Radio Shack seems to have completely ignored, the VACUUM TUBE audio community. This is unfortunate for Radio Shack and the Tube audio community. This group of HI-FI and musical instrument – amplifier hobbyists and proffesionals spend HUNDREDS of millions of dollars per year on Vacuum Tubes, Plate-Fillament transformers, Capacitors, resistors, solder, Wire, tools, and so on, and on, and on. I myself have been to radio shack to buy solder, and browsed the scant component drawers, and having NOT FOUND, the parts i needed, left with my 6 dollar purchase of solder and went home to order several hundreds of dollars of Sprauge and Mallory electrolytic capacitors and carbon composition resistors online. Please take notice of the tube audio community.

  • Norbu

    All I need to hear is radio shack reward card points for every thing you spent on radio shack tools
    Thank you

  • mark trissel

    years ago you sold do it yourself security systems. the crime is rising and i would like to put in my own system that i dont have to pay a monthly fee . just alarms that sound off. you have a few items but not the right stuff . easy to install window and door alarms that are wireless that detects glass breakage and loud noises. I think the alarm companies bought the companies that make this stuff and stopped so you have to buy there stuff.

  • Kevin Bell

    Start being the Radio Shack that you were. Radio Shack lost it’s way somewheres about 15 years ago or so
    when it started selling the same name brands that everyone else carried. The thing was Radio Shack carried them and charged more for them, how does that business model work whenever Best Buy outprices you? Get back to basics fo what Radio Shack is and that is Do it yourself but also bring back the classic names and lines you carried for most of your "successfull" years. Another thing that annoys the daylights out of me is being attacked like a dog as soon as I walk into the store. Everyone hates cheap used car salesmen and the radio shack employees of late act just like ugly cheap suited used car salesmen. Leave us alone! Let us shop in peace and we may just purchase something. If someone hounds me my response is to turn around, leave, and take my money somewhere else. Radio Shack also needs to quit being just another cell phone store, that also drives me nuts. Also quit trying to run from your roots by calling it "The Shack". You seem intent on deleting "radio’ from your name. My recent visit to a Radio Shack store was dismal. It seemed they sold nothing but celll phones and electronics that Best Buy already has that are cheaper in price than radio shack. I was also hounded so I turned around and walked out. I haven’t been back. I was a big radio shack customer for many years but I refuse to return until Radio Shack starts being the Radio Shack it was. You can’t even find a decent house antenna at Radio Shack any longer. What good is it? If you can’t be the company you were then you deserve to go away just like other unsuccessful companies.

  • waferhead

    You should consider carrying Paladin ratcheting crimpers and all the replaceable die— at least in the catalog, preferably the universal main body and the most common die in the stores.

    There are nice professional quality tools and very reasonably priced.
    http://www.paladin-tools.com/view_category.php?id=136

    No relation with Paladin, just a satisfied customer.

    Kudos on the ‘shack getting back to its roots.

  • rocknrun

    Years ago you carried some neat little kits called P Box kits….they introduced thousands of kids into electronics. Would like to see something like that come back.

  • Josh

    When I was younger, my father and grandfather were heavy into HAM radio. We would make a trip to RadioShack every weekend to get the next pieces they needed for their linear amps, or a piece missing from the HeathKit package they just got, or whatever it was. When I grew up and started going there myself and needed pieces and parts, I was SOL. Only thing they sold even closely related to HAM was some RG-8X with PL-259’s and they don’t even sell that now. As a current student in electrical engineering, one of my personal research projects is long distance WiFi connections. I needed LMR-400 or at the very LAST RG-58 or some type of low-loss cable, N-connectors, RP-SMA, RP-TNC and MC connectors to make it all happen. I went to RadioShack to stock up, and they had nothing of the sort. Not even the cable I needed. It used to be the geek store for all the little doodads and components anyone would need. Now, you only carry one size of Copper PCB. Come on! Get back into the old RadioShack with all the stuff no one else has. Instead, I have to buy my parts and pieces from L-Com, DigiKey and shady eBay sellers.

  • ABCOM

    Radio Shack might consider including simple electronic projects in their mailers, and in store ads. Basic, easy to build gadgets aimed at sparking an interest in electronics as a hobby.

  • Rene LeBlanc

    I think Radio Shack should be the "Go To Place" for wireless technology. I have found very little support for wireless devices in ANY "brick and mortar" retail stores. I needed a wireless remote thermostat. I had to seek it out and buy it online. I needed a set of smoke detectors that wirelessly network together so when one detects smoke in a location out of ear shot, it triggers an alarm in other detectors where I can hear them. I had to go online for this. I have had several light switches whose location I want to change. I’m looking for a switch replacement that has a wireless connection to a new switch that I can locate in a more convenient place. Home Depot doesn’t sell these. Ace Hardware doesn’t sell these. Sears doesn’t sell these. I haven’t even found exactly what I need for this online. There is a market here that Radio Shack could serve, and you would have almost no competition.

  • ycs

    Radio Shack SHOULD HAVE the replacement tips for their Dual-Heat Soldering Gun with Light, Model: 64-2187 | Catalog #: 64-2187!!!!!!!!! Currently, Radio Shack does NOT carry the replacement tips for this heavy duty soldering gun either in store or online!!!! That’s rediculous!!!!! We used up the tips that came with the soldering gun that we bought from Radio Shack a while back and recently searched for the replacement tips at radioshack.com and at the local Radio Shack store, but could NOT FIND THEM!

  • wally

    more robotic products and better selection of security systems

  • Kenny

    In fifth grade i won first place in science fare by doing one of the educational kits from radio shack. Just recently I took my 10 year old daughter in to look at kits and was very disapointed with the lack of them. But the salesperson did offer to sell me a new cell phone for her! Oh and batteries for the project we didn’t get to purchase!

  • edwin Rivera

    I have been shopping at Radio Shack since 1979. Have a Radio Shack credit card since 1987. Some times you find great things on sale but most of the times are items that nobody wants. They also sell used on shelf items. And one thing that I dislike and thats that they want to buy back your used electronics for pennies. I think that is insulting. I have not shop there in a while because I have been buying at other places that sell better quality items.

  • John

    camors, cumpters, sound speakers and electic fix-it-kits

  • boinger

    I would like to see RadioShack carry some of the modules from sparkfun or pololu or similar Shack developed modules. The modules from Parallex were a good start. In particular I think the Sparkfun’s EasyDriver or Pololu’s A4983 stepper controller would be a nice product. Other product ideas would be an Arduino type board and more sensors on breakout boards.

  • Mr.J-4

    Well my local radioshack is not even the right store to buy my electronic components because every time I go,they don’t have anything I’m looking for…the employees tel me "oh come back next week,we are going to have them for sure"…so this is what happens,I go till the next week,and nothing…they just get on my nerves…so could you please fix that???…if you want to what store I’m talking about,is the one in Huntington Park…the one one Florence Av. And Santa Fe I guess….

  • Danak

    I’ve recently gotten the Arduino bug. You probably have enough of a following to fabricate and sell a good clone and sell for $15 or so. Then carry some sensors and other simple input/output devices. It would revolutionize school science fairs and get kids interested in computer programming and electronics.

  • vin

    You need headphone adaptors for cell phones.Ones with charger port is this also headphones.

  • jooberdoober

    Laptop repair parts, such as replacement power jacks etc.

  • Jared (AC7WH)

    I am an amateur/ham radio operator and know a considerable number of other ham radio operators. Additionally, there are approximately 700,000 licensed ham radio operators in the United States according to the FCC. Therefore I believe it would be a tremendous benefit both to Radio Shack and to it’s customers if ham radios are brought back to the Shack.

    The following are my top three suggestions:

    1. Entry-level VHF handheld transceivers (also known as "handy talkies")

    2. Mobile VHF transceivers (the kind typically installed in vehicles)

    3. Base station HF multiple-band transceivers (for use primarily at home for shortwave communications)

  • bpstation

    I would love to see more security system products. I created a security system for my business and operate it myself. It’s all radioshack stores can do to find me a subquality camera let alone the cameras I would like or need at a fair price.

  • michi

    PLEASE, PLEASE carry ham radio gear again. With the natural disasters happening around the country, getting people back into this stuff is going to be easy.

    Also, those learning kits that got kids into electronics and engineering in the first place. (I know they did for me.)

    I love the fact that you guys are going back into the DIY scene. Please don’t give up on it.

  • Pete

    I would like you guys to hire people who actually know about the products they sell. When I have to explain what an LED or a resistor looks like to the salesperson, its an insult to a store that caters to the "DIY" community.

  • toysldr1

    indivudual speakers/boxes, etc. I used to build my own stuff all the time from my local radio shack, and recently discovered that is no longer an option

  • Doug

    So excited about your plans to have more for do it yourselfers! Last time I was looking for a 12v to 9v voltage regulator at the Polk st store and it was not avail or out of stock. I’ve probably spent $300 on various switches, LEDs, power connectors, etc. over the last year and look forward to more.

  • goingnomad

    1. DIY Solar Kits for the Home
    2. DIY DTV Antennas for the Home
    3. Power Invertors, Hi-Capacity Batteries, etc. for DIY Solar Kits

  • Marc

    How about some employees that actually know something about components.
    Every time I walk in the door to get some caps or resistors which are simple. The employee always asks "Can I help you find something today?"

    I continue to tell them what I need and all they do it direct me to the parts bins. And actually saying to me "You go right ahead because I know nothing about anything in there just where stuff goes when it comes in via the part number."

    I mean really…….

    Its not just my local store. It happens everytime at any store I go into. We have 2 of them in town. Then 10 stores in the next town over.

    I tried to get a job there since I could offer support for the component parts. But low and behold I never got a call back and the managers just avoid me.

    Anyone else with me on this one?

    I have been ordering online through other suppliers even though there is no customer service that way. But rather than always hearing the same story every time I enter a store its just more conversant.

  • sixsivsvn

    I’m (normally) an audio guy. I know it’s well over three devices, but they only make three categories
    More analog ICs
    e.g. TL054, TL074, NE5532 (high quality op amps,) LM565, LM566 (FM ICs), TDA1554, TDA7375, LM3886 (big power amp ICs)
    Didital ICs – perferably CMOS 4000 series and a couple other slike MAX232 (RS232 to TTL converter) and some DAC/ADCss.
    High Power stufff like (especially) bigger transformers – 300VA would be wonderful. TO-3 mounting kits/heatsinks.

  • don p

    arduino / other micro procesor

  • mark

    I would sure like to see more in the way of solar energy kits,parts and pieces for a man to construct his own panels

  • sixsivsvn

    I’m (normally) an audio guy. I know it’s well over three devices, but they only make three categories
    More analog ICs
    e.g. TL054, TL074, NE5532 (high quality op amps,) LM565, LM566 (FM ICs), TDA1554, TDA7375, LM3886 (big power amp ICs)
    Didital ICs – perferably CMOS 4000 series and a couple other slike MAX232 (RS232 to TTL converter) and some DAC/ADCss.
    High Power stufff like (especially) bigger transformers – 300VA would be wonderful. TO-3 mounting kits/heatsinks.

  • Paul

    Please put the Radio back in the Shack. I have a dozen places in town to get a cell phone, TV, or computer. I need a place in town to get HAM radios, electronic parts and wire.

    Radio Shack went down hill the same time as you stopped printing your catalogs. Your website is imposable to navigate and find things.

    My first Short Wave radio was from Radio Shack. My first Ham radio was from Radio Shack. My first Scanner radio was from Radio Shack and my first Weather alert radio was from Radio Shack. It has been over 15 years since I bought a radio at Radio Shack and years since I went into Radio Shack and you had a DIY part I needed in stock.

  • hek8981

    5 PIN 180 deg DIN jacks. Like a midi port
    Slide or push-button/spring loaded potentiometers. All you have are radial ones
    Longer, flatter project boxes. 0.5inH by 3inW by 3inL, for example

  • Zack ( sales guy at a shack ) @hiimzackjones

    Serious turn for the best shackonians. The DIY community is growing at a tremendous rate. Just yesterday a 12 year old fella inquired about the techie gold in the parts drawer. Something about accelerometer and micro controllers and skateboards. I mean take a gander at the comments below. ( no seriously look ) Those don’t look like comments you would see on a best buy blog now do they?!

    Here’s a story

    Customer: " so what cool stuff you guys unboxing today? "
    Me: " well we got some more basic stamp stuff in!"
    Customer: " … So … Is that like… A phone case??"

    …. Fix that. Yes we sell phones and really cool stuffs to make your phone beastmode, but seriously dude we have enough stuff here to make your own cell phone…. Really.

    I’ve been sayin for years that the shack should sell make magazine for serious. If not at least make a shackzine. Projects, interviews, new item reviews, tech geekdom.

    FEED US GEEKOPIANS.

    Oh and shack talk should be a YouTube channel. #REALTALK.

  • Squirrel

    @all of you complaining about the shift in radioshack away from DIY-friendly stuff
    If the hadn’t done the cellular move, they would probably not be here at all. Now that they have pretty much established themselves as a cellular entity, and as such solidified their base there, they can hopefully start branching back into the DIY community.

    I like my Aoyue 937+ Soldering Station. I got one in January, and haven’t had any real issues with it yet (probably soldered over a thousand parts, at least 3000-5000 pads/pins). They’re fairly cheap ($50 for the 936 – $70 for the 937+) online, which means that you could probably be able to hit $70-$100. At those prices, I’d probably be willing to bite on buying it locally (a supply of matching tips would also help too). I would say that they’re only slightly lower quality than the WESD51, Temperature-controlled soldering stations really are godsend.

    Oh, and really fine electronics solder would be nice (because doing point-to-point soldering on a TQFP100 package with solder that’s twice as wide as the pins is really no fun).

    You should have a part of employee training be the construction of a simple circuit (breadboard an audio amp using an LM386 (pretty sure thats the right number) amp and its supporting parts, all of which can be found in your store), along with a description of each part. It wouldn’t help much, but it’d be a start

  • Zack ( sales guy at a shack ) @hiimzackjones

    Oh and … Ahem…. pardon my French ( Italian ) but …

    ARDUINOOOOOOO
    ARRRRDDUINOOO
    ARRRDUUUUUINO

    …. Get it?

  • Radioman375

    I have been a customer of radioshack since it was tandy co.I stopped going in your stores about 8 years ago when u stopped selling components I needed for ham/cb radio you know the stuff that made your company what it is today.It appears your marketing doesn’t keep up with radio technology now and seen it is more abundent than ever.Now I must buy everything online and dont get what I need most of time.I believe you should change you name to Cellphone shack.Because you sure have nothing to do with radio anymore.

  • Mark

    Definitely more audio equipment. Just wanted to say this is the step in the right direction for the future of Radioshack. The DIY is small and you’re probably not going to be raking in big bucks selling resistors but there’s no way you can compete against people like Best Buy when it comes to smart phone department. Putting your focus back on the DIY community is the smartest move. If more people knew that all they needed was a trip to radioshack for a soldering iron and a headphone jack to repair their iphone.. there’s no doubt most people will take the risk instead of shelling out 1000 dollars for a 1 dollar repair. good job

  • AlDee

    [quote]Start being the Radio Shack that you were. Radio Shack lost it’s way somewheres about 15 years ago…….Get back to basics fo what Radio Shack is and that is Do it yourself but also bring back the classic names and lines you carried for most of your "successfull" years. Another thing that annoys the daylights out of me is being attacked like a dog as soon as I walk into the store. Everyone hates cheap used car salesmen and the radio shack employees of late act just like ugly cheap suited used car salesmen. Leave us alone! Let us shop in peace and we may just purchase something. If someone hounds me my response is to turn around, leave, and take my money somewhere else. Radio Shack also needs to quit being just another cell ……..My recent visit to a Radio Shack store was dismal. It seemed they sold nothing but celll phones and electronics that Best Buy already has that are cheaper in price than radio shack. I was also hounded so I turned around and walked out. I haven’t been back. I was a big radio shack customer for many years but I refuse to return until Radio Shack starts being the Radio Shack it was. [/quote]

    I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been so disappointed over the years to see the main section of the store reduced to a small section of drawers. I feel like Radio Shack is making DIYers like me less and less welcome. Bring back more of the stuff that made you famous. There aren’t too many competitors covering this Niche, so I’m surprised that you don’t do more to take advantage of this market. I find, almost with every visit, there is less and less of the stuff I need, electronic components, prototyping supplies, enclosures, tools, etc.

  • bastardbus

    I am into building vintage guitar amp, hi-fi and radios. There is a HUGE interest in this now and most of us have to buy our capacitors, resistors and other such components online. Radio Shack does carry a very limited range of these things now but a far more wide range of these parts in the past. I know all of us have to buy these items online now and it can be a PIA to order and ship $2 worth of resistors you need today and it costs you $8.95 in shipping. I think RS would be doing itself a GREAT favor to carry a far more wide range of these parts once again. Most values they carry now are useless in radio-hi-fi restoration and the ever popular guitar amp building. Do yourselves and us a favor and look into carrying a wider spectrum of these parts and values that fit our needs. You will be the only store in town that we can go to and I gurantee it would be worth the effort in business increases.

    T

  • Nervous Wreck

    You need base antennas for your cb radio line. You need to add the new Cobra LX LCD model, the most advanced am cb in the world!

  • Doug

    1. Need little aluminum mini-boxes.
    2. Need chassis mount (female) 3.5mm stereo jacks
    3. Need FR4 or G10 double sided plated .062" thick, sensitized
    4. Need developer and etchant for number 3.
    5. Need printed catalog, like in the old days!

  • Dennis

    Solar and wind power are hot. Snap together experimenter kits are kiddie toys. Why not go back to the spring or fahnestock clip connector type. Do you realize how much these vintage sets are going for these days? It allows for true experimentation which is totally lacking in the pre-laid out junk available today. I know many of today’s engineers that got their start in electronics using an old 100 in one kit. I have used my Lafayette kit Circa 1963 kit as a bread board for many projects. And then you have a Communications and Ham radio section which has no items of interest to Ham or Amateur radio enthusiasts. Sad so very sad. Data communications is getting hot too. I believe if you widen your vision for the future the future will be brighter for the shack. Cell phones and MP3′ are available anywhere. You are a niche market store, and need to cater to that market. With gas prices going through the roof and shipping prices following that trend, you need to fill the need of the shopper that would rather spend their limited hobby dollars on tangibles rather then shipping.

  • John KB2VVO

    Most of the Ham gear is gone ,WHY????

  • Johnny

    What ever happened to the replacement speakers you used to carry? Life was so much easier when you could go to the local Radio Shack to pick up speakers to replace worn out woofers and tweeters, and even crossovers. Take me back to the days when Radio Shack used to be a store for the do-it-yourselfer…! America used to be a country of great fixers and creaters… Let’s get back to those days because there are so many brilliant people across the U.S.

  • Tom

    You shoould add products that enhance sound from Pc’s,
    2- Improve speed in your PC
    3- Cable conversions or terminas taht will allow diferent conections needs.
    4-Video projectors

  • deepthinker

    I was surprised to find RS no longer carries germanium diodes. (1N34 etc) I am a geezer (62) starting to re-live some of my youth by experimenting with the crystal set. Online you will see there are some incredible rigs that people have created. (see http://crystalradio.us/crystalradios/2010-1.htm#tuggle) RS could offer some write-ups on hobby sets like this using RS available parts. Also, RS DOES sell (quite cheaply!!) silicon diodes. Many writers say not to use them for crystal radios but they will work just fine with a bias voltage applied from a single AA battery controlled by a potentiometer– a single page handout about how to implement them properly might help you sell some to hobbyists. (In my opinion, a properly biased silicon diode sounds better than a naked germanium diode which is frequently recommended)

    One standard part from that era was the high impedance headphone. The cheap piezoelectric earplugs were very useful (no longer carried by RS) also the high impedance magnetic sets were used. Alternatively, you could offer a modern low impedance headset, coupled with parts/mini-amp, to simulate the old headsets used by experimenters by presenting a high impedance load to the experimental circuit.

    A hobby kit that might be cheap to develop and fun to play with would be a shortwave converter. This would only need 2 transistors and a handful of parts to allow the user to receive short wave on a conventional am radio by converting the signal to a regular broadcast band frequency.

  • Yolanda/Lhany

    I would like to order Ipod that I can use if I want to play pieces of songs with notes in keyboard or piano.

  • Steve Wagner

    Radio Shack has lost more and more business from myself and friends over the years by stocking less and less component parts.

    As a child, I purchased various components to build my first stereo system. Much to the chagrin of my Mother who lost the use of her 45 RPM record player. I remember it very clearly, the grey and pink plastic parts, carefully removed and thrown away until FINALLY! the circuit boards…

    Maybe I’m an old timer, but by Radio Shack not selling components to younger folks, thereby supporting an educational hobby, I feel the Tandy Corp. is, in a way, contributing to some of the terrible things Kids are getting into these days.

    Just my 2 cents….

    Steve Wagner

  • Mark

    Two thing I cosider essentials for their particular qualities and actually difficult to find.. 1-"Wonder Solder" and 2-Liquid (Brush On) Flux. Try to include them as part of your offerings and they’ll sell faster than hotcakes.

  • gwix

    I see a lot of comments about some of the more frequently talked about items in the DIY/Maker community, such as Arduino, and that’s great, but you really want to stimulate the experimenters innovation by offering even more. How about:

    – A/D conversion chipsets, and even evaluation kits such as TI and AnalogDevices.
    – DSP controller evaluation kits – from Microchip (dsPIC), TI (320c28xx), etc
    – CPLD, FPGA eval kits – Altera, Xilinx

    DIYers can get locked into the "if all I have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail" perspective. Arduinos and related items are great, but there’s a lot more.

    Be innovative – a lot of big companies, including TI, Altera, Xilinx are getting themselves into a rut, and it may well take the Makers, the DIYers to get them out of the rut and realize that the spirit of innovation is right here and the Shack be leading the effort.

  • Modder1

    A tool to cut perf boards.
    Perf boards sized to fit the project boxes you sell.

  • Mark/shozbot

    I am 60 and I got started in electronics when I was around 12, I bought everything I needed at Radio shack to build a project out of one of the electronic magazines. Kids would do the same thing now but the local Radio Shack store doesn’t carry much if any components at all any more. If you want a cell phone they have them by the dozens and that counts for about half of the stores inventory any more. If a kid has to order the components to build a project there is a good chance that he/she will lose enterest and go play the video game instead of getting some electronic education and it’s just not kids that love to build projects, now I am not talking about throughn together kits that flash a few lights and ends up in the next yard sale because they don’t have near the pride in as they would for a project they built from scratch. Sure Radio Shack is not going to make the big money on small electronic components as they would on cell phones, but they would be contributing to a kids education which Radio Shack can take real pride in.

    I could go on and on about kids and electronics but you get the ideal I am trying to get across.

    Thanks for your time,

    Mark/shozbot

  • RonK

    Wow, Sounds like people want you to go back to your roots. Maybe your execs better LISTEN.

  • Toby

    You guys should sell low price top quality desktop computers in all price ranges 400 to 1200 dollars, with discount pricing, equals more sales $$$$$$. I like shopping Radio Shack but you guys should carry more desktop computers. People are going to go elsewhere to buy televisions.

  • RonK

    I am an old HEATHKIT TECHNICIAN. Remember them?

    Well I would like to see RadioShack go back to carrying Capacitors, tubes, Zener diodes, Guitar Box stomp switches, speakers, Wire, cable, Weller Soldering Irons, KLEIN AMERICAN MADE TOOLS.

    You guys used to be a hardware store for Techies and have turned into another junk electronics dealer. LOVE you amplifiers – I own lots of them – the power amps. How about Amateur Radio Equipment, DECENT test equipment, METER FACED METERS. Go back to your roots, keep the cell phones if you want, but start looking at the techie crowd.

  • RonK

    7400 series chips, tubes, caps, Fets, NPN / PNP trans of varying power, voltage regulators, zener diodes, guitar stomp box switches of GOOD QUALITY, metal cased 1/4" phone plugs, Sanke cables for audio.

  • Toby

    You guys should sell more high end products like desktops and computer speakers, ipods, more expensive items along with less expensive items. more to choose from; stack the shelves with lots of products and cheap prices.

  • Michael Hofer

    It’s about time! RS has too long tried to be "The Sharper Image", forcing us to wait for online shipments of parts and other items. I’m a customer from the pre-tandy days, when it was a sub of Allied.

    items suggested? more Parts: make every store an "eight drawer" parts store. Get the Mimms books back. Stock the ARRL’s "Get your license" manuals.

    Host a monthly "how to do it" session using your experienced customers if your staff can’t. GET THE YOUNG MAKERS INTO THE STORE!!

  • Aud1073cH

    Only three? I’m sure I could fill this form.

    One: I’d like to see correct parts for DIY wifi antennas. I know you already carry SMA connectors, but wireless network stuff uses RP-SMA connectors (reverse polarity) -also, add RP-TNC to mate with linksys stuff. We’ll need some 2.4GHz 5GHz capable coax cable to work with too.

    Two: More IC’s seems the only thing you carry right now is 386 amps and 555 timers. How about a wider range of 4000 series CMOS and other amplifiers, logic, audio, etc.

    Three: Quality/Variety. I’m going to use my third wish to request that you improve quality and variety of your DIY offerings. Quality: I also would like some more sturdy components (small push button switches and project enclosures.) and how about some name brand audio connectors. Variety: Seems like I find every switch, pot, or voltage regulator except for the value I need. you also have three different tubes of thermal paste -but no thermal adhesive or thermal tape. You’ve also got logarithmic (audio) and linear pots, but good luck finding a reverse log!

    P.S. : Above, in this page you state "We’ll compile the results and get to work bringing in the top products to help make your projects bigger and better. " Don’t you know that bigger isn’t where DIY tech is going? Everything else is getting smaller….cell phones, computers, …DIY is also going smaller. I"d like to find a smaller project box than 2x3x1in. , Some are even doing SMD. (I’m not yet, but some are.)

  • Andrew Magin

    I think radio shack is missing all of the ham radio equipment they use to sell. I would really like to see a 10 meter radio brought back to radio shack.

  • Lou_c

    Top 3 items I would like to see:

    1) Your DIY PCB etching kit again. You used to carry a small kit that allowed you the etch your own printed circuit boards
    2) A selection of ferrite and iron powder used to make inductors and transformers, both toriods and rod style, and in various sizes
    3) Amateur Radio Equipment

  • Wcarrothers

    Bring back the bulk parts discount!!!!

    I used to be able to order 50 of a given part button switch etc in the store, have it mailed to my home. It was great but taken away some time ago. So now back to visiting several stores when I need parts at they typically only have few of a given switch or button in the store at a given time. I have asked stores to over order a given part from time to time and I pickup the bulk that way. But the bulk order was far better.

    B.

  • Brad C.

    I would like to see wire & cable sold by the foot again. More relays and long shrink tube.

  • Rick

    My hobby is restoring old tube radios. While Radio Shack has electrolytic capacitors, they are rated at voltages lower than the old radios require. (The highest you have are rated at 63 volts.) I buy these on line but would rather save the shipping and buy them locally. I would like you to provide the following capacitors:
    22 mfd 450 volt
    33 mfd 450 volt
    47 mfd 450 volt

    Thanks

  • OICU8IT2

    I’m a little bit older then most. When I was in my twenties Radio shack, Zenith / Heath kits were some of the ways for people who were interested in learning electronics to be able to accomplish that. I grew disappointed over the years, because of where i lived electronic parts were not readily accessible and Radio Shack filled that need for the most part. Then as consumer electronics grew, Radio Shack strayed away from the hobbyist / student electronic needs. So i will be happy to see how far this will go. Hope fully we will again be able purchase items locally / on stock instead of on-line.

  • n8las

    Vvery [b][/b][i][/i]Very funny, you can not scroll to the left to start your comment.

  • Big Jim T

    I am a scanner enthuisit, love listening at fire, police, ambulance, Public Service. While Radio Shack carries a great line of scanners, with trunking they become difficult to program and take much time. Our Radio Shack will put in a few local frequencies , which is a teaser of a product you must order from outside Radio Shack. I would like to see the option of having all local frequencies loaded in store, at a reasonable fee. NOTE: Those scanners that come with preloaded frequencies are usually outdated, or does not work in the local area’s unless you attend Nascar, they are great for that.
    Too much emphasis in most of the Radio Shacks are Cellular. While that is okay, it takes too long for the salesman to take care of that type of sale while you wait in line. Last time I went I found what I needed, stood at the check out line over 45 minutes, and my presence was not even acknowledged, let a long being asked if I needed help. I left the merchandise on the counter, and left the building… I won’t say I won’t return, but something should be done

  • Joe D

    Would be really convenient if you had LED’s and other products that would be used by other DIY’ers, seen at this site;
    http://www.ngineering.com/lightng.htm

    Seems the only way to get some of these components is by mail order, which always has shipping charges. But when you want these products right away, there is no choice. It would be nice if "The Shack" carried at least these very small/micro LED’s.
    Joe D

  • Al

    Radio Shack’s solder irons completely suck. I’ve wasted money on them several times hoping I could at least get parts for my other RS irons. There are no tips available in store or online for the dual heat iron. Now I have a solder stand, an LED and a toggle switch that I can use once I salvage that particular iron.

    If you want to cater to DIYers, work on your quality and assortment of tools and components.

    Look to Make Magazine for hints on what quality tools look like.

    Also, you could offer some kind of fume evacuation system that doesn’t cost hundreds of dollars.

    One other useless tool that I bought from RS is the helping hands (solder clamp system)

    Lack of quality is the number one reason I don’t prefer to shop at RS.

  • Jorge

    You are selling the same products everybodyelse in town,just interested in selling cellular phones,missing radios,recorders,amplifiers,kits,gatgets,parts and an army of morons as associates,Its a shame that a good company is going down the toilet.Good luck.

  • Jason

    I would suggest carrying a line of programmable micro controllers such as the Arduino. They offer a very versatile and easy to use platform.

    Jason Smith

  • drd9494

    A Basic Stamp USB Section of the store would enable DIY customers to have a variety of Projects from Robotics to wireless to security to automotive. I have designed and built:

    1. A ten order of magnitude light meter
    2. A weather station
    3. A car horsepower meter
    4. A facial topograghy scanner and sculpting system(it worked but not well or maybe I’m just funny looking)
    5. A remotely operated video camera

    I built these from Basic Stamp Kits I bought at Radio Shack a few years ago but I had to send away for more components from the Parallax. Most of the components were standard Parallax components but not available @ RS then.

  • Pete WB2GFU

    As a amateur radio operator I wish that Radio Shack would bring back the amateur radio gear they use to carry!!!!

    Pete WB2GFU

  • hn13

    I’d definitely like to see more musician and sound recording accessories and connectors. Since I was a kid playing my electric guitar in the 70s, a young adult experimenting with kit computers in the 80s, and then a musician recording in my home, I counted on Radio Shack for all the parts I needed for building and repairing most things electronic around the house. Lately, I see that cell phones are the "big deal" at Radio Shack and the salesperson tries to "upsell" me one every time I buy anything in the store, but I’ve never bought one there and probably won’t. When I want to throw together a special cable for my cell phone, computer, PDA, mixer, speakers, guitar, etc., it would be great if I could run to my local Radio Shack for the parts, instead of having to order them online from some unknown vendor with some astronomical shipping cost.
    And speaking of shipping costs, I’d love to see Radio Shack do what Walmart does–ship it to my local store for pickup at no charge to me–let me find an item online at your website that you don’t carry in your stores, I’ll order and pay for it there, then go pick it up at my store after you send me and e-mail that it’s there. If that happens, I’ll sure be spending a lot more at Radio Shack than I have over the last 10 to 15 years!

  • Eric

    Please check in to carrying Arduino kits and more sensors.

  • Mike

    I would like to see you bring back the "Super snooper kit" that was available during the 1960s. I knew a friend who brought one around 6.99, and it worked good. Back in those days there were only resisters, transistors, and no ics. This is a kit you build and you can hear through walls, and windows using a mike, or a speaker. Also please bring back a few other kits that was available back in the 1960s.

  • Dave

    More Parts-
    Wider selection of resistors, diodes, transistors, LED’s, capacitors – including the ones that are used on computer motherboards, voltage regulators, all the stuff I’m forgetting at the moment!!

    Bring back the old Science Fair electronic kits (75 in one, 150 in one, and all the others).

    What about some simple (solder assembly) electronic kits – Siren, LED flasher, Volt meter, etc.

    How about something similar to the old Poly-Paks ???

    what about using a super store type of location that has almost everything where those stores are about 150 miles apart and they have a larger staff and stock levels to facilitate over night or 2 day shipping of items smaller locations for those people that don’t want to make the drive (I’d drive if I need it now!)

    To YCS-
    that soldering gun appears to be a twin of one that Sears has sold for over 25 years – the tips may be the same.

  • Chuckwgn

    HOORAY

    I have been building/repairing electronic equipment since the mid ’60s. Radio Shack used to be my primary source for parts. I remember when you drove Lafayette electronics out of business. (They were better)
    I have had no use for Radio Shack for the last 10 years except for the occasional battery. I have called your employees to their face that Radio Shack is nothing more than a Mini-Best Buy. Most of them are too young to know what I am talking about. Other than connecting colored wires they have no idea how thing operate. I am glad to see you are going back to your roots. I would still like to see high voltage capacitors (150 WVDC under 100 MFD) capacitors like what pre1970 tube powered electronics need. (They go bad and need to be replaced now) There is quite a demand for those (at least in my book) to replace the ones that go bad in the older devices. Primarily in the DC filter function off of the rectifier. (60 cycle hum). Most of what I need I have to get off the internet. That can be inconvenient.
    Again Thanks for returning to your roots and Keep it up.

  • CubedRoot

    Please get back to the Radioshack of years past, where I could go into a store and pick up just about any component right off the shelf. Soldering kits, project boxes, electrical components (such as resistors, diodes, capacitors), and breadboards.
    I would like to see the store more modernized with things like Arduino kits, simple PLC kits and the like. Get rid of the gadgets like toys, and other stuff that modern "electronics" stores carry and get back to your roots of carrying stuff for the DIY’er!

  • Ferd Nesler

    I would like to see more good radios. A good table top multi band radio with a nice real wood case. The small plastic radios that you sell now are useless. I bought one and it can hardly pick up the local AM radio bands.

  • Jim Hause

    I know many ham operators around the DFW area. There are numerous cllubs around.
    One thing we all seem to have in common is that we have to go to online stores to find any type of ham radio equipment, or equipment used like antenna’s, SWR meters, antanna analzers, etc, etc. Sure would be nice to have some items available locally. Jim Hause KF5LBT

  • Mason Tran

    More microprocessors.

    Arduino Uno.
    Arduino Uno SMD
    LEGO Mindstorm NXT
    vEx Cortex
    National Instruments cRIO

    Higher quality jumper wires.

    http://www.amazon.com/Flexible-Wire-Jumpers-Male-Male-100/dp/B003B1XR28/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1305891261&sr=8-2

  • leapcat

    A range of MKP caps, Dale resistors, and n and p type transistors and fets.

  • Julie

    It would be nice if RadioShack would offer Senior Discounts,and carry the newest updates on the New Tracfones when they come out. You already carry the LG 500g Now the LG 600g is out and has been for a month.Also more selections on the Tracfones would be nice!! Thank you

  • HobbyBroadcaster.net

    Many of my site’s users grew up when Radio Shack was [i][b]the place[/b][/i] to get a variety of electronics components, audio cables, connectors and adapters for most any task the hobbyist or electronics enthusiast would run up against. In the last couple of decades we’ve seen [quote]The Shack[/quote] become more of a place for cell phones than a place that the electronics tinkerer would feel welcomed with.

    A wider range of electronics components would be nice. Since relegating electronics components from the pegboard-type display to being [quote]cast-offs in a drawer[/quote] the selection has dwindled significantly. Having the need to custom make a few audio attenuators for a project the choice would have been to either purchase many more resistor packs than would have normally been needed or to mail order the exact parts required. We chose the latter.

    The 7400 series of logic ICs are common for people to use for simple digital circuits as well as repair of older gadgets. An inexpensive item many end up mail ordering instead of making a quick trip to [quote]The Shack[/quote] to buy.

    Lastly, not necessarily mentioned solely for the need for more, but many of the audio cables are vastly overpriced. A headphone audio extension cable costs almost double what it can be had for in either one of those [i]lot type[/i] stores or even the [quote]mom ‘n’ pop[/quote] store. We needed one in a pinch and after paying more than $8 vowed we would never again pay such an inflated price for something this simple.

    While we realize this may be a exercise in wasted typing, many of the sales associates either don’t give a damn or have little to no knowledge of the product line … even when it comes to the cell phones that have become the mainstream item. Realizing that the day of the tech enthusiast working at a Radio Shack are long gone it wouldn’t kill the employees to learn a little about what you folks carry. There were times a Burger King employee would have known more than the typical Radio Shack retail outlet employee.

    It’s interesting to see an attempt to reach out to the DIY community, but it could already be too late to reach many. Those of us who grew up with places like Lafayette Radio and Radio Shack back in their heyday have seen things dry up for many of our electronics needs and have resorted to mail ordering or seeking out a local industrial distributor with a retail parts counter. It may simply be too late to recover from the reverse trend.

  • Gavin Groce

    More parts period…. it has become so hard to fine any parts because I was told that in store you were discontinuing the parts bins and other electronics items ex resistors, diodes, switches pref board, and so on… Take a look at sparkfun.com and http://www.adafruit.com/new/

    These are the parts people need for the day to day hacking we do…. I have mostly quit buying things at the radio shack for two reasons, price…. I can go to the local electronics supply shop and get everything people are requesting in the comments for half the price most of the time… and availability, cant buy it if you discontinue it, or never restock it… gas is expensive and I am not hunting all over for a radio shack that has a part…

    so instead of asking, how about carrying the stuff you did in the past, and that would be a good start…

  • Flo

    Local shop here in Bartlesville has stopped holding metal hobby construction boxes (thats with lids with screw fixings) – just the useless for screening plastic ones. Please sell again!!

  • peteC

    The ARDUINO platform of electronics with processors, sensors and guides.
    http://www.arduino.cc/
    Even GOOGLE has got on the ARDUINO bandwagon with their recent announcement of support for ANDROID projects using the ARDUINO hardware products.

  • Kenrick

    I vividly remember building the P-Box circuit kits (red breadboard top with clear bottom) as a child in the 70’s. These were great because they did not even include a circuit board, so it was very easy to understand the circuit design and what was connected to what. Would love to see you bring these back for today’s kids to build. I no longer have the ones I built, but now wish I had kept them to share with my son.

  • jay

    I usually can’t find the parts I need and end up buying online somewhere else having to wait and pay shipping.

    1+ for
    Resistors, capacitors, switches and transformers. simple DIY kits.

  • dbster

    This is essential. Not only do we have Maker Faire, but we have FIRST robotics (are you a sponsor/donator?) and FIRST Lego League. All of these are getting people back in to electronics beyond the black box approach. There are federal initiatives for high schools such as STEM grants, plus more magnet schools for various reasons focused on technology. Also, we have more people realizing what real audio is (not MP3 players and ear buds) so LPs, real stereos, and so on are coming back too. Not to mention no Morse Code ham radio licenses, bringing more RF communications back to kids. Let’s not forget people building their own computers. Other sound reproducing and audio equipment is needed, starting first with a book and corresponding parts on making your own premium speaker and interconnect cables without the scary prices. Might even be useful to have some stores have a small audiophile section, including resurrecting the old tube tester, as high end audio has a lot of new tube equipment coming on the market.

    After I wrote this I scrolled down and was happy to see I agreed with many of the previous comments. So take you note that you have a large potential following – now is your chance for corporate action.

    Also, advertising. Be seen in QST (the national Ham radio magazine). And in Make, and in Wired, and Popular Science, and in Scientific American. Everyone talks about getting kids in to science and technology from the president on down, but you are the only national chain that could get it going at the grass roots level. Don’t forget school partnerships too.

  • Brock

    A wider selection of voltage regulators

    DC step-up voltage booster (i.e. ~3V to ~9V)

  • George

    I do not have a suggestion for specific items. However, I am please that Radio Shack appears to be getting back to its roots and increasing the stock of DIY items. I am especially interested in a wider selection of integrated circuits and other circuit components.

    You can still keep all the pre-made electronic devices, e.g. cell phones, music devices and cameras, but increase the number of DIY items.

    Thanks

  • Phil C.

    Please stock the parts drawers, they are always empty at my local stores.
    Also please train employees that the parts drawers are there and what is in them.

    Remove the cell phones from the store! When I go to a Radio Shack with a list of electronic components for a project, find you have nothing on my list in stock, and then am offered a "deal" on a cellphone…I get upset.

  • Peter Cauchy

    I would like to see the following:

    Tips for your soldering station.

    Arduino microprocessor products

    Propeller microprocessor products

  • Ken Mclean

    Need a lot more components, especially Metal project cabinets/ not just boxes,thyristors,capacitors of higher voltage plus a lot more.Too much catering to cell phones,it ties up your cashiers,where project people can mostly help themselves.Among Ham operators your store has been pronounced "pretty Useless" and labelled "Rat Shack Cell Phone Store". I know you can turn this around,and I would help If I could[for free for my and others benefit."Please get back to where you were, carering to experimenters.Ham radio is pushing operators in this direction and a good component source would be Radio Shack.I have seen in projects over the last 15 years have the suggested sources of supply go from you to mainly Mouser and I think you could easily co-exist and profit.Thank you for listening.
    Ken McLean N1AT 1-508-399-7136 {p.s. Most components take little room compared to cell phone packaging,dont require displays and dont tie up your sales people for long periods answering questions.

    Thank You!

  • Rangachari Anand

    I am really glad you have not forgotten us DIY types. I have been building a model train layout and I often need some odd parts and its great to have a RS nearby. I would suggest carry grab bags of inexpensive parts like resistors, capacitors and LEDs.

  • XtremD

    Alot of people here have been saying Arduino! Or, Atmel328p! I agree with them wholeheartedly and totally think it would help get alot of teens into the DIY physical computing area. Here are my other picks:
    -A large 8ohm speaker! (all that I could find at the store were piezos)
    -servos, stepper motors and stepper controllers.
    -small LCD screens (both graphical and text).

    It would also be nice if you guys printed a hard URL link to the chip’s datasheet on the back of your packaging. Maybe also a link to a bunch of tutorial sites/instructables too? Maybe the link would link to a wiki page that people could use to link to other tutorial sites? (never underestimate the power of croudsourcing!)

  • Dale Gust

    In the Crawfordsville store there needsw to be some ICs,also parallax chips and boards would be nice.Motor controllers or kits would be nice and parts to build the popular cnc home router would be nice as we have a ton of woodworkers in the area.

  • David Lapham

    You need to expand to the modern ‘maker’ crowd. I was unable to fine Arduino boards or kits on your website. These are the basis for many DIY projects. They are open source, so you are not locked into one manufacture or promoter. http://www.arduino.cc/

  • Dick Rose

    I go back a few years to the days of the Heath Kits . . . I feel those were an excellent hobby for young folks . . . my first computer in 1979 was the Heath H89 . . . all from a kit . . . a great experience.

  • Don

    There has been a renaissance in acquiring and upgrading hi fi/stereo tube amplifiers. Unfortunately, few, if any, parts are available at Radio Shack. It would be great to be able to pop in for capacitors, resistors, chokes, etc., instead of ordering them from a suppllier 2,000 miles away. I bet you also would find a strong market for tubes but if you would take of in this direction (again), lots or educational advertising would be required via emails, printed materials, etc.

  • bobrogin

    I would like to see 4-pole, double throw toggle switches of all contact forms. These are quite useful in hobbies such as model railroading, and I have had to purchase them elsewhere at very high prices.

  • Perry Jordan

    There is a new and cheap brand of oscilloscope for $100.00 that almost any electrical tinkerer should have. I bought mine on amazon because you guys don’t carry it. It is called the DSO Nano and I think you could sell a lot of them.

    Perry

  • Randy Zugnoni

    Most times items that you sell are not in stock in your store (Dublin). I don’t bother any more. I’m willing to drive much further to another electronics store (not Radio Shack) to avoid the frustration.

  • base2design

    My suggestions:

    A selection of 74xxx chips
    A selection of 40xx chips
    Negative voltage regulators for -5,-8,-9,-12
    Arduino/Sparkfun/Parallax parts.

    Perhaps RS could consult with Forrest Mims and Don Lancaster for what the chip selection should be so that there isn’t a lot of stale inventory in bins for the store to sit on.

    Also, alignment with Maker groups in the major metro area would be helpful.

    Thanks for taking the DIY community seriously again… I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Radio Shack and I want you to be a leader and supporter in the DIY group again.

  • Wise consumer in Delaware

    Add and advertise more "gadgets" to your stores and online. Men are always looking for the next cool product.

  • thegrendel

    How about Arduinos and Arduino components: header strips, proto shields, RTC chips, LCD modules, etc.?
    Also CPU chips.

  • Hank Boiko

    video converter cables (dvi x hdmi x svga)

    better cables in general, my gf got 3 of the same ipod cable and they all broke.

    resources for swaps and technical expertise. Every radioshack should have a bulletin board and encourage community involvement in trading knowledge, tools, and hardware. The store should help you find any part or tool they don’t have.

  • vmc

    Three products is a stupid question to begin with. It’s easy to half-ass your way to near bankruptcy, but you can’t half-ass your way back out. Here’s an idea. Instead of listening to some marketing stuffed shirt that comes up with stupid ideas like "everybody gets three choices of a new product to carry," identify a few specific DIY subfields you’d like to target and hire people who *actually do it themselves* so you can’t have a f’ing clue what you need to carry. One XLR connector, one FET, and one microcontroller aren’t going to do squat for anyone. You need to stock *all the parts I need to complete a single project* or I won’t even bother putting on pants to go to the store. I’ll just order online from one or two places that have *everything I need*. Some suggestions for people you may want to target: guitar pedal and guitar/hi-fi tube amp builders and people who build robots. Focus on a few specific DIY markets and build a client base.

    For a specific product idea, would it kill you to try to identify a few low-cost oscilloscopes and drive demand for them?

  • Yme

    THANK YOU!!

    I was a bit worried when things started getting harder and harder to find like connectors and small electronic components. Thanks for fighting back against the online for everything mentality we’ve seemed to have developed.

  • PJ

    Replacement tips for the soldering irons that YOU SELL!

  • charles watson sr

    I would like to see more magnets of the arc segment type that is used in your dc motors. A lot of people are experimenting with them. I recieved a US Patent on a new type of magnetic motor that can take the place of the combustion engine, and I used Radio Shack Electrical components for the model prototype that I built. Maybe we can make magnetic motor kits to introduce this new technology. I started out buying little motor generator kits that you build yourself and discovered that a 1.5 volt motor could run on .5 volts at the same speed and power using permanent magnets in a certain way. Thankyou for making these components available and afordable for the average citizen.

  • marybacon

    My husband has been working in electronics and teaching electronics for over 25 years, I noticed the soldering irons in your latest email and I have to say – you should offer better quality irons then those. The one thing he taught me was the importance of good soldering and good equipment.

  • Ron Reece WO9H

    Dear Sirs or Madam,
    It is my sincere hope that you are actually listening, I am apprehensively optimistic. I would like to take this moment to remind you of where your namesake actually came from. Radio Shack or Shack is a term used by the Amateur Radio community to describe their radio station. Now days your name really should be Phone Booth instead. Want to increase sales, particularly in smaller communities? Here’s how. Most hobbyists either order supplies online or if they are lucky enough to have an electronics supply in town go there. The only time a DIY’er goes to Radio Shack is because something is better than nothing. You are always the last choice. There was a time when you were the first choice. The reason is very simple. Your stock is cheaply made and over priced. I know there’s a market for "inexpensive" cables, connectors, and electronic supplies; but there are many of us who would pay a fair price for quality parts. Especially those of us who live in small communities where its either RS or the internet. I am forced to order on the internet and keep my hobby shop stocked with parts and materials because I can’t go to my local RS and get what I need. If I do get desperate I may or may not find something at RS that will get me by, but it will inevitably be an inferior part that will have to be replaced as soon as UPS can get it to my house. I would love to see RS return the days when they were known as the place to go for electronic hobbyists. After all, you can only sell so many phones :-)

  • randy fulkerson

    you know i thought of one thing i need. i need a small stereo or amplafire with a aux. or video port on it to run the sound through from my computer. it semes like it is hard to find that on the small getoblaster type stereos. that used to have them. thanx, randy.

  • ATAndB

    1. On your website a list of detailed instructions for projects and components (with your component numbers) such as guitar whammy pedals, stereo amps, crystal radios, telephone, remote control, USB devices, etc.
    2. Stocking ALL of the components for the projects. It is very frustrating to find a design online and then have to order the parts through 6 different companies.
    3. If you don’t stock it, and it is an electronic component, then be the expert at ordering it. Hard to find parts like the vacuum sensors in my food sealer, I do not mind waiting for a week (or for really hard to find stuff, longer) if you would assure me you can get them in, and then deliver as promised.

  • JohnnyElectron

    I would like to suggest that RADIO Shack (highlight on RADIO) offer the following in their stores:
    FIRST: An Amateur Radio transceiver (ham radio) both a portable and a car/mobile model for the ham 2-meter VHF band. SECOND: I also suggest you offer a ‘Radio Shack labelled’ Tuner that is an exact copy of the SONY # XDRF1HD and add the few custom fixes that people have added to it to make it THE BEST tuner available (fixes include cooling fan, forced mono switch, and analog AM stereo) which make it a 5-star tuner! THIRD: Perhaps a foray back into electrical items for your car again. Perhaps two car tuners and speaker connectors again? FOURTH: How about I.C. chips (7400 series I.C. chips). Maybe not at all stores, but have one "SUPER Radio Shack" per city that would be extra large and carry all these parts that we need and can’t afford to wait for mail order to get them! FIFTH: the old "P-BOX" kits – a lot of electrical engineers are here today because of those cool kits with the red plastic circuit boards, all the parts and ran on 9 volt batteries. LAST but not least: for the kids, the "RS Battery of the Month Club" – come in once a month and get a free ‘standard’ battery and get a punch on your punch card!
    JohnnyElectron

  • J.Bates

    Since your corp. supports Planned Parenthood,we and thousands of other christians no longer shop at Radio Shack!!!!!

  • Robbie

    The Shack has lost quite a bit of ground in the area of electronics. The best Shacks that I have been to were the ones that went out of business. Stuffed in boxes that were sold for pennies on the dollar I found: voice recording chips, TTL/CMOS ICs, solid audio connectors that were NOT made from plastic, IC sockets of almost any size.

    Thank you, RS, for trying to target the DIY community. You have a lot of work ahead of you because online retailers of electronic components already offer an awesome selection at reasonable prices. I’m afraid that even if you did offer a similar selection, your prices would be no match. Here’s an example: Electrolytic Capacitors. I can buy one capacitor from you or I can buy ten from an online retailer.

    The math may not seem like it works out if you add shipping, but I don’t just buy one item at the time. I am usually working on a design that requires multiple parts. Components should be inexpensive. They should also be in stock.

    If I need a part immediately in the event that I am repairing something that I wouldn’t be able to offset shipping costs, I usually look to the Shack. This is where keeping a good stock keeps me from wasting my time.

    Your integrated circuits are over priced. Most of what you offer is over priced. The only things that I see that are reasonable are the Parallax items. Arduino might be something that would also make it in your stores.

    You carry DC motors. How about carrying some gears and wheels? I’d also like to see some high voltage solar cells like that of Solarbotics (8V, 40mA). A wider selection of components would be great, and datasheets, even if download only, would be excellent. Better quality switches, such as the NO-SPST pushbutton switches, would be appreciated. The red and black ones are cheap and break very easily.

    And stop trying to sell your batteries. I think they cost too much.

    I also would like to agree that keeping HAM radios and accessories in stock would be nice. I’m not into that hobby yet because I’m paying for college, but I’d like to see them in the stores.

    Good luck in your marketing endeavors. Finally, if someone comes in to buy these items when someone elsee is trying to buy a cell phone, please put the cell phone transaction on hold long enough for them to pay without having to wait 20 minutes.

  • gumi

    Not sure if anyone has mentioned this, but a more useful variety pack of ceramic disc capacitors would be really nice. Throw some .47uf, .22uf, .047uf caps in there. All those pf caps are nearly useless.

  • Don B.

    A wider selection of IC’s would be nice, especially of the logic variety. And picking up on a previous post…components for building guitar pedals would be nice ie, aluminum cast enclosures, a MUCH wider selection of potentiometers, 3P3T pushbutton switches. Most of all I would like to see more home etching products available.

  • Don B.

    A wider selection of IC’s would be nice, especially of the logic variety. And picking up on a previous post…components for building guitar pedals would be nice ie, aluminum cast enclosures, a MUCH wider selection of potentiometers, 3P3T pushbutton switches. Most of all I would like to see more home etching products available.

  • Jim

    There is a market for amateur radio equipment/parts/supplies which offers Radio Shack a great opportunity. Start carrying the most-needed HAM radio supplies and see if this isn’t true.

  • KnightKit

    I see quite a few posts with the same complaint as mine – Stop taking away electronic hobbyists components and keep the pricing more "realistic". Us "makers" and tech oriented people expect more from Radio Shack than to be another cell phone store. While I understand the profit margins are quite good on cell accessories, the local shopping mall kiosk can fill the need for the latest cell phone dodad. Radio Shack needs to return to being a store that a curious mind can walk into and be exposed to (& probably buy) the latest technology has to offer as well as the gear needed to "hack" and learn the inner workings of today’s electronics. There are many of us electronic hobbyists still around today who enjoy building and repairing equipment but have been disappointed for many years at how the Shack has left us searching for our goodies elsewhere. More kids today need to be able to learn how to tear into (hack, repair, tweak) their computers, mp3 players, car amplifiers, RC vehicles and consumer electronic gear instead of just mindlessly using their toys and tossing them out without ever feeling the satisfaction of reviving that dead motherboard or DVD player by sometimes just replacing a bulging capacitor.
    My 3 things I’d like to see back in the stores?

    The obvious –
    More electronic components (resistors, capacitors, IC’s, ect.)

    A more competitively priced and larger selection of computer components (radio & Satellite interface cards, diagnostic gear).

    Audio components (high end drivers, multi-channel amplifier kits, digital audio wireless modules & maybe some experimental audio components – hypersound spkrs, HSS spkrs, laser bounce)

    I look forward to seeing what the "future" brings to the Radio Shack.

    Thanks for reading

    TomS

  • Mike

    You should leverage your online presence with not only product availability for you store, which I usually look at prior to heading down to the local Radio Shack, but also have a section online for the DIY. Kits or projects with the parts required and listed for such projects. Like a 1001 do it yourself idas and design. I think this would be of wonderful interest to the beginner DIY. I have built several LED 5 watt lights and had to purchase the LED and PCB components online directly from hong kong, but purchased the switches, connectors, and battery compartments from RS. It would have been nicer to be able to get the LED components from RS.

  • Lance Smith

    Glad to hear you are getting back to your roots a bit, which was things for the technical hobbyist. Audio used to be one of your DIY strengths. Components, speakers, grill cloths, connects, etc. What you are missing is the resurgence in tube audio equipment. You should offer tubes and components and tube kits, for this market. For audio, guitar amps and just fun projects. This means offering common tubes (many excellent Chinese and East Euro manufacturers for all kinds audio tubes), high voltage electrolytic and coupling capacitors, circuit board kits, maybe few chassis, output transformers, power transformers, etc. Not hugely expensive nor difficult to inventory but of great interest to the hobbyist. You should have spot in your store for tube audio. It’s really the rage.

    thanks,
    Lance Smith

  • Dominick Senna

    Bring back the line of audio and RF adapters you used to sell
    Expand the # of different values of resistors and capacitors
    How about adding a line of surface mount IC to DIP adapters

  • Harrkev

    I was surprised that I could not find a simple CDS cell for a microcontroller project. Radio Shack carried these years ago. One time I was also looking for 74 series logic, and was surprised that I could not find those either. I remember looking though the Radio Shack catalog when I was a kid (back in the 70,s), and you had sooo much stuff that nobody else had. Now, you guys are trying to be a cheap copy of Best Buy. I am signed up to get RS e-mail. What do I get?????? — an offer for a new cell phone every week! How many cell phones to people need? Seriously, get some variety in the types of products that you guys advertise. You sell a Basic Stamp package. Put that on a great sale, and mention THAT in an advertisement. I have a cell phone — I have a GPS. Try to sell me something that I don’t have. Variety is what made the old Radio Shack great. You used to even sell amateur radio gear, and electronics kits.

  • kd4jfd

    Bring back the 2M and HF amateur radios/kits, preferably without the need for soldering.

    See the posts by Bill Sandbrink and Josh…

  • Andrew Harbuck

    remote race {good ones} cars/planes/helecopters/boats. With planned events to use them in competition. You need to sell these and stock parts and have knowledge of repair

  • Ronni Reyes

    From the time I was in high school, Radio Shack was the place to buy small components. In college (I went for engineering and computer science) we went to Radio Shack almost every day for some small electronic that we needed either for school or for our Amateur Radio hobby. The past few years, it seems there were less and less of these. Now that the trend is to start carrying more, I suggest that you start getting kids interested by having clinics (much like Lowe’s has for wood and construction). Get them interested in building and repairing electronics themselves…amateur radio is also a great hobby that fosters interest in antennas and electronics. There is much to be learned! Start them at the kindergarden level!

    P.S. your electronics handbook has been a staple in my house forever…I just bought one for my nephew a year ago when he became interested and I can’t wait until my children are old enough for that book!

  • Andrew Harbuck

    remote race {good ones} cars/planes/helecopters/boats. With planned events to use them in competition. You need to sell these and stock parts and have knowledge of repair

  • Sean

    Computer building kits. I would like to see Radioshack carrying computer components and more importantly kits with all the components to build a computer.

  • Chris

    Like many here I grew up and learned electronics from the friendly people at the local Radio Shack. I haven’t been able to share that experience with my children. There is a magazine called, "Nuts and Volts". Those are the projects I’m building these days. Review their projects and carry the key parts, most of which have also been listed above.

  • Art

    The biggest problem I find when going to my local RadioShack is the lack of organization in the parts section. Every drawer is mixed up with very few items in the correct place, so looking for a particular part takes a long time as you have to go through every drawer.

    I also find it very disheartening that your selection of solar panels for projects is limited to only one very small type which is very limited in choices for cascading or adding others to reach a decent project size. Also the magnet selection is very limited. Both of these components have become a real boom in my area for sustainable energy projects for solar arrays and wind or water power generation projects.

  • Bryan

    I would suggest you look at offering Arduino boards and shields. Also look at offering some of Sparkfun or Adafruit products, I know Sparkfun offers some retail packaged products.

  • don

    How Bout project boxes,better selection of switches,and hook up wire Tools of all kinds wire cutters soder stations not just the cheepy soder irons.

  • Mark

    Want to increase business? Bring back the Catalog. Charge me for it and give it back to me on the first purchase or half of it. With the catalog I could look through it and always find something I needed or just wanted. I go to the website and I have no idea where to go because you can’t just page through it like you can with the catalog. Just my 2 cents.

  • Greg

    I would like to see radio shack carry a universal style key fob for you car.
    It would also be nice if they offered some kind of do-it-yourself class. Nothing to deep
    but just basics on electronics. Thanks for listening. Greg

  • Steve

    Once upon a time, Radio Shack was a place for ham radio operators to go and get gear for their own "radio shack." That just isn’t the case anymore. With the number of radio manufacturers out there, I would think you could carry a line of Icom, Yaesu, Kenwood, and so on, and get back to the roots of where" the shack" started. Stop trying to put your name on everything and sell product that people would actually want. It really isn’t hard to require someone to show their ID and FCC amateur radio license to purchase radios. Perhaps start a catalog line of components like Jameco, MCM, and Mouser did. You don’t need to have every single part available in the store, just available.

    I can tell you that my company doesn’t like us to go to your stores anymore because we, often times, come back empty handed or have to drive to 2 or 3 stores to get everything we need. I know that one of these days they are going to tell me that I have to order everything through MCM because we can use P/O’s there and they ship pretty quick. The only down side to them is there minimum order charge.

    Oh, and, quality test equipment. Beyond voltmeters……. Velleman has a nice selection.

    Finally, training – training – training. Your people in the stores are very nice, but when I come in looking for components, most of them don’t have a clue. I understand, many of them are young and just have a part time job, but some of the misinformation I hear them tell customers just astounds me sometimes. I recently heard them tell a customer that he had to buy a whole new cordless phone because the salesman couldn’t figure out what voltage supply the customer needed. I was standing there, and politely showed the salesman where he could find the voltage and tip polarity – right on the manufacturer label.

    I hope this gives you some insite,

    Steve

  • Dan Ticson

    Would like to see:

    * Bigger variety of batteries, including the new LiFePO4 types
    * Better selection (including range of quality) of low voltage (3-12v) motors
    * More wire types, around 22-28 ga, including stranded high flexibility silicone jacketed (like used for R/C)
    * Selection of brass & steel wirw and tubing like in hobby shops.
    * Fiber optic cable and accessories for hobby lighting projects.
    * Variety of small (around 1" dia) high quality speakers for audio projects
    * More hardware: nuts, bolts, washers, small flexible cable.
    * Once-a-month sales brochure (like a Staples flyer) with good "deals"

    I think this would bring in more traffic (and Sales!)

  • Sandy

    Computer & laptop refurbishing & upgrading components such as CPUs, hard drives, DVDRW drives, PSUs, memory, video cards, cables, etc. At affordable prices.

  • RJzShop

    I would like to see more of a one stop shop. When I need complete a project I can never find the component parts at Radio Shack. It seems that less and less parts are offered in your stores to the point that I have pretty much given up on even finding the parts I need at your stores. Expand your selection of IC’s, resistors, and capacitors. Let’s take a hard look at what Radio Shack could offer those of us that use these and other parts. In the south central PA area there are no other electronic supply stores to get parts from, so I have to rely on supplies through mail order from another companies that does have everything that I need. Prices also need to be more competitive!

    One thing to keep in mind is that when we need a part we need it now so please stock them in the store so that we don’t need to wait for a shipment to arrive!

  • Patty in FL

    Sell al the components to watch TV without cable. An antenna isn’t the only item needed for 10 yr. old TV’s which still work very well. An antenna is only 1 item, but do we need a receiver, special wiring? I have 5 TVs in my house & would much rather pay the money for all the TV’s to be independent of some satellite or cable company. I once bought an antenna for 1 TV, but I only received 5 channels that worked, so I’m sure there must be some sort of amplifier or receiver, or something to add to it so that I can get +/- 20 channels. This way I can buy your products for all my TV’s. I know plenty of people who would rather become independent of cable & satellite companies & Radio Shack can help them do it.

  • Patty in FL

    Sell al the components to watch TV without cable. An antenna isn’t the only item needed for 10 yr. old TV’s which still work very well. An antenna is only 1 item, but do we need a receiver, special wiring? I have 5 TVs in my house & would much rather pay the money for all the TV’s to be independent of some satellite or cable company. I once bought an antenna for 1 TV, but I only received 5 channels that worked, so I’m sure there must be some sort of amplifier or receiver, or something to add to it so that I can get +/- 20 channels. This way I can buy your products for all my TV’s. I know plenty of people who would rather become independent of cable & satellite companies & Radio Shack can help them do it.

  • David

    I recently sent a complaint to your corporate address saying I was very disappointed in what Radio Shack has turned into. As a retired electronic technician I had hoped to return to the DIY fun I had as a boy building and testing electronic equipment. I also hoped to get back into ham radio. I visited my local Radio Shack stores and found they had turned into expensive Wal-Mart selling cell phones and TVs. I received the following answer from a district manager:

    “I apologize that our stores have not been able to provide you with the products you need to work on your Ham radio hobby. RadioShack has had to adapt to the changing trends in the market for 90 years. Although we’ve tried to stay true to our original intentions of being that “electronics hobbyist” store you knew from before, we’ve had to make changes to our store product mix. These are primarily done due to the small size of our stores. So, when we add something like flat-screen TVs, tablets, or eReaders, something has to be taken out to make room.
    Unfortunately, Ham Radio equipment had to be taken out of our stores and is now only available via the internet at radioshack.com. We will continue to try to do our best to serve our customers’ needs the best we can – and your comments have been taken under consideration.”
    Your district manager confirmed my original thought that you had decided to no longer support “do it yourselfers” and ham radio folks and had instead decided to compete with Best Buy and Wal-Mart in cell phones and TVs. Sadly, as you can see above, your district manager doesn’t even know what you sell since he thinks you carry ham radio equipment on your website. Bottom line I have a couple of $10 off coupons, but you don’t carry anything I’m interested in buying. It’s far better to go to the internet for the stuff I want. However, if you are really serious about going back to your roots how about Amateur Radio Equipment, test equipment like signal generators, oscilloscopes, etc. and replacement speakers all competitively priced?

  • bob

    I work part time for RadioShack and I would like to comment on this. After stocking new DIY parts on the shelf lately and taking some mandated online "basic electronics" training, I was excited to see this coming back… However, after reading the comments here, I would like to comment. For those of you who speak of the "CellShack" — you’re right! We are hounded to sell cell phones, no matter how many they already may own!! There are 100,000 people in my town, they expect we should sell 150,000 phones a year. I hate selling cell phones, I hate having to turn every conversation into "what kind of cell phone do you have". Customer, I know you want to come in and get what you want and leave. I promise you I feel your pain. I’ve shopped at my RS since I was a boy. Now working here, I see the seedy underbelly. Please dont get mad that I have to pay you constant attention, that helps keep down theft. Please dont be mad I have to suggest the warranty on everything… Please dont be mad I have to ask you about batteries, trading items, supporting Armstrong foundation before you can leave. If I don’t, I am threatened with my job… Our managers are apparently taught to lead by fear. Just know, in my store, I appreciate all of my customers. I hate to have to ask all those questions, but I love my job, and I need my job. If it makes you feel better about all of the questions, I do make sure to make up for it in service. I know electronics with a degree in electronics engineering. I know computers, I know cell phones and I know audio. I wont sell you anything you don’t need. And if you have questions, I DO have the answers. I hope service like this can slightly make up for the fact we have to annoy you to make purchases. Thank you for your continued loyalty to my store, and I hope everyone else across the country has at least someone in each store that gives a crap.

  • Larry

    You need Pic Micro processors. They are programmable, which makes them versatile, and they’re cheap. And you could also sell the compilers and programmers.

  • bob

    I work part time for RadioShack and I would like to comment on this. After stocking new DIY parts on the shelf lately and taking some mandated online "basic electronics" training, I was excited to see this coming back… However, after reading the comments here, I would like to comment. For those of you who speak of the "CellShack" — you’re right! We are hounded to sell cell phones, no matter how many they already may own!! There are 100,000 people in my town, they expect we should sell 150,000 phones a year. I hate selling cell phones, I hate having to turn every conversation into "what kind of cell phone do you have". Customer, I know you want to come in and get what you want and leave. I promise you I feel your pain. I’ve shopped at my RS since I was a boy. Now working here, I see the seedy underbelly. Please dont get mad that I have to pay you constant attention, that helps keep down theft. Please dont be mad I have to suggest the warranty on everything… Please dont be mad I have to ask you about batteries, trading items, supporting Armstrong foundation before you can leave. If I don’t, I am threatened with my job… Our managers are apparently taught to lead by fear. Just know, in my store, I appreciate all of my customers. I hate to have to ask all those questions, but I love my job, and I need my job. If it makes you feel better about all of the questions, I do make sure to make up for it in service. I know electronics with a degree in electronics engineering. I know computers, I know cell phones and I know audio. I wont sell you anything you don’t need. And if you have questions, I DO have the answers. I hope service like this can slightly make up for the fact we have to annoy you to make purchases. Thank you for your continued loyalty to my store, and I hope everyone else across the country has at least someone in each store that gives a crap.

  • Robert

    I need a new temperature regulated soldering station. Radio Shack sell what looks like a good one in the Lebanon, Oregon store bet do not sell the tips so I have to look else ware for a store that carries both I do not want to order online for the tips. If I have to do that I will go with Weller Soldering station.

  • KA2X

    Amy,
    One item that the Shack no longer carries is Connector Sealant (Catalog # 278-1645) aka Coax Seal – web site http://www.coaxseal.com.
    I could not find this item in any of the local retail stores in the Rochester NY area.
    I did find an Internet Vendor that stocks this item (CyperGuys) but the cheapest shipping cost almost tripled the cost!
    I would greatly appreciate it if Radio Shack carried this item.
    Thanks – Tom Amateur Radio Operator KA2X

  • Tom

    Arduino kits, shields
    BugLabs

    Ham radio stuff (especially stuff for connectors)

  • Random1

    It looks like you got more than you asked for in this forum… lots of general feedback about RS…

    • Arduino boards
    • projects/kits with USB interface
    • 10 and 12 bit A/Ds with 1k or higher sample rates
    • Non gouging (insulting) prices
    • non alienating sales team

    At this time I only stop into RS if I am desperate and maybe that’s what your current business model thrives on. That’s a shame if true because I AVOID RS unless desperate. My last three experiences…

    1. Needed one diode and three terminals for a timing system repair project, found what I needed and the diodes were reasonably priced. I now have more than a life time supply of diodes. For the terminals I had to buy three over priced assortment bags to get what I needed. Now I have a supply of terminals that I am not likely to use.

    2. I needed a replacement rechargeable battery for my wireless phone. Went to RS and was helped quickly to a battery with a price of $20!!! This is three AAA NiHi batteries connected together with a pigtail/connector. I told the sales person that was a crime and promptly left. I know they can be found for less out there, probably Wal-Mart and a few other places, but at that point I was determined in principle to get a super low price. I went home and ordered one off Amazon for $3.49 including shipping. If the price was even $10 I probably would have paid for the convenience, but $20 was crazy (the word rape comes to mind).

    3. Needed 5" of Split Loom Tubing (plastic wire harness covering) 3/4" diameter for a repair. This was $8 for three feet. I actually bought it because I had to get the job done quick (desperate). Just last week I saw the same thing at Home Depot for half the price.

    Like I said I avoid RS as much as possible, you only get me when it’s been long enough since the last visit that pissed me off and I am desperate. You gotta change something here. I would much rather drive 30 min down town to the "real" electronics store where I am guaranteed to find what I want and there are people that know what they are talking about and the prices are slightly higher than what can be found online, but absolutely worth it. When I am desperate I’ll be going to Home Depot (open until 10 PM) more for assorted wire/terminals/etc. At least there if I have to buy a couple terminals I know what I am getting in the rest of the package (same terminals).

    You gotta change your business model to be more inviting rather then alienating for people that actually know a little bit. I help a lot of people around me and I certainly never recommend RS unless they are desperate.

  • Tom

    Arduino kits, shields
    BugLabs

    Ham radio stuff (especially stuff for connectors)

  • Ronald Montplaisir

    Alternativre energy proucts. Solar panels and the components that go with it. Battery charge controller, invertors. Wind generators or practical boks about the subject giving examples of time required to charge batteries and invertor time before next chagre.

    Thanks, Keep up the good work.

  • Dan

    I’m amazed at the number of great ideas prresented here. All have merit. They reflect much of what Radio Shack used to be in the old days when they beat out Federal and Lafayette Radio for the top spot in consumer electronics. America is a land of freedom and opportunity with a generous sprinkling of "yankee ingenuity". Give us the tools (and parts), we’ll give you some inventions. Your marketing has been done for you. We would love to see some results.

  • triston b

    more wire. you guys barly have any wire just speaker wire and alot of thick wire which isn’t good for working with small electronics. and maybe lower your prices on small components like resistors , switches & LEDs I can get 3 times the amount of LEDs and resistors for half the price online

  • JNJ

    I build speaker cabinets so I would like to see more raw speakers and accessories.

  • Alban Elfed

    I second the 3PDT true bypass foot switches for guitar pedals. I’m sure a lot of your DIY crowd comes from the world of audio, and pedal building is a popular hobby among musicians. Also, strip board is nice for prototyping. I realize you carry prototype board, I just find vero board easier to work with. A better assortment of transistors would be nice also.

    I’m glad to see Radio Shack going back to its origin instead of having a bunch of brats selling cell phones. There’s a cell phone store on every street corner, not a radio shack…

    Oh, I wish you guys still sold the old style of project enclosures also. That would be awesome.

  • Alban Elfed

    I second the 3PDT true bypass foot switches for guitar pedals. I’m sure a lot of your DIY crowd comes from the world of audio, and pedal building is a popular hobby among musicians. Also, strip board is nice for prototyping. I realize you carry prototype board, I just find vero board easier to work with. A better assortment of transistors would be nice also.

    I’m glad to see Radio Shack going back to its origin instead of having a bunch of brats selling cell phones. There’s a cell phone store on every street corner, not a radio shack…

    Oh, I wish you guys still sold the old style of project enclosures also. That would be awesome.

  • triston b

    more wire. you guys barly have any wire just speaker wire and alot of thick wire which isn’t good for working with small electronics. and maybe lower your prices on small components like resistors , switches & LEDs I can get 3 times the amount of LEDs and resistors for half the price online

  • taddriver

    I don’t even bother going to the local Lincoln Park store any more. Since they moved to the new store it is nothing but a cell phone store. All i needed was a simple single pole slide switch. They had nothing. The staff didn’t bother to assist they couldn’t pry themselves off their phones. My impression was i was a bother. Sorry i disturbed their day.I ended up buying them on E bay. In a Radio shack package no less.

  • K7RDB

    I always said this was the market you should aim for – the "Makers Fair" set ( and you should consider sponsoring those events). Its not just about robotics – check out Sparkfun.com and you will see where they focus.

    I would say for 3 items:

    1. microcontroller learning/building blocks – Arduino/PIC microcontroller related items – Parallax.com
    2. computer components- cases/motherboards/power supplies – more than the consumer items you have
    3. LCD displays like Crystalfontz or equiv – see smartie.com – cool and fun and of interest to many

  • Jeremy

    There is a huge community of guitar FX/pedal builders out there. We need things like metal enclosures, foot switches and different types of transistors. A DIY guitar pedal kit would be hot.

  • Dylan

    I would like to see a supply of electronic parts. Last time I visited my local store, the electronic parts were relegated to a single cabinet. Why even go if everything you can get at Radio Shack can be found at Best Buy or a million other stores.

  • Liudr

    To answer your question of giving three products that you should carry for DIY-ers, Arduino, Arduino, and Arduino (without Italian accent unfortunately ;). Just google it to see how many million hits you get for arduino-related DIY projects.

    Main site:
    arduino.cc

    Forum:
    http://arduino.cc/forum/

    Don’t need to start a war on which is the best development board for DIY-ers but Arduino’s popularity probably grew faster than anything I’ve seen, and among the most diverse populations I’ve ever seen.

  • Joe Connor

    I recommend that you stock the following for do-it-yourself antique radio restoration:

    1. high voltage film capacitors (i.e., 630 WVDC) in denominations such as .5 mfd, .22 mfd., .1 mfd., .047 mfd., .022 mfd., .01 mfd., .0047 mfd., .0033 mfd., .0022 mfd. and .001 mfd

    2. high voltage electrolytic capacitors (i.e., 450 WVDC) in denominations such as 10 mfd, 22 mfd, 33 mfd and 47 mfd

    3. lesser high voltage electrolytic capacitors (i.e., 160 WVDC) in denominations such as 22 mfd, 33 mfd, 47 mfd and 100 mfd

    We hobbyists who restore antique radios customarily buy large amounts of these capacitors. Most of us already patronize Radio Shack for resistors, connectors and accessories. I

    Joe Connor

  • Gary

    It would be nice if at least 1 person per shift had an idea what a diode was, what it looked like, a basic understanding of what it did, and where it was in the store… What i’m saying is you all need to hire some people that are into the DIY stuff and yes you may have to pay them a little more because they actually have some idea of what there doing and there not just selling cell phones.. Radio shack has lot touch with there roots or where they came from and that it was the DIY / Ham radio folks that made them.

    as for what to carry see below
    triacs like BTA07-800
    pic chip like the 16F688 or any of the pics would be good
    ATMEL chips
    Anderson power pole connectors 15,30, and 45 amps red and black at least
    optocouplers MOC3012
    driver ic like 75176
    rj45 right angle, and straight solder on to pc board jacks

    I could go one for a long time with list so if you really what to know email me you have my email address. However i really dont thank you care so i would guess i will not get an email.

  • James Fuller

    Start being the Radio Shack that you were. Radio Shack lost it’s way somewheres about 15 years ago or so
    when it started selling the same name brands that everyone else carried. The thing was Radio Shack carried them and charged more for them, how does that business model work whenever Best Buy outprices you? Get back to basics fo what Radio Shack is and that is Do it yourself but also bring back the classic names and lines you carried for most of your "successfull" years.

    Another thing that annoys the daylights out of me is Radio Shack also needs to quit being just another cell phone store, that also drives me nuts. Also quit trying to run from your roots by calling it "The Shack". You seem intent on deleting "radio’ from your name. My recent visit to a Radio Shack store was dismal. It seemed they sold nothing but celll phones and electronics that Best Buy already has that are cheaper in price than radio shack.

    I was a big radio shack customer for many years but I refuse to return until Radio Shack starts being the Radio Shack it was. You can’t even find a decent assortment of electronic components to complete a project.
    at Radio Shack any longer. What good is it? If you can’t be the company you were then you deserve to go away just like other unsuccessful companies.

  • Buzz

    Some powerful amp-IC’s would be nice. Also, as was previously stated, more in the way of MOSFET’s both P and N. It would be nice if a person could just fill out a form for random capacitor’s and resistors and have RadioShack ship them right to the store. Somewhere down the road RadioShack might also want to look into getting a larger assortment of general purpose IC’s.

    ~Buzz

  • skbeez

    If you guys could become like sparkfun and start selling arduino microcontrollers and their corresponding cool addons lke the GPS shield, ODB shield and the various "brand-new-to-arduino" kits that give you breadboards with switches/leds/buttons so you can learn the basics of a microcontroller.

  • Steve

    Radio Shack had a winning formula years ago, by offering young people affordable, simple to build electronics kits. I for one was raised in your stores. After you mastered the basic kits, there was the project books & the wall of endless parts to keep everyone interested! Your stores always had the latest in electronics.
    I believe your future consumers would still be interested in all those gadgets thst grew your company in those golden years.
    It saddens me to walk into your stores today to be greeted by rows & rows of cell phones! While the cellular business is important to todays lifestyle, it should not over power your roots of providing a diverse electronics store.
    I wish my young son could experience the same thrill I used to have visiting your stores when I was young. Unfortunately, we are faced with dwindeling parts bins, no more project note books, & having to explain to my son why your store is named Radio Shack instead of Cellular Shack!
    You have the opportunity to once again bring our youth into your stores by carring more electronics parts & kits.
    Hope you are listening!!

  • Slip

    More microcontroller IC’s

    More of a sensor selection

    LCD’s

  • Tom

    I am a "DIY’er", but my skills are in the areas of wood work, plumbing and residential electric. There is a multi-billion dollar industry based on folks like me.

    I would like to expand my DIY skills to include basic electronics. I know you have 1.000’s of electronic parts … what I and a lot of home owner DIY’ers need is "How To Information". I purchased a small electronic multi tester, but I only know how to check my motor cycle battery voltage. I would like to learn how to change LED lights in a control panel, how to trouble shoot a non-working door bell, how to make LED running lights for my motorcycle …. I want to develop basic electronic skills. I have read some books and though I have good reading comprehension skills, some manuals/books are confusing. The writer does not dummy down the language far enough to be understood by Joe Average. Also, we live in a disposable society, but I am old school … the thought of throwing away a portable radio just because the on-off switch is broken, bothers me. I still have my first AM-FM tuner I bought in 1973. There are lot of Baby Boomers who think like me.

    My suggestion is: R.S. should have a website, similar to you-tube, with a library of videos on DIY projects. I frequently go to you tube to get answers on some of my home maintenance projects, but I have to look through a lot of videos to find what I want. I think R.S. sales would increase if people like me could go to one video library, see how to fix a problem and know that everything they just saw is available at one store. This would also open the individual into trying new projects …. something a DIY’ers are notorious for.

    Anyway … that’s my $.02

  • Steve

    Would also like to see a complete line of HAM radios & accessories!
    I believe this is still an untapped market if done correctly.
    You tried years ago, but unfortunatly your equipment was very limited & over priced.

  • Randy

    I am a big fan of Parallax processors. I highly recommend a basic stamp II and their prop chip as starting points for different kits. I’d also recommend boards/kits that are designed to interface with Android based phones and tablets. Make your website very DIYer friendly by bringing Arduino, Parallax, and others into an easy to follow format with lots of open source designs and do-it-yourself kits.

    I started a 25+ year IT career with my TRS-80, and I have developed a computer joystick device by starting with the Radio Shack 130 in 1 electronics kit. All this before the Internet made it easy. If you lead the way, you will do well leveraging your stores with on-line capabilities.

    Good luck and thanks!! Randy

  • Larry

    WOW. There is no doubt you are tapping into a passionate customer. Once you get past all the selfish product requests for specific items it comes down to a few core brand strategies.

    1. Stay true to the legacy of the brand and be the premier source for electronics.
    2. Staff your stores with the type of people posting these comments. Make it easy for customers to get good technical advice.
    3. Mine the web (including your own e-commerce site) for the most sought after products and stock them in stores.
    4. Have a robust variety of products available online- ship for free and offer in-store returns.
    5. Offer regular in-store DIY workshops making RS a gathering place for the like minded DIYer.

    As for my (selfish) product suggestions: Arduino, EL Wire and LEDs.

  • Kenneth Wilcox

    I Remember Radio Shack In the 1960’s and 1970’s Back then, It was a Great Place to shop, Had Everything I ever wanted. I still have my Mach II 15in. speakers. Yeah! From 25hz to 18000 khz, still sound great! The Good old Days may not Return, But I Believe maybe someday the Shack will again be a Great place to shop. Bring back the stuff you once had, think about it. Good Luck! Ken P.S. Bring Back in store Catalogs! for sale, I would Buy One.

  • Ed

    I have yet to see a RS store that had more than the small, sad component drawers. It would be nice to have DIY parts again.

    More importantly, it will be nice not to have highly overpriced parts. If I can mail order and have things arrive at my door cheaper than driving across town for something that might be in stock I’ll just mail order. Your online stock system has been wrong or the store help couldn’t find the item the last two times I tried.

    1. Go walk through a Fry’s store. That’s a place that caters to the DIY market.
    2. Review the www sites for Mouser and Digi-Key. Match their prices.

  • Walter

    It used to be that do-it-yourself articles would cite parts with a Radio Shack stock number. Now the variety of parts is so limited that those of us who need parts buy the odd switch or diode when we can find them. Here’s what I suggest:

    1. Confer with the FIRST competition organization for guidelines of what they are including in their yearly kits. The competition offers school-age applied science experience building robots. They can construct control and power supply circuits and can have an intermittent need for backup parts that have been damaged in experiments.

    2. Confer with the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) and CQ Magazine for guidelines of their future construction articles so that Ham Radio enthusiasts can run down to The Shack to get the parts they need to build the project. Some amateurs have to send away for such parts. Convenient access is everything in an impulse buy. Perhaps a basic level of inductors, wire, Rf transistors, and chassis parts of metal could be expanded. It used to be that you could buy all the parts to construct a radio at The Shack. Not so today except for a crystal receiver. Not so long ago, Radio Shack was courting the Amateur Radio Market. I don’t know what happened but relations turned cold fast. Maybe it was a corporate decision related to the mix of products or perhaps it speaks to my sixth point.

    3. Provide parts suitable for repair of old things, transformers, speakers, fuses, high voltage capacitors (more than 35-50 volts) , relays and more connectors. Include training literature-like the engineer’s notebook format books that used to be sold with all Radio Shack Parts in the lists. There are specialized retailers that provide parts for radio restoration. What would it take to create kits to refurbish radio dial and cabinet graphics using a laser or inkjet printer? The buying power of The Shack could make that and other such parts readily available for reasonable prices. But it takes the commitment of corporate headquarters to develop these products. You cannot merely send a buyer to get others to engineer such products at a reasonable price.

    4. Coordinate with high school and college-level vocational programs to provide services like music stores do for school bands. Their students will buy parts too.

    5. Amateur and Sound Reinforcement Audio. Some of your competitors are pumping up sales of parts into that market in a big way. One even publishes project plans for innovative to weird but functional speakers. In the 60s the easy availability of solid state parts at Radio Shack fueled a lot of its old customers to develop their skills (it did me). For example, I would love to build a class T audio amplifier. Many would like to construct tube amplifiers to save money (most start at $1000 and up). There’s got to be some margin in there somewhere.

    6. Price: In years past, pricing appeared to me to be more in line with retail prices at other outlets in the town where I lived. I’ve lived in San Antonio, TX, Raleigh, NC, and Houston. The competitor outlets may offer better pricing to their professional customers but their walk in off the street price(for the truly retail customer) is what things are marked. When the Radio Shack price is always more, the hobbyist stops looking except to find things after noon on Saturday and Sunday. Sometimes the difference is 1/3 to 2.5 times more at The Shack.

    Finally, I applaud the clean look of the stores these days. What little parts and tools available look better than ever. There is just not enough of the variety to make people think to stop in. Some of the demand must be created actively by the Shack marketing department and outreach to vocational, amateur radio/robotics/audio users and professional users of these parts. Electric Car construction and support circuitry, Low voltage / low power consumption "off the grid," are two markets that support other players in the market. There are more shown in the pages of Popular Science and their like. Take a look at the variety of interests supported by the vendors who advertise.

    Sadly, I believe that it’s not a quick turnaround prospect. So if you are looking to improve next quarter with these efforts, it’s not going to work. As a former employee that worked while in college, I’ve witness many transitions that were either smart enough or lucky to catch a trend. I believe that the space program and The Shack influenced a whole generation of engineers that are starting to retire. Engineer/educators like Bill Nye have continued the trend. But with diminishing support, we are falling behind scientifically as a country. The Shack may be able to play a role in reversing the trend by consulting Mr. Nye and other world-class educators to learn what they need available for the local scholar to buy from The Shack.

    There was a time when I considered a Radio Shack career. I still have fond memories of the folks I met and the trends I witnessed first hand. I hope that you can move the company back to it’s innovative roots with profitability. So many businesses have management that learned the basics under Charles Tandy’s watch. Many of those folks are winning at their now competitive positions. It’s hard but I think you can do it.

    Best Regards,

    Walter

  • Ace

    I think you should carry the Bullet jack tightener, i just got one and its fantastic . http://www.allparts.com/bullet

  • Doug

    Arduino kits would be a smart choice, as they’re getting quite popular in the DIY community. Granted they’re available online, but if you could get them in your stores you could grab back some of that market.

    As complementary parts andproducts, get a good selection of USB related connectors suitable for use in the Arduino kits. At reasonable prices.

    I was in your stores a while ago and nowhere could I find electrical contact cleaning swabs. That was a real disappointment when I was trying to clean some corrosion off of contacts on a camera lens. They used to come in a tube container, like Q-tips but with soft sponge foam heads.

  • Walter

    It used to be that do-it-yourself articles would cite parts with a Radio Shack stock number. Now the variety of parts is so limited that those of us who need parts buy the odd switch or diode when we can find them. Here’s what I suggest:

    1. Confer with the FIRST competition organization for guidelines of what they are including in their yearly kits. The competition offers school-age applied science experience building robots. They can construct control and power supply circuits and can have an intermittent need for backup parts that have been damaged in experiments.

    2. Confer with the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) and CQ Magazine for guidelines of their future construction articles so that Ham Radio enthusiasts can run down to The Shack to get the parts they need to build the project. Some amateurs have to send away for such parts. Convenient access is everything in an impulse buy. Perhaps a basic level of inductors, wire, Rf transistors, and chassis parts of metal could be expanded. It used to be that you could buy all the parts to construct a radio at The Shack. Not so today except for a crystal receiver. Not so long ago, Radio Shack was courting the Amateur Radio Market. I don’t know what happened but relations turned cold fast. Maybe it was a corporate decision related to the mix of products or perhaps it speaks to my sixth point.

    3. Provide parts suitable for repair of old things, transformers, speakers, fuses, high voltage capacitors (more than 35-50 volts) , relays and more connectors. Include training literature-like the engineer’s notebook format books that used to be sold with all Radio Shack Parts in the lists. There are specialized retailers that provide parts for radio restoration. What would it take to create kits to refurbish radio dial and cabinet graphics using a laser or inkjet printer? The buying power of The Shack could make that and other such parts readily available for reasonable prices. But it takes the commitment of corporate headquarters to develop these products. You cannot merely send a buyer to get others to engineer such products at a reasonable price.

    4. Coordinate with high school and college-level vocational programs to provide services like music stores do for school bands. Their students will buy parts too.

    5. Amateur and Sound Reinforcement Audio. Some of your competitors are pumping up sales of parts into that market in a big way. One even publishes project plans for innovative to weird but functional speakers. In the 60s the easy availability of solid state parts at Radio Shack fueled a lot of its old customers to develop their skills (it did me). For example, I would love to build a class T audio amplifier. Many would like to construct tube amplifiers to save money (most start at $1000 and up). There’s got to be some margin in there somewhere.

    6. Price: In years past, pricing appeared to me to be more in line with retail prices at other outlets in the town where I lived. I’ve lived in San Antonio, TX, Raleigh, NC, and Houston. The competitor outlets may offer better pricing to their professional customers but their walk in off the street price(for the truly retail customer) is what things are marked. When the Radio Shack price is always more, the hobbyist stops looking except to find things after noon on Saturday and Sunday. Sometimes the difference is 1/3 to 2.5 times more at The Shack.

    Finally, I applaud the clean look of the stores these days. What little parts and tools available look better than ever. There is just not enough of the variety to make people think to stop in. Some of the demand must be created actively by the Shack marketing department and outreach to vocational, amateur radio/robotics/audio users and professional users of these parts. Electric Car construction and support circuitry, Low voltage / low power consumption "off the grid," are two markets that support other players in the market. There are more shown in the pages of Popular Science and their like. Take a look at the variety of interests supported by the vendors who advertise.

    Sadly, I believe that it’s not a quick turnaround prospect. So if you are looking to improve next quarter with these efforts, it’s not going to work. As a former employee that worked while in college, I’ve witness many transitions that were either smart enough or lucky to catch a trend. I believe that the space program and The Shack influenced a whole generation of engineers that are starting to retire. Engineer/educators like Bill Nye have continued the trend. But with diminishing support, we are falling behind scientifically as a country. The Shack may be able to play a role in reversing the trend by consulting Mr. Nye and other world-class educators to learn what they need available for the local scholar to buy from The Shack.

    There was a time when I considered a Radio Shack career. I still have fond memories of the folks I met and the trends I witnessed first hand. I hope that you can move the company back to it’s innovative roots with profitability. So many businesses have management that learned the basics under Charles Tandy’s watch. Many of those folks are winning at their now competitive positions. It’s hard but I think you can do it.

    Best Regards,

    Walter

  • Ace

    I think you should carry the Bullet jack tightener, i just got one and its fantastic . http://www.allparts.com/bullet

  • Dick

    When I was a kid (OK, many years ago), Radio Shack and Lafayette were my main sources of electronic parts. Lafayette is gone and Radio Shack as an electronic parts source IMO has withered to a twig. You have a variety of parts in your catalog, but not much in the stores. A few years ago I went to 2 RS stores looking for PUTs, SCRs and TRIACs. Not only were there none in the stores, the personnel didn’t even know what they are!

    So thyristors in general (SCR, TRIAC, GTO, PUT) are items that should be added to the store inventories. It also wouldn’t hurt to have a store manager who knows at least the basics, like the difference between a ceramic cap and an electrolytic cap. An engineer wouldn’t expect him to be an expert, but he should at least know enough to talk intelligently with hobbyists. I understand this is a challenging requirement given the current spectrum of RS merchandise, but if a guy describes himself as a "gadget freak" in the interview, that would be a good sign.

    Regarding your catalog, when I look up a transformer and go to the specifications, I really don’t need to know what color it is or that the supported language is English. I need to know the impedance ratio or turns ratio, the inductance and resistance of each winding, the frequency response with test conditions specified, etc. Think I’m kidding? Look at <http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103254#tabsetBasic&gt;. If a customer hadn’t sent in the basic specs from the product package, there would be no tech specs at all. For power transformers, I need power specs, not <http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2102494#tabsetBasic&gt;. On the page linking to that page it says "300 mA", but that’s not even mentioned on the "technical specifications" page. Your spec sheets are ridiculous. Please get somebody involved who understands why you can’t use the same spec sheet form for every type of component. Even a decent photo of the specs from the package would be a start.

  • ke3jp

    It was called Radio Shack for a reason. If you folks would carry amateur radio equipment like you used to do and at competitive prices and even it had to be only mail order only, you would increase your business . The problem you had many years ago with sales of ham radio gear that it was limited in your inventory to a 10 meter transceiver, a 2 meter mobile and a 2 meter ht and 440 . radio shack should start having all kinds of gear for ham radio hf/vhf/uhf
    and look at digital modes for amateur radio using dv dongles and d-star radio and computer supported equipment.
    So maybe you would want to contract Kenwood icom yaesu and other manufacturers of amateur equipment,
    I think as a x sale man for over 13 years for radio shack you would certainly be able to out sell more amateur radio retailers, as you would be able to make larger purchase from them at lower prices and be able to sell at lower prices
    you know there is a lot of things i know i sold a lot of , but the other day i went to radio shack and there was nothing
    there at all and as a builder i have to know go to to other place to get what i want and you used to have it
    now its all camera’s and computer and cell phone , like there is a lot of people that don’t look at radio shack as what it was and i hear allot its called radio scarp ,

  • acidbath

    High voltage caps, power supply ,polypro and the like,High wattage resistors, stuff for tubeheads.lots of us still here

  • Jeff

    You used to have quality ham radios ( got my 1st onefrom you htx-202 ) , You need large power supplies large
    adjustable voltage bench supplies, 13.8 volt 25 amp or larger switching power supplies, larger assortment of fuses,
    project enclosers, more capacitors,diodes, etc. thank you for listening. radio shack needs to put radio back into thieir name and focus less on cell phones , electronics stores are few and far between.

  • MarinerMB

    I have always thought that Radio Shack was supposed to be the place to go when you wanted state of the art electronics. But from my last several visits I am finding that each time I want something new, be it cable or cord or adapter, I have to go to Best Buy to buy it!

    Radio Shack seems to only have products that will service items a year old…when are you going to have the electronics that are needed for TODAY?

  • Serge

    74-series logic (referably 74ALS and 74AHCT series), more simple PIC microcontrollers (PIC16F88 and such), Velleman kits in the store (I know you have some online).

  • dirknerkle

    Resistors- instead of packaging them in packs with such wide resistor values, create packages of resistors <100 ohms, then perhaps 100-1K ohms, then 1K-15K, 15K-100K, etc. The reason for this is that very rarely will you find a project that requires resistors having ranges between 10ohms and 1megohm. Therefore, it’s a waste for the DIYer to buy the package. Likewise, charging $1 for four 1/4 watt resistors is ridiculous and is a result of the expensive bubble packaging you use. These resistors cost about a penny each and the exorbitant cost added by such packaging is quite distasteful to the DIYer. Manufacturers often package resistors in bulk rolls; consider identifying the most popular resistor values and provide them in rolls, using a simple scissors to snip off as many of that value as are needed. Charge 5 cents each and you’ll find more DIYers will come through your doors…

    Capacitors – do something similar – group relatively like values within the same voltage specification. For example, you might create packages of 16 volt caps, another of 25 volt caps, etc. Many of them are also available in rolls.

    Provide RJ45 jacks, breakapart rows of header pins (male and female), some triacs, wider selection of voltage regulators and rectifiers, perhaps some optocouplers, too.

    I know this sort of packaging creates some curious inventory management issues, but it’s much closer to the model of how experimenters/DIYers need products and if you package your products in a manner more consistent with how they’re used, you might sell more product in the long run.

    I applaud your efforts to do more for the DIYer. I hope that RS will be able to successfully manage this effort and make profits from it.

  • WD6ETH

    I think your products are good and have been very good in the past. In the last 10 years or so Radio Shack has started selling services and pushing cell phone deals and pay tv deals and not doing what they used to do. In our present economy this is understandable, however, you used to produce the Realistic line of radios. This was an excellent line of products to a niche market at the time. If you were to focus more attention to cool products of your own line rather than deals for some other company’s services and products, you might find a great return in the american market. All the kits and etc are great too!.
    Thank you
    Allen Tury

  • Colleen Monahan

    It is about time for Radio Shack to get on board the Maker movement but you need to get away from having to brand everything with a Radio Shack name. Start selling products developed by the maker movement and that will show you really care about us DIY’ers.

    -Colleen

  • Joe

    I find it ironic that the name "Radio Shack", yet you don’t carry much if anything to do with Ameture Radio. Why?

  • lockman27511

    Need project boxes with circuit boards to fit in several sizes, either as a kit or separate items. Many of your prices are TEN times higher than can be found online. Most stores do NOT have the quantity of parts needed, I must go to several stores for what I require. When I find you don’t carry a part I need and must order online, I place my whole order online. The selection of POTs is very limited. If RS online had more of the specialty parts that aren’t big sellers enough to be stocked in local stores, I would use ship to store service more.

    The technical support of most staff members is very limited. Very high turn over, few stay even a year. There are several store locations near my house, I drive several miles farther (Cary, NC Crossroads) to shop a RS store that has an older experienced manager (Rick) that has been with RS for many years, but also has the technical back round to be a real help with difficult problems. When he retires I will be at a total loss when shopping at any RS!

    Some of your best preforming sales stores (Dunn, NC) are totally worthless as to any technical support and don’t even know the parts inventory (microphone connectors) in their own store.

  • Scott

    I have been with the Shack since 1990 and 2 products that I a get frequent resquest for are: 1> Phone Flasher for the hard of hearing. It was both a external ringer and a strobe light flasher that lit up when the phone rang. Former sku # was 43-178 2> Outdoor Bell for the phone. Former sku 43-174. Thanks!

  • DB

    I like the idea that you are reaching out to the DIY community again, and I like the newsletter. However, highlighting products at a regular price does not encourage me to drive to RS and buy it. It would be better to highlight products that are on sale, or include coupons for discounts on the highlighted products.

  • frank n. stein

    Lets get some HAM equipment into our stores! With the POS it would be quite easy to add a popup box to enter your license so that these aren’t sold as CB radios. Even if there was 1 store in a 30 mile radius that carried a half decent assortment of radios, we would certainly see an increase in DIY traffic. Arent these customers the regulars?

  • Retired One-Time Electronics Nerd

    I am delighted to see Radio Shack exploring this idea.

    Half a century ago, before Radio Shack existed, my father and I, both ham radio operators, regularly used to visit Henry Radio (long since defunct) in LA. It had all sorts of parts and components, all unpackaged, including big barrels of the most-used resistors and capacitors.

    The store expected customers to know the color codes. It posted only the price per unit atop the barrel, as general stores in the Old West once did. It was a place you could spend enjoyable hours in, and you could always find what you needed.

    I’ve seen nothing like that today, not even on the Web. If you want a resistor, for example, you have to search a number of websites, looking for reliable service, the best prices, the best shipping, etc. There is no shop where you can get it all, this afternoon, reliably with in-person help.

    So as far as I can see the "Henry Radio" niche is wide open, with virtually no competition. When was the last time you could walk into a store and buy, for example, a hand-sized aluminum circuit box for your personal creation, or just to repackage an old circuit whose enclosure had been damaged or broken?

    If Radio Shack continues to sell small appliances and mobile devices, it won’t last five years. How can it possibly compete against Amazon, let alone its thousand clones, which allow you to shop on-line, compare the prices and features of large number of products that no brick-and-mortar store could possible carry, and look over hundreds of honest reviews by actual users? I can’t remember the last time I bought a small appliance or electronic device (other than a cell phone) from a brick and mortar store.

    But brick and mortar can compete (with no one today!) by offering the hobbyist, would-be repairman, and DIY-er parts and components that he/she wants *today* and the opportunity to browse for things he/she forgot were needed, just as consumers now browse in Lowe’s and Home Depot for stuff for home repairs and improvement.

    As that analogy suggests, Radio Shack will probably have to have bigger stores in lower-rent districts to make this business model work. But I don’t see any future in trying to compete with Amazon and the Internet in the small-appliance/mobile device market.

    My three wishes: (1) capacitors, resistors and discrete transistors/small ICs in bins, not plastic packages, at low prices; (2) small aluminum circuit boxes, cabinets, panels and enclosures; and (3) switches, knobs, and variable controls (including digital ones) for making attractive and presentable projects of your own.

    Good luck with this new business model! No one else is doing it, and you’ve got the history to make it work.

  • Retired One-Time Electronics Nerd

    P.S. Another good business model to emulate is Joann’s for quilting and beading and other feminine hobby supplies. My wife loves to shop there, and apparently it’s a booming business nationwide. The only question is whether there are as many (probably mostly male) electronics enthusiasts out there as (mostly female) quilters and beaders. The number of posts in this thread suggests the answer is "yes."

  • Byron654

    What would be nice is a cell phone and an I-pad all wrapped up in one. I could talk and check my email right here. also make it available to take double or tripple A batteries, that can be recharged, by solar or ac/dc charger. Also make it affordable for everybody.

  • John VanDyke

    I would like to see Radio Shack return to the Amateur Radio line you once carried. A full powered (5 watt) Ham 144 MHz handheld transceiver (HT) along the lines of your old HTX-202 would be a very good start. Add a mobile 144 MHz (more powerful vehicle type) radio like your old HTX-242 along with a couple of vehicle mount antennas would allow an entry back into the Amateur Radio market to service the growing number of new hams.

    I’d also like to see your stores carry some computer upgrade components like hard drives, CD/DVD drives, and possibly some expansion boards like sound and TV tuners.

    When I first got into computers and later Amateur Radio, Radio Shack was always on my shopping list. As Radio Shack discontinued these product lines, I seldom go in to your stores.

  • rsguy

    I started going to Radio Shack for parts when i was in 4th grade when i turned 18 i got a job for a dealer in my town where i still currenty work The reason I got the job here was that i knew the parts and how to use them I was happy working here until they dissapeared slowly also no physical catalog thats a major dissapointment. So now I get my stuff from digikey, mouser, mcmaster carr and ebay I dont really like the pushy additude they want us to have with the phones and batteries i hear all the time the peoples needs that radioshack doesnt carry anymore the stuff that made RadioShack Radio Shack its neglect if they want to carry the same stuff best buy and walmart does fine but I think im gonna have to find a diffrent job because it wont last too much longer. but props if you can really pull it off I would love to see it! as far as the parts needed well open a catalog from the 80’s and add that stuff plus the newer items for today

  • Sam The Ham

    I would love to see Radio Shack carry ham radios again (by the way your, website says you carry Ham radios, and y’all don’t). Even if it was just a few HT’s and mobiles it would really be nice (and handy). I know of a lot of people who still use Radio Shack radios and like them. Or y’all could just carry brands like Yaesu, Icom, Kenwood…..

    Carry ham radio antennas, y’all already carry CB antennas so why not ham antennas. Y’all could just carry other brands like Diamond, Comet, Cushcraft, HamSticks…..

    Also, y’all should start carrying more RF connectors. Most modern HT’s use SMA connectors and a lot of antennas use BNC, PL259, and N connectors, so it would be nice if y’all carried more adapters too.

    Start carrying higher end tools like Klein, Fluke…..

    Carry better live (and recording) sound products like Shure, Heil, EV, JBL, Mackie……

    Just my thoughts.
    73

  • Kyle King

    You should carry Arduino products such as the uno and a few select shields. Also for beginners you could carry the SparkFun Inventor’s Kit for Arduino (http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10339). That would be a great addition to the Radioshack lineup!

  • Bill

    things I would like to see Radio Shack carry:

    1) microcontrollers:
    Atmel AVRs, Microchip PICs, and/or TI MSP430s or something like them; however, even if you went with some of
    the hobbiest-friendly development kits like Arduino (AVR-based), that would be something.

    2) digitial ICs:
    A nice assortment of the 74x series of chips: gates, flip-flops, etc., would be great

    3) assorted stuff:
    LCDs (character and graphical), more types of sensors, ribbon cable, kits, power supplies, etc. More of the type of
    things necessary to actually get the project off the ground.

    I see your primary competition (in terms of what _I_ want) as being SparkFun.com .

    An anti-suggestion: robotic equipment. I was going to ask for servos, motors, batteries, belts, pulleys, etc. but really, the local Radio Controlled hobby store has all that. You would be competing with them, and they have a lot.

  • Andrew Morrow

    Expand your range of capacitors and drop your small capacitor pack. It is essentially useless.

    Bring in single sided copper clad PCBs.

    Bring in the PULSAR series of toner transfer method pcb etching supplies.

    Expand your range of switches to include small tactile .1" spaced momentary buttons. 6mm would do.

    Carry the Arduino UNO – or perhaps your own branded variant – and get a solid selection of related supplies.

    Expand your selection of books on diy electronics including projects instead of just theory.

    Go back and read the bit about Arduino again… It’s the closest thing you’re going to find to a whole new market, and if you put money into it, you could really regain your position as a component retailer.

    Finally: I’m now used to being able to get more in your store… Dont backpedal You’re not going to out-cell phone Best Buy, so don’t try. Go back to your roots and realize that it will take time and advertising to get the DIY guys back in the store but will be worth it.

  • Ozzy9039

    - Brushless Electric Motors
    – Electronic Speed Controls
    – Small Project Power Supplies

  • KB6NZV

    Things to improve:
    Better selection to TTL (74 series), better selection of disc, electrolytic and tantalum capacitors. Better selection of mosfets and general purpose semiconductors in general. Add arduino-related items and restock the books, or partner with Amazon to market your books for you. Start special order section to handle surface mount components.

  • post it

    I would like to see cheaper microcontrolers besides the basic stamp2. Picaxe is a cheap alternative. You can’t become digikey or mouser but like other people are saying 7400 series and darlington arrays.

  • unitcharlie

    It is about time you returned to your roots as RADIO Shack…. You need to stay current to stay competitive, but you need to remember the people out here who made Radio Shack what it is today…. Scanners are more than my hobby and over the years, as you experimented with "The Shack", etc, you lost my business because I couldn’t find things I needed to fix my scanners and antennae… Bring back a decent assortment of connectors and adapters to route RF and make or repair cables, bring back better quality 50 ohm cable with solid electrode instead of twisted wire, bring back a better assortment of scanner antennae…. Force some of your sales folks to put down the cell fones and learn about the rest of the store. With scanner makers finding out how to make easy-to-use scanners to follow complicated trunked systems it is a golden opportunity to get your scanner line beefed up with the proper equipment and teach some folks how to monitor….

  • jch1127

    After reading the comments of others i would agree with the crowd that simply states "get back to the Radio Shack of old". Get back to beingthe place that you could go to to get the electronic parts and pieces you needed for projects or repairs. Get back to being a "radio" shack. instead of focusing on being the cellphone shack increase the radios you sell including more ham and a wider vriety of scanner even if you dont make them.

  • sherlock2667

    I recently purchase a Radio Shack Pro-106 Handheld Radio Scanner. I’ve followed all instructions, paid a scanner company you recommended to help and my scanner still won’t work. Fortunately, I’m still within my 30 return period and if I don’t get it working, I’ll never buy another Radio Shack product. I’ve been purchasing Radio Shack since I was a college freshman and I’ll be 60 in July, so Radio Shack has gotten a lot of my $$$$. Your lack of support for a product with your name om kit is unacceptable.

  • Corey Hunter

    I work for South GA farm equipment dealer as a technician, but dabble in the frequent home project. Radio shack needs alot, here are some of my heart felt solutions:

    More computer components; Radio shack tried selling RAM for a short time but yall need at least a couple of internal hard drives, molex connectors (not the kind in the parts drawers), usb bluetooth receivers (sold them in the past)

    Security system components: how can you not sell a home security system in a box (A dvr w/ a hd included with 2-4 cameras) these can be bought off ebay for $200-300 bucks.

    Wider variety of fuses, more ceramics

    Do-it-yourself software–picture recovery software, hard drive recovery software, cost effective malware removal programs..

    Sell a universal laptop charger thats less than 75 bucks. They can be found online for 20 dollars I would spend up to 50 to buy it local.

    What about a camera battery charger at a reasonable price. I found one on the website for 9.99 why wouldnt you offer that solution in stores???

    I have Radio shacks all around me, probably 8 within 30 square miles. The employees are clueless, but what do you expect; You cant put the average Joe in a Radio shack and expect them to know or try to learn about the DIY components because they are only worried about selling phones, I’m guessing commission. Out of all the stores I go into in my area there is only 1 location in Sylvester, GA that have 2 guys working that are competent enough to produce a genuine answer without reading it off a box or google. Most of the time if I have to visit another location I get that deer in headlights look, I usually have to get them to call and ask the employees in Sylvester. In other words train your people or hire people willing to learn not just collect a check.

  • eddy

    I agree with the others that think RS should get back to their roots. Back in the day I could repair all my guitars and amplifiers using Radio Shack components but today it’s nealyr impossible to find a decent speaker or 500 Ohm pot at RS. bring back some vacuum tube stuff! Guitarists have returned to tubes for their guitar amps due to tube amps’ superior sonic qualities. Help us out here. I can go to Walmart and get a cellphone or Blackberry.

  • eddy

    I agree with the others that think RS should get back to their roots. Back in the day I could repair all my guitars and amplifiers using Radio Shack components but today it’s nealyr impossible to find a decent speaker or 500 Ohm pot at RS. bring back some vacuum tube stuff! Guitarists have returned to tubes for their guitar amps due to tube amps’ superior sonic qualities. Help us out here. I can go to Walmart and get a cellphone or Blackberry.

  • Chuck

    I am concerned that the Shack has reduced their variety of components. There are hardly any wide range local retailers of components parts. Additionally, I think the Shack should begin to sponsor electronic training for kids at each local store. This would develop a good image as well ensure future sales. The courses would of course use kits and components from Shack stocks.

    The Shack could even develop markets with local school systems to suppliment trade courses with electronic training assistance.

    FYI

    Chuck Creswell
    9259631778

  • Ken

    This is probably the greatest idea any company has had in a long time. Great business sense listening to the consumers/ customers of RadionShack! Look to the arduino and consumer grade electronics kits like the old Heathkits ( blog.makezine.com/archive/2008/11/the-soul-of-an-old-heathk.html
    ). Also, don’t forget to focus on robotics/mechatronics.

  • Jerryn

    Do you want to be the radioshack that I remembered as a kids in the 80s ? Sell the arduino and shield kits for it. Sell breadboards, Integrated Circuits, more flavors of capacitors, resistors, thermistors, transistors, fpga.s. Kits for the younger generation growing up. crankup the Realistic Brand again. Your company was won of the first to sell home computers, remember the trs-80 ? It’s time for you to innovate again! You don’t want to morph into a phone store. The world has enough of those. it’s bad enough I have to drive 58 miles to Youdoit electronics in Needham, MA whenever I need something quick. When I was a teenager I just drove to my local radio Shack to get parts.

  • Tvfats

    Friends…I remember when I loved going into the Shack…Now you are nothing more than a toy store that sells phones…Might as well close up most of the outlets…Unknowledgeable staff, poor merchanising…on and on it goes…Back then you always had sizzle items on display…Time has passed the Shack by I guess…Sad to say I am not planning on making a return visit soon…Sob!

  • Gary

    I have always been a HUGE fan of Radio Shack! Until the other day I had never left a Radio Shack without a solution to my problem. I have always commented to people how you always know exactly what it takes to fix a problem or enhance an experience. But I went to a store in Las Vegas (Spring Mountain and Jones area) and the employee was so unwilling to help me it was amazing. He was rude and very unprofessional. It has soured my once high opinion of Radio Shack

  • Charles Costello

    Stop asking for Name,Address and Phone Number for a lousy 5 Dollar item.No other store does that!

  • Phil

    I would especially like to see you guys carry more Computer up grades.. (Yes I know about Best Buy or Comp USA..there both 15-18 miles away) At least carry some Memory , or an assortment of CD Rom drives.. or even some Hard Drive up grades and Video and sound cards!

    I would also like to see some more varities of Cell Phones !

    On the Plus side the R/S I shop at the staff is very knowledgable on anything they sell!

  • WolfV

    Be Radio Shack of old (read others comments for elaboration) Not "The Shack" (I’m sure some marketing genius told you that you needed to distance yourself from "Radio", because the kids don’t know what that really means anymore.) And it’s really the young ones’ spending power you’ve been after now, isn’t it?

    Stop pouncing on me the minute I enter the store, and trying to sell me a damn cell phone. If that’s where all your money comes from these days, then drop all the other stuff and be the best cell phone store you can.

    Once the salesman hears that I want purchase some component parts they quickly abandon me for bigger fish (IE-another cell phone sucker). Which is just as well, if they do stick with you, all they do is point you to the parts bins and tell you how little they know about them.

    Yes, I’m angry at what Radio Shack has evolved into over the last 40 years. Maybe "The Shack" is the better name for your stores after all. I don’t know what is more annoying, the products you sell now, the products you don’t sell and should, or the really, really, annoying salespeople.

    I would like to see you carry:

    Audio component/Equipment replacement speakers
    Desktop shortwave sets
    Arduino/Parallax microprocessors
    Home automation and home security systems and components.

    I gotta tell you, it’s going to take some big changes to get me back in your stores. Not just a few more bins of parts!

    Good luck… you need it!

  • Edward Hill

    I have shopped in Radio Shack once since I bought some earphone that were not stereo and walked back in the store 5 minutes later and could not return or exchange the product.If this policy continues ,I will continue to shop elsewhere for my electronics.

  • johndavid400

    Well, here is my wish list for Radio Shack:

    1. logic-level N-channel power Mosfet – FQP52-N06L (cost $1.50 each) – we need a powerful mosfet switch!!!
    2. corresponding P-channel power Mosfet – FQP47-P06 (cost $2.50 each) – we want to make H-bridges!!!
    3. some motor-drivers, either in IC form or commercial units – the popular L293D or L298N (cost = $3 each)
    4. male pin and female pin headers 0.1" (cost $1 for 40 pins)
    5. the popular Arduino microcontroller boards (cost $29 each) – this should replace your Basic Stamps, those are old.
    6. some hobby Servo motors ($15 each)
    7. some geared DC motors for robotics, like the solarbotics type (cost $7 each)
    8. a robot frame that is cheaper than the BoeBot ($150!) – DFRobot.com has quite a few sub-$50 models including motors.
    9. 74hc595 shift registers (cost $0.50 each)
    10. crystal resonators – 16MHz would be nice for making your own Arduino clones (cost $0.50 each)
    11. Sell MAKE magazine!
    12. And finally, you should call the nice folks over at Sparkfun.com (Nathan Seidle) and ask them if they are interested in forming a partnership with you, where you sell their top 5 most popular products on your shelves (they now have nice packaging for the popular items). They have tons of open-source products for sale that are built specifically for the DIY community – make some of them available to us locally, for those who don’t know about Sparkfun and other internet sites.

    ~JD Warren

  • Win

    a small selection of common new manufacture vacuum tubes, like 5AR4, 6L6, 6V6, EL84, 12AT7, 12AX7, etc.

    high voltage capacitors, electrolytic and ceramic, up to 450 to 500 volts

    perhaps some transformers, say 250-0-250, 6.3 volts, and 5 volt secondaries.

    chokes – 2 -10 henry

  • bob leroux

    radioshack concept dde distribution electronique, le meilleurs au monde! en france ,depuis le depart de tandy corporation alias radioshack! dificile de trouver composants electroniques ainsi que magasins avec conseils specifiques. competences ,choix, et services sont unique! seul radioshack :l arts du commerce du 21 siecles aux services du clients, detiens celas. la france a perdu le concept de vente et un service ,que seul radioshack alias tandy peu nous rapporter. revenez!!!!.bob leroux ,ex employe tandy.

  • Ron

    I like to install my TV cable inside the walls; ditto for my computer network connections; …and telephone connections.
    Telephone is not a problem; the network and TV connections are because of the size of the RJ45 terminators and the multiplicity of combos between TV cables and F connectors that make it near impossible to get a secure fit of the F connector onto the cable.
    I need a source of consistent supplies to complete these tasks + advice from someone who’s actually done these kinds of tasks. I’m working now on a 4-BR home in Delaware having successfully wired my previous home in NJ – I’m having the same problems finding consistently compatible cabling and connectors.
    BTW, I started with Direct TV, switched to Comcast, and now to Verizon FiOS, which I’m trying to cable together.

  • malcolm

    you frustrate the hell out of me because your selection does not allow me to complete anything without having to mail order parts. you offer solder and boards, but not headers? motors but not gears? motors but not solenoids? starter kits but not arduinos and not shields or shield kits?

    Do any of you actually build anything using only the parts in your store? How did that work for you?

    what you need to do is partner with instructables or another DIY site, get manifests for everything you would need to build those projects, and then make sure your parts lists are complete so we could build them after a store visit.

    Also, please do yourself a favour, visit active surplus in downtown toronto, and then ask yourself: how can I replicate this experience in a mall like retail setting. becuase that is the experience every DIY guy I know actually wants: a completely enabling inventory coupled with a litte treasure hunting and unexpected discovery.

    I am a product manager by trade. Hire me, or someone like me, to help you get this right. what you have right now is half hearted and half baked and feels like you were not willing to let go of your past but do not understand why this stuff is in the store anymore. recognizing that the maker movement is a new customer segment to be addressed is a good start to fixing that, but ONLY if you then recognize what it will take to meet our needs.

    – ability to discover projects and helpful information from others
    – ability to discover new components and parts that can be played with and learned from
    – complete inventory that enables completion of projects

    please call me if you want help. Seriously.

  • Brilhante

    I’d like to see more kits and microcontrollers, i.e. Arduino. A selection of servo motors would be good, too. Also, I hope you can keep the prices down. I noticed that a few things I bought went up 15-20% in the last month or so.

  • K2QAI

    I have been a Ham operator for over 50 years and as I’m sure you know, Radio Shack started in the Boston area long before I was born. Sadly, among hams you are now referred to as "Radio Crap" because you sell a small selection of inferior items. As a few people have mentioned, it would be nice to have some Radio Shack shortwave receivers (tabletop), miscellaneous components, connectors, etc. I still try to purchase there but frequently find that I have to use the internet or mail order to obtain something I need.
    Maybe there isn’t as much money to be made in this stuff compared to cell phones but the store is already there so why not use it to maximize your business? Well, I don’t expect to see much of a change but I will be hoping. Good luck!

  • chewe

    try to get worker that are helpful instead of just filling in positions

  • Nahn

    Radio Shack has changed DRASTICALLY since I started patronizing you in the 70’s. Today w/ the advent of computers, networking and the like, I mostly go to sites like Tiger Direct and/or Newegg for computer parts, bare-bone kits, routers, connectors and even some of the old kits that might prove useful in designing proprietary audio-processing devices for use in music production, this includes top-notch vacuum tubes or ‘valves,’ etc. Much of the preceding comments are in line with the rest of the comments here.

    What I find now, is that your organization, when I walk into a store, focuses of a couple of, quite frankly, low-grade TVs and surround sound packages, but the main focus is on mobile phones, accessories for the same and contracts, toys, batteries (I could not even find a lithium battery for a device I needed).

    Most importantly, the general pricing on MOST of your products, is inordinately higher than the brick and mortar competition located near me (Best Buy) for instance. I believe you really need to revamp your focus, train you associates much, much better and, after developing a plan, expand the square footage of your stores to accommodate these types of items. Hard drives, motherboards, graphics and sound cards and even computer cases and a variety of laptops among other things. Stop focusing on AV connection equipment and CDs and DVDs alone. DYI has changed from the ‘kit’ model alone and needs to bring itself into the 21st century or suffer a slow corporate death, regretful to say, as I have been a loyal customer for years. Looking at the previous comments, I would agree with each one of them, as well as what I have outlined above. They DYErs both past, present and future need to be considered.

    Respectfully,

    Hernan S.

  • Larry

    I was a loyal RS customer for many year as a student, and later Electrical Engineer. Then RS seems to have decided to be another "Best Buy" or "CompUSA" etc, and seems to primarily have turned you back on hobyists. Every time I went to Redio Shack for a component, tool, etc and found out you no longer carried that at the local store … I became dissappointed. I am not at the stage that I seldom go to the store, if I want a TV, Radio, Cell Phone, etc I can get better deals online. As for Hobbyist activities I do longer feel the trip to RS is worth it since 90% of the time you don’t carry this.

    With this new push for DIY’ers, I can only say….. PROVE IT! I’ll be watching (sceptically)

  • Paul Anderson

    It is fantastic that The Shack is heading back more in the DIY direction. When I ran an R&D team years ago, we would use Radio Shack for our local parts storeroom for electronics stuff, including discrete components, perf boards, wire, tools, ICS, and many other things. You used to have enough "stuff" to pretty much build anything.

    I did understand the need to pare down on some of the discrete components and other less commonly used parts. I switched to DigiKey after that, and they can pretty much get me anything I need by the next day (they are in MN, and so am I).

    H O W E V E R — I still do try to buy what I can from Radio Shack, just because I can get it right now. The selection of switches and connectors is pretty good, but there isn’t much in the store when it comes to other parts. I have purchased things online from Radio Shack, and had a good experience.

    The areas I think would be good to focus are:
    – More perf boards and project boxes
    – More parts, with an easy in-store way to order stuff for delivery at home
    – An embedded micro line that is a bit broader (The MicroChip stuff is a good start, but you need a bit more)
    – More sensors and actuators, since those are usually what people interface to embedded micros
    – Books, and other project blueprints that are based on Radio Shack parts (Remember Forrest Mims???)
    – Projects for all ages, from young to old (I do buy kits for my kids, and they are fun!)

    I would go on and on, of course. One other thing to do… look at what stores like Menards, Ace Hardware, Frys, and other places have as far as electronics stuff goes. It’s surprisingly good, all things considered.

    In any event, I’m very excited about this initiative, and would be happy to provide more feedback. Feel free to contact me directly if you wish.

    Regards,

    Paul J. Anderson
    Marine on St. Croix, MN

  • Paul Anderson

    One more comment… I do see that the Forrest Mims books are still around! I’ll have to see if they have changed. They must be stashed somewhere out of the way at the local store (but now I’ll look for them).

    BTW — I think doing stuff online would be cool too, as far as pushing out clever designs and such. Have a design contest?

    Oh… robots are cool too. Expensive, but cool. Could head in that direction…

    Regards,

    _Paul

  • Zotter

    Pretty much – open up a Digi-key or Mouser catalog and go nuts.

  • Eric Silverthorn

    I would like to see RF connectors carried in my neighborhood store again, SO239, PL259, SO238 etc

  • Krusher

    Really need to focus on electronics and parts, NOT Tv’s vcr’s etc, but lets get back to resistors, capcitors, diodes the BASE component level stuff again, As of now Radio shack reminds me of a cell phone store, and when I have asked for parts its a look of confusion. there is a store in silicon valley the corporation told them they were not "Uniform" like the rest because the guy has all the electronics components you could ever need, He was even written about in WIRED magazine!!, THIS IS A EXAMPLE OF THE STORE THAT SHOULD BE!. No more DYI instead its look else where for parts.
    the stock carried now is very MINIMAL AT BEST. Lets get back to where you used to be before cell phone land became the majority. Back when your corporation profits were higher, corporate should take note, look back at the times and profit margins. Carried lot of electronic components, Profits were high, You started to yank electronic components, and profits dropped by a ton, started becoming a cell phone only store, and then your profits went back up.
    Could have stayed constantly up If you would support the hobbist, independent electronics builder, Ham operators, and others who would go to a local store IF THEY HAD WHAT WAS NEEDED!. Key thing, don’t have a lot of stock of what people will need, then we look elsewhere from the start and save the hassle of "hunting" a store which MAY have what we need but more often not!.
    Also check your pricing, you have BULK PURCHASE ability, so why should a so-239 connector with mounting cost 4.19 at your store, when I can find it online in a much smaller store at 3.00???…

  • Zotter

    OH 2 other arenas:

    Books – projects, experimenters, data

    Kits – electronics basics, learn soldering, AC electronics (acoustic and RF)

    Radio – as in ham radio, amateur radio, no more cheap rigs, but parts and pieces to build, fix and get on the air.

    The HTX-252 was a joke

  • Greg

    More "radio" stuff be it Cb, ham, scanners or even am/fm. Maybe more RF adaptors and common electronic components.

    I don’t mind paying a little more for the convenience of purchasing parts locally.

  • TCC

    Walk into my ratshack and ask for a MOSFET…they give you that look and ask if its for a cellfone
    or a type of battery.
    Small/low cost microcontroler kits and sensors.

  • fjc0653

    PowerPole connectors

  • JB

    WHAT ONLY 3!!!!!

    DON’T KEEP TRYING TO REINVENT RADIO SHACK. YOU’VE ALWAYS BEEN UNIQUE AND OTHER THAN THE INTERNET YOU HAVE NO COMPETITION.

    PART, WHEN I NEED THEM I NEED THEM NOW!

    Smaller size multi-pin connectors like the 274-226 and 274-336 only half the size or even smaller.
    7 & 8 amp 5x20mm fuses.
    Adjustable latching relay. 12vdc and 120vac.
    Better selection of capacitors higher voltages.
    Better selecton of resistors higher wattages, 1-watt and 5-watt
    Rocker switches with center off DPDT. Used in alot of RV.

  • Johnny Be Good

    Ham Radio Stuff, better yet, build a sister store next to each one that sales any kind of thing like digikey. thanks.

  • Reynaldo

    More electronic parts. Most of electronic parts on display at Radio Shack are connectors. Why I like shopping at RadioShack is easy to reach. Lots of store in any cities. No need to order by mail or on line and wait for a week.

  • Dan

    You only want to add THREE PRODUCTS and you think that will help!?!?!
    You lost touch with your base long ago and it is obvious that you are still clueless.
    My advice to you is to Shut It Down and sell the name to someone who really cares.

  • Mike

    As a lifelong radio hobbyist and amateur radio operator, I have always loved having a Radio Shack nearby that I could drop in to pick up components, cable, antennas, and equipment to keep my station going. Over the years I have watched these items slowly fade away in your stores to the point that one can barely find anything to support the hobby any longer. Interestingly, many of the old items Radio Shack carried for radio amateurs are still traded on the internet and well sought after. While I realize that our numbers are relatively small in most communities, and for RS to stock a full line of equipment and parts at each store would be an unrealistic business proposition, the Internet now opens a whole new opportunity for you to return to some of your roots. Items like bulk cable (I sure miss being able to get true RG8/U in 100 ft lengths), specialized equipment, (e.g. peak watt meters, frequency counters, etc.) copper antenna wire and others can now be offered as “web only,” which reduces the inventory but still supports you old customer base. The products offered in the past were of excellent quality, but suffered due to pre-Internet business models of having to stock the products at thousands of stores.

    I’m very happy to hear that Radio Shack is thinking of the DIY folks again, and I hope you will consider expanding your radio equipment and accessories to once again include items for the amateur and SWL community.

    Regards,
    Mike

  • Virginia

    I have an old Radio Shack VHF hand held transceiver (handi-talkie) – the HTX-420. Would love to see ham radio transceivers carried by Radio Shack today. Would love to see more ham radio items like different size coax carried as well. You do carry RG-58 but something like RG-213 or LMR-400 would be a really nice addition. How about some 7.5 amp hour gel cell batteries too?

  • Jerry Tannhauser

    Get back into the Radio Communications Business.I live in a Rural Area of Northern California.
    Your local Radio Shack is the only source for Equipment,Accessories and parts.
    Carrying Scanners and Ham Radio Equipment would really be a benefit to the Corporation.
    Go back to the way it was years ago.
    Dont think about it,just do it………….

    Jerry T.

  • KD5PNT

    Need to go back to the way the stores were in the 60’s , amateur radio gear and receivers . also transmitting tubes , 6146B , 12BY7 , 811A and 572B’s . also the 150 in one science fair . Components,need to package 4 of the 1N4007 diodes in the package instead of three . the way it is one has to buy 2 packages to get the needed 4 diodes for a bridge and then the 2 left over are useless . A LW receiver , that can receive from 15 khz to 500 khz . I could fill up 3 pages but will stop now .

  • Victor

    1.) Bring back and reopen the store at Hwy.30 and Brennan Road (Gravois Plaza in High Ridge). The Fenton, MO. store is a Hassle to get to and leave from.

    2.)Bring back the Paper Catalogs!!!!!!!!!

    3.) Do you sell radar detectors anymore? All I EVER SEE "unendingly" is ads for Phones or Ipods.

  • Doodlebug

    First, thanks for asking for input. This is a good sign by itself. Here’s my comments:

    Your competition –

    These guys are getting it:
    http://www.jameco.com: Embedded systems with microcontrollers.
    – Here’s another: http://www.parallax.com/
    Stock this stuff and I’m there!
    – To be relevant, you need to be part of this: http://makerfaire.com/
    – Old line techies still like these guys, too: http://www.circuitcellar.com/
    – They’re now part of this growing crowd: http://www.elektor.com/
    – Here’s an audio crowd you need to fully understand: http://www.diyaudio.com/

    These crowds have taken away the buyers in your stores. Yes, they’re online, but they’re active and they order blocks of parts at one time for projects. Not the onesy-twosy stuff I typically think of Radio Shack for these days.

    On the good side:

    – You have the floor space – except for the cell phone mass market stuff. BTW, I just upgraded to the new iPhone – never thought about Radio Shack. Dealt directly with AT&T. You don’t come to mind for me on that stuff, either.

    Where you’re exposed:

    – You don’t have the staff to deal with electronic components today that will carry margins you need for retail establishments. I spent a Christmas holiday working in a RS and can tell you from experience that I was the only person who understood what the parts you currently sell are and their value to a customer.
    – These same people have no idea how to market or upsell with all that stuff you stock in the back of the store – they only know how to configure a cell phone.
    – Your product specifications have gone to zero. Your own private label brand is not relevant. I have no idea what performance of the product you carry are. You need to get over this if you want to market to the DIY crowd.

    Hope that helps.

  • Mikester

    I have been buying electronics stuff at the Shack since the 70s but I am all about the Duino lately. I would like to see you carry the Arduino Uno at least, but it would also be cool if you stocked the following bare chips in DIP format: ATTiny85, ATMega328P, and maybe the ATTiny2313 and ATMega1284P. I have been ordering them online from Sparkfun or Digikey but I tend to buy a lot of stuff at my local RS for geeking out and would buy them there if they were within $1-2 of the QTY 1 price online. A GPS module with TTL/RS232 and integrated antenna for under $50 would be a sweet score too and I would definitely buy one. They are cheaper online, so it should not be hard to make money on them.

    I second the mention of 7400 or CMOS ICs but I think just a few choice most commonly used models would be all you need. I too lean toward CMOS lately. 5V is so 1982. Maybe an H-bridge motor driver IC too.

    I bought a bunch of N-channel MOSFETs at my local RS for a project a while back. Unfortunately the gate voltage was a bad match for the 3.3V MCU I was using so I had to replace them with some Sparkfun parts to get the project to work reliably.

    I also second the mention of Powerpoles. I am a ham and actually bought a 10M rig at my local RS during the last sunspot cycle but I am not sure the economics of the ham world make sense for radios, etc. But I have been itching for some more Powerpole connectors and it is a pain to order them online. I would recommend the 30A mainly and maybe some 15A pins for them too for the small accessories. I would have bought some good-quality RG-8U coax with silver/teflon PL-259 connectors over the counter if you had it too.

    I am glad you started carrying PCB Etchant again and actually bought some a couple of weeks ago as soon as I saw it. If you had had one of those resist stencil kits and some small drill bits I would have bought them too. I bought a wire wrapping tool again too even though it is sort of a lost art. It it just like the one I got at RS decades ago, but I think this new one has a burr in the nose of it because it breaks the wire instantly when you try to use it. It is going back for an exchange.

    I would love to see Luxeon high-power LEDs and their associated hardware (carrier boards, heat sinks, lenses, driver modules) for sale. RGB LEDs would be cool too.

    Now that you seem to be getting back to your DIY roots I think I shall Like you on FB.

    Thank you, and I hope your transition back to DIY is a success.

  • Andrew

    Affordable Hi Capacity solar panels and batteries / inverters . the Trojan J305H’s that I have are now 20 years old and 2 have failed . cannot afford the $ 650.00 each to replace them .

  • anonymous

    i think it’s simple. bring it all back and add stuff for the next generation but they have to be high quality.

    pcb boards and etching equipment, components, wire, arduino and shields, high quality tools, radios, scanners, audio components, radio control components, etc…

    cheap chinese junk, while good for beginners, will keep others buying stuff online.

    also, hire nerds who know what an RCA jack is instead of cellphone salesmen.

  • mark

    Arduino and compatable shields! These would be amazing for you to carry. You can get people intereasted in electronics and get them coming back to your stores.
    http://www.arduino.cc/

  • steve

    Lower your prices. Offer more things in bulk for cheaper.Sell better soldering irons. Sell products like servos or IR distance sensors. SELL THINGS THAT PEOPLE NEED AND USE OFTEN!!! I suggest you start looking at what hobbyist use alot!

  • Task

    I still use some of the things I bought at Radio Shack when I was kid. Like my faithful "Archer" soldering iron or my first stereo mixer Realistic mod# 32-1200b. The pots need cleaning again but it still works well. I suppose what I loved about Radio Shack was the catalogs, wow, they sparked my imagination and I couldn’t wait for my next trip to the Shack… Today I avoid the place as I don’t need another cell phone. So heres what I think Radio Shack ought to do…Since most electronic items today are made overseas i.e. China , there is no significant cost difference between the brands, meaning there is no longer a price advantage for small brands like Archer and Realistic but these brand names have a decent legacy value. So I suggest to you- RS.. Keep the cell phone business and think about the things legacy buyers would be interested in…Such as (1.) wireless network extenders (remote antennas, preamps, sma connectors, good coax…etc.) Hot items people want today, like (2.) Solar and Wind..Green items (solar cells, charge controllers, LED lighting, wind generators, frequency matching inverters..etc). Finally..Lets try (3.) Ham radio again..25,000 new licensed amatuers every year in the US alone! ( good coax, anderson power poles, MOV’s, power supplies.maybe even a RADIO! .etc ). There is still a place for Radio Shack. Give me back that place were the Guy behind the counter knew what a "555 timer" was and let me just look around and dream!

    Task.

  • andrew

    In the past, electronic components have been far too expensive. I know you need to have slightly higher prices to compensate for lower volume of sales, but some prices are far too much for what they are. Recently a few capacitors on my video card busted, and because of bad past experiences there I didnt even go look to see prices at radio shack, and figured the components I hand picked on mouser.com would be of much higher quality and I could pick up some extra components for the same price I would have gotten at radio shack. If rs can improve their selection and prices of their components, I will start shopping there again. Especially if they stop harassing you to get a cell phone every time you go in there.

  • Randy

    1) Arduinos

    2) Potentiometers with shorter shafts

    3) Parallax Servos

  • andrew

    In the past, electronic components have been far too expensive. I know you need to have slightly higher prices to compensate for lower volume of sales, but some prices are far too much for what they are. Recently a few capacitors on my video card busted, and because of bad past experiences there I didnt even go look to see prices at radio shack, and figured the components I hand picked on mouser.com would be of much higher quality and I could pick up some extra components for the same price I would have gotten at radio shack. If rs can improve their selection and prices of their components, I will start shopping there again. Especially if they stop harassing you to get a cell phone every time you go in there.

  • Task

    I still use some of the things I bought at Radio Shack when I was kid. Like my faithful "Archer" soldering iron or my first stereo mixer Realistic mod# 32-1200b. The pots need cleaning again but it still works well. I suppose what I loved about Radio Shack was the catalogs, wow, they sparked my imagination and I couldn’t wait for my next trip to the Shack… Today I avoid the place as I don’t need another cell phone. So heres what I think Radio Shack ought to do…Since most electronic items today are made overseas i.e. China , there is no significant cost difference between the brands, meaning there is no longer a price advantage for small brands like Archer and Realistic but these brand names have a decent legacy value. So I suggest to you- RS.. Keep the cell phone business and think about the things legacy buyers would be interested in…Such as (1.) wireless network extenders (remote antennas, preamps, sma connectors, good coax…etc.) Hot items people want today, like (2.) Solar and Wind..Green items (solar cells, charge controllers, LED lighting, wind generators, frequency matching inverters..etc). Finally..Lets try (3.) Ham radio again..25,000 new licensed amatuers every year in the US alone! ( good coax, anderson power poles, MOV’s, power supplies.maybe even a RADIO! .etc ). There is still a place for Radio Shack. Give me back that place were the Guy behind the counter knew what a "555 timer" was and let me just look around and dream!

    Task.

  • Cody

    simple photocell cant find a single one, been to all the radio shacks in my area lots of parts that should be there are just out of stock. I have even complained to the management asking when they will be getting more photocell’s and the guy said hes not going to order anything anytime soon. dissapointing
    I have a Arduino and enjoy making it do crazy things, any kind of low voltage sensor’s would be great perhaps selling Arduino kits as im looking to getting annother one soon or even the parts to make your own from perf board or something
    mosfet yeah i agree 3PDT guitar pedal switches too yeah would be great
    cheap soldering gear, breadboards , jumper wires, servos would be perfect for all sorts of things.
    relays 30amp 240volt perhaps woo!
    hydrolic robitic parts etc anything cool

    online membership to order your own parts to local outlet for pickup
    bring back the giant catalog of parts!!!!!! I cant find my old one from the 1900’s!!
    ahhhhgh I could go on all day, If you could make any of this happin I would be back in there tomorrow

  • Atomic

    Get rid of unneccessary products such as rc cars; those are overpriced and can be found elsewhere.

    Sell more variety of components and pcbs at cheaper price. Along with pcb making items.

    I really want to see some ICs and sensors in Radioshack.

  • Yetimandias

    When I was a kid Radio Shack sold electronic components, connectors, cables, and hardware that could be built into just about anything you could imagine. These days those components are all but gone, the selection is horrid… it’s not a matter of having no choices to make, it’s a matter of not having any options at all.

    When you are digging through the drawers of parts, the sales staff acts as if you are either a nuisance and avoid you like the plague, or hover over you as if they expect that you will load up your pockets with thier treasure. These guys don’t know a capacitor from a button hook, repeating ‘can I help you find something’ every 90 seconds will not hurry the process along. If anything, it just prolongs the agony.

    These days on the rare occasion when Radio Shack does have something useful, you end up having to wait while the salesman does an extensive song and dance trying to sell someone else a cell phone, including contracts, warranties, and on and on. Nine times out of ten that customer is merely ‘looking’, not buying. I understand the wisdom of going for the $200.00 sale over the $10.00 sale. I don’t understand turning away the $10.00 sale in favor of doing a sales job on someone who isn’t going to spend a nickel.

    Mouser and Digikey do a superb job catering to hobbiests and small-quantity purchasers; they have nearly anything imaginable, and often times several choices of manufacturer. It’s hard to imagine that Radio Shack will ever be able to compete with that.

  • Kruug

    Please provide a larger selection of DIY part, as well as single packs. Nothing worse than going to buy a single part for 32 cents, but having to pay $3.20 because you are forced to buy them in a pack of 10.

    Also, please find some educated staff that is able to read an electronic circuit and offer suggestions/advice on the parts needed.

  • Chris

    I’d like it if my store carried something other than MAGNET WIRE!!!

    I would skip online retailers if RadioShack carried power MOSFETs, 555 timers, LM8xx power regulators, and some goddamn microcontrollers.

  • Timinator01

    1. 74 series chips
    2. kynar wire
    3. EPROM’s

  • César

    Kudos on listening to the customer. I hope this extends to other countries (as in Peru, my country).

  • Chuckt

    The 75 in One kits that you use to carry by Science Fair were all the rage. The Snapkits or Snapcircuits are expensive items I don’t want to use. I liked using actual wires in the 75 in One kits that you use to sell.

    I bought a soldering iron from you. After studying what I want to do with microcontrollers, the soldering iron I bought was too large to do surface mount or solder pin headers. It was almost too large to do through the hole soldering. I went online elsewhere to find 1/64 inch tips and an adjustable heat soldering iron. A retired electronics friend of mine gave me links of your parts that I could put together for the soldering iron I wanted on the cheap but I found it easier just to buy what I want online.

    I can name online retailers that can ship me tact switches, resistors, capacitors, etc., really cheap from other countries and they come right to my house. My suggestion to Radio Shack is to buy some kits online, make them and then go back to your store and see what you have available to make the same thing. There is a difference between having a store just to be in the game and having a store where you actually can show people how to make stuff because all of the parts are right there.

    You don’t really have an in house person making and using microcontrollers and there aren’t any forums as far as I can tell. If there was a table at the local Radio Shack or a meetup where we could watch someone make projects then I could learn more and be encouraged. I wouldn’t mind paying to take a few of the right classes in store. Right now, I’m tied to the internet trying to figure things out instead of entering your store because learning is happening here on the internet.

    Radio Shack use to be in the computer market. If you designed and produced chips to do video and sound for microcontrollers, that is something that I would be very very interested in. What is currently available is kind of confusing or limiting. If you talk to some of the makers of projects, you might be able to come alongside of them. If you talked to people who want to make stuff, you could come alongside of them.

    If you wish to contact me by email, I can be available to chat.

  • Vaclav

    Add a line of SMT breadboards.
    Add a line of higher quality ( fiberglass ) plated thru breadboards

  • Chykn

    Definitely need 74 series logic chips! I understand it wouldn’t be cost effective to carry the full range, but at least carry a few of the most common chips. Maybe quad NAND, AND & NOR chips as well as hex inverters and a couple octal buffers/transceivers.

  • pipcub

    You should bring back some more books, like the Forrest Mims books. Also, it would be nice if you sold more ICs. You are pretty good at selling specific resistors and capacitors and wires and more basic supplies, but maybe a logic gate or an Atmel/PIC chip would be useful.

    By the way, when choosing between 4 days of shipping or driving down the street, you guys can beat your online competitors if you offer a few more specialty products.

  • Chykn

    Definitely need 74 series logic chips! I understand it wouldn’t be cost effective to carry the full range, but at least carry a few of the most common chips. Maybe quad NAND, AND & NOR chips as well as hex inverters and a couple octal buffers/transceivers.

  • Roland Stolfa

    Most of the original "fun" I had in the electronics world was with the "P-Box Kits." These were simple enough that the average 7 year old could build (even if he DID burn his fingers once or twice), but where durable enough that he couldn’t "solder them into oblivion." Even if you did, Radio Shack had ALL of the part on pegs. You just took what you thought was "burnt" and replaced it.

    You had books that described how to do thing. Application Notebooks. Electronics Course Books. Etc.

    Today, you could start by marketing the Arduino (and shields). You could resell more of the VEX kits. You could give more shelf space to the Parallax line.

    You could even do one yourself.

  • steve

    everything that the Jameco catalog has for sale at your store! Re-spark the makers in us. Send that to marketing…

  • Anon.

    International Shipping (i.e. to every country)

  • Rednecknerd

    I would like to see Arduinos, small relays, and other piece parts. Your resister and IC selection in dismal on a good day and non-existent on other days.

  • Timinator01

    i would like to see radio shack go back to the store it once was with a wide variety of ics and other component parts

    74 series chips
    Arduino/ AVR Microcontrollers
    Hobby projects that require a person to solder to complete the project

  • William

    A word of advice to Radio Shack. Drop your prices. It won’t matter if you have more parts because no one will bother buying them if you mark up your prices 50 to 70 percent. For example, a simple LED at your store costs $1.69. An identical LED at Sparkfun (which is a much smaller company than Radioshack) costs $0.35. That being said, I’d love to see some 74 and 4000 series chips. I’m sure Arduinos would also be popular.

  • Eric

    When I was a kid, I used to love to go to Radio Shack because I always wanted to take my electronics apart, modify them, and figure out how things worked. Where I live, the Radio Shack is directly next to a Walmart, and I’ve found that the Walmart actually has almost everything Radio Shack has, even DIY stuff. Radio Shack needs to step up its game and actually sell parts that no one else has. Otherwise, I’m just going to Walmart where it’s going to be cheaper anyway.

    Last time I went in there, I needed some flux and the salesman (who first pestered me about my cell phone service) had no idea what I was talking about and pointed me towards an aisle of what he seemed to think was just scary weird stuff (which, unfortunately, was just an aisle of terrible DIY offerings…).

    The time before that I just needed to get a 3.5mm female to RCA male cable… the guy tried to sell me an RF modulator. I just went home and cut up some wires I already owned and spliced my own cable.

  • prof_braino

    I would love it if Radio Shack carried an assortment of components again like a few years ago. Used to be the whole store was components, now there are two racks four foot high and two feet square, these are the only components anymore. All the rest is very low end finished products. I usually don’t want low end, shoddy, or substandard products, but when I do I can find them cheaper at Kmart. Please fire the executives that decided to abandon Radio Shack’s core business, and return to what we had come to reply on, parts.

  • Wehrdo

    Digital Logic ICs
    Visible Light Phototransistor
    A wider selection of semiconductors (transistors, diodes, LEDs, etc.)

    The ability to buy as few as one instead of having to buy an entire pack.
    And, of course, more competitive prices with online retailers.

  • Paul A. Willoughby, DVM

    I have long been a fan of Radio Shack. However, in the last few years the emphasis in stores seems to be more on cell phones and batteries sales. I would like to see more Parallax brand products. I was very excited to see a small assortment of their sensors in the drawers in some of our local RS stores. More of their products like gyroscope modules, GPS sensors and specifically I would like to see micro-controllers such as the Propeller in stock. A broader selection of op-amps, transistors, regulators, and logic ICs too please. Prototyping boards for breakout of SMT components are also very useful.

  • RobertM

    My top 2 items in no order:
    Bigger selection of resistors and capacitors. These are cheap to stock and take little room. This would most likely keep me coming into into the store or odd ends and would up the chance of impulse purchase of other components or tools on sale.
    Not for me but would be nice to see the intro to electronic type kits you guys use to sell when I was a kid.

  • Programmer1200

    I would Like to see the people at my local store try to know something about electronics (resistors , transistors, capacitors) they stand their like a deer in the headlights

  • PR

    More component parts especially variable capacitors, capacitors, transistors and wire… Its hard to build a radio when there aren’t any variable capacitors found locally…

  • Adam Emberton

    I’m an Electrical Engineering student and I’m really excited that RadioShack is wanting to go back to a more DIY focus if even just a little. I know that you will definitely have a lot more business if you stock more of these parts. We normally order our parts online but it would be great if we could run across town and pick up something we forgot or burned up accidentally. I also build hobby electronics and it would be great to find the parts i need in store, instead of ordering online.

    My suggestions for in-store would be:
    Power Mosfets TO-220 package
    7400 and 4000 logic chips (even just some basic AND’s NAND’s OR’s, D & JK flipflops, Latches)
    Single and Double sided Copper clad boards and etching Chemicals.
    Solder-less electronic kits for kids and soldering kits
    I’m an Electrical Engineering student and I’m really excited that RadioShack is wanting to go back to a more DIY focus if even just a little. I know that you will definetly have a lot more business if you stock more of these parts. We normally order our parts online but it would be great if we could run across town and pick up something we forgot or burned up accidentally. I also build hobby electronics and it would be great to find the parts i need in store, instead of ordering online.

    My suggestions for in-store would be:
    Power Mosfets TO-220 package
    Arduino and Picaxe kits, Sensors, Shields, etc.
    7400 and 4000 logic chips (even just some basic AND’s NAND’s OR’s, D & JK flipflops, Latches)
    LCD Screens
    Single and Double sided Copper clad boards and etching Chemicals.
    Solderless electronic kits for kids and soldering kits for older kids
    Regular and Continuous Rotation Servo motors and other hardware to support building small robots
    Also Sparkfun.com has a great section of retail packaged kits and even Brochures to help educate people that walk into the store. I don’t work for them I just love the site.

    Also many other people have made similar comments, and I would like to add that it has been a running joke with many EE’s i know that when we actually do go to Radioshack (usually to get a switch or random resistor); We just walk straight to the back with the components and when asked if they can help us we just say no and point to the component aisles and keep walking. We all know that they only know how to sell phones and computers, the employees should at least know the visual difference between a resistor and fuse.

  • jem141

    We need arduino boards / shields / cables!!! – even the android platform supports them now.
    robotics is big – how about a variety of sensors
    bluetooth / xbee / wifi / etc… modules!!!

  • steven

    When I was younger a child of the ’80’s. Radio Shack was a place of wonder! Different than the Best Buy’s, the Circut City’s, the KB toy store’s. Some of those I have mentioned have gone the way of the dodo. The same fate is destined for Radio Shack if it stays on the current course its on and this is a sad fate indeed. So what made Radio Shack different? Simple, the magic that is the wonerment of children! Radio Shack sold electronic learning kits, RADIO(i mean come on its called radio shack) controlled cars, planes, boats! I had them out o the boxes on the floor for people to play with! To see what they are buying! This created a buzz around the store whitch in turn led people to see other things they might want. Radio shack is for DIYourselfers! what about having workshops on hanging your own HDTV on the wall. People don’t have the money to pay some Geek Squader to do it nowadays. Workshops on setting up your own secure WIFI network in your house. Back in the 80’s making anything that you built yourself are a kid was exciting from the kits Radio Shack sold. There are kits now kids could buy that hook up to there computers to program themselves to do all sorts of fun projects. If you want the interest back in the SHACK. Try having the SHACK give a little more back to its shoppers……Please dont go away Radioshack……Where else can I buy LED’s for my next project at 6:00 on a SAT Night.

  • walt

    Simple 30 gage Wire. More of and IC selection. Common LCD’s. Just for starters.

  • Rip

    How about circuit boards, RFID readers, LEDs (a decent selection), decent prices on lithium batteries (like the useful CR2032). Not sure if you guys want to take as far as MicroCenter or Fry’s in electronics and care PC building equipment (processors, motherboards, cooling equipment). You don’t have to go as far as selling hard drives, video cards, or enclosures. Just the core stuff.

  • Hipcatcoolcap

    I should be able to pick up the parts to make a PIC or AVR programmer easily. I wandered in to a RS and they didn’t even have a 7805 voltage regulator. I can remember several aisles of components that I had no idea what they did… has been reduced to four cabinets. I don’t blame you. It isn’t cost effective to keep all of that on stock… but it could be if there were more makerspaces.

  • anonymous

    The biggest problem I find are the prices. Especially resistors, those are waaaaay overpriced. However, there are stock shortfalls that have kept me from shopping at Radio-Shack.
    One of the biggest shortfalls I find in Radio-Shack’s stock is transistors. You generally stock transistors withing only three ranges, and a single drawer dedicated to them is insufficient. There needs to be a good stock of both low and high power transistors of both the TTL and CMOS varieties. PNP and NPN, not one or the other.
    The part I go to Radio-shack for the most however is switches. I have to say though, the prices are appalling. Being a most base of component, they shouldn’t be $2-5. Especially a small, PCB mount, SPST. The prices on LEDs are terrible too.
    And thirdly (I chose this over the decreasing number of project boxes) are Integrated Circuits. Again, there should be more than one drawer for this. In fact, you only have half a drawer. You mostly carry 555 timers and Op-Amps. While these are essential, they aren’t enough. A wide selection of 74XX logic chips would be very useful. Such chips as: AND, OR, NOT, NOR, and NAND gates, flip-flops, decade counters, microcontrollers (at least stock some Arduino boards, I mean come on!), multiplexers, and H-bridges would all have kept me from having to drive 50 miles to the nearest electronics store.

  • Robert L

    The RS in our neighborhood (Novato CA) improved greatly in the parts department over the last few months – maybe it just got restocked.

    My primary suggestion – more kits, book and basic parts.

    Start with the old Forrest Mims style books, and package them with a kit of parts that would let you build the circuits in the books. Or better yet an "Electronics Set" with re-usable breadboard and the Mims style books. There was a breadboard kit a t the store I visited last week, and it looked pretty good for getting kids interested – more of that.

    Also, start carrying parts/kits from the make community – like Adafruit, SparkFun etc.

  • digitalhack

    My vote for DIY focused parts would be:

    1. Arduino
    2. Arduino Shields
    3. The Sparkfun line of retail products

  • anonymous

    The biggest problem I find are the prices. Especially resistors, those are waaaaay overpriced. However, there are stock shortfalls that have kept me from shopping at Radio-Shack.
    One of the biggest shortfalls I find in Radio-Shack’s stock is transistors. You generally stock transistors withing only three ranges, and a single drawer dedicated to them is insufficient. There needs to be a good stock of both low and high power transistors of both the TTL and CMOS varieties. PNP and NPN, not one or the other.
    The part I go to Radio-shack for the most however is switches. I have to say though, the prices are appalling. Being a most base of component, they shouldn’t be $2-5. Especially a small, PCB mount, SPST. The prices on LEDs are terrible too.
    And thirdly (I chose this over the decreasing number of project boxes) are Integrated Circuits. Again, there should be more than one drawer for this. In fact, you only have half a drawer. You mostly carry 555 timers and Op-Amps. While these are essential, they aren’t enough. A wide selection of 74XX logic chips would be very useful. Such chips as: AND, OR, NOT, NOR, and NAND gates, flip-flops, decade counters, microcontrollers (at least stock some Arduino boards, I mean come on!), multiplexers, and H-bridges would all have kept me from having to drive 50 miles to the nearest electronics store.

  • Robert L

    deepthinker:

    [quote]I was surprised to find RS no longer carries germanium diodes. (1N34 etc) I am a geezer (62) starting to re-live some of my youth by experimenting with the crystal set.[/quote]

    Try using a schottky diode in place of the germanium – most will work just as well at low signal voltages, and reverse biasing them will help too.

    A good one to try is 1N5711, they are common and inexpensive the BAT43 or BAT54 series are good too.

    cheers,
    Robert

  • Moppy

    The shack has a decent supply of resistors and caps – at least at my store. I would like to see more opamps, transistors and silicon in general. Maybe a better selection of printed circuit board level modern connectors and plugins. Last but not least: Since you already stock copper-clad boards and ferric chloride, how about at least one size of ready-to-go pre photo-sensitized PCB’s…. Please. That is the main reason I shop elsewhere.

  • Leonidas Tolias

    Without a doubt, the 7400 series ICs.

    More passives is always nice, but passives are easier to find lying around, most hobbyists have drawers of miscelaneous passives at home.

    7400 series ICs are much harder to scavenge/find lying around, and are incredibly, incredibly usefull

  • danbackslide

    1) Arduino dev boards

    2) A selection of supporting ICs: op amps, H-bridges, shift registers, serial level converters, USB-TTL cables

    3) Ham radio gear

    Also, as someone suggested above, seek out local maker groups/hackerspaces. We can let you know the kind of things we regularly look for, and partner up on classes.

  • Bob

    Small Heathkit-style electronics kits. Digital clocks or weather stations or (to suggest a modern idea) handheld video games, that a kid learning electronics can solder together (that’s important – this is for people who have moved beyond snap-together learning kits) and have a nice, useful item. (I can understand that bigger, more techie Heathkits like oscilloscopes or ham radios would not make sense in a Radio Shack.)

    The Heathkits also came with nice looking enclosures. To give you an idea of how great the Heathkits were, I still have the kits I put together 40 years ago. I still use them regularly, they are among my most prized possessions, and they were an important part of developing my interest in engineering.

    Look around a Radio Shack store. How many things do you sell there will still be treasured by someone 40 years from now? Sell something they can build and be proud of!

  • mitch_feaster

    Simple prototyping stuff! I usually get the "bigger" stuff online since there’s obviously a bigger selection, but sometimes I just need a few things that I don’t want to drop $5 shipping on:

    – Header pins (male, female, different sizes, etc)
    – Molex connectors
    – Simple ICs like decoders, shift registers, etc.

  • Bob

    Small Heathkit-style electronics kits. Digital clocks or weather stations or (to suggest a modern idea) handheld video games, that a kid learning electronics can solder together (that’s important – this is for people who have moved beyond snap-together learning kits) and have a nice, useful item. (I can understand that bigger, more techie Heathkits like oscilloscopes or ham radios would not make sense in a Radio Shack.)

    The Heathkits also came with nice looking enclosures. To give you an idea of how great the Heathkits were, I still have the kits I put together 40 years ago. I still use them regularly, they are among my most prized possessions, and they were an important part of developing my interest in engineering.

    Look around a Radio Shack store. How many things do you sell there will still be treasured by someone 40 years from now? Sell something they can build and be proud of!

  • Hurtzmyhead

    Guitar peddel stuff, Sparkfun products, Propeller micro controller, Arduino, PIC, Motion sensors, Increasing size of basic electronics (555 & 556 timers, transistors (mosfets and hexfets would be nice), cheap soldering station, hot air rework, etc…)

  • Ben

    Better/real soldering irons
    Flux for solder
    A wider selection of ICs (preferably, could move into more logic chips)

    In general, a wider selection of all of the parts and a better stock of them would be appreciated. And lower prices, there’s a reason that RadioShack is referred to as RadioShank sometimes.

  • Zacdee316

    1. More components in general. I once went to find a odd ball resistor (32 ohm) and didn’t find anything with the high wattage I needed. Also couldn’t find any dip switches, and a wider variety of wire gauges of both solid core and braided.

    2. Microcontrollers. Need quick access to them. (Guides for beginnings wouldn’t be a bad idea either)

    3. GET RID OF THE GARBAGE! Stop selling shitty cell phones and laptops and start selling test equipment such as Oscilloscopes, Spectrum Analyzers, Function Generators, and High Voltage / High Current variable power supplies.

    4. Better customer service. I met one guy there, he didn’t know what a disc capacitor was.

  • Ace

    Question, is cell phone and everyday consumer electronics sales not paying the bills? I used to reference RS parts for projects but then RS forsake us HAM’s and other project_teers just to compete in the cell phone market. Well as far as I am concerned RS will have to go way out on a limb before I leave Mouser Electronics or other local electronic retailers.
    It was the DYIers that helped RS through the years, they lost our business and expect us to come crawling back?

    I don’t know might be a cold day before I do.

    Thanks for listening.

  • Zak

    Better soldering equipment

  • W4JWM

    In Jacksonville Fl I was able to go to any store to get a part to repair a radio, power supply or other project. While I understand that today you can’t do that at every store – you have some stores that do have those extra parts. May I suggest that you have 1 store per with parts for every section of a city with a population of 250K. A city of 1M – 4 stores, etc.

    In those stores that don’t have a large e parts inventory, put a sign on top of those type items stating which RS location has a larger selection. The biggie is to have a person who knows kit building and how to use repair equipment as your sales person… There are many HAM’S well qualified, F.C.C. tested who are seniors and younger who would love to work with that type customer. Think of it as a real Gardner working at ACE in the garden department! Who knows, maybe one of those heads full of mush that work there may learn something other than how to replace a battery!

  • spiritplumber

    Radio Shack is great for when a customer wants a proof of concept tomorrow, not in a couple of days. Or just when you get the itch to experiment.

    1) Stock Arduinos and Propeller boards, you are already partnering with Parallax for the BS2 bundle, look at their new stuff — it’s cheaper and more powerful. I see the very rare Basic Stamp but that’s it. On that side — don’t bother with the printed manual, or have some without and at a lower price: the URL is usually silkscreened on the PCBs anyway.

    2) Rather than putting each individual 7805 or terminal block or 3904 transistor in a little plastic package, just put them in bins. This allows you guys to charge a bit less and probably make a bit more off each part, cuts waste, and increases effective available space. Yes people will mess them up, but they already do that…

    3) Carry some thin wire, in different colors, for proto board interconnects! All you have right now is the very thick 4 pole wire.

    4) You sell a very nice electronically controlled soldering station. Why do you never have the tips for it? I tried 20 stores and you just don’t seem to carry them.

    5) A lot of the modules you carry, such as the parallax ping, uses servo style wires (ground/power/signal). So keep some servo wire and servo connectors around! 0.100" breakway rectangular headers can make a good male-male adapter for those and are useful in general.

  • spiritplumber

    Radio Shack is great for when a customer wants a proof of concept tomorrow, not in a couple of days. Or just when you get the itch to experiment.

    1) Stock Arduinos and Propeller boards, you are already partnering with Parallax for the BS2 bundle, look at their new stuff — it’s cheaper and more powerful. I see the very rare Basic Stamp but that’s it. On that side — don’t bother with the printed manual, or have some without and at a lower price: the URL is usually silkscreened on the PCBs anyway.

    2) Rather than putting each individual 7805 or terminal block or 3904 transistor in a little plastic package, just put them in bins. This allows you guys to charge a bit less and probably make a bit more off each part, cuts waste, and increases effective available space. Yes people will mess them up, but they already do that…

    3) Carry some thin wire, in different colors, for proto board interconnects! All you have right now is the very thick 4 pole wire.

    4) You sell a very nice electronically controlled soldering station. Why do you never have the tips for it? I tried 20 stores and you just don’t seem to carry them.

    5) A lot of the modules you carry, such as the parallax ping, uses servo style wires (ground/power/signal). So keep some servo wire and servo connectors around! 0.100" breakway rectangular headers can make a good male-male adapter for those and are useful in general.

  • angevelon

    I would like to see more associates at your stores that know the functional difference between a transformer, capacitor,and a diode. i would like to see more bare components stocked in the stores as well as thing like wrapping wire and breadboards.

  • cesar b

    i think instead of reaching out to the diy community you should just change your name to "cellphone and battery shack" and stop trying to appeal to a demographic and market that you have not only failed but have been disappointing for the last ten plus years.

    its sad that you guys are feebly trying to regain the diy market that left you guys for a reason (especially with shops like digikey, mouser, newark, etc…) and mostly don’t want to get left high and dry again if you guys start carrying all the requested items.

    …..and 3 items ??? seriously ??? how about you guys look at the sparkfun, pololu, digikey, mouser, newark, etc sites and start carrying similar items that they carry without the ridiculous price increases that you guys are notorious for….

  • JK

    Well… What can I say. I’ve almost stopped going to radioshack years ago.

    My local RadioShack store in north brooklyn. For anything DIY sucks completly! Right now, If I’m really forced, I have go to Manhattan to pick up anything, because years ago they removed whole cabinet with parts to make room for overpriced crap that others have for 30% less. Half of the store is filled with plastic phone samples. Really? Do they need to take so much room?

    You really need essential electronic parts to have clients coming back. Not only poor selection of resistors. Microcontrollers, bare atmegas or pics, opamps, comparators, voltage regulators, coils, capacitors, transistors. They don’t take too much room. Decent selection of resistors. opamps, transistors and everything else takes less than one or two big crappy R/C toy cars. Get rid of them to do what you’ve been doing right for so many years.

    You are loosing clients because your in store selection is getting worse every day and prices are going high. There is no reason to buy anything at RadioShack if you still need to order generic opamp or comparator somewhere else. You can simply get everything at digikey or mouser and don’t go to radioshack at all. List of parts online is not everything. You need to get them to the store and keep your prices. Do you really think that people are so stupid to pay 4$ for five 10 cent parts that are listed online for 1.19? Especially that any simple electronic project is using few of them? You are big chain of stores, you can get them cheaply.

    And do you need such big plastic bags for five resistors? Make the packing small, put them inside those small parts drawers that everyone knows and has, put it on the shelf behind the glass with good list and description. A monkey will be able to open and give client what he wants and even the smallest store would be able to have everything. DIYers are different kind of clients. We don’t care about some stuff and regular marketing crap does not work.

    Actually best electronic store I’ve ever been to only has the list and prices visible (and some pictures). All parts are kept in bulk plastic bags inside few cartons under the counter. You say what you want, he gives you another plastic bag with everything and price is amazing and unbeatable even by online sellers. You can chat and ask for advice. He has nice transistor catalogs to find replacements for some unusual parts.

    I still visit them to leave there few hundred bucks when I visit my family every year.

    When I came to USA from small town in europe I was amazed how hard is to get a transistor in such a big city that seems to have everything. On the one hand we have camera store, which has best selection in the world. On the other hand almost no components.

  • Michael

    Go back to what you were in the 80’s and early early 90’s. Needed a resistor, RS, needed anything electronic RS.

    Now you need a cell phone "NOT" RS as I will not shop in any RS store. You have junk. If I want junk I can go to a pawn shop and get it cheaper.

    You have zero, nothing, why waste my time in there.

    If you bring back what you sold way back when (if was so long ago) and even if it was a bit more on the price I would go there as it is local and I can get it the same day or returns. Make it easy like in the 80’s.

  • electrode

    i would like to see more parts for the every day electronic user as for instance you need to carry the parts that you sell of those name brand radios like the htx 202 etc. i,d also like to see some modern tools that you could work with for the equipment that you sell like soldering tools and the miscellaneous parts that go with the soldering irons as they are very hard to find in the store in my home town thanks ….

  • WarpKez

    I am actually an Australian who enjoyed "Tandy" when it was a real electronics store. What would be nice is if you could release the schematics for your old computers – CoCo 1 through 3. But not just the schematics, but also kits dsesigned for DIY’s to build from scratch much like the real early days of micro-computers.

  • Jorge P

    I would like to see quantity discounts again on all electronics components, and a stock of more than two of each part in your parts bins.

    As for the products I would like to see:

    1. Wider selection of IC’s like you had back in the old days
    2. Servo and Stepper motors
    3. Weller Soldering Irons and Tips that don’t burn up after a few hours of use…

    Thanks for giving me your ears for a moment. I could go on, but basically the type of electronics components you used to stock in the 80’s…

    Jorge P – 14141

  • sjm4306

    First I would like to see common digital ICs such as shift registers, DACs, ADCs, and possibly some microcontrollers (avr, pic, parallax …). Second I would like to see stranded wire that is smaller than the 18 gauge wire and larger than the tiny 32 gauge used for wire wrapping currently available (possibly something like multiconductor ide cable but in a spool and for cheap). Finally, some smt protoboards would be awesome (chips keep getting smaller and I dont want to order the online options because shipping will cost more than the item itself and I will have to wait for it).

    I would like to complement radioshack for carrying the cheap but universally useful printed circuit boards (they are perfect for weekend projects where I just want to throw something together and not etch my own board). I also like the solderless breadboards, but they are priced way too high.

    I often run to radioshack because it is quicker than the internet when I need a generic part fast so I dont mind paying a little more than what I would find on digikey/sparkfun/mouser/ebay…, but I dont want to feel like I am being price gouged either. Thus my main advice would be to continue offering the current popular products but also look into bringing other common parts into the store and also look at repricing some items. Radioshack needs to update their image to bring it back into popularity with diys and makers. We are a rapidly growing group and this is the perfect time to cater to our needs and make a good profit while at it.

    I’ve always enjoyed pouring over the parts aisles in Radioshack since I was young and I hope to continue doing so in the future. Lets continue building and learning.

  • Jorge P

    I would like to see quantity discounts again on all electronics components, and a stock of more than two of each part in your parts bins. As for the products I would like to see

    1. Wider selection of IC’s like you had back in the old days
    2. Servo and Stepper motors
    3. Weller Soldering Irons and Tips that don’t burn up after a few hours of use…

    Thanks for giving me your ears for a moment. I could go on, but basically the type of electronics components you used to stock in the 80’s

    Jorge P
    14141

  • cabdriverjim

    Arduino modules and basic electronic, electrical and mechanical components to assemble devices from. Android @ Home related devices as it becomes available. This sort of stuff would allow you to build robots or home automation systems or anything which integrates with an Android tablet, phone or television. For example, a security system that works with a wide array of controls and sensors based around Android and Arduino. There has never been a better time for complex DIY projects and by providing solid products and offering a little guidance, like your application notebooks used to, Radio Shack could become a huge resource for hobbyists. But, historically, you have given up at the first hint you’re not making more money instead of sticking it out and letting people trust you again. Everyone I know considers Radio Shack an absolute last resort for electronic components. When I was a kid it was the only place you needed to go.

  • The_Truth

    First off. ENOUGH WITH THE FREAKING CELL PHONES. If I am buying a mixed pack of transistors (because your company is too stupid to stock 2n3904 and 2n3906 in "single" packages), I do not want to buy a freaking cell phone!

    Secondly; your prices are outrageous… I needed 2 filter capacitors… just sufficiently large to kill power supply ripple. The 2 single capacitors that I would have preferred were 2x more expensive than your multi-pack that contained the same 2 freaking capacitors!

    Third. You do NOT need my email address for every transaction. Every time I tell a clerk that they "do not need it" when I buy some simple part… they look at me all confused and reply that it is for warranty. Well guess what… there is no warranty for a freaking transistor! Tell your reps to get a clue. Hmm… come to think of it, one of your systems told your rep to "ask the customer if they need thermal paste". Well she told me that… and said… "well, I don’t really know what that is… do you have some?". Well first off… Yes, I do have thermal paste. Secondly, if your sales rep knew anything about voltage regulators… then she would have known that a 5 volt regulator, running just a little over 6 volts, at low current, would not even get warm… let alone need the thermal paste (or the heat sink that you did NOT suggest). I don’t expect your reps to have a degree in electrical engineering, but I do expect them to know better than to stick a fork in a light socket.

    For the record, no small signal BJT should cost more than $0.15 EVER, (mouser sells them for ~$.02 a piece for your quantity bulk). Your breadboards are stupid expensive. I can buy double width bread boards all day long for less than $10.

    Suggested stocked parts:
    2n3904 – N-channel BJT
    2n3906 – P-channel BJT
    J309 – all around J-FET
    LM741 – king of the opamps
    Zener diodes (how about more than 2 voltages?)
    Switching diodes (I swear, if I get another incorrectly packaged switching diode that does not meet the spec on the box, I WILL stop buying from you PERIOD)

    How about a usb to serial converter (that isn’t stupidly priced at $40). Carry the ones you carry online IN YOUR STORE(preferably the ones build around the FTDI chip).

    Want to make your vacuum tube fans happy? Carry some tube sockets. They are not common (which puts you back to an "exclusive" dealer), and I don’t have to wait a week for shipping. How about a couple of transformers in a store?

    How about that embedded controls group that wants a board to tweet them if their toilet seat is left up… Well guess what… stock the arduino board. One board per store. These boards are a hot item right now; you cannot go wrong carrying the base board. If you want bonus points… work out a deal with sparkfun. They are THE go to source for some of the greatest devices in existence right now. If you work with them, the DIY community will flock to your doorstep because you will be carrying some of the hottest toys.

    For the record, most of the cheap/crappy soldering irons that are used around various departments are referred to as "radioshack irons". Your company name has become synonymous with cheap and useless junk. Carry weller. More specifically either the wtcpt or the wes51. Carry replacement tips.

    Since you have a manager on at every shift… they should be trained in electronics. They are already making more money than the other employees, so why shouldn’t they be the most knowledgeable as well?

    If you want to turn around your reputation with modders/DIY’ers/hackers (no, that is not a bad word like the media makes it out to be… learn that!), feel free to contact me.

  • nathan

    I’m sure this is a sentiment shared by a lot of people here – one of the most frustrating things I find about Radioshack currently is that even if an item is carried by the chain (i.e. I can find it on the website), it’s a complete toss-up as to whether any given store will have it. On top of that, it’s 100% guaranteed that whatever it is I’m looking for, the store staff will have no idea what I’m talking about. I inevitably have to spend an unreasonably long time shuffling through the parts drawers or going item by item down the isle. Your staff should at least have some vague idea of most of the items in the store, but I have yet to visit a single one where that’s the case (though I hear there is a magical Radioshack somewhere in Northern California that prides itself on being DIY friendly – even with knowledgeable staff!).

  • Billy M

    Should you have an old 1980s stocking list…that would be good for a start.

    The ole grab bags were great purchases (small hardware parts, resistors, capacitors, transistors and ICs, connectors).

    It would be nice to see a real Radio Shack in the neighborhood again.

  • Ryan

    Like others have said, offer the parts selection of the 1980’s, updated with new stuff – popular microcontrollers, or maybe Arduino clones… and put electronics parts in bins, when possible, not individual plastic bubble packs. Save space and packaging money. Your stores had enough common parts at reasonable prices that mail order wasn’t considered unless it represented a substantial savings. The same thing can apply now, even in a web-driven world. We just need the most common resistor sizes, logic chips, transistor types, etc. Really, all of this could fit in the space you allot to electronic parts already, if properly stocked.

    Follow up with kits: stuff to build little robots, maybe measure temperatures with a microcontroller and LCD, and generally teach kids that they CAN build this stuff – not snap together stuff, either. A little challenge keeps people interested. My old 200-in-One lab put me on the path to a fairly successful career in electronics. You guys can inspire a whole new generation.

    Don’t get rid of the current staff, just inform them that the DIY crowd is an important part of your business model.

    Make it the kind of place that I can take my kid, and he can sense the magic of actually making things. I remember how I used to beg my dad to go in there while he shopped for speaker parts, just so I could look around and ask questions.

    I didn’t stop shopping RS for electronics parts until you stopped stocking them, and I’ll be back when you start stocking them again.

  • shifting phases

    Flux. Flux remover. Magnet wire. Wire strippers that go down to 30AWG. servos, h-bridges, project boxes, brass gears, propellers, wheels, an assortment of switches (pushbutton, rocker, illuminated?). Especially, the common components that have moving parts or are intended to move: these are the ones where it’s most important to hold them in your hands, compare them to each other, check for fit and feel — the ones that are hardest to buy on a website, and most likely to break at inconvenient times when you can’t wait for Digikey to ship them to you.

  • Ed

    Stop carrying "products". Radio Shack can’t compete with big box stores or the internet on "products". You ask what items you should bring back?

    "Parts". Lots of them.

  • Nivek

    Agreed, return to your 70’s – 80’s selection plus updated materials & components. Also, you used to carry DIY handbooks for all sorts of projects.

  • guygo

    Decent quality components in real value ranges. When I need a 22k ohm resistor, it would be nice to find 22k ohms 1/4W resistors.

    For me:
    Components components components. Four stacks of pull-out drawers just isn’t going to cut it.
    get a real selection of ICs, Caps, Rs, Ls, transformers, switches, etc.

    You also need a real selection of cables and hookup wire. You used to have a wide selection of same, now it’s pitifully limited, and what’s there is of such a low quality that I would hesitate to put it in something I need to rely on for any period of time.

  • Dean

    1. More components including, but not limited to, microcontrollers, sensors, solenoids, solid state relays and similar items.

    2. If kits don’t always sell well, leverage your existing strength by making kit plans available. A customer walks in, and wants to build perhaps a radio. Print out a circuit diagram, directions, and parts list for them, and help them dive in to electronics. There would be no need to actually stock any actual kits if you improve your component selection.

    3. I see breadboards, soldering equipment, but not much to make with them. Every recent project I went to RS for, I was unable to find all the parts I needed. 4000 and/or 7400 series ICs would be very nice. A few servo motors. How many people have broken RC cars and other toys that could be fixed with a few pieces ?

    Hopefully constructive criticism :
    I recently tried to get a few uni-junction transistors, and your employees couldn’t even order any. Why RS can’t order almost any electronic component is beyond me. I can order them elsewhere, but would like it if RS could at least order what they can’t stock. I understand the stores aren’t large enough to hold everything. I trust the local RS more than some distant mail/web order place. When I have to order some of the parts online, I am far more likely to order ALL of the parts online.

    Also, fix the component packaging. I recently bought 2 transistors that came in a package that could easily hold 50 of them. If you package better, you not only save on packaging costs, but also reclaim much needed space in the parts bins. Print out any needed datasheets for the customer at the time of the sale. What is on the package is often insufficient.

  • 13th

    SoftRock RXTX Ensemble Transceiver Kit

    More components and kits, or a quick order system where they could be delivered in next 1-2 days if stock not carried

    Make Magazine

  • Rob

    Whatever you end up selling, make the quality good (not necessarily great), but good. I remember buying lots of stuff from Radio Shack years ago, and it would do the job, and last a reasonable amount of time. Stuff I have bought the last few years, seems to have trouble lasting one year.

  • none

    Stop screwing over your regular shoppers. I don’t want a 40$ 4′ cable – I want to complete my project.

    Stop selling crap, stop selling on commission, and instead aim to support your buyers. Failing to support them personally will result in them being supported elsewhere.

  • Pete S.

    1. Knowledgeable staff. Being told something "doesn’t exist" when it does and the employee simply isn’t familiar with it is really frustrating. Sure, nobody can know everything, but having DIY-types working there is a big plus.

    2. Literature and kits. Sometimes it’s nice to have guides, books, and other resources for various DIY projects. Beginner information would also be handy, as there’s a whole generation out there who’s grown up with the internet at their fingertips and with lots of electronics. They’re already familiar with a lot of modern equipment — getting them into tinkering and DIY would be a big thing. Classes and workshops would be good too. While basic electronics (LEDs, wires, breadboards, etc.) are useful, having more advanced things like Arduinos and other programmable bits would be handy too.

    3. Better stuff. I can go online and get tons of cheap made-in-China stuff for next to nothing (the RadioShack markups for the same cheap stuff is outrageous. For the price of a few LEDs at RadioShack, I can get hundreds at Futurelec, for example. I rarely need LEDs [i]right now[/i], and can afford to wait a week for them to get mailed to me.). Having a local resource for higher-quality tools (e.g. wire strippers, multimeters, etc.) would be fantastic.

    I can get a cellphone anywhere, and usually just go directly to the network provider’s local retail shop (if not their website). Why would I go to a third-party shop, let alone RadioShack, for a phone or satellite TV equipment? Doesn’t really make sense.

    As an aside, I note that you refer to people as "consumers". While it may seem to be a minor thing, perhaps it might be more polite to use the word "customer" instead.

  • 13th

    SoftRock RXTX Ensemble Transceiver Kit

    More components and kits, or a quick order system where they could be delivered in next 1-2 days if stock not carried

    Make Magazine

  • voltron1964

    Expanding your electronics selection is great, but how about renting out tools and test/fabrication equipment that is outside the reach of the normal DIYer? I can think of a few of times when I wish I could rent an o-scope or a small tubing bender. It would also be nice if Radio Shack had access to OEM connectors, like the ones used in car wiring harnesses, even if they needed to be special ordered.

  • hgjghd

    I’d love to see some basic motor controllers, logic IC’s, oh, and crystal oscilaters… its ironic radioshack doesnt have crystals (at least not my local one)

  • drcforbin

    Robot parts. Not just sensors or overpriced do-it-all kits, but chassis, mcus, gearboxes, tracks, things like that. Failing that, hackable toys and devices.

  • spiritplumber

    Also, a few parts you should definitely carry:

    * L298 h-bridges or similar. They represent an easy way to go from TTL logic to driving a motor. For people who want their things to move, it makes the project easy enough to justify spending a bit more.

    * At least one type of servo. See above, and see previous for servo wires. The Parallax servos would be favorite because you are already partnering with them and they come in unmodded and continuous-rotation flavors.

    * Relay drivers or solid state relays that can take TTL in. Again, see above. Even some sort of prebuilt "turn a 110v thing on and off by a TTL signal" optoisolated module would probably sell well, this would make people a bit more reassured about messing with "real" electricity.

    * A few existing simple RC tanks and/or motorized LEGO sets or Tamiya motorized kits, with the assumption that people’ll try to slap an arduino or a propeller on them. I say tanks because it is far more intuitive to control from a microcontroller to do thngs with than cars since they can turn on a dime. (We sell those, http://www.osbots.com they even work with cell phones! Shameless plug.)

  • Kevin

    Sell reasonably priced consumer cabling. Bridge the gap between insanely overpriced priced big box stores and super-cheap online outlets. Best Buy is giving you guys a golden opportunity to sell HDMI cables that don’t cost a king’s ransom.

  • BobC

    RS can’t be ‘just a store’ anymore if it wants to inhabit the DIY/Maker space.

    1. Have a massive online catalog. For example, carry everything SparkFun makes. Offer free shipping to the local store on all orders, no matter how small. Carry samples in stores for items that can’t be stocked locally. Cooperate with other local merchants, such as hobby stores (for example, there is little need for RS to stock servos). Be a portal for items RS doesn’t carry. For example, Colaborate with national distributors to get RS discounts for small orders. For example, collaborate with national distributors to get free samples and/or RS discounts for small orders.

    2. Provide a small, temporary work area in each store to provide access to equipment few can afford (e.g., a reflow soldering station, o’scope, logic analyzer, etc.).

    3. Be an active participant in the DIY/Maker community:
    – Host "Monthly Mini-Maker Faires"
    – Rotate online stock to stores to support specific projects/events.
    – Reach out to schools, colleges, Scouts, etc.
    – Foster a GrayBeard community to support community activities.

    4. Get back into the kit world. Resurrect HeathKit (if the name is available).

    5. Avoid proprietary software. Go Open Source all the way, and focus on selling atoms, not bits. For example, support open-source home automation software development, then sell the hardware bits and pieces.

    Back in the day (in the ’60’s), Popular Electronics would have articles for simple electronics projects, and the parts lists would often include Radio Shack part numbers! Start doing this again with RS ads in Maker magazine.

    Back in the day (in the ’70’s), I taught myself Basic by sitting in an RS store and playing the the TRS-80 on display. In exchange, I answered customer questions. Turn hobbyist customers into real contributors. Encourage them to hang out at the store. Put in a table, chair, and free coffee.

    So, it’s not just "three new products" you’ll want to carry. You’ll want to reinvent where they’re sold and rediscover or reinvent how they’re sold. You’ll want to be the Maker Shack, the DIY Shack, the Radio Shack, the Kit Shack,the Robot Shack. You get the idea.

    Don’t reinvent the wheel: Be the glue that binds the various Maker and DIY communities together. Be an integrator, a facilitator and an enabler, not just a retailer. Help make the virtual communities more physical.

    If RS ever becomes serious about going down this path, I’d want to work there to help make it happen! And, yes, I’d even be willing to sell cell phones and accessories to make sure the lights stay on.

    -BobC

  • souliere

    Back in the 80s jr high through college, one of my hobbies was electronics. Used to be able to buy ICs and transistors and supporting components. Used to make all kinds of gadgets. After Radio Shack quit carrying components had to switch to the private electronic shops in the area, well they are all closed now. Can”t get parts quickly. Can’t pull out the old Forest Mimms books with my son and build something. Had a few opportunities to whip up circuits on short notice to solve problems, Pinewood derby winner indicator, buzz in system for simple game show type game for science class etc, intervalometer for a digital camera hung from a kite. Great ideas I wanted to build now. But if I have to wait a week for parts, and since I am experimenting I may not get it right the first time, so another week. Even if you only carried parts like this in one store in town, I would be grateful.

    Would love it if you would carry
    Basic IC’s 555s and 74xxx series logic devices
    Basic components, Resistors, Capacitors, Diodes
    More advanced components Leds, Optoelectronics, photo diodes, IR LEDs and detectors…

    I still buy from Radio Shack, recently the simple stuff. For cub scouts I bought an assortment of switches and lights and buzzers and batteries. The cubs (and later a church group) made simple circuits, simple electromagments, simple motors for the more advanced kids. They all thought this was really great and had never done stuff like this before.

    Back in the day I started that way, making my own switches from clothes pins and aluminum foil. Later soldered my first electronic circuit with one transistor, a capacitor a pot, battery and speaker. A few Forest Mimms books later, I had IR LEDs through some lens to talk to a friend 1/4 mile away, light organ attached to the stereo driving stings of christmas lights in time to the music. Made my input devices for my early computers. Made a version of simon the memory game. Finally made jacobs ladders and custom Halloween lighting effects. I miss those days.

  • Dylan

    The cheap and creative Arduino microprocessor, sensors (light, gases, accelerometers, etc) and solenoid switches (to push buttons on cameras remotely).

  • Matt E

    Arduino kits & parts

    and

    reasonable prices!

  • John Hoffman

    I’d like to suggest you open one larger store in each metropolitan area that carries a larger selection of your hobbyist materials, and that you tie this in to your website, partnered with local delivery firms, to offer low-cost next-day delivery (direct or to store) of parts for people doing repairs. You could then alter your inventory at the smaller stores to focus more on kits and impulse buys. Radio Shack was once known for good, solid and inexpensive component audio and speakers, and your selection has waned terribly in that category. I’d rather see more of that and fewer TVs. You might also want to bring in some of the cheap weird electronics that have been flooding the Far East lately; for instance, an MP3 player that plugs into a car cigarette lighter socket, takes SD cards and plays through the car stereo has been available in a few spots in the US but not generally, and gearheads would jump on one.

    And for cry-yi-yi, hire those gearheads and not the bonehead salesmen! It’s nice when someone knows what you need, whether it’s parts or electronics or a phone.

  • amber

    Carry Arduinos! You cant find them retail in the US at all and its the saddest thing in the DIY community yet. You should also carry maker bots and their accessories along with conductive threads and fabrics for soft sewing of wearable electronics…. Mmmm… dreamy…. I would shop their again if you carried those things. Thanks for asking RadioShack.

  • dlmarti

    Radioshack is failing, because you pushed us DIY’ers out the door and on to our asses.
    Don’t come back begging to us for help, until you get rid of the cell phones and $20 cables.

  • Nathan

    I’ve been shopping at radio shack since I was about 11 years old, (that’s 28 yrs fwiw) and I’ve seen a gradual transition from a parts store to a battery/cellphone/toy store. Everyone I know looks at radio shack today as a store for these three items. This is what your image has become to almost all of your existing, former, and potential customers.

    When I walk in the door to either of my local radio shacks, what do I see first? cell phones on the left. Toys in the middle. Batteries on the right. I have to walk past all that (sorry, "crap") to get to *any* of the DYI stuff. If you don’t want that to be your image, you’re going to have to change how your merchandise is laid out.

    And I remember when radio shack had multiple aisles of walls of parks on hooks, making browsing for parts you needed easy, AND spotting parts that I wanted to add to my inventory at home for later. Now all of that is compressed into a few small cabinets and a scattering of larger things like project boxes along a segment of a single small aisle. Last time I was in there I had to stop and pull out tray after tray to scope out what it was that I was short on at home. Having the items now in little bags where 90% of the time I can’t see what’s IN the bag makes it even more challenging to spot things I need. You need to get back to the clear fronted bubble packs on hooks if you want to get parts sales back up. This alone has severely reduced the number of things I buy on each visit. If it’s not on my list, it doesn’t get bought because I never see it. Our "impulse buys" have been eliminated by your changes in merchandising. If I had to pick, I’d say this was your absolute worst mistake to have made over the years, and was probably made to make room for… wait for it… batteries, cell phones, and toys.

    In addition to poor, compressed layout, the selection stinks, and so generally does the number of each item stocked. I remember when I could walk in looking for a toggle switch and have my choice of 15-20 different types of small toggle switches, most of which had 4-6 of each on hand. Now I’d be lucky to see four types, at 1-2 of each. They didn’t even *carry* momentaries last time I was in looking for them. Almost every time I’m in a store they’re out of something I’m interested in buying, so I have to keep a list and things you’re out of I just look for next time unless I’m in a hurry. I used to take it for granted you’d have what I’m looking for. Now I always call ahead, which frequently saves me a trip. Last time I was in, I had to go to one store to get two cables, and go to the other store to get the other two. I could have used other cables, if I had the adapters I really would have preferred to use, but neither store stocked ANY of the adapters I needed anymore. (RF) I understand that the choice of what to stock is at least somewhat up to the store manager, but from what little I’ve heard here and there a lot of the decisions on what to stock at what store is NOT being made locally, it’s being made by corporate. You can’t blame this all on the individual stores.

    Variety packs have completely disappeared. I remember buying packs of 500 resistors, hundreds of capacitors, 25pks of mixed LEDs, motors (haven’t seen one of those in AGES, you used to carry several kinds), packs of 20 NPN or PNP mixed small transistors, oh the rows of transistors you used to carry! You no longer carry coax by the foot. You used to carry an impressive selection of simple ICs too, but those are long gone. About the only thing I’ve seen that you still carry a good variety of is relays. You used to carry the black and the blue project boxes, of which I preferred the blue because they were you know… SQUARE. I mean 90 degree angles on the corners. The black ones are crap, they’re pressed out of molds (and so they are tapered slightly) and you can’t cut them down and get the lid to still fit, that was the source of much angst last week for me.

    Your sales people tend to push for the pricier versions of the same products. I asked for help finding banana plugs and was directed to I believe a 2 for $10 set. Gold plated, out prominently on a hook. Oh ya gold plated will really help my power supply jacks. Got anything normal/cheaper? points me to the trays where I dig out another pair for I think $3. Knock that off please. We are not the fools buying pricey monster cable because it’s shiny, we need functional and reasonably priced.

    OK I’m done ragging on you, I should mention what you’re doing RIGHT, because it’s not all bad. Your store hours rock. The ability to have things shipped to my door if you don’t carry it on hand or are out of stock is also nifty. Lately I’ve been quite frankly shocked by the actual electronics knowledge of (some of) the staff at both of my local stores. While some of your stuff has a high markup, not all of it does, there are still some good deals here and there. Staff have always been very willing to help me find what I am looking for and are always patient with me. Your staff seem to be the only good thing about you that hasn’t gone downhill over the years.

    If you are REALLY SERIOUS about getting DIY’ers into your store, consider setting up some of them to have a little area in the store, maybe to seat a couple people, that can sit down at a table and work with things. I used to do that at a different radio shack when I lived in KC. I was 16 at the time. I’d stop in and spend sometimes a few hours there buying parts, building, determining what I needed from there, buying more, etc. There was a table at the front of the store I’d clear myself a little area to work with and put it back when I left. The store manager told me when I turned 18 he wanted me to submit an application ;)

    I see there’s quite a number of people leaving feedback on this thread, I hope my words don’t get lost in the noise – it looks like my post will be among the longest-winded too. Good luck.

  • f3f1fa68

    Hire some competent people. I know several electronics hobbyists that would kill to work around electronics, and they’ve all applied, but instead every time I walk in to Radio Shack I’m greeted by morons talking about how they get high before work. That was at a store in zip code 98801, the 98802 store is similar. They can’t identify simple components, or even products like "transistor radio."

    Selling more microcontroller kits would be great, Arduino kits would be nice. SparkFun sells packaged kits to resellers, they’re really pretty-looking, things like that would look really nice on the racks. SparkFun is a good example of a successful, well liked hobbyist shop, looking in to their methods and popular products might be helpful.

    I’d love to see Radio Shack doing more to serve hobbyists. I’d also be happy to talk more, or serve on a panel, .. I’m looking forward to seeing Radio Shack change for the better.

  • Will

    1. A LARGE selection of micro-controllers and related accesories. I know about a hundred people who would love to get into electronics but won’t/can’t buy online, so buying in stores is the only way they can get stuff

    2.Stackable pin headers. I have at least five projects unfinished because I’m waiting on stackable pin headers to come from digi-key.

    3.A LARGER selection of componets, such as MOSFETS, power regulators, LEDs, switches, resistors, capacitors, ect.

    Give me these three things and I guarantee I will be at my local Radio Shack weekly.

  • Sprsam

    I recently went into a radio shack twice after nearly 13 years, both times I walked out empty handed. The first time you didn’t carry common DIY parts and the second time was to be shocked at your incredibly overpriced HDMI cables.

    To turn your store around:

    1. charge reasonable prices
    2. ditch every product with a contract
    3. stock parts that will make people want to come in and leave happy

    Your brand is dead, your company is a zombie; sack the entire management team, streamline, give reasons for people to shop with you again – maybe then you will be a bit less pathetic.

  • none

    Get rid of all the cellphones, cheap stereo gear, and pushy salespeople that will practically wrestle you for your zip code.

    Focus on raw electronic components.

    Offer in-store classes on hacking, circuit bending, analog snyth making, homebrew guitar pedals, and programming. Sell kits that incorporate the things demonstrated in class.

    Offer electronics demonstrations in schools. Engage parents in activities that can be done with children.

  • bodywthoutorgans@gmail.com

    Arduino Uno,
    Arduino Nano,
    Arduino Mega,
    Good selection of actuators and sensors,
    Staff who are knowledgeable about micro-controllers….

  • Matt

    Carrying Arduino products would be nice. They now make retail boxed versions, and they are a good way to get started with microcontrollers.

    More misc parts with better organization. If I go online to Digikey I can pick from top of the line parts at good prices because these things don’t cost much to begin with. A good example is a power MOSFET. At Radioshack I can get an IRF510 for $2.19. It’s rated for 3A and has an on resistance of about 540mOhm. The technology is more than 10 years old. For about the same money from Digikey, I can get a top of the line IRLB3813 which has an on resistance of just 1.95mOhm (277 times less!) and can handle 260A continuous (87 times more)! Essentially a huge increase in efficiency. For about the same price, the IRLB3813 could start a car without breaking a sweat, while the IRF510 would literally blow up. At Digikey, I know exactly what’s in stock, and I don’t have to sort through disorganized bins to find the last one of some part, and I can optimize for the specification I need. (sometimes I need low gate capacitance for fast switching and can compromise on on resistance)

    Another example of discrete parts that are outdated at Radioshack is LEDs. There are some insanely bright LEDs on the market now, but Radioshack has almost no selection of good LEDs, and the better ones are overpriced.

    It would help to hire people who know something about DIY electronics, or if they don’t, train them. I don’t go into Radioshack asking for advice on designing active filters with op-amps or anything like that, but it would be nice if the employees at least knew the most basic information about the products they sell.

    Finally, and I can’t overemphasize this, bring back books! Radioshack had some awesome books back in the day, and now most of them simply no longer exist. They were well-written and were a great introduction to DIY electronics. They were packed with practical information and could be used without even needing an EE degree, yet they have the kind of in-depth information that cannot be found online anywhere. Even the outdated ones would still be good read.

    P.S. Calling it "the shack" just sounds stupid. It’s just as bad as "the hut". And how am I supposed to keep straight where to go to buy pizza and radios now?
    "I think I’ll order a take-out pizza from the shack then stop by the hut to pick up a few resistors for my project."

  • dave

    Stop selling mobile phones.

  • DoctorX

    It used to be that i could go to radio shack for pc parts. Not the overpriced junk that is there now. I think if you can cater to the pc enthusiast, I think you could have a winning combination. This is a very underserved segment. I can tell you now, i would shop there much more to get my parts. You will see that we are while very picky, we also have big wallets. Now that isnt to say we we will pay a premium over the internet sites… but if you get price competitive, you will see a lot of us shopping locally at the shack a bunch.

    Here is what I would love you to stock: ( and be price competitive with frozencpu, svc.com, xoxide.com for example). Look at the parts that these sites stock.

    leds… all sorts.
    tailed leds… socketed tails (where you can put an led).
    uv
    cold cathodes
    fans
    sata cables
    water cooling parts (pumps,hose,connectors)
    all sorts of pc parts…

    I feel if you got back to the DYI roots and embrace the modern pc modders… You can fill a much needed void. Please quit trying to compete with best buy, walmart, etc…. carve the market back out.

  • Trav

    Honestly, I do not have a list of parts at the ready for you. However, I do have a thought.

    If I remember correctly, there are at least a half dozen Shacks in the Evansville, IN area. One is in a mall, and the rest are more or less near major shopping areas.

    Instead of making ALL Radio Shacks more DIY oriented, I propose maybe splitting off some of the stores into more DIY oriented sales and the remainder should stay more consumer electronic focused.

    I don’t think a one style fits all approach would work very well considering the saturation of Shacks in my area. But specialization may be more costly in the long run as well. I’m not a marketing expert, so I’m not sure on this.

    Just a thought.

  • Eric

    How Arduino or equivalent single board computers. Integrated wireless, sensors, portable power, etc. Also, having shows or demos by people who know how to use this technology will bring in people.

  • Jason Howard

    1. If it were possible to buy Arduino related boards/shileds/kits, I’d probably be in my local Radio Shack several times a month.

    2. Bulk common discreet components (1K resistors, 0.1uF caps, etc). I understand this is a physical inventory thing, so it may not be feasible. However, having a wider selection of discreet components would also be quite useful.

    3. WiFi gear. I’m not speaking of just access points, but all the connectors, coax, antennas, etc that you’d use in hacking together a fun WiFi project. Even better if you offered kits to connect these projects to the Arduino projects.

    4. Ham Radio gear. This would only work if Radio Shack could put an effort into getting kids/adults licensed. Perhaps demonstrating the coolness factor of various ham oriented tech in the store (packet radio to the space station, low power, homebrew radio, etc…)

    5. Teaching materials. I’ve contemplated starting a class on basic electronics, perhaps working towards an eventual Arduino class. I’d love to see Radio Shack reach out and help get community volunteers teaching electronics. Perhaps getting involved with the schools?

    In any case, I think realigning Radio Shack with the DIY community is a great idea. Perhaps aligning with existing DIY forces like Make magazine, SparkFun, Ada Fruit, would make sense.

  • richk

    30-pin iPod connector with breakout box
    Heat shrinkable tubing
    Thunderbolt connectors and cables

  • Andy

    I think that if Radio Shack wants to cater to the DIY community, then it has to look at what the DIY community is doing. These days, it is microcontrollers (such as the Arduino), robotics and simpler projects, and specialized audio projects.

    There are not a lot of huge, complex projects that can be built for a reasonable price. We won’t be going back to the days of building a home stereos as people used to do with Heathkits. However, there is still a decent amount of home automation that can be built. There is also an interest in robotics – high school and college-age people are quite active in such things. At the heart of these projects are microcontrollers.

    While this newer technology is all around us, we are still talking about a niche market. Another niche market is audio. It is still possible to build a good deal of audio equipment. Vintage tube equipment is of interest to musicians, and some people with a dual interest in music and electronics find pleasure in building their own vaccuum-tube based equipment.

    It seems to me that Radio Shack might do well to investigate these niche markets. It may be wise to partner with musical instrument companies (such as Fender, who owns the Groove Tubes line of Vacuum Tubes). Perhaps partner with makers of small microntrollers and develop a series of modular projects as well. In other words, don’t look for one key to fit a very large lock. Look for smaller keys that fit a very large number of smaller locks.

    Part of what made Radio Shack a place to go for projects was not just the parts and supplies. Yes, there is nothing better than to be able to go to a local store on a Saturday afternoon to get a resistor (something that I’ve always appreciated Radio Shack for doing). The other part was the books (such as building speaker systems and Power supplies, as well as the Engineer’s mini-notebooks series) and project information.

    I realize that it’s hard to make a decent profit on a bunch of small pieces. But perhaps one has to adjust expectations and make profit in different ways?

    I have some affection for Radio Shack and wish to see it live on and prosper. But I also don’t think the way to do it is to try to compete with Wal*Mart and Best Buy by offering commodity electronics.

    Thanks for your consideration in reading this.

    Andy

  • JG

    You’re listening about 20 years too late.

    When you stopped carrying a reasonably comprehensive selection of parts, you forced me to look elsewhere. I got used to ordering from Digi-Key. Being the kind of person who prefers not to hit a roadblock while working on a project, I discovered that it was not too hard and not much more expensive to keep a large supply of useful parts stocked and on-hand. Sad truth is Radio Shack has always been overpriced, and has moved on into outright gouging, so you know, I can often buy five or ten of a part from Digi-Key for what you ask. A few 60-drawer parts bins on the wall makes for far fewer opportunities to visit Radio Shack; years of disappointment looking for stuff in Radio Shack’s ever-shrinking assortment of parts contributes further to a tendency to only consider Radio Shack as a last desperation source for parts.

    Years ago, you had walls lined with parts. Okay, so floor space is valuable and toys can be profitable, we understand if you go ahead and keep sticking the parts in drawers, but offer a comprehensive selection. Go back and pull catalogs from 1975, 1980, and 1985 (just arbitrary guesses) and look at the selections. Resistors, transistors, TTL, CMOS, all sorts of stuff. I know a lot of the stuff sat dusty on the shelves, but if you want to be attractive to a digital electronics hacker, you might only sell a 74ls154 once every few years out of a store, but the day you sell it, you’ve maybe just *avoided* creating the guy who’s got a stockpile of various TTL IC’s and who will never bother to visit your store for *any* chip. The BASIC Stamp was a good choice to add … a decade ago. Pick up an issue of MAKE or something like that and see what people are building. Explore. Better yet, coordinate with the MAKE folks and see if you can make sure that you’re offering the parts that might be needed by projects in the next issue.

    Sorry you’ll never succeed in getting some of us back; my hacking rate vs stockpile depletion ratio is such that I may well die before I run out of any parts that you’re likely to stock.

    From the consumer’s perspective, Radio Shack could bring the convenience of local supply and instant gratification. You’re charging premium rates. You can’t carry everything, granted, but the current situation seems to be one of cherry-picking a small set of items that are most likely to sell. That generates frustration. When I walk into a store and you have three of ten parts I need, and they’re 10x the cost of Digi-Key, and I’m going to have to order the remaining 7 parts from Digi-Key anyways, do you think I buy the three parts at Radio Shack? Or do I buy them all at DK, for much less money?

    Sorry to beat on the issue but you claim to be listening, which suggests you want to understand how to get people in the store. I can’t speak for anyone else, but that’s the way it works out for me.

  • Mike Thomas

    In addition to the parts, a section of books for DIY.

    I also agree with the post, about the used car salesmen talk. Can it. And the Good Guys/Circuit City ( and whoever else ) scare tactic of extended warranties has to go. If it’s going to break right away, why should I buy things from you in the first place? DUH!!!! Plus we are in a bad economy with high prices already. Who but the well off, have money to throw away?

  • Rob

    Hey the guy down below who asked for switches for his guitar pedal had your niche market nailed.

    I know how to fix my stuff. I fix my own car. I fix all my appliances. But, if an electronic gadget gets pooched or I have a quick little hobby project I want to do /right now/, Radio Shack doesn’t have me covered.

    Here’s an example: A controller from an original Microsoft XBOX game system makes a great controller for your PC. It talks over a USB interface, but the connector is nonstandard. I can’t just run down to Radio Shack and grab a shink-wrap USB connector, no. It won’t be there.

    When I was younger – mid nineties – Radio Shack had every little tinker thing like that. If I needed an RCA plug to repair a stereo cable, it was there. You guys lost out because you started asking us DIYers for our addresses and names to put them in a database even when we bought batteries. After we left, you decided to ditch all the "Radio Shack" stuff and really turned yourselves into a "Cell Phone Kiosk."

    Bring back the common hobby parts that you used to have, and shove them in the back if you have to, but you should be spending 35% or better of your retail space on it. When I come in and buy batteries and pay cash, thank me. Don’t ask for my zip code or name or any of that BS from the past. Stop selling cell phones. Sell me the best 2-hour-install car kit that money can buy, with standardized, easily upgradable connectors.

    Oh, and market it. And hire educated employees. There are plenty of people who WOULD fix their DVD player or their guitar pedal or whatever if they just knew of a place to get knowledgeable info. Be the NAPA Auto Parts or the Home Depot of the electronics world. I should be able to bring a burst electrolytic capacitor in to a Radio Shack and be pointed towards the analog components /and/ be told what to look for in an appropriate replacement.

    I’m serious. I was a hell of a nerd when I was a kid, and then all the hobby stores disappeared. Then, Radio Shack turned sour. Now, I’m a law student, and I can’t run an oscilloscope anymore. Become the nationwide purveyor of fine electronics hobby parts /with/ experts behind the counter, and you guys are golden and I bet your old customers would at least come by to visit. I would.

  • Dean Jones

    Hi,
    #1. Move electrolytic capacitor values and higher voltages available in those values.
    #2 Resistors in 1 watt and 2 watt values.
    #3 Larger selection of project enclosures in various sizes. You don’t have much to choose from at the moment.

    Thanks for listening!
    Dean

  • Randy

    Get back to the roots that built R.S. The walls as they use to be called,resistors,caps,chips and all the electronics you use to carry.You basicly do not carry parts to build with anymore.Walls of stero systems,speakers that had the realist name.Seems no one in the stores have knowledge of 1/4 vs. 1/2 220 ohm watt resistors anymore if it does not have a lable on the slide drawer. They are cell phone sellers and thats all.Hire people that have built things and know electronics, get back to the roots and have broad minded employes.

  • stuart rumley

    Parts:

    You will probably get requests for SMT resistors and capacitors and you may want to stock certain values. I know they are low margin, low volume parts but they will enable you to also sell other, more high margin stock such as solder flux, solder paste, flux cleaner, and solder. Consider only 0805 and maybe 0603 sized SMT parts.

    Leaded parts are also very handy for experimenters since they can be handled easily. Small sized axial leaded parts are more desirable than radial lead parts. The exception is electrolytic capacitors, radial for large values, axial for smaller values. Typically, 1/8W and 1/4W will be most handy in the widest array of values. You may want to consider stocking 1W, 2W, or higher in low ohmic values such as 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 ohms.

    Connectors will also be in demand. Start with RF connectors such as BNC, UHF, Type-N, and SMA. Then add an array of audio connectors for both pro-audio and high end home applications. Next, power connectors such IEC modules, mini-power plugs and jacks and banana jacks and plugs.

    Forget about stocking ICs, you’ll never have what anyone wants. Except, you might consider linear regulators for low power common voltages.

    There’s more I could detail but that’s about it for now. There is one thing you should keep in mind: No junk! RS is famous for selling crappy parts. Step it up a bit and only stock from reputable vendors. No one wants a cheap capacitor from some unrecognizable or worse vendor that can’t be soldered because the leads aren’t tinned. Or "RF" connectors with riveted center conductors.

    You can make this work but you have to change your packaging and your sales staff. WE don’t want some uninformed, sales guy asking us if he can help us if all he know is cell phones. We want to browse and consider the possibilities. Packaging should be readable in a well lit location. Parts are cheap, so don’t put 5 resistors in a huge blister pack. Sell 200 in sealed baggy.

    Thanks for asking,
    Stuart

  • fredmerk

    Ham (amateur radio), not CB, gear and accessories at competitive prices.

  • DesertMoon

    PowerPole connectors.

  • Frank

    I’m a Ham Radio Operator in Erie Pennsylvania. Anderson Power Poles have become the standard power connector
    for amateur radios and power distribution panels used in ham shacks and vehicles. The connector parts are only found at hamfest by vendors and ordered on-line. These power panels and connectors provide load protection and
    polarity protection for devices upto 58 volts.

    Radio to Computer interface kits are a growing need because digital transmissions are created (and received too) on a computer and sent in/out through the sound card(s). The audio goes to the microphone circuit. The computer also controls the PTT, push to
    talk circuit. Kits are two audio transformers, a transistor, and a couple capacitors all soldered together on a board
    with audio connects into the radio. Some connectors are TRS, but some radios are going TRRS, which is the iPhone
    standard because it handles by-directional communications. Look up FLDIGI, Signal Link, and Rig blaster parts.

    Last on the ham radio wish list antenna kits and parts, even a 2M / 440 mag-mount (5/8 wave) would be GREAT!
    SMA coax connector parts are the standard, but hard to find unless you go on-line or a hamfest.

    I recommend offering this ham radio equipment in the stores, but on-line ordering with deliver to the local stores
    would be awesome. Please put our RADIOs back in the Shack!

    Frank KB3NAT

  • Joe

    How about just looking at an old Radio Shack catalog! Resistors, capacitors, inductors, power transformers, and all the other stuff you used sell so that we may home-brew projects. One stop shopping was great. I still have an old Knight Kit auto analyzer I bought from Radio Shack in the 1970’s, and it still works! I use it for my collector cars that are not computer controlled.

  • Dave

    Better grade of Coax, resistors, capacitors, and transformers, 74 series chips, chip amps, (lm3889 etc) MOSFETs, solar stuff, bigger wire selection, hardware, connectors of all types,(neutrik-etc) switches, led project parts, vacuum tubes -hifi and ham. Amateur radio equipment, I still use my HTX-10! And modified DX394. You have missed the boat serving the DIY community. I purchase from Newark Electronics, DIY Audio and Digikey.

  • Dave

    Well….. Quality would be first. Your stuff tends to be of such low quality that it I have stopped visiting the store for many needs.

    I am always wanting to build up cables. Your connectors typically won’t take solder and the plastics used are not able to take the temps soldering involves. Audio 1/8th inch comes right to mind. Terrible & Usless come to mind at the same time. I have stockpiled these from DigiKey for years because I couldn’t drop in to Radio Shack for something I could make use of.

    NEVER stock chorme plated co-ax connectors. ONLY sliver plated. ONLY those with plastic that can handle the temps involved in soldering.

    I’m interested in 12VDC power related products. Make sure these have NO RFI issues. That is, any switching power supplies MUST be RF clean. It is really not hard and only adds a few cents to the product cost when U order in quanity. Specify this in your product search.

    Fuses. Don’t stock the bottom of the barrel. some of your stuff is okay and some isn’t I’ve had some of them come apart in my hands.

    Move up in co-ax cable quality a bit. 98% braid or better. Dialectric that can handle soldering. I don’t want’a see plastic coming up thru co-ax braid when I’m soldering a PL259.

    BOTTOM line the builder want’s something better than what he can buy from southeast asia. So supply parts that will stand up to that perspective. BUT remember we don’t build to milspec either….. /DL

    REMEMBER a lot of your return customers will be pro or semipro not public who don’t know the difference.

  • Dave H

    Switches, for projects, kit boxes and DIY small electronic kits to get new and younger customers dedicated to RS and interested in electroinics. my 101 electronic kit Ii got for Christmas as a kid has made me a 30 yr loyal customer!!

  • RangerDad

    Please look at Make magazine by Orielly Press and the maker community also look closely at the HAM radio world. It should be easy to figure out what types of things should be on the shelves of RS.

  • Dan -W9DAN

    Heathkit included in a lot of their kits a little plastic alignment tool called a "diddle stick". This was used to properly
    set slug tuned coils ect. Thousands of Hams the world over restore and repair older vintage equipment. I have lost
    or misplaced my "Diddle sticks" I got from Heathkit years ago and I can’t find a place that sells them anywhere on
    this earth? I think these little jewel’s could be mass produced very inexpensivly, and a nice profit could be made.
    I am sure their would be a market for these other than the " Ham Radio" community as well. Several sizes and
    length’s would be desirable. Thanks for considering and reading my input.

    Dan W9DAN

  • CR Pyro

    As has been mentioned before, your company’s focus on cell phones and accessories, to the detriment of DIY and other departments, is why many tinkerers, makers, and builders no longer see you as a viable location for parts. Your staff’s attitude and over-all lack of knowledge is why we/they no longer see your stores as a viable location for information. Personally if I’m in your stores it’s because I need something quickly and Tanner is closed (I do not shop at Fry’s unless there’s absolutely no alternative).

    If you REALLY want to begin a refocus towards DIY you’re going to have to think about your corporate culture. The adage of "Fast, good, or cheap: pick two" definitely applies here. You can focus on cellular, DIY, or general electronics. In doing so you will have to move your hiring practices to reflect this. With that said, I don’t believe as a company you’re willing to do so. You’re still a public company, right? Will your shareholders (of which I’m not one) be willing to accept the lower margin that necessarily comes from a concentration on DIY? Are you willing to pay your staff to keep those who are knowledgeable with general electronics and circuits happy?

    As has been mentioned, you need to take a look at Tanner Electronics and their model (what yours used to be, when Radio Shack was fitting of what you did and sold). They are near-enough to your headquarters in Fort Worth that you should take a couple of directors out there and have a look-see. Do not, however, make the mistake of buying them out or trying to open a chain that directly competes with them. You can, but it won’t last in the long term due to the contamination of your name (and those of us who will berate you in every channel we have access to).

    If you truly want to re-focus on DIY for the long term, you’d better be willing to have some red on the balance sheet for some time until your name is not contaminated in the market any longer. Are you and your financiers (read: Wall Street) willing to do so, again? You should also not expect to come into the market whole hog initially. Begin by slowly adding some parts (MCUs, breakouts, etc.) to your shelves and getting your employees trained in them and the DIY market. This will cause those of us who are not (yet) hard-core makers to come in with some more frequency and we will begin talking about you in more positive terms among our circle(s) of friends. If you come in whole hog without the requisite knowledge among your staff, you’re wasting money and shelf space (but I repeat myself) on product that you will eventually sell, but most likely at a loss. In addition we will continue talking about you in derogatory terms.

    So, with all of the above in mind my, personal, suggestions would be as follows (in order of importance for me):
    1) Arduino. The board is creative commons. I’d love to see you stock the "real" thing, or contract with SparkFun or AdaFruit to sell theirs (if they’re willing to enter into a contract with you), but you have the buying power to make them available and at good cost for us. Something like a breadboard version of the Arduino (say Lady Ada’s Boarduino) at a good price would be a boon for me when I’m working on a project and need another one for some reason.

    2) Low and mid range micro controllers (maybe in a breakout if they’re SMD). Obviously Digikey and Mouser are going to beat your socks off in volume, and profit, on something like an Arm A9. But, The Atmel 128/328/Mega line are good, low-cost, general MCUs that are VERY popular right now amongst the DIY market. Why? They’re cheap, they’re easy to work with, they’re easy to program, and they’re in the Arduino (sensing a pattern here?). Some mid-range units of comparable price to Mouser and Digikey would draw me in so I don’t have to drive to Mansfield from Garland or pay shipping (you have two stores within ten minutes of my house), too. This also feeds off of number one.

    3) Knowledge: When I walk into a store and am asked "Can I help you?" my usual response is "Probably not." The last two times I’ve been in your stores for a project I was working on I explained what I was trying to do and got a blank stare in response. That’s not helpful. If you want to focus on the DIY market, your representatives need to be able to offer me alternatives to what I’m looking for.

  • Simplex

    Radio Shack – the answer is in your name. Bring back amateur radio and shortwave radio gear and parts.

  • Paul

    I would really like to see Atmel and PIC microcontrollers and possibly some optoisolators.

  • Joe

    I would love to see a selection of MPU’s such as the PICAXE, the Arduino, and some of the Texas Instruments products.
    I would also like more ham radios. You are called RADIOshack right? guess what…you don’t sell any ham radios

  • Doug

    I would lobe to see more coaxial cable options. Some of your stores carry rg-58 and that’s its.

    Thanks

  • Michael

    Arduino supplies — especially atmega328 chip w/ arduino bootloader would be especially helpful.

  • Ed

    How about some more kits? Kits of any kind, radios, test equipment, etc. Also, support what yuo sell with the proper accessories or parts. It’s silly to buy a soldering iron from you but I had to go to Sears to get more tips! More and wider range of components like resistors, transistors and capacitors.

  • Al Walter

    I use to purchase a lot of DIY and electronic products from RS. It use to be the go to place. I would like to see more selections in discrete components and also bring back the 30′ and 40′ telescoping masts that us Amateur radio operators like to put antennas on.

    Thanks

    Al Walter K1OQ

  • shapr

    I’d most like to see Arduinos, Forest Mims’ "learn electronics" kits, and all-in-one component collections with enough capacitors, resistors, etc to do simple projects.

  • Mark Methlie

    I would be happy if they stocked replacement ear pads for their own NOVA headsets. I would settle for mail order.

  • Neil

    I’d like to see some RG 174 coax, along with easy UHF and BNC connectors for RG 174 coax. Some torroids of various sizes and mixtures for making Baluns and Inductors. Some variable capacitors and trimmer capacitors. Egg shaped end insulators for wire antennas. Also more transistor types. How about a few solar panels ~15-20 volts of various wattages.

    Thanks for asking and caring about us DIY folks.

  • Ken Rimmel/kc0esl

    When you used to sell resistors, capacitors, diodes, etc. I used to shop several times a month. Several years ago when all of this type of products were dropped and RS only specialized in cell phones, very few radios and cable and satalite equipment, I barely visited RS at all. Bring back the electronic parts, kits and most importantly, the big catalog. The last time I visited the web site, there were no listings of acceptable parts and questionable descriptions of the things for sale. Bring back the old Radio Shack we grew up with. If you insist on being the "Shack", then you will only be known as a small business with a small selection. If you go back to being "Radio Shack", then you will once again be the leader in electronic equipment and the place for people of all ages to shop at.

  • sbma44

    Deeper stock in the cabinets would be good. The upfront cost to doubling the number of ICs kept in stock can’t be much — the markup is fantastic, right? Expanding the universe of ICs would be worthwhile, too. Get some shift registers in there, some LED drivers, some H bridges, some MOSFETs.

    Your connectors are mostly oriented toward automotive applications (and some PC stuff). It takes up a ton of cabinet space, but it’s not very useful to the DIY electronics community. It would be helpful if you stocked pin headers (male and female), for instance.

    You carry some PIC stuff, and that’s great. But it seems clear that Arduino has more energy behind it right now. I think it’d be amazing to see Arduino on sale (perhaps an RS branded kit? it’s open source, you’re free to do so!) along with some shields (maybe proto and wifi/ethernet as a baseline).

    Your motor selection all seems to be simple DC brush stuff. Fine for robots, not useful for much else in the DIY space. I’d love to see some lightweight servos and steppers. How about some LCD display modules that speak serial?

    I realize that the DIY community is never going to be able to compete with cell phone purchasers for profitability. And it really is worth a premium to have components available around the corner. Still: it rankles to pay 20 cents for a resistor that retails online for less than a penny. This degree of markup makes RS impractical for anything but emergency or experimental purchases.

    That’s all that comes to mind immediately. I hope this helps!

  • W6NIT

    I do not know how many times I have gone to the local Radio Shack store just to find that my project as to be put on hold. Checking the web I see the item is in stock via the web site. Have made telephone call just to make sure the item was in stock and of course the person said "YES", again only to find out when I arived and check the stock and "NO" the item was not in stock and has not been in stock for a very long time. Just a waste of my time and gas to find some simple item. Then going back home and calling different stores hopping to find the item I need. You just can not trust Radio Shack anymore.

  • Carl B. Rayman

    Radio Shack should begin to market Software Defined Radios for all frequency ranges and all services. A Direct Sampling SDR could do AM, FM, SW, TV, digital broadcast, Public Service (analog and digital modes) and all Amateur Radio modes of operation. They have the advantage of being inexpensive to manufacture while offering higher performance than conventional radios costing many times their price. An SDR transceiver could revitalize Radio Shack’s Amateur radio market and, possibly, commercial radio markets as well. A low powered SDR data transceiver would allow customers to form computer networks outside of the conventional Ethernet, DSL, Dialup or Broadband systems. It is certainly a good time for customers to be seeking low cost or free of charge netwrok solutions that avoid the middle man entirely…………………………………………………………………..Thanks, 73s, Carl B. Rayman

  • Matt

    You Talked, We’re Listening….I’m not so sure. I have been following this form and as of yesterday there were 830 postings. As of right now only 415 why would you ask for input from your customers just to delete their postings? Googles catch shows 409 posting from the last update. So 421 posting got deleted within the last 24 hours that’s more postings deleted than were saved. Gezzz big waste of time, and oh you guessed it my posting was deleted too. I guess radio shack just doesn’t like us hams.

  • Ron

    All information you need for the DIY parts amateurs would like to see stocked can be found from the articles they are most likely to build equip[ment from: QST, The Radio Amateur’s Handbook, The Antenna Handbook and many, many more related amateur magazines.

    Unless you can be competitive with dealers like DigiKey, Mouser, JameCo and others, you probably need to stick to the homeowner DIYers.

    Ron

  • Ed

    Need more Ham Radio gear!

  • Dave

    First off get someone in the store who knows what solder wick is!That would be a start. How about a better section of magnate wire, PIC kits, stepper motor kits and supplies, better selection of project boxes, rotary encoders, supplies for people making robotic’s. etc etc etc I could go on on.

    Dave

  • Paul

    First and foremost, stock good employees. With the exception of three RS employees over the decades, RS has uniformly selected and/or trained their employees to be arrogant and self absorbed. I have always found this attitude to be offensive since I have been a ham operator and in the electronics field for longer than these salespeople have been alive. Yet they pretend to know more about my problem than I do. And this holds true for their stores in New York, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Minnesota. Not sure about the other states.

    Having said that, I’d recommend they stock things that hams and CBers typically use. Standard coax connectors, good quality coax (not the RS coax with poor shielding), 6-32 and 4-40 hardware, antenna masts, rotors, and ARRL publications, for starters.

    73,

    Paul

  • Ed

    My top three products are:

    1 – Semiconductors (transistors, IC’s, diodes)
    2 – Passive components (resistors, inductors, capacitors, transformers, wire)
    3 – Enclosures (like you used to carry: two-piece aluminum, black top & grey bottom)
    4 – (if I’m allowed another item) dsiplays (LED, LCD)

    I currently purchase parts at Fry’s Mouser, and DigiKey. Radio Shack is more convenient, but seldom has what I need.

  • Blob

    You could offer non-stocked items & them ship them to a store at zero or very little cost, like a lot of stores do nowadays.

  • Curt K6BHH

    I see several comments from fellow Ham radio operators, and I echo their comments. I would like to see antenna parts, QUALITY coax connectors and cable, maybe some antenna kits. Take a browse through the Amateur Electronic Supply catalog for some ideas.

  • Nelson

    My comment was deleted. Was it because I asked for Switchcraft connectors? Is Radio Shack really listening?

  • Norman Davis

    I can think of many things that would benefit your company and reduce the disappointment many of us feel when we can’t find what we want.

    1. Higher quality parts and greater variety in individual quantities instead of two or in a blister, or plastic pack. It would also save on waste in packaging going to landfills.

    2. Parts more attuned to radio amateurs and serious electronic hobbyists.

    3. Sales persons informed or educated in electronics and parts. The majority of sales clerks have no idea what we are looking for, or are apathetic, maybe over whelmed. I usually know where to look on my own. And I dislike sales persons hovering over me while I look. I’m not about to steal anything.

    4. Two suggestions. Survey amateurs and ask what they would like in equipment. Also, in the accompanying video above, to whom is Amy speaking? Certainly not the we the viewers since she makes no attempt at eye contact. That tells me you are not really very sincere in this endeavor.

  • Evelyn Blackwell

    I miss the TechAmerica/Radioshack.com model that use to exist over 10 years ago. I use to frequent the store on Colorado Blvd. My Fluke Multimeter and other basic test tools I still use to this day were bought there, along with specialized ICs for repairing audio equipment, weird spec mosfets, miles of wire for rewiring cars… the list can go on.

    I don’t think a small selection of components, carrying arduinos, project PICs won’t cover everything the DIY community likes to do.

  • Dave Henson

    A few ICs like 4000 series, arduino/pic/propeller microcontrollers, ladder line, rotary encoders

  • Gary

    I build many test antenna’s for 2 meter radios. I would like to see coax cables and coax connectors. In all the stores in Utah County, the selection is limited.

    I would also like to see more UHF and VHF radio equipment.

    Thank you,

  • Larry

    I would like to see more DIY parts and products, kits, and basically like it used to be 15 or 20 yrs ago and more but also keeping up in times with digital radio items etc., maybe dual band ham mobile antennas also and good quality cable and connectors.

  • warrie

    how about some quality meters, and knobs. bet they would sell well. also some ceramic switches, 8 to 12 pole. thanks for the opertoonity to add my comments

  • Michael

    Radio Shack should change their name to "The Cell Shack" because most, if not all Radio Shack employees have no clue about electronics, much less know what a resistor, capacitor, or inductor is. Most Radio Shack employees are simply "Cell Phone Junkies". If you ask them if they have a 20ufd 25VDC radial lead electrolytic capacitor, the customer gets the "Deer in the headlight" look. However, if you ask them about a cell phone then they know all there is to know about a cell phone but absolutely nothing else.

  • Bill Eads

    Before "Radio" Shack decided to become "Cellphone" Shack, you could find many parts needed for many projects "In Store"! Now, you have to really hunt around the RS website to find some parts that they have not discontinued! You have forgotten where and how you got your start! Your prices have also become GREEDY! Even your online pricing! I personally no longer recommend RS for anything! Your stupidity is a GREAT advantage for your competition!
    Yes, I still purchase from RS, but grudgingly! I can get better prices elsewhere that have what I need in stock. I just have to wait for things to be shipped to me.

    Bill
    KØSSI
    AAR8FS

  • Re-birth

    I’m glad you are making an effort to get back to your roots. A simple start would be to carry the
    Maker shed line of products in your stores as well as those individual components to the kits.

  • ray

    ham radio ,portable wakie takie’s.

    wiring connectors…….swr meters…..analyzires

    adaptors for different kind of antenna connections,

    and any other ham radio related equiptment……

  • joe

    i wish you guys carried servo motors and arduinos and some LCD screens for use in bread board projects

  • Lawrence Foltzer

    You should focus on getting parts manufacturers to supply parts in DIY friendly packaging. The emphasis on smaller is better is getting out of hand. With everything getting to small, the DIYer needs to have a microscope and a pick and place micro-manipulator device to assemble a simple project. SMT passives smaller than 0805’s are out of the question, as are SOIC lead spacing < .04"/.05". Furthermore, we need more emphasis on standards in packaging, so that the symbols and library used in CAD can be made compatible. I suggest you talk to the folks at ExpressPCB and see what they suggest.
    Larry

  • John

    I would like to see more ham related products. You no longer have rg8 or rg8x coax other than jumpers, so when I need coax I have to order it on line. I would like to see some antenna kits so you could make up wire antennas.and last I would like to see some small yagi antennas for vhf/ uhf and last maybe some vhf/uhf ground planes.This would be great for the Tech and the Tech Plus hams.

  • greenfog

    I used to go to radio shack all the time as it was the only place in this area to get the various parts and supplies needed for the construction ond repair of electronic equipmentment. The last time I went to my local store which was overtwo years ago, I went looking for RF adapters for use with ham radio equipment. the salesman tried to sell me F connectors which are used in Cable tv work, and then informed me they did not make what I was looking for. I left and found what I needed at a franchised store some 35 miles away. Now I don’t even bother with radio shack anymore if i need something I visit the local truck stops as they have a better selection of what I am looking for then any local radio shack. If I can wait I prder my parts online and NOT from radio shack. In this area the radio shacks are called THE TELEPHONE TOY STORE, and as a ham operator I can tell you there are many others here that feel the same way.

    My biggest suggestion is to train your people to know something about more then pushing cell phones.
    After all I have heard said many times. " You have questions, we have dumb looks."

  • Richard Sailors

    I have used RS project kits for years. Not only have they been discontinued, but the components are in drawers that are stocked with what appears to be indifference. Just last week I bought the RS project board, wire kit, and a small collection of ICs and other components. I would personally appreciate the following projects/experiments to be specifically supported:

    small signal audio amplifier/attenuator

    solar charger/controller circuits

    HDMI continuity/performance tester

    UHF/SHF signal strength meter (cell phone frequencies)

    THX WB6PWD

  • John

    I would love to see ham radio back in the store.Hf,vhf and uhf as well as test equipment and antennas.Maybe wire kits for antennas building also small yagis and dual band ground plane or mobile antennas. better training I bought a discone antenna and broke a radial,stopped in to see about ordering a replacement was told I don’t know you might be able to on the web sight. No luck there either.

    John K5JRW

  • N9IVO

    Bravo! Electronics stores are becoming extinct. Parts are becoming tough to acquire.

    germanium diodes
    QUALITY and variety of switches
    quality soldering stations

    Don’t forget antenna tripods, (discontinued) coax and cable varieties.

    Thanks. Mike Pender N9IVO

  • tony

    RS is easily large enough to contract with Ham Radio manufacturers to sell their products. This niche has become a mail order only business. Extremely few storefront Amateur stores. The number of Amateurs has ballooned in the last 20 years. I have no doubt that, with your international exposure and volume, it would be successful.

    Thanks.

  • Jim

    You should sell the book "SolderSmoke — Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics". The book was in part inspired by the RadioShack publications of the great Forrest Mims. Like Mim’s books, SolderSmoke has lots of hand-drawn diagrams. While it is mostly about ham radio, it was written to appeal to the broader electronics DIY community, and contains a wide variety of projects including astronomy, kite aerial photography and rocketry. The author — Bill Meara — would be willing to work something out – here’s a link to the book: http://soldersmoke.com/book.htm.

  • NeilM

    How can you (or why can’t you) compete with the dollar stores on small items like batteries and cables etc? I’m a shareholder and it [u]still[/u] makes more sense for me to buy on eBay than from a store.

  • Alan H. Martin/W1AHM

    Anderson PowerPole connectors (probably only 30A size).
    http://www.qsl.net/w2vtm/powerpole.html
    http://home.comcast.net/~buck0/app.htm
    Many, many ham operators chop off their brand-new radios’ proprietary connectors
    and replace them with PowerPoles
    (especially hams involved in Emergency Communications).
    There’s a big ham market in distribution boxes socketed with PowerPoles:
    http://www.westmountainradio.com/content.php?page=RIGrunner
    http://www.mfjenterprises.com/Product.php?productid=MFJ-1128
    But all you need to stock are small baggies of the red and black plastic housings,
    with a matching quantity of the silver-plated contacts.
    (In multiples of two reds and two blacks and four contacts).
    And if you do decide to stock them, send a press release
    to ARRL, 225 Main St., Newington, CT 06111-1494, attn: _QST_ Editor.

  • Dennis

    1) Larger selection of rechargeable battery cells and batteries (A123 lithium cells, NIMH and NICAD cells in a few sizes with and without solder tabs).

    2) Expanded selection of solder-on connectors (as opposed to crimp style connectors).

    3) A couple of lines of microcontrollers, with at least a few models of each brand and programming hardware to support them. I would most like to see AVR and PIC.

    I almost never go into a Radio Shack to shop for common electronics products (cell phones, TVs, music systems) that are available elsewhere (with greater selection and better pricing). I go to Radio Shack for components that I think you might have (some basic resistors, caps, transistors, antennas, wire, connectors, solder, etc.).

    In large cities, I would like to see Radio Shack "tech super centers", that have an extensive variety of components and tools in stock. Just one such store per city would probably be enough. I would drive 50 miles to get to the store, if it had a large component inventory. This would be a nice "bridge" between the average Radio Shack store, and what is available from electronics distributors and specialty vendors on the Internet. Sometimes I need "stuff" immediately and I don’t want to wait for a shipment. Those stores should NOT carry a large selection of items I can get at other stores (cell phones, TVs, audio systems, radios, etc.; I would not drive a long distance for those things).

    I would be satisfied if your average Radio Shack expanded your basic components by about 2 or 3 times the items you currently carry. Placing the items in minimal sized packaging and in a set of drawers is fine, and would save money and shelf space. I am talking about resistors, caps, transistors, ICs, switches, connectors, etc.

    You can’t carry enough merchandise in every Radio Shack location to source most of the parts for every DIY project.
    There are simply too many areas (ham radio, audio geeks, computer guys, robotics feaks, music people, renewable energy people, radio control modelers, engineering students, etc., etc. etc.).

    I used to buy a much larger percentage of items from Radio Shack, but buy less now because your selection keeps shrinking, and because the variety of stuff I use keeps growing.

    I DIY in many areas (ham radio, robotics, embedded systems, computers, R/C models, home audio, machining).

  • JIM DIXON KI4TIC

    Ham radio related items. Go back to being RADIO SHACK !

  • mkb

    I really like the Forrest Mims notebooks, they’re great if you want an intro to what can be done with electronics. Be sure to carry the parts that they mention!!! It may be stuck in the 80s but it’s great beginner level material and teaches you the ropes.

    Also, sell Make Magazine. There are a lot of possible connections to be made there.

  • jotv

    6JS6 tubes

  • Dan

    solar powered panels, batteries, & equipment to get off this grid.

  • Nick

    You carry a decent amount of the basics, but I say expand the options: DC barrels and plugs, regulators, switches, project boxes, etc are in the store, but there is not enough variety.

  • michael VEE

    DIY is an attitude, a way of life. It is more than a few sales of parts. We are learners and will be for years. CAn you do that? Based on the past, NOT likely. RS came from Tandy, which bought Allied no? You now have to be better than Allied, newark, Mouser, Digi-Key Parts Express and as good as Amazon on-line if you want to be anything again.. Sorry, you were never that good but today, if we can GET WHAT WE WANT, even on-line only, then you might survive. You should develope a complete line of learning, kits, parts and support to cover from 20 CPS to 1000MHZ. yes, I think you’ll have it covered then. ( no I won’t go back to RS, there’s nothing there-the internet stores, as much as I dis-like the delay, do the job) BUT I would like a parts store close by.
    bye for now.
    <M>

  • fritz

    My comment was deleted too! Does Radio Shack only have selective hearing?

  • freeloader

    i repair and restore tube radios and guitar amps as a hobby, when was the last time i was able to shop at RS for anything i needed . in the late 1980"s. after that you gave up on the diyers. also amature extra class operator who has spent 20 to 30 thousand dollars or more over the last few years, where sadly nothing at RS. look in your 1960’s and 1970’s catalogs and bring that stuff back. where do i have to shop now, mousers, digikey, allied, coppers, hro, tubes and more, mfj, r&lelectronics, ect ect. bring back the old RS and we will return. thanks W4HTH.

  • George

    Before I talk about DIY parts how about a RS version of the GE Super Radio. Highly sensitive and selective AM and FM radio with a high fidelity sound. Radio should have a digital dial AND tuner.
    Batteries should be 4 D and 4 AA . User could chose if weight or long battery life was desired.
    Current offerings you sell are too expensive third part and do not meet the GE Super Radio standard.
    I would like to see a selling price of $75 or less (again – use the GE Super Radio as a model) All of the above is possible with a combination of today’s ICs and maybe a discrete “front end” for the necessary sensitivity and selectivity. THIS would be a return to Flagship type ( should I say Benchmark) products to rebuild the RADIO SHACK name amongst knowledgeable consumers like the DIY and HAM community. You NEED a Flagship product not a cell phone.

    Now for the DIY buyer – these are not new ideas
    1. Inexpensive kits with NO chassis. Sell the chassis (generic type of box) separate. Examples – a color organ – an amplifier – a TRF or IC superhet starter radio. Realize if it is one part Kit
    (IC) the DIY may not buy it – too simple. Keep your costs down – don’t get too fancy – just a PCB and parts.
    2. Standard parts – maybe in groups – 4 PNP, 4 NPN, 4FET transistors in a single package
    4 PNP, 4 NPN, 4 FET POWER transistors in a single package. ICs groups of 4 audio,
    4 timers, 4 logic types in a single package. Group packaging can lower the per each cost to the consumer and make your inventory count (cost) lower and simply the product line. Parts MUST not be generic but instead be standard part numbers and a standard spec. THIS is important! Construction articles can then again list RS part numbers in their parts lists.
    3. Do similar thing with capacitors, resistors of different values.
    4. DIY books like an updated Forrest Mims
    5. An inexpensive way to prototype circuits – again a DIY book on “dead bug”, Manhattan pads,
    PCB ideas. Maybe PCB pads in a bag – etc
    6. A PIC microprocessor and PCB kit ( your current offering is too expensive – think basic – think cheap.
    7. Maybe sell “hacks” to existing products like a kit to modify your HEXBUG “original.
    Hacks can sell for more than the original HEXBUG ! Just look at the internet.
    8. Sell some of these things as a “Internet ship to store offering” until the sales prove profitable enough to stock in a store.
    9. Good quality coaxial cable and connectors at a decent price. Maybe sell PL 259 connectors at a discount when you buy 4 in a single package.
    10. Group this specialized DIY material in a separate area on your web site – DO NOT mix this teckie DIY in with the “other” stuff – Sell it as for the electronics TECKIE geek, Not for the average (DIY ? ) user.

    Above all – Good luck – this is a tough business But it is one thing that made Radioshack

  • Marlin

    WIRE, RELAYS, REFERENCE BOOKS.

    Every project that I work on requires WIRE. Just plain old industrial grade, solid and stranded wire in a few different colors dispensed in small quantities by the foot from bulk rolls. The standard UL types 1015 and 1008 will do for most projects. And RELAYS. A lot of fun projects require relays (and their sockets) of different coil voltages and different contact configurations. And of course, capacitors, resistors, transistors, diodes, transformers, IC’s and rf chokes and circuit boards to solder them to.

    I belief your past practice of individual packaging added a lot of costs to your parts. Why not buy electronic components from your suppliers in bulk plain packaging, then train your people how to handle them and sell them that way? Then you can have 10 times the variety of transistors and other solid state devices that you used to have. You may win back some of your old customers.

    Sell some more books! Electrical reference books, radio books, project cookbooks, ARRL and CQ publication books, and amateur radio and electronics magazines.

    I would say if you aren’t selling radio related stuff, then drop the word "RADIO" from your company name.
    Thanks for asking.
    Marlin

  • DJ

    I have 2 Radio Shack scanners, PRO34 and PRO 43 that have broken battery holders. It would be helpful if these items were available.

    Thanks.

    David

  • bobby G

    Ham Radio transceivers is what will bring up your business. I would like the convenience of being able to buy
    equipment locally with out having to travel 50 miles to get expensive equipment from only one or two local stores.

    I have one of your 10 meter transceivers which I love. I have also had some of your 2 meter transceivers.

    You also used to carry CW and code practice equipment as well as mobile antennas.

    I belong to a local Community Emergency Response team and have been a "ham" for over 60 years. I am a DIY person

    and many of my fellow responders would be interested in getting things not available at "Best Buy"

  • John

    I remember when I was a kid, the local Radio Shack had walls and walls of components (resistors, transistors, capacitors, transformers, etc..) everything for the electronic DIYer. Then there was all kinds of connectors, adapters, wires, coax, etc. A few weeks ago I went looking for an N adapter… none to be found.

    Being an amateur radio operator, sound/light technician for local community theater, and a DIYer, I would LOVE to be able to count on Radio Shack being a place that I can find parts/adapters/wires/etc. The local radio shack I had in town closed down quite a few years ago, but when it was open if he didn’t have it in stock, he could get it for me in a week. VERY CONVENIENT!!

    Bring Radio Shack away from the best buy, wal-mart, etc. mentality and bring it closer to the haven for the DIYer.

  • RN Kathy

    I’m not building like I used to. Recently I did have a couple of projects and you should have had the diodes I needed but your drawers of parts were either empty or only a small amount of the parts needed.
    So my wish is that you expand the coverage of items you have in those metal drawers AND keep them stocked, not just one or two of an item. I’d say of the last half dozen times I’ve been in your store, I walked away empty handed because of the poor stocking of the cabinets. So I end up going elsewhere, like Mouser to get what I need.
    Thank you,
    Kathy, W2NK

  • Don

    I would like to see more radios, we can find cell phones at every street corner, where can we buy a serious radio?
    How about amateur radio, there are several manufactures that build radios IE.. Icom, Kenwood, Yeasu, Alinco, TYT, Wouxum and Motorola to name a few. Most of these companies make commercial radios also. It would be very easy to become a "two way radio shack". How about shortwave radios? How about scanners, program them so people can use them. This is done with the computer in about 30 seconds each.
    Also there are a lot of DIY projects around, but no parts to build them. If you want to make an infra red illuminater for your home video camera, you are stuck going to Digi Key, Mouser, or worse, E-bay.
    It would be nice to find a sales person that knew more then cell phones! We all know them..

  • Nathaniel

    I do a lot of projects using component parts, some of them for around the house use, like the RCA switchbox I made this weekend, some of them for my electric guitar. I would like to see a greater variety of basic component parts, especially having a wider range of values for capacitors (more smaller values would be great), potentiometers (higher values, especially 250k, 500k, audio taper), more analogue ICs (JFETs, MOSFETs, especially those suitable for audio applications). If you would offer "build-your-own" style kits with quality components, that would be AMAZING! Things like preamps, audio eqs, simple amplifiers (perhalps for audio, maybe for antennas since lots of people with indoor antennas have trouble getting good signal reception from DTVs but don’t want to spend $45 on an amplified antenna when they already have a standard DTV antenna) – all of those would make awesome kits. If Radioshack were to kits (or even just the right parts) for DIY guitar/audio effects such as delays, phase-shifters, reverbs (or dare I dream, parts that could be used to make a modular synth), I would be in heaven, not to mention I’d be spending much more money at Radioshack than I already do. Also, if there was at least one employee that could answer basic questions about circuits and component parts every time I went to, that would be great!

  • Dave

    I USED to buy allot of parts at RS; but in recent years they no longer sell them. "The Cell Phone Shack" is what I call them, and I haven’t set foot in one in at least 2 years. Every time I’d go in someone would try to sell me a cell phone.

  • themainproblem

    Bring back RadioShack.com! It was superb but you dropped the ball. The competition is eating you alive. It won’t be easy or cheap but you can win.

  • KG4COQ

    Bring back ham radios. Put "Radio" back in the shack !!!!

  • Chris

    Simply said, Forget the fads. Go back to basics. The stores of the early 60’s where THE place to get kits, parts, etc.
    If I wanted toys, phones, tv’s, etc, I can go to wally world.
    Yes, stay up to date, but with DIY parts and materials, NOT with the junk you can buy at K-Mart, Target, etc.

    Will store inventory change? Probably not in my lifetime……..Corporate profits usually take precedence over customer wishes.

  • Larry

    Radio Sack was once the go to place to get the small items needed for a project. In the last few years I have stopped all shopping at Radio shack due to the laxck of items I need. The last items I was shopping for were antena mounts, (3/8×24) and an external speaker for a trunk mounted radio, where the control head is on the dash. I was shocked to see there were not any this I remember I onec shopped for so I stopped doing any shoppinf there. I order from Digikey, Mouser, allied for my parts now. I have talked to the other hams in the area and they do the same thing. I doubt I would ever shop at Radio Shack angain because it isn’t Radio Shack it is the Cell Phone Shack.
    Repectfully sumbitted.
    Larry D. Miller KB5ITT

  • Skip

    This is a tough one for you–you have my sympathy. As a chronic tinkererI find myself gravitating to places like Jameco.They have a great business model for this market. You were close once before with the Tech America line (which I really liked). I would order out of the well laid out catalog. I still have some of the kits I bought from them. As much as I would love to be able to walk into a Radio Shack and buy my parts, I realize that it would be a poor business model. Perhaps you could pick one area and stock some serious parts depth in that item–even though it might not appear that you have enough turns on certain numbers (bean-counter lingo). If people became accustomed to Radio Shack as the "go to" for these items they might be more inclined to order what would not be practical to stock in your stores. My local ACE hardware has a nut and bolt department that includes many obscure hardware bits that I am sure turn very slowly–but I always go there first to find stuff for my repairs and projects. While in there I buy other items that might be found at Wal-Mart for less $. I am sure you understand the concept. An item that might work is connectors.They take up little space and a master cabinet could be designed to hold them. LOSE THE BLISTER PACKS!!!!. They take up too much room, are ecologically inefficient, and cost $. Quit getting hung up on all of the RS custom packaging. It has to cost you at least 15% and you lose purchasing flexibility.
    Blister packaging is sooo 70’s and gives your stores the superficial look. Last but not least hire a few techno-geeks at your stores. I really hate dealing with store personnel that don’t know a din plug from a diode.

  • John Hobson

    I would like to see Radio Shack carry more conecctors and small parts. Living in a small community I usually wait till I visit Dallis to visit a parts store I have visited for years and mail order from one of the large suppliers. Please consider these items when looking at supplying parts.
    1) Quality: I do not want a connector that easly breaks. I have bought connectors such as 1/4" and 1/8" plugs in the past I consider fragel in construction.
    2) Price:Many of your current prices for parts are many times (factor of 5 to 10) the cost of similar items from mail order companies. I am willing to pay more to be able to buy local but not for a price that equil to parts made in the US for commercial use from a mail order company. I would rather but the commercial grade and wait for the order to come in. Examples of this are resistors, LEDs and audio and RF connectors.

  • kf5jso

    Start selling ham radio gear again every time I need adapters coax
    R any thing I have to order it and wait a week to get it

  • Evan Foss

    These are the voices of the customers you shunned when you tried to rebrand yourselves as "The Shack". I still don’t really know who that Shack fellow is/was. I know he was some kind of sports star. The thing is that as a self professed geek/hacker and a professional engineer this Shack person as a professional athlete does not represent me.

    Besides with out the Radio in the Radio Shack what do you really have? Just a Shack? Who would want a hovel?

  • KB3KJS

    Parts for DIY tube circuits. Tube sockets, higher voltage electrolytic capacitors, chokes and power transformers.

    Bring back the speakers.

    Ham gear would also be nice. Parts for ham antennas such as multi strand copper wire and insulators like you used to carry.

  • legal1

    1800 items in the store, but that doesn’t include capacitors, resisters, any kind of boards, now if you want a Verizon cell phone they have some, but don’t show the sales person that you already have a cell phone from another company, the quote is "well they give those phones away for free because their outdated" unquote. Seems the individual I was talking to either didn’t realize that the phone and os are new or his statement that someone elses product is outdated, talk about outdated, I needed a power supply, still need a power supply, seems the "salesman" really didn’t understand how they work with radios, oh his uncle or relative was a ham many years ago and he remembers him having something like what "we are selling", glad there are still electronics part stores in this country, of course R Shack isn’t one of them.

  • Robert Shine

    Well , considering that what i posted on a previous post on here , that my posting hit a little close to home for this blog . "RADIO" shack is worthless to me at this point ! Bring back Ham gear. I know people that wont even shop there anymore! STOP FORCING CELL PHONES DOWN OUR THROATS!!!! Oh and thanks for taking my previous posting !!! hurt a little huh ?!

  • Frank

    Coaxial connectors, wires, anything what is needed at my boat or cottage.
    All what I found was nothing, except bored sales guy and empty stock. Wake up.

  • KK4AMP

    @Robert Shine

    I also had a comment deleted. There was no offensive language in it, merely brutally honest constructive criticism in the form of product suggestions, but also employee compensation methods (eliminate commission), employee education, and an idea to provide a community area for makers or other tech inclined groups to use for gatherings. Starbucks provides an area for their customers to enjoy their product, I see no reason RADIO Shack cannot do the same to help shore up the strained relationship that their near abandonment of the market sector caused.

    Interesting.

  • Douglas Hagerman

    As a ham radio operator, I find it most convenient to buy the more complex pieces of equipment, such as transcievers, headphones, amplifiers, etc. at specialty stores that cater exclusively to the amateur radio market. On the other hand, there is a lot of custom work required at my specific home location to get that equipment on the air. In particulary, I need power and antenna connections. I have several power supplies, batteries, inverters, and the like that seem like they’re constantly in need of re-wiring. Similarly, I have an endless parade of new antenna ideas that all require wire, coax, insulators, and connectors.

    So my suggestion would be to concentrate on that sort of parts. For power supplies, many hams seem to be moving to the Anderson Powerpole line of products. They’re used by ARES members and other clubs to provide interoperable, standardized power connectivity. I’d like to be able to stop by my local store and pick up another adapter or connector when a Saturday afternoon project suddenly needs just one more power cable.

    Similarly, your selection of antenna parts could be improved. You have a lot of connectors, but not much in the way of insulators and standoffs, through-panel bushings, and grounding equipment. I would like to see at least one offering of 50 ohm coax, and there are a lot of lightning arrestor accessories that would be useful. Again, I often get to the 90% point in a project and need one more insulator or ten more feet of coax; it would be nice to have that sort of thing available at Radio Shack.

  • Ed KB3TZS

    Top 3 things? Well…
    1) the resistor ‘whiz wheel’ That was the best, inexpensive tool for decoding a resistor. I’ve worn mine out.
    2) Antenna wire in bulk.
    3) Larger parts selection

    Since the shift to ‘Cell Shack’ 15 years ago, the company has basically ignored the very foundation of what made it unique. I get really annoyed, every time I walk into any Radio Shack, just to be bombarded by EVERY person on the floor wanting to sell me a cell phone. I have 2; isn’t that enough? What ever happened to the arcane concept (you all used to teach) about ‘qualifying the customer’? Where did the required ‘core elements training’ go? Someone down in Ft. Worth needs to be taken to the wood shed for letting this company descend into the poor shape it is today.

    Embrace us hams, geeks, closet geeks, audiophiles and DIY types again. The results may just astound you corporate types. Oh, and get rid of the ‘model store’ there in Ft. Worth. The plan-o-grams generated never fit any store out in the real world.

  • Nic

    I’d like to see more surface-mount components, a more extensive offering of current components (see FET and 74xx comments below), and more tools to include higher quality soldering stations, better PCB tools, etc.

  • ausable1

    parts man, parts….

  • SSSS

    Assorted electronic component kits/bags

  • Tool

    I used to love Radio Shack, I grew to hate it. I consider "The Shack" to be a last resort.

    Support:

    Audiophiles
    Computer geeks
    Electronics enthusiasts

    And you will be reborn.

    Thank you Jesus.

  • Joe

    All you have to do is return to your roots. Take a look through some of these past catalogs and begin to offer these types of products again. And bring back the printed catalog too! We will flock to your stores, money in hand!

    Joe

    http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/catalog_directory.html

  • Richard

    * Arduino chips/kits
    * Electronics books at low cost – the cost of electronics books in bookstores is budget busting. One I recommend is SolderSmoke — Global Adventures in Wireless Electronics by Bill Meara. Forrest Mims books used to be great!
    * HAM radio equipment and accessories. I have some great HAM radio equipment from the old (pre phone store) Radio Shack.
    * Solar panels for running electronic equipment.
    * Crystals for HAM radio frequencies.
    * Digital chips – TTL and CMOS

  • ki6nvr

    i know its a little late but here are my 2 cents.
    how about you quit selling crap and actually go back to the old radio shack, i use to be able to go to the local store and pick up everything i need.. now my local store has nothing but cell phones, tv’s and they repeatedly tried to push me to buy a satellite tv subscription. there use to be a full wall of nothing but small parts like capacitors, transistors, resistor packs & every type of connector i can think of, now there limited to scarce crap in a drawer witch is mostly empty. from what it looks like radio shack is trying to be a small and overpriced bestbuy with nothing of real value to the actual electronics enthusiast who would love to have a local store they can call there parts place.
    another thing also actually hire people WHO KNOW ELECTRONICS not some 17 y/o kid who cant tell the difference between an xlr connector and a capacitor and all he want to do is sell you a cell phone contract so he can make commission that GETS ANNOYING!!!
    we have a joke about your motto "Radio Shack, you have questions, we have blank stares"
    i dont even use radio shack as a resource anymore, i get everything online cause i would rather wait a few days then be disappointed in wasting my time going to a store that has absolutely nothing.
    so if you wanna cater to the DYI crowed start selling actual parts and not cellphones and tvs and satellite service, make your store’s the place to go for electronic hobbyist.
    /rant

  • Stephen Masek

    More parts for tube radio/audio restorers – potentiometers with longshafts (and switches or switch options), audio output transformers, 450V &higher electrolytic capacitors, nonpolarized electrolytic (e.g. motor start) capacitors used to replace resistor line cords, 630V capacitors, 1/2 watt & larger resistors, speakers, tube sockets, X & Y line safety capacitors, power transformers, cloth-covered wire (especially if thin like old wire) even New-Old-Stock and new tubes (millions are out there, and you could stock a few of the very most common, and sell others mail order). I collect and restore old radios and am one of the directors of the antique radio club in Southern California.

  • jkshong

    More integrated circuits
    Especially a driver for the 7 segment LED Displays
    Ultracaps
    oscilloscopes!
    function Generators!
    more kits

  • Tommy DOG

    Adding additional parts, bringing back the forest mims texts and having one person in the shop who is trained in electronics would be a start. Although some microcontoller parts might attract people I still think updating the basics like sensors, MIDI jacks, ics and useful kits would be a plus. Think robotics, music and basics.

    I hop this is successful for the company. I don’t mind the mark up just knowing you’re out there

  • r00t

    1) Flux capacitor
    2) PIC micro controllers
    3) Ham Radio equipment (with valid call sign/id)

  • BigPotz

    I think Kevin Bell’s comment carry’s the sentiment of every person reading and responding here.
    I agree 100%. Profits in the cell phone industry are GI-normous and I understand why " The
    RADIO" Shack, got into the game, but failing to listen to customers wants and needs are also the
    misfortune of those presently out of business. The, "RADIO" Shack, has lost it’s true identity. A
    positive change would be to remember from whence you came.

    BigPotz

  • John Bachtel -- NR4JB

    I would like to see a basic stock of resistors, capacitors, silicon and germanium diodes, (power and small signal) silicon transistos (small signal and audio power), fet’s.

    Connectors, plugs and jacks, for audio, RF energy and (AC or vehicular) power wiring as well as fuses and fuse holders for power protection.

    Hookup, Antenna and shielded (coaxial cable) wire for audio rf and computers are likewise a necessity.

    Antenna parts and supplies.

    Chassis and construction boxes for projects and breadboarding as well as printed circuit boards and etching tools and chemicals. .

    I’d like to see some electronic tools and soldering aids as well as instructional kits for children of all ages as well as a basic collection of technical manuals and/or books from ARRL and/or RSGB.

    I’d like to see a return to mail order catalog electronic components like the old Allied Radio with links to all major oem products. You might look at a Co. like Mouser Electroics or Jameco as a partner source.

    I’d be glad to offer further info or responses. I am a 50 yr "ham" and engineer an audiophile and computer nerd… jrb

  • Nathan

    Add more video games for Nintendo3ds

  • Dan Smith

    Surface mount tools and some common components. I know, this could be very extensive, but start with the basics:
    * tweezers, small diameter solder, magnifiers (glasses), small tipped soldering iron, removal tools, PCB pad repair kit
    * 1206, 0805 size SMD components: E6 series resisotrs, 10 common capacitor sizes
    * a few common logic parts SM08 packages: 555 timer, 556 timer, 7400 series AND, NANDS, ORs, Flops, counters. Maybe also include the same in 4000 series CMOS parts.

    Put small kits together with the above parts:
    * signal generator, LED drivers with audio input (dancing lights), simple clock, sound generator (several different patterns), crystal radio (yeah, they still apply), WiFi detector, battery tester, simple voltmeter, etc.

    Be sure anything you offer has very good instructions. Shop class is a thing of the past, so this generation has no mentors to help them with this stuff. Big suggestion: put it all out on the web with video tutorials and documentation. Self-paced, and very well done. If you want help with this, let me know. My wife and I are experts at this stuff. Seriously, we both have college degrees that apply directly to this sort of thing: Industrial Arts (mine), Instructional Technology (hers). We can help.

  • Dan Smith

    Not bragging, just want to help, and I am very resourceful. I love this stuff. Let’s return to an earlier era where experimentation was welcomed and encouraged.

    – Dan, KD0IQC

  • Jason Kajita

    I’d like to see some electronics learning kits such as the Digilent Cerebot http://www.digilentinc.com/Products/Detail.cfm?NavPath=2,396,888&Prod=CEREBOT32MX7

    There’s also some neat touchscreen kits fro MikroElectronica http://www.mikroe.com/eng/products/view/595/mikrommb-for-pic32-board/

  • Evan Foss

    My cousin is 10yrs old and is interested in electronics. I went to the radio shack to find the 200 in one kit you used to make that I really loved at that age and you don’t sell it any more. Why not? People love that thing. The 300 in one was good too but the manual for the 200 in one was one of the best things ever made. Bring it back.

    1. 200 In One kit
    2. 00-SA tweezers from Lindstrom/Excelta (for smd work)
    3. A temp controled soldering station from weller or hakko
    4. Finer gage solder 0.015 or better
    5. A few PLL chips so people can actuall make a decent radio with the parts in your store.
    6. Thermocouples with glass braided insulation in type t and type k.
    7. LCD modules both with the old school hitachi chip and something newer with graphics
    8. FPGA dev. boards
    9. Bud or hammond metal project boxes.
    10. More test gear. You don’t even sell a decent oscilloscope (tektronix, lacroy, HP)
    11. More inductors you only stock 2 kinds I need like 200
    12. Above only for transistors or for that matter anything silicon.
    13. More OPAMPS many more OpAmps..

  • Ben

    Coming from a RadioShack employee who has a mild component understanding, first I want all my coworkers to understand what I understand about the component drawers, because I can’t always be the person answering every question about components and called on my days off to answer questions about resistors and capacitors! I don’t mind answering questions, but if I’m already helping someone with a project issue, throwing three more on me because you would rather not deal with the “drawers” isn’t fair to the customers or fair to me.

    Second, I want there to be maybe 10 component drawer stacks, 1 for resistors (from 1/8 watt and up for over 10 watts possibly, definitely much more of the 1-3 watt variety), 1 for capacitors, 1 for inductors, 1 for LED’s/lights, 1 for switches, 1 for connectors, 1 for fuses, 1 for power connectors, 1 for premade boards, and 1 for IC’s/diodes. Sure, we might have to lose some of our MP3’s or TV’s, but we could also potentially move out a gondola that isn’t used as much and put in place the extra drawers.

    Third, I will echo the other sentiments, we need to do a day per month where we can show people how to make even basic things, like small motion sensors with the parallax modules we have in store with different piezo sirens or buzzers. This I wouldn’t mind doing because it would be something to help get people interested in not just electronics other than their cell phones, but how they work as well.

  • Celtic Peasant

    I am not sure RS would ever be able to carry enough parts that DIYers would go to RS for their parts. When I listened to your video I said “three” !!!????

    I would say hire DIYers at the top end of management and to work in the stores. That would be the way to start.

  • ctmal

    1. Board mount RJ45 Sockets
    2. Board mount terminal blocks
    3. A variety of surface mount items.

  • Mainer

    I used to love the variety of components I found at my local RS but then this year I went in to purchase a few fan screws and found that all they had were the skinny ones (and ancient fans that actually used them) that I haven’t seen anywhere else for easily over 5 years. So I ended up having to order a 10 pack online and wait to complete my build. I was very disappointed that I actually found nothing useful there and I wandered around a few more times just to make sure. As many have stated they sell a bunch of overpriced junk as well as cell phones and their DIY and techie section seems like whatever product they haven’t sold since their last resupply sometime in the 90s because it’s obsolete to the point it isn’t even functional in modern applications. Anyway since I see people listing 3 things, I’ll add them and stop ranting about your ancient stock.

    1. Modern fan screws (short fat self tappers not the old bolt style skinny ones)
    2. Less radios and alarm clocks, that crap can stay at Walmart because your prices are nowhere near competitive, if you want to sell THAT many cell phones, who is going to buy an alarm clock for $80 when every cell phone has one built in?
    3. Get more internal components, you sell soldering guns but all of your actual components are not meant for modern circuit boards most stuff is mechanical and not electronic, it’s really sad.

    My real issue is you have zero tech department, just brainless cell phone salespeople who ask if I need help but when I actually ask them they don’t even know what to look for and direct me at an incorrect product or say “If we had it, it would be in this section” I would much rather hear “I don’t think we stock those but let me see if we can order it for you” even if they ended up saying they couldn’t I would be more satisfied as a customer and return for other products rather then have to search elsewhere in the future or just order it online, you are throwing your walk in customer base into the garbage with that method and I hope if you stay on the path your company has been taking that you all get fired and replaced by completely uneducated people who are at least interested in more then selling crappy cell phone plans that everybody gets at the actual service providers store. Cell phones belong at their service providers storefront, if you want to sell accessories fine, but near me the Radioshack has over 50% of the store devoted to cell phones. That is a giant fail for everyone.

  • Don

    I would like to see a wider assortment of IC’s, especially Digital Logic IC’s. Also, as someone else said, you may want to look into carrying microcontrollers such as Arduinos.

  • smoketester

    I’m posting late because the solder iron tips I special ordered on May 18th. for the high end Radio Shack soldering station were not yet MIA when this post first appeared. At this point June 17th., when I try to pull up the RSU order number I get “The resource you are looking for has been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable”.
    This is typical of Radio Shacks recent performance. For this reason, I do not recommend purchasing any product from Radio Shack that requires accessories only available through their RSU special order service.

    A good start at winning back the DIY’r would be to back what you sell. I’m disgusted with Radio Shacks Service AFTER the Sale. I won’t spend more than $5 on any one item from here on.
    RSU Order #24633906
    RSU Order #24633907

    I’m a 49 year old consumer electronics developer. Grew up frequenting Radio Shack in the Atlanta, GA area. Even shoped at “Tech America” when Radio Shack experimented with offering what Fry’s electronics offers now.
    It’s just sad what has become of Radio Shack. Thank god for the few independent Radio Shack stores that have survived with the DIY electronics spirit intact.

  • Jason Walters

    Growing up in the early microcomputer era, Radio Shack was clearly at the forefront. The TRS80/Tandy CoCo to this day has a tremendous following. It was disappointing to see Radio Shack lose the competitiveness in this era. However, there is enough brand awareness to perhaps make another go at it.

    There’s a tremendous opportunity to compete with Apple in areas where traditional PC makers have failed us. Apple (iMac) has it right. HP, Sony, Dell all try to imitate but still fail to deliver a powerful desktop that is elegant.

    There’s also a tremendous rebirth of older platforms (retro computing) that Commodore USA have been able to capitalize on. Is there not something there equally compelling about the Radio Shack story?

    Why do you ignore your heritage Radio Shack? It seems to be what distinguishes you from the rest, the fact that you developed your own IP.

    Right now there is very little that Radio Shack from anyone else in the field.

  • Corscaria

    FPGAs – Low Cost, High Speed, Low Power FPGAs in DIP, PLCC, and QFP packages. BGA devices can be mounted on adapter boards for for DIYers to hand solder easily or use with prototyping boards. A free online modular device library including interfaces to modern common device buses such as USB and SATA. FPGAs will allow plugging thousands of holes in RadioShack instore inventory with just a few products.

    Surface Mount equipment – including variable temperature soldering devices with extreme small tips, practice kits and manuals, and reflow ovens. Home built reflow ovens are often made from toaster ovens, so a cheap reflow oven is possible. Thru-Hole soldering is only ever used as a structural reinforcement in most modern electronics.

    Instore low cost rapid prototyping using SLS (plastic), DMLS(metal) and “inkjet”(plaster) based rapid prototyping machines. Allow a selection of materials to choose from plaster to ABS to alumide, from mild stainless steel to Ti6Alv4 (Due to the high melting point of aluminum, steel and titanium are cheaper materials in rapid prototyping). small parts can be batched with other customers parts when there is large demand. Instore rapid prototyping would allow a reduction in instock project cases while simultaneously providing cases that can meet MORE needs. It would also allow customers to to get replacement parts for broken toys, or create custom parts for custom projects quickly and easily. A selection of predesigned items such as iPod or Cellphone hard skins would be available with customize “engraving” options for the general populous. Additionally a make selection of very low cost rapid prototyping machines available for purchase for those who need parts made often. Very high precision isn’t a necessity for DIY machine, but high speed IS a need for the instore units in busy locations.

  • Rich Lektroid

    There’s a huge hole in the DIY market for matched transistor packages (LM394 / SSM2210 / SSM2220) and 3500ppm tempcos.. Having to match your own transistors is never ideal, and tempcos are so thin on the ground they are virtually impossible to source. A good selection of vactrols would be great too (VTL5C3/2, for example).

  • Mike "OZ" Olzanski

    BASIC components, like you used to carry: Solid State components like Transistors, IC’s resistors (high voltage) capacitors. In short, PARTS.

  • Sue O'Leary

    Ectronics components to build and repair things with.
    Like Resistors, Diodes, Capacitors, IC chips, Transistors, even TUBES, if you dare…

  • Larry

    I would like to see a larger selection of 650 volt capacitors and 450 volt electrolytics, also 1/4 and 1/2 watt resistors.

    Bring back the set of plastic radio/TV alignment tools.

  • Mike

    I would suggest expanding the ham radio and electronic component section of the store. There are no other electronics stores in my area (Piittsburgh), so Radio Shack is where I go when I need parts. I usually have to settle for a part that is similar to what I need, so a greater variety than what is held in the drawers in the back would be useful. And as I suggested above, expanding the ham radio section would be awesome, especially with regards to standard cables and connectors.

  • Chris Palmer

    I grew up shopping at Radio Shack. I leaned to solder from Radio Shack p-box kits and learned to love electronics from them. If I need a common part, a perfboard, an enclosure, or a cable of some kind, Radio Shack is the first place I look. I love being able to walk out with a part instead of ordering it. I know (theoretically) that Radio Shack can order any part that I want, but that doesn’t matter a bit to me. If I’ve got to order it, Digi-Key or SparkFun is easier and (likely) cheaper (except for shipping). That’s an economic fact, but if it’s in stock and the price is close, I’ll buy local.

    I was excited when Radio Shack starting carrying the Basic Stamp experimenters kit and the Parallax sensors (RFID, ultrasonic distance, compass, etc.). Recently they’ve even started carrying real, honest-to-god PC-board based kits again (yay!). One of the kits is a PIC programmer. I’ll probably buy one, even though there are cheaper alternatives, just to support their stocking of them.

    However, there is one, big, glaring, gaping hole in all of this new stock: THEY DON’T STOCK ANY MICROCONTROLLERS. You can’t buy a Basic Stamp module, you can can’t buy any flavor of PIC or Atmel AVR. So if you buy their Stamp starter kit, you can’t buy Stamp modules. If you buy their PIC programmer, you can’t buy microcontroller ICs. The Parallax sensors are nice (and easy to use with Arduino), but you can’t buy anything to connect them to. While I would be (pleasantly) shocked if they started carrying Arduinos, they should at least stock some basic microcontroller ICs. If they don’t stock Arduinos, they should stock all of the parts to make one on a breadboard (microcontroller, programmer, proper crystals, etc.).

    They have a few other stock oddities that have persisted for years: they carry wire-wrap tools and wire-wrap wire, but no wire-wrap sockets. They have a nice digital soldering iron station (I have it and love it), but they don’t stock replacement tips for it.

    And I may be in the minority, but here are the things I’m not likely to EVER shop for in a Radio Shack: a cell phone, a computer, a TV, an X-box, or video games (although I might want cables and accessories for these things). In other words, all of the things they’ve been moving towards pushing for the last 10 years or more.

  • Fred

    I don’t think radioshack could ever become what it used to be. When I started electrical engineering my grandpa told me to buy stuff from RS. I went there about 4 times before giving up on the limited selection. First time I asked where the resistors were and the clerk was dumbfounded – I don’t believe RS staff know basic components. If RS prices were on par with Sparkfun, DigiKey or general internet, and had employees who knew the difference between a capacitor and LCD, I might shop there – but they don’t.

  • Willy

    I spent more money in one year as a kid in the 70s than I have in the last 15. I have a lot more to spend on electronics now than I did then. Get back to your roots of projects and stuff. If you really want to stay in business look at companies like MCM,electronic goldmine and others. Look at your catalog from the 70s and see what was there. Tubes are coming back. Electronic goldmine sells kits. In fact I am thinking about buying a am transmitter kit from there since I know I would not have luck at radios shack. So these small kits would be great. Back in the 70s I could get a sound generator chip and it had specs on it. You could sell books on diagrams. If you don’t carry it in stock,then let us order it. I ordered more parts and waited 2 weeks until it came in. Heck even have a contest and then the top winners make kits of the projects. I would REALLY like to buy kits like heathkit use to sell. I also like the grab bag specials. Get back to your roots or the company may go under.

  • JD

    I do not have confidence that The Shack/Radio Shack will do the right thing. Since you have effectively abandoned the radio and electronics community, I won’t believe you are sincere about changing until I actually see change. The proof is in the pudding.

    Please listen the the ham radio community, hobbyists and the many others that have posted here. You no longer have anything good to offer and have strayed way too far off the path of being a fairly good electronics and electronics hobby store.

    Please change your business model and serve the community that is speaking *loudly* to you. Otherwise you will fade in to obscurity.

    Good Luck and do the right thing.