DIY

Top Ten DIY Suggestions From YOU

Previously on The Shack Blog, we reached out and asked you to help us update our selection of DIY pieces and parts by telling us three products you would like to be able to purchase at RadioShack. We were humbled by the responses – over 500 comments here on The Shack Blog, and hundreds elsewhere on the Internet. Here’s the video as a reminder:

Over the past two months, our DIY team read through every single comment and suggestion and compiled a list of the top ten improvements that YOU requested. Here’s the list:

1. Arduino

2. More Kits and Project Suggestions

3. More introduction/instructional books

4. Larger assortment in LEDs

5. Wider variety in resistors

6. TONS more capacitors

7. DIY audio and speaker equipment

8. HAM radio gear

9. More competitive pricing

10. Stronger sales force

We’re pleased to let you know that we’re actively working on every single one of these. We already have a great selection of Velleman kits available today, as well as a collection of Forrest Mims instructional books. Getting the new products and wider assortments will take a bit of time, but definitely keep an eye out for additional products. We are also in the process of ramping up our in-store training so our Associates can better help you find the products you need. In addition, our merchandising team is working to lower prices as much as possible without sacrificing the quality you expect from RadioShack parts.

Thanks again for the awesome feedback! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out The Great Create for a great selection of projects built with RadioShack parts and pieces. You can also get information on how to submit your own project while you’re there.

UPDATE 8/18: Here’s a cool post on the Parallax forum showing off the new packaging headed to RadioShack stores soon: http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?133909-New-packaging-and-products-for-RadioShack-stores-a-quick-look

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158 Comments

  • Tom

    I am really happy to see this list. I think everything I asked for is on it.

    Now, the only question is, will Radio Shack have the commitment and guts to really go after it.

    From a business standpoint, the request for “more competitive prices” is at odds with everything else. There is a cost to having adequate local inventories of slow moving items. To accomplish this, you may need serious business process innovation.

    Good luck. I hope for your success.

  • Geoffrey Pruett

    Many of your sales crew in company stores leave a lot to be desired. There have beem a lot of changes in electonics since I started as a hobby in 1950 to life long technician in a variety of fields. Finding people interested in learning is more difficult today, this from teaching upgrade courses in electonics in community colleges, but they are still around. Are you asking the right questions? Your kits would be more usable if labeled in an instructor friendly and consistant fashion. My first transistor was $3.75, same money would buy 150 of a more reliable one today. We will always need technicians, many start out with a hobby interest. Keep it up.

  • John B

    I’d like to see Ham Radio gear brought back. You offer good shortwave and scanner radios, and used to offer very good handheld 2m/70cm gear….I wish you’d bring them back.

  • Roger Williams

    I love it!
    As you know, many people are very skeptical of this initiative- but I have hope for it!

    Along side #2 and #3, how about How-To videos? With Radioshack parts.

    I am especially interested in seeing the step-by step process of etching a circuit board with Radioshack copperboards and etchant. The QFR code video showed it in action, but it was not instructional at all.

    Thanks and keep it up!

  • Larry

    I shopped at Radio Shack weekly when you had real parts for real hobbyists. Lately it has been once every couple of years.

    I’m really happy to see Radio Shack returning to it’s core!

    Welcome back guys!

  • Dave

    How about looking at you own catalog from say 15+ years ago. And you won’t have to ask anybody. I been complaining for years. Thank goodnees for the internet. I get everything i ned there now.

  • Richard

    A possible suggestion to increase availability of DIY parts (at competitive prices) is to provide “slow moving” items through your catalog or on-line with free shipping to your local store. This makes it economical for the customer because they don’t have to pay $10 in shipping for a $5 part and it also increases traffic into the store. A win-win!

  • Dave Xanatos

    I think this is great – when I was a kid, a Radio Shack Gift Certificate was all I EVER wanted at the holidays, and I always spent it of caps, resistors, transistros and chips for my projects. You helped grow a generation of engineers by sticking to the basic internals of electronics. I’m happy to see you’re reimagining that position and helping to grow a new generation of electronics hobbyists. I’d also ask that you consider modernizing your project construction tools and offer an inexpensive but reliable reflow station and solder paste! :-)

    Good Luck!

  • PatM

    Now this is the Radio Shack that I remember and loved

  • Perry

    It worked, I just visited my local radio shack, and found more electronics kits and parts, spent a hundred bucks, good job, now I don’t have to order stuff from china, and wait a couple of weeks for quick, impromptu projects.
    The kits are great, next week, I am going to buy more kits for the the kids.
    You can only sell so many phones, but kits and parts, I need every day.
    Thnx
    Perry

  • Barry Steindel

    AS owner of a large and daily growing DIY site which caters to newbies GuitarPCB.com I found that my clients have to resort to mail order a lot since their local Radio Shacks do not carry the Cap Values or resistor values the need to complete their pedal builds. I believe if your stores carried a larger selection they would sooner pay more to get the job done today than to resort to mail order part stores.

    That is my .02 and thanks for the op.

  • Louis

    I am into working alot with computers and photographic presentations. What I would like to see is a store that could provide kits for building solar power energy storage.I would like these kits to be reasonable in cost and practicle. Kits that could provide energy in emergencies to such items as computer laptops, cellular phones ,a light source and a Wi-Fi source for the work area. In this way I could continue working on my computer projects during an emergency such as an electrical outage. These solar kits do not have to supply very high wattage demands just basic wattage demands as described above. That is my two cents worth of advise. Thank you.

  • Don

    I would’ve liked to see more digital IC’s and crystal oscillators, but the list you have so far is great. I love that you plan to carry Arduinos!

  • Wiely

    Been going to RS for 40 years… perhaps longer

    All we can say nowadays is yall do not have what you used to have. This top ten sums it up

    Wiely

  • Frank

    I’d still like to see some 3PDT latching switches. My radio shack doesn’t carry them, so I always have to order from somewhere like Pedal Parts Plus. I’d love to get all of my parts shopping done in one go then go home and build rather than go home, order switches, then have to wait for them to come in.
    Other than that, a wider selection of IC’s and OPamps and a larger selection of Transistors.

  • Kevin

    Aruduino boards (or compatible), and Arduino shields, and related kits would be great… Arduino is a really great inexpensive project platform. I grew up making Radio Shack project kits, building them were some of my best childhood memories. Now days the stores and staff seem to be focused on selling cell phones and accessories. Often the staff is supprised and confused when you tell them you are just there for some capacitors.

  • Duncan macKinnon

    Your project boxes should have battery compartments – with doors for easy replacement.

  • Elaine

    I would love to see and buy affordable items that allow for total home wireless, including tv.

  • MesaDad

    I really miss my old Radio SHACK. com store in Mesa AZ

  • John

    The drawers and bins of “components” are a good idea, but (a) the store owners should keep them up to date,and (b) they do not contain a wide enough distribution of items. I would gladly go to RS instead of Newark, Allied (etc.) if the stock were a little wider. It is perhaps worth remarking that within my memory, RS had a much wider variety of ham radio items than it does now. Ham radio is a burgeoning hobby, but people have to go elsewhere for their low-end needs (components, kits, etc.)

  • David

    I would like to see more Ham Radio Equipment (VHF, UFH, Dual Band, HF, 220, Ect.), also, more elctronic components for special DIY projects and better controlled Soldering Iron.

  • Sean Westcott

    hopefully they will have a good assortment of shields for the arduino and maybe some netduino love as well

  • JWPjr

    I hope you do hear what people are saying. Radio Shack has moved a long way from your “roots.” In the past, you could find so many things at RS that were hobby oriented, repair items, and kits to make RADIO fun. That changed to much that a recent visit to a local store, asking for a PL-259 or RG-8 cable…caused the clerk to have a blank stare. He had no idea what I meant. In disappointment, I left.
    Looks like you are listening. Way to start to get back in the game!
    JWPjr

  • Bob in Central Florida

    I’m really glad to see your list of the top ten items. Most of my needs are already on it. Here where I live in Poinciana, FL, there are no “Electronic Parts stores like one finds in many big cities. Radio Shack is my only source for various electronic parts, some PC parts, tech equipment and so forth. I usually go first to RS in Haines City, FL since it is closer or in Kissimmee, FL if I’m up that way. Please commit to what you are saying and make it happen. RS should be the premier parts store for us hobbiests, DIY’ers and fixit upper people like me. Thanks so very much.

  • gregory

    No offence, but your name is RADIO SHACK, isn’t it? Didn’t you at one time support amateu radio? Didn’t you at one time support electronics? Didn’t you at one time be the leader in electronic components; in fact include a full schematic diagram of everything you sold? Didn’t you have a sales force of FCC-Licensed Technician Class or higher radio operators, IEEE certified electrical and or electronic engineers, and or retired technicians, and entheisiasts?

    Oh, yes, I remember what happened…the Circuit City thing happened to your comapny…

    Some idiot at the main headquarters in Texas realized that they were spending money making a great company, by creating innovative products, at competitive prices in America; hiring qualified American workers, and paying fair salaries…and came to a revalation—

    Why doesn’t the Board of Directors not going to simply break this all down to a glorified toy store, pay tweens without any product knowledge minimum wage to sell chinese toxic plastic, run the store with just one such person, and stuff all the profits from this new, streamlined process in thier overseas accounts?

    So, forward 1983 to present, the view of the management model shift (and it’s disasterous consequences to the company, and it’s contributory consequences to our economy), they now are on the verge of bankruptsy; now must reinvent themselves, and have no clue…for they have been so long without true managmement–for all who one ran the original model have long since died off…

    So the beg in the street for ideas to steal from poor souls dumb enough to volunteer intellecutal property.

    You’re management–do your job–concieve!

    THINK

    You’re RADIO SHACK…go to what you are… a RADIO SHACK…

    …just a thought from an old radio operator

  • Mike

    Thats a great starting list, and all of my top 3 made the list, now lets see if you can follow through. I have already started seeing a difference in the stores, keep it up.

    How about a SparkFun section?

    See you on twitter…

  • Joe Dinapoli

    I used to like it when you stocked raw speaker drivers. if you stocked up to date tweeters, woofers and associated crossover parts, I think the speaker builders out there would appreciate it.

  • Herbert Richards

    I would like to see a variety of adapters. IE phone (cell) and CB connectors and Connectors for DC to AC inverters. for cigarette lighter power plugs in vehicles.

  • Matt

    I would llike to see Radio Shack expand their assortment of solid state components, integrated circuits, transistors, etc.

    Microcontrollers from Microchip and Atmel would be great!

    Some of the products from Sparkfun electronics would allow for rapid protoype development and I believe they are already offering some of them in retail packaging perhaps you could partner with them.

    More inductors for radio frequency circuits. Assorted toroid forms and a greater assortment of magnet wire to wind your own coils. You could check with Amidon associates for this.

    Return to offering coax cable by the foot. RG-58, RG-8, RG-213 and the connectors that fit the cable so that the consumer can make their own custom cables.

    In regards to ham radio I would like to see more HF ham radio gear along with 2meter/70cm radios and handhelds. You may look at some of the offerings from Wouxon, Icom or Yaesu. Take a look at some of the ham radio products that MFJ Enterpses offers. Antenna making materials would also be a plus.

    Keep in mind that all the items would need to be available in store and not “ship to store”. When makers are wanting to build something they want it today!

    Thanks for allowing us to give input.

  • Bill_Marsden

    I have written before about the lack or removal of basic components. I publish circuits for an almost open source text book. I’ve been using Radio Shack as a reference for parts because the stores are so ubiquitous. You folks used to be able to provide basic components such as digital ICs. It is understood there is a price markup, but you are doing yourself a disservice by letting accountants dictate marketing in your niche market.

  • f3f1fa68

    This is very exciting! Thanks for listening, I think all the people who had been suggesting changes will be really happy. I’m really looking forward to a more hobbyist-oriented Radio Shack.

  • Paul

    I purchased the basic stamp kit last christmas.
    I like it and have not lost interest in it even though the suggested 40 hour completion time has past.
    I would like to see more of parallax kits in the future.

  • Eric

    I would really like to see project boxes with matching perf boards.

  • Leon

    I would like to see USB converter for Basic Stamp Kit. Most modern laptops lack serial ports. Who wants to spend a lot of money for a kit and then not be able to use it!

  • leroy wilson

    i can remember getting the parts and constructing my first complete radio and does anyone remember and have parts for a cats whisker radio i am glad to here that you are becoming more of the store you were

  • Robert

    I’d like to see competitive pricing on components. The price for individual resistors, caps, transistors etc. seems quite high.

    Bundles along the lines of those found on MakeShed would be great (http://www.makershed.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=73)

  • Delfin Beltran

    When I started my residency in anesthesioloby in 1956 I purchased a kit from Knight Kits, Allied Radio, Chicago that permitted me to build an EKG and bilogic amplifier. I retired in 2004 from a cardiac anesthesioloby practice and would love to builed a recording EKG using the computer at which I sit most of the time- do you have plans and parts list for such an amplilvier. I also have an old functional Tektronix scope sitting in the basement.

  • David Sarti

    I would like to see RadioShack go back to the way it was in the late 70s, do-it-yourself kits, lots of parts. Over the years it seems that RadioShack has concentrated more on competing with the likes of Best Buy and Circuit City as well as Walmart with their product line but cannot compete with their price point. RadioShack should get out of the electronic toy business and go into the electronic tool and part business. Right now there is no place in my hometown to get things like Anderson power pole connectors, ham radio gear or even bulked wire connectors. I can however go to five or six stores to get a cell phone, boombox or electronic toys.

  • Chuckt

    Okay, but I can still get Velleman kits cheaper from the web and the Velleman kits are outdated.

    Unfortunately, I still haven’t found a reason to buy anything at Radio Shack.

  • David Sarti

    PS: carrying amateur radio gear and components necessitates carrying of parts to repair the radios therefore will also include many of the items the store used to carry back in the 70s and 80s

  • K Scharf

    Radio Shack was once known as a ‘parts jobber’ where hobbyists and repairmen could find electronic parts. High-fi and stereo, computers, CB and HAM were all part of the business. Today the shack seems to be mostly cell-phones and batteries. Nowhere today can you find a retail store with parts to build even a simple crystal radio set. Heathkit is gone (so is Knight and Eico). The do it yourselfer has to hunt on the internet and maybe get out-bid on ebay. I find myself mail ordering parts from HongKong all too often. Things sure have changed. Hope you can find a way to turn back the clock a little bit.

  • Joe Haenn (Joe's Train Repair)

    Sales force needs to know what is in the electronic parts cabinets and ensure that they are kept well stocked.

  • sigmacts

    ARDUINO All the way guys!!!!!!! You need to get Arduinos!

  • ChandlerAZ

    I would like to see you carry microcontrollers such as the picaxes and avrs. Additionally 74 series logic chips and other frequently used chips such as motor drivers would be great. Curently the selection of chips in RS store is limited to 555s and op-amps. A better motor selection such as geared motors and servos would be great.

  • Alton

    I agree with gregory 100%. I was first licensed in 1952 as WN4VFZ, upgraded to K1IGA, am now back to W4VFZ (Extra Class). Radio Shack built some excellent ham radios in the past (I’ve bought some 8 of their HTX-202 HTs on Ebay, for myself and fellow new hams in a class I taught, and a HT242 mobile for my classic El Camino).

    I am a retired aerospace EE, and live in a small NE Georgia town. There are three RS stores within easy driving distance of my QTH, but they seem to NEVER have very basic parts I need for my on-going classes and experimental work in my well equipped, home lab. I have to get them on Ebay (generally poor quality stuff from China), or order them from Mouser, DigiKey, Newrak, etc.

    Also, if I try to talk about technical stuff to any staff, it’s like talking to a brick wall. I even offered free attendance to my latest class for the owner (franchise) of oue local RS store – he was “too busy” to attend (a 2 hour weekly, evening class). You need people with technical knowledge in upper management, put the “bean counters” in the broom closet!

  • J.W.

    Make sure to include some capacitors with voltage ratings of at least 450V. 10uF and 47uF @ 450V would be perfect, even if there are no others with ratings that high.

  • Jeff Ledger

    How could you guys have missed all the requests for Parallax Propeller products? The Gadget Gangster Propeller Platform eats the Ardunio’s lunch!

  • Dave

    I’m absolutely floored to hear Radio Shack is going to do all this. I’d have bet my last dollar they wouldn’t.

    For my part, if they can make good on all this, I’ll be happy to tell everyone who will listen. And I really do hope this repairs their reputation.

  • Ivan

    Thumbs UP!

  • Bobb

    You guys can’t miss Parallax products! They are great for beginners and the professionals.
    The Propeller microcontroller is a must have for a hobbyist electronics store, for sure!

  • Vince Clark

    After looking over the list it seems to be exactly what Radio Shack was in the 60’s.

  • Vince Clark

    I am surprised at the moderation. I would think an open discussion would allow a clearer picture of how Radio Shack appears to its target market.

  • Chris

    ** 8. HAM radio gear **

    If I was Keanu Reeves, I just went “Woah!”

    I never thought I would see RadioShack stocking amateur radio equipment ever again, but it sounds like I just may to live to see the day!

    This, along with more competitive pricing (9) and a stronger sales force (10) would have to make out my top three, but #2 and #1 come shortly after. Thanks!

  • Brruce Stemplewski

    I am slowly getting back into the hobby after a 20+ year break.

    I am glad to see that Radio Shack is getting back into the hobby again. It’s fairly decent selection of stocked parts in years gone by has saved me more than once. In fact once it made be a real hero at work by making me able to fix dozens of circuit boards, The reason? All of our stock replacement chips were bad (actually out of tolerance). Proving that was difficult but the trip to Radio Shack and getting the correct parts was the east part. :)

    Some want competitive pricing. While that would be nice, I for one am willing to pay for convenience.

    Some complain of the staff. I would think it would be very difficult to staff each and every Radio Shack with knowledgeable staff members. Instead maybe a hot line could be set up to the corporate center for questions.

    Adruino was suggested. I find them expensive. I would much rather see MCUs such as the PIC from MicroChip.

    A selection of general purpose transistors and Mosfets would be nice.

  • bill croghan

    As a former Radio Shack Manager (Pre-TRS80) I miss the radios in radio shack. Now as a Chief engineer for 6 major market radio stations, I have to send my folks to Fry’s to get decent portable, table and home stereo equipment. My most electronics savvy sales types would help with projects if they had time, but spend more time with the big sales stereo items and do better on commisions. Ham gear would be great as well. even simple coax connectors. Read the hobbiest magazines and see what they are doing.

  • Billy

    How about some motors, gears, perforated aluminum frame parts, and so forth for building moving vehicles like rovs and robots?

  • Whit

    Parallax Products – especially the Propeller chip and educational kits.

  • Mike

    Probably too late but what would be really nice is to have make centers in the various retail stores like rc hobby shops have races or model contests. Could do it once every couple of weeks and supply the parts from the store’s inventory to move product. Charge $5 or $10 to have access to some of the higher end stuff like a reprap, good soldering irons or other desktop cnc type gear. For the more exotic items, offer overnight delivery from the warehouse to the store.

  • DB

    What about buttons? I have always found the assortment of buttons lacking for a very long time (at least 20 years). Mostly momentary switches is my biggest complaint. Always thought you should carry bigger more durable switches\buttons. I good choice might be some of the arcade switches for example that many other sites carry. Also might consider some big buttons too such as the size of an “easy” button that could be used for projects for kids or adults with disabilities. Check out the One Switch projects at http://www.oneswitch.org.uk/ for some inspiration.

  • Searider

    It is good to see the Shack keeping up with the times. Don’t leave out the Parallax line of embeded controllers. The Propeller is a Cutting edge processor with a hobby friendly access. Parallax also has the single best user comunity on the web.

  • GTech

    I am an electronics engineering student and I have a classmate that recently began working at radio shack. Now a lot of his facebook statuses are about cellphones. The poor kid needs to make money for college and the only way to do that is to push cell phones hard. That is ridiculous. At least he knows what a op amp is unlike 99% of your employees. I went in asking for three things, all of which were component related and I had found on the website. No one in the store knew what any of the three things were. After searching myself for 15 minutes I found all three. Get rid of the commission or cell phones.

  • T

    ATmega328P (Arduino) is 5$ in single quantity and when you get 100 of them they are only 2.70. You can charge 100% more and still be cheaper (shipping cost)!
    I imagine that getting 1000+ would be even cheaper, and packing (you are still packing everything else, so you have infrastructure) is no more than few cents.

    Please! Get someone who knows this stuff and can suggest what 21 century projects require. Electronics changed a little when microcontrollers became popular.

  • T

    I have to admit, I was shocked when I came to my local RS recently. Stock of fun stuff was increased 10x and I can finally get Mims books, boxes and proper flush cutter that I lost!

    Bare DIP microcontrollers are what I want!

  • Colecago

    Fricken awesome

  • bobW

    The return of HAM gear

    Better Quality parts is needed

    And more training of sales staff. Multiple adapters to go from one type connector to another is not a work around.

  • Rick

    Basic Stereo Tube Amplifier Kit!

  • Mike

    It’s great to see that you are truly listening and that its making a difference in the stores. I too have observed changes in the stores lately and will be watching for more in the future. Radio Shack can return to its roots and make both a profit and a difference at the same time.

    Good luck!
    Mike

  • Eric Matson

    I have to drive 45 miles to get to an electronics store if I have a whim and feel like building something. There’s a Radio Shack twelve miles from my house. The other day I went in there to get some 7-segment LED’s. The clerk told me he had no idea what that was and if it wasn’t in the parts drawers they don’t stock it. “I don’t know what any of that stuff is” and that after waiting for twenty minutes because he had two people very upset at the stupid phone contracts they had gotten themselves into. Today I stopped to see if they had a crystal for my latest mcu project. You need to go to an electronics store I was told. Well I don’t want to spend fifteen bucks for gas to get a two or three dollar part. I would spend so much money there if they carried a good selection of electronics parts, even if they had them and the clerks were still idiots. Microcontrollers are such a big hobby for people nowadays. Bring on the Atmel, PIC, Arduino, and Parallax; the headers, crystals, LCDs and LEDs. Some shift registers and multiplexers would be nice too.

    Hope to be back soon,
    Eric Matson

  • Brian

    OMG. Arduinos?! This is so awesome! Thanks Radio Shack! You have totally made yourself worth the trip to one of your stores.

  • John Abbott

    Just a thought… but for your training session, bring in some of your more geeky customers, and have them explain a few of their more practical needs.

    I think the men and women of Radio Shack are on the right track. If you can adequately train your staff, you’ll be seeing me soon enough.
    Oh, and you probably know this; but give it time. It took me a few years to ‘give up’ on you guys. Its going to take a while before the local geek answers a tech question with the phrase:
    “Oh yeah… you can just get that at a Radio Shack”

  • Dave W.

    I’m glad to see all the items on this list, although I’m disappointed that a larger selection of IC’s did not make the list. From reading the submissions to your request, I felt that a substantial number of people had requested this.

    • Ricky Cadden

      Dave – this is just the top ten – it’s a great starting point, but certainly not the entirety of what we’ll be improving.

  • mkb

    Parallax Propeller > Arduino for the same money.

  • Alan

    I would like to see more in the way of DIY guitar effects pedal supplies/projects and better stuff for amp builders. All I can find at the local Shack are low-voltage high-capacitance caps and that’s just the opposite of what I need. Turrets and staking tools would be nice along with some good circuit board material. Also some good Cliff 3PDT stomp switches and metal Hammond-style enclosures would be great. Last, an M-type DC connector that is PLASTIC so you can isolate it from the chassis!

  • tantris

    I can see how having a good and cheap parts selection locally is an oxymoron. But RS could stock a basic selection and become competitive on-line with a ship-to-store option, kind of what ACE does for hardware. To save money (for RS and the customer) all stores could have things like 50-basic-value-packs for the price you pay on-line elsewhere.

    Where RS missed the boat is with the new boom on kits: Arduinos, the whole Maker movement, even Michael’s is selling science kits now. Radio Shack could partner with individuals, who create cool stuff and let them offer their kits. Maybe an “incubator” site where people can upload designs and others can order them.

    Some examples:
    I just built a TV antenna from a plan I found on-line, but it involved three trips to different stores. Rs could have a kit that includes a balun and some plastic fasteners (with a plan that tells me how much wire to get at the hard ware store).
    If I want to build a circuit I usually wait till I have enough other parts, so an on-line order is worth it. Uploading the BOM to Radioshack would be nice, or even a “get this at your local Radishack” button on the developers website.
    Prices could then be comparable to online sites.

  • Dan

    If you are carrying Arduino boards, you HAVE to carry extra ATMEGA168 and ATMEGA328 chips, programmed or not.

    If you have micro controllers, you should also carry every component needed to get them running on your own(22pf capacitors, 16mhz crystal(or resonator)etc.).

  • Alex

    YES!!!!! YES!!!! YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!!!! I am so very, very happy that radio shack is doing this! The list is almost exactly what I’m currently disappointed with, and I am sure to go to radio shack much more often once this is carried out!

  • Howard

    I have noticed a slight improvement in stock recently. I went in looking for a TNC to BNC adaptor, and went to the drawers of components. From the markings it looked like they should have been in there, but they weren’t. The staff were busy explaining phone contracts to prospective victims (sorry: Customers! ;-) and so I wandered around randomly, and on one of the racks I accidentally found what I wanted! It was nowhere near where it should have been. but at least it was in the shop… I’m sure if I’d asked the staff I would have got the standard Blank Stare and “if it’s not in the drawers we don’t stock it”.

    So: Keep up the Good Work increasing the geeky stock items, and I can agree that Propeller, or Microchip PIC may be a better bet than Arduino – but this is a no-win argument, like deciding which is the best car manufacturer.

    As for training the staff in geeky technology, I think that’s likely to be scheduled right after teaching pigs to fly! :-)

  • dill1233

    Radioshack should definitely look over to Sparkfun Electronics for their commercial kits. These include Arduinos, electronics kits, sensors, Arduino shields, etc. as well as a dependable brand. They’re already selling these items at Micro Centers in Colorado and some other places, and I’ve heard they’re great. Just think about it.

  • Robin, N6RLS

    How about Radio Shack offering some kind of training-in-electronics incentive for their sales force… more pay or perks or something (??) for passing a course and then demonstrating on the sales floor a grasp of the DIY and other parts; what they’re used for, why one item might be a better choice than another (based on customer need, not sales spiffs!) etc…

    Hiring Amateur Radio operators wouldn’t hurt either!

  • Will

    I have a hobby/part time business of repairing and modifying video game systems from the very old 1970s models to the modern systems, i rarely use radio shack these days because they carry only basic items i need, so i visit a local electronics supply store (higher prices but they stock almost anything i need) and what they don’t have i can usually find online (even the parts that are not generic for the oldest systems) if Radio shack could go back to being a parts and supply store rather than trying to compete with Walmart, Bestbuy and other large electronics retail stores i do believe your business would increase.

  • Laserdude Phil

    Someone mentioned that Radio Shack should simply look back to their catalog from 15 years ago. That’s nowhere near long enough. You have to go back more than 25 years (when I worked there.) Back then Radio Shacks were not just cellphone stores manned by high school dropouts as an alternative to making french fries. These stores were gathering places for great minds. People behind the counter knew assembly language, how to wire up a decade counter and the difference between ceramic and tantalum capacitors. I don’t think that Radio Shack is prepared to ditch the woefully undersized white drawers and do all that is necessary but I would love if they were. Now hear this Radio Shack: If you are serious about once again becoming the in-store global electronics hobby leader you once were, I can make it happen. Drop me a line, it’ll give me a excuse to visit my mom in Fort Worth.
    -Phil 01-2693

  • KK4AMP

    Thanks for listening, Radio Shack!

    I was delighted when I first heard the reports of the Velleman kits showing up, and I’ve grabbed a few already.

    Hams and seasoned DIYers, there may be some “Elmer” momemts coming up if RS carries all the way through with that list. Share what you know! The folks behind the counter can’t know everything, but if they ask, take time to explain.

    KK4AMP
    Former employee of dealer store 22A205

  • Steve Danielson, CRES, BMET

    Well, my jaw just dropped a foot!

    You won’t believe this, but after my initial interest in electronics in the 1950’s (my Dad was a USAAF radio operator / gunner in a B-17), I co-launched a bio-medical company and built a ton of specialized test equipment from Radio Shack stores. I noticed the “slipping” of the product line and especially staff knowledge within a few years, however.

    One day I had had enough and wrote Lewis Kornfeld directly about it. I actually got a letter back from him! Now Kornfeld and Tandy pretty much launched the hobby computer industry 30+ years ago. His emphasis then was on the “Three Ps”: Plan, Product, People. He listened to his customers! (see link: ttp://www.buxtonco.com/learnmore_SpringCustID_1.htm

    It looks like after 10+ years of a “me too” attitude, you’ve finally realized that circling the drain is not a way to “get around”. Congrats for the wake up, and either train or ditch the glassy-eyed, gum chewing nit-wits pushing batteries and cell phone contracts.

    There’s an app for that.

    An old gadgeteer

  • Paul

    I am going to add my two cents here. When I started in the CB hobby in 1997, I purchased a Radio Shack TRC-444 radio, a mobile magnet mount antenna, a power supply for the house, a Crossbow base antenna, and the coax to connect it, in the store, in stock, one trip. I bought my SWR meter there too, along with any other stuff I used such as soldering irons, connectors, etc. I realize that RS pulled these items over the years to make room for more profitable stuff.

    I believe “the Shack” should return to its roots. I like that some stores still carry CB’s, and Cobra, no less. I think you guys are doing the right thing by beefing up the repair/DIY stuff. I’d really like to see some capacitors that work in old radios, too. I can’t find them in Radio Shack, and when I get the time to work on my radio stuff, I wish I could just grab it there and go. Now, I order it online, pay for shipping, and by the time it comes, I have the “honey do” list and other stuff to do, and the project sits.

    Bring back the communications and DIY stuff. Also-Why not sponsor a nationwide “Radio Day” at all of your stores? Maybe a discount for licensed hams? National Radio day could be scheduled during a slow sales period (summer) and feature deals on scanners, and maybe invite local Skywarn, ham clubs, scanner clubs, etc. to set up an information table?

    Bring the Radio back to Radio Shack.

  • Daniel

    Thanks for listening! It feels like the 80’s and 90’s again. Arduino and DIY rocks. Whichever exec spearheaded this deserves a raise and promotion.

  • Alejandro Morales

    I hope Latinoamerica too… Not only USA, please, please, please…

  • D1g1Ts

    I can understand from a logistics point of view how RS can’t have every particular thing a customer may want in their project. I like this top ten and will really try to go to my nearest radio shack more often now for if I need somethings, because really its the only store in my town were you can actually buy a LED and I’d hate to see it close.

  • Jorge

    Here from Derby, CT.

    I particulary welcome point 10. I have had so many bad experiences with staf that not only don’t know, but what is worse, unless I am buying a cell phone and a extended warranty they don’t want to know.

    And I am not talking about complex stuff, but I have received sarcasm after asking for VGA extension cables.

    The sales people need to know how to be helpful with the DIY, and be open to learn, and to help them in that, the compensation system has to change.

  • Steve

    I went into a RadioShack after a long time, and noticed two major obstacles: 1) charging the outrageous markup on basics like cables 2) your selection and lack of awareness by sales staff. When trying to buy a power adapter (which is sold without a tip in the box, you have to pick one) proceeded to berate me that the tips ARE in the box when it was clearly labeled on the box it wasn’t. He said I couldn’t open the boxes there, I had to buy it then open it. I bought one, opened it on the spot and not seeing tips told him: “do you see my point”. He ignorantly refused and I proceeded to buy and return EVERY adapter box in the store until he’d let me select a tip to go with the adapter. The employee never did, and I simply walked out of there. Never again will I go to RadioShack for anything.

  • Nick K.

    Take a good look at some of the budding hobbist websites and see what is making them successful. Places like Sparkfun.com, adafruit, Makershed, are extremely successful in selling gear to hobbists. Heck, Sparkfun, which is known as the most expensive of the group is going through Arduino’s at about a rate of 1800 a week! In my case, stock common Arduinos, shields, and components. I see you picked up some of the more obsecure components like the RFID reader and the Sonar Range Finder. Make sure you complement it with more ICs that people need (OpAmps, Shift Registers, Muxs, EEPROMS, etc.).

    Finally, training the staff is a huge must. The RS closest to me, I feel like I’m sourcing the parts of a bomb every time I go into the back where they store components. The employees ask me what I’m building and seem suspecious of everything I’m trying to purchase.. The RS across town is much friendlier, but they still had no idea about basic parts (I was looking for a copper board to etch a PCB onto — they swore up and down that they didn’t have any, I showed them the website that said they had them in the store. We found some behiend some printed PCBs 20 minutes later).

  • W1DOG

    MY OH MY! Will Radio Shack change from its “Cellphone Boutique” revamp? No wonder it has gone from giant to near bankruptcy… Ignore what It did best. SUPPORT THE DIY & RADIO ENTHUSIASTS.

    Keep up the on Customer Satisfaction Focus and may you get back on top.

    W1DOG
    Former Manager from Milledgeville GA Store.

  • NeuroMan42

    Nice to see, but really… it is too little, and way too late. You turned your back on the DIY crowd years ago, and became the PHONE store. Many of us have moved on, and have plans on being cast aside again… good luck to you.

  • Jim

    YES! This is the way Radio Shack stores used to be! Less cell phones – more electronic DIY stuff!!!

    I remember I once walked into RadioShack looking for a simple switch. The staff had no clue and I couldn’t find it in the store. I ended up finding it across the street at a hardware store.

  • Matt R

    I truly believe there should be in store classes to teach others how to use and to start more making.

  • Sodemann

    Many of these are great ideas!

    Forest Mims = #1

    Amateur Radio…as in “Radio Shack” it should at LEAST be offered it in the catalog.

    I use Mouser, I get the stuff the next day and it is all kitted and labeled to my specs.
    I’ve always used Radio Shack as a last minute convenience shop. Never as a kitting stop. Much of that is due to selection, but more importantly is the pricing. I realize that the bubble packaging drives the price up, Two diodes taking up the space of 50. And usually if R.S. does stock a particular item of interest, all that will be in the drawer is the empty package…and in the wrong spot.
    Solution:
    If the discrete components were stock room items…
    What if there was a nominal Kitting fee, free over a certain amount.
    All this saves space, stops thievery, and keeps the price down.

  • Rich

    Get employees that don’t do the deer-in-the-headlights look when you ask a question. Bring back good shortwave radios-local selection is nil here. I’d love to see more capacitors for vintage radio restoration-not just low voltage electrolytics.

    Thank you for taking the incentive to do this! Hope now to see fewer cellphones and toys being sold to the local drug dealers and much more parts and radios for us geeks!

  • jasonpr

    arduino is a good start BUT DON’T FORGET ALL THE PLUGGABLE STUFF THAT GOES WITH IT. Why don’t you guys partner up with makezine.com. You could start putting out kits of components and boards. Even if you carry the kits for a short time it would get consumer in your stores to buy the parts. A cheap O’Scope would be nice too.

  • mark

    I would like it to be easier to return items I use, sometimes I lose a reciept so I do not need a hassle for my money back, if you take my ph number , it could be used as a tracking code to see my purchasing history.. But if I do not then the manager has an issue and says sorry buddy.. Alos alot of the stuff is way over priced especially the DYI stuff.

  • sulfide

    great news. I’ll be taking even MORE trips to radio shack. Bring back old school baby!

  • Andy

    Great news! More than a few steps in the right direction IMHO :)

  • Nathan

    That is wonderful that Radio Shack will be stocking the Arduino microcontroller board! I’ve am having an electronics and programming camp for middle school kids here in North Houston. It will be based upon the Arduino microcontroller board. I’ve been thinking through my plans on how to handle additional people. Everything in our electronics kit is available at my local Radio Shack except for the Arduino. Therefore, I am having to stock more boards than I anticipate needing to ensure I have enough for the people signing up for the camp. It will be great when I can run down to Radio Shack the day before and buy some extras if I need to.

    BTW, if you are interested more in the camp, you can find out more at GadgetCamps . com

  • Sean

    Personally I’d also like to see:
    – workshops – learning with peers provides support and challenge that can lead to longer term mentoring and camaraderie (not to mention you can have the necessary parts stocked in advance for workshop projects; provide subsequent enhancements, along with the having the necessary components on hand in the store; and introduce ways to use products, new and old) [Think "bookclub" for hacker projects. How much did Oprah's bookclub help sell the books they read?]
    – hackfests – e.g., teams are given a box of materials and a goal, the winning team earns gift certificates and bragging rights (a great way to introduce and advertise new components)
    – partnerships with diy-groups such as http://www.makerbot.com/community/mug/ and supporting the creation of such groups where they don’t exist (input from the community on what components are going to be in demand)
    – partnership with hacking organizations (many of which do have shops of their own, but they still require ordering through the mail, so having things in stock locally could provide an added value, as well as having group workshops – see the first bullet above) such as Make (http://makezine.com/) and Lady Ada’s AdaFruit (http://adafruit.com/)
    – more knowledgable employees, (active participation in the above activities could help educate those employees who weren’t already knowledgable; better yet you could hire individuals who were already involved in the above activities)

  • Peter Eide

    This is great RadioShack!

    More LEDs, please.

  • Dan Hoffman

    Glad to see you are going to carry more in store inventory of components. Like everything else you can not have every thing in the stores. So like other items it would be nice if you had online components that could ship to the stores. Like other items that ship to store at no cost it would then be a good deal even if prices are a little higher. Right now if I need something from other places I have to pay $5 for shipping and it is a min $10 order. So you can leverage your stores and distribution system.

  • Jim McCracken

    It used to be every week when I got paid, I’d head out to Radio Shack to pick up the gadget or thing I wanted to tinker around with that week. Those days ended about the time I realized that any hardcore computer or microcontroller project would require additional mail order purchases anyways. Now its maybe 3-4 times annually…

    These are GREAT announcements and I’ll be sure to be visiting my local retails more in the future!

    P.S. with more caps/resistors/leds, are you also considering the larger SMD sizes?

  • Joe

    We’ll be watching and waiting to see how all of this pans out. If you are successful in doing this, your customers will return.

    One thing I miss, and always liked, in shopping my old, local electronic-store outlets of the 1960’s and 70’s is the unexpected.

    You just never knew what new products they would have, as it varied with each store visit. The “old-time” stores also had discount tables were surplus, outdated, discontinued, broken or defective merchandise could be purchased dirt cheap for “cannibalizing” of parts or repair and restoration in some cases.

    Back then, you could purchase surplus “parts-by-the-pound” boxes. Bagged parts (named “Poly Paks” by one store) that maybe had 100 diodes, capacitors or other parts inside. And these were all sold “dirt cheap”.

    Bring back some of these “surprises” and non “cookie cutter” stuff as we DIY’ers and “electronic nerds” love it!

    RadioShack needs to better understand its hobbyist and electronic customers. You need techies, DIY’ers, electronic service personnel, hams, etc to be selecting and buying your inventory and not some “bottom-line-accounting” “bean counter”.

    We’re all pulling for you… Please don’t let us down!

  • Brad

    Radio Shack needs a techie forum for people to share ideas for DIY projects and to help out others whether just starting out or a seasoned veteran. As Microcontrollers connect more and more easily to home computers, their is no limit to what gadgets you can make for around the house – whether functional or just for fun.

  • Tate Antrim

    It’s all well and good if they carry the stuff that we need but most RS stores are in strip malls now and with $5,000+ a month rents most hobbyists won’t keep an outlet in business. So while they may promise more stuff to our liking, the logistics are probably not in our favor. I’d like to find someplace that sells LMR400 for less than $1 a foot and PL259’s for less than $3 each, toroid cores, various magnet wire sizes, tools, tubes (yes of all things tubes and a tester to check them), semiconductors, passives, etc, etc. Virtual stores like All Electronics, Jameco, Mouser provide what RS used to provide at decent prices but I can’t really see RS being one of these stores given how and where the franchises locate and who they cater to. We have an Esco here in Columbus, OH but their prices are quite high and really have to be to stay in business – RS will have to continue doing the same thing unless we turn people from appliance operators to true builders and those people show up in record numbers.

  • Matthew H

    SparkFun is the new Radio Shack. RS, just look at SparkFun, AdaFruit, SeeedStudio, etc. to see what people are buying. Pick up a Make Magazine and for any given project that uses electronic parts, you should be able to walk in to a RS store and get the parts.

    When I’m doing an electronics project I probably spend a few hundred a month at DigiKey, Mouser, and JameCo (for legacy stuff.) 0.1uf 0603 SMD caps for $0.012 each… That’s going to be hard to do in a RS store. But, if you stocked things like that, I’d shop the store for the convenience of getting my hands on it and not paying shipping.

    RS has a logistics problem though. Tons of locations vs. places like DigiKey and Mouser who have 1 or 2 huge warehouses. If RS could use all the stores to their advantage somehow, they might get the edge they need.

    Tate makes good points though, the DIY and electronics hobbyists do not exist in the numbers they used to when RS was in its golden days. RS seemed to die in the mid to late 80’s with the fall of the “home computer” and arcades. The Internet became the new frontier for those who might have otherwise gotten in to Ham radio.

    I hope RS can pull it off, I really do. I’d love to walk in to a RS and see an Heathkit computer sitting there, even if only for a display, kind of a reminder of their roots and to let the customers know they have not forgotten.

    As for training the staff, I don’t think you can. You have to hire people who are already in to electronics and computers because they like it. Knowing the difference between an electrolytic and ceramic cap won’t give an employee the ability to “help me” choose one based on my project.

    Good luck RS, I hope you do it! I’ll be visiting my local RS every few weeks to see if anything is changing.

  • Curt Bartholomew

    Greetings!

    Back in 1994, I was the only Radio Shack store manager (for a year), among the 28 stores in our Northern Virginia district, who was able to answer Amateur Radio questions or help find the correct electronic parts for hams.

    A method for stores to order unique parts not normally carried by the stores would be helpful. Perhaps an online ordering system for those parts could be established.

    Good luck!
    73, Bart, N3GQ

  • John Best, Sr.

    About 40 or so years ago Japan was overtaking the US and the world in electronics. Radio Shack was probably in the best postion to reverse this through the 70’s and 80’s. But like so many other stores, the bottom line was more important. There were fewer and fewer kids interested in electronics. It’s fairly evident in the 2 way radio industry for example. Techs around Maine are scarce and I’ve seen no new blood here for a long time. And alot of this has to do with the “I want it now” mindset. I believe it’s not to late to start back up with the “days of old” but updated for Radio Shack. Get some parts back into the stores and possibly hold electronic kit building seminars or anything to do with building stuff from parts. There’s enough computer crap to last us a lifetime out there now so we don’t need that. It should be just basic electronics, that would be a good start. Alot of hams are trying to put together kits from what few parts available from RS but we have to resort to other companies to get what we need. I feel if RS had some sort of basic electronic seminars it possibly would start something positive for all concerned. Thanks for the forum. WA1YIH – John

  • Evan Foss

    Thank you for listening. I don’t really care about #1 or #2 on that list but I am glad to see everything from 5 down to 10.

    I have one question. If this works will you consider furthor additions to the store?

  • Guy

    I am thrilled to see that Radio Shack is listening to the customers. Just remember your name. “Radio Shack” IS a amateur radio term: the room where the amateur radio is. The company was founded on the concepts of amateur radio. Which includes not just equipment, but the parts to support it. After all, in the early days most amateurs built their own radios, before many commercially-made radios were available, with parts from Radio Shack (and other sources as well).
    I remember when we had a RadioShack.com store in Mesa, AZ. Didn’t last long, but it was cool while it lasted. Some more of those would be awesome. Maybe just one or two for each major metro area, with mail-order for the other areas. Maybe hire SME’s (Subject Matter Experts) for each department. Maybe with more emphasis on amateur radio and electronics, and less emphasis on home entertainment and cell phones. But perhaps approach those categories from the hobbyist/diy perspective. That is, what fun/interesting DIY projects can we come up with for our home entertainment and phones/pda’s?
    Maybe add amateur radio classes, or even basic electronics courses (both free) that are taught in-store. You might even be able to get local amateur radio clubs to provide the training. Would probably increase traffic, as well as build the customer base.
    Maybe I’m just pipe dreaming, but there is always hope…

  • HAMGuy

    OK, first off – I really want to be able to buy parts from a B&M store. If I need to have a prototype working by afternoon and I just have to have some part – usually a very basic thing like a capacitor – then I am not going to want to wait a week or so for it to come in the mail. That is your edge. Parts are small and you should be able to store them in back if need be.

    At college, in the electrical engineering program, RS was considered a joke whenever a freshman said they need to buy some parts. I’m not entirely sure what you guys sell anymore, but its junk as far as I can tell. At least when I went in there last time it was relatively new. A couple of years ago it seemed like everything in there was from the early 90s- old house phones, gimmick electronics, and some text-message thing that was supposed to be sold instead of just buying grandma a computer to email on, etc.

    I wanted to buy parts from you a few days ago, but it seems that shop didn’t have LEDs. The clerk said they didn’t get to reorder stock but had to wait until headquarters decided to mail them new parts. WOW. That’s running a business wrong. You need to fix this if you want “people who go to a store wanting to buy something” as customers..

  • Quantimm

    Never forget that the web is your competition! What can RS offer me that the web can not? I have driven to RS many times in an attempt to find that they don’t have something as simple as a toggle switch in stock. This is a waste of my time and fuel.

    I could have called first and I’ve tried this before as well. Seems that RS is a phone store that sells some other stuff that the employees know little about. How will staff members who know nothing about kit building or DIY advise potential customers? If your serious about this “new” venue, then I suggest that the staff, at the very least, know Ohm’s law, be able to visually identify basic electronic components and construct a simple kit. (Assess these skills during the interviewing process.)

    On the web I can obtain the same kits currently offered at RS for far less including shipping, and they come right to my door. Resistors on average cost 2¢ to 5¢ each. A 5 pack of resistors at RS is $1.00. (I just bought 2800 different valued resistors for $40.00 on the web.) See what a 741 op-amp or a 555 timer costs on the web! Electronic components are WAY too expensive to justify me purchasing them at RS. I would suggest that the price structure and selection of components improve.

    I would further suggest that the staff have a greater product knowledge beyond cell phone plans and packages.(I realize that the cell phone business is your money maker.) If I need a phone I’ll ask. I don’t appreciate the hard sell for a cell!

    RS to me is the Convenience Store of electronics. It contains a small selection of overpriced items that might be purchased out of impulse, desperation or necessity. To become what RS was 50 years ago will require shedding the Convenience Store mentality.

    To me it’s a good sign that RS is in the process of re-inventing itself and I wish you all the best in this endeavor. Who knows, you do this right and the web may be my second choice for components and equipment!

  • Corscaria

    So basically… the only thing modern on the list is the Arduino… everything else is going to be the same 50 year old crap.

    Competitive pricing, and stronger sales force shouldn’t be things people have to request, and shouldn’t be on the list. They are simply vital to the survival of radio shack.

    So i’ll say it again, FPGA’s, If you can’t carry every part people might need, you might as well as carry a single part that can BE every part people might need. A small fast flash based FPGA can be everything from custom logic to a RISC CPU entirely at the users whim. Make your buying power count so they are nice and cheap, and people will buy one for every project.

    In store rapid prototyping machine, fill everyones case needs regardless of what odd shapes or sizes they need. Can also create replacement mechanical parts for repairs in store, no shipping necessary. And can allows the general populous to make custom trinkets, everything from figures designed by 3d artists, to just putting thier name or a design on a selection of premade designs.

    When you have a limit to what you can offer, you choose that which can fill as many spots as possible at once.

  • David

    I just want to put in a shout-out for Arduino!!! I have immense interest in this but haven’t had a chance to seriously explore it. If Radio Shack could be my go-to source for that, I would be ALL OVER IT, since there’s a Radio Shack just down the road from my house.

  • Chris

    When is this going to happen? I just had to order an Arduino online, plus some jumpers and other stuff i would have rather bought in my hometown… Can you write another post and give us an update on when we can expect the Arduino and supplies to appear on shelves?

    • Ricky Cadden

      Chris – we’ll have an official announcement really soon. Don’t worry, we’ll be sure to do a full post that will let you know when they’ll be in stores, along with exactly which shields we’ll be stocking. What are you building?

  • Sammy

    radisohack sucks. I used to work there. Their user base in the past (radio hackers, DIY guys) – buy things predominantly online now. Stores themselves are managed by fear nowadays. Everyday: how many useless service plans u sell, contract phones and credit cards with sky-high APR. Every day if you don’t meet the quota – u are being “disciplined” aka yelled at. I’ve once see manager simply cry cuz some district dude made a conference call and promised to simply fire them if quota is not met.
    F radioshack big times. Not buying anything from there ever again.

  • Jeremy Hong

    Does this mean that ultra capacitors or at least capacitors in the 1 farad and up are coming?

  • Pete Zeigler

    I am SO glad you are looking into this. I have come to think of Radio Shack as a cell phone store and nothing more. It is sad what the RS in Castle Rock Colorado has become.

    I used to love going there and picking up what I needed for my various projects, but now I simply can’t stand the place. I can buy a cell phone anywhere, so RS needs to get back to its roots before consumers abandon it all together.

  • Scott

    You’ve added more capacitors? Yeah, great. So where are the ones rated over 25 or 50V? I’m a radio guy, you know, one of the folks who bought from RS over many years. You going to carry caps rated at 450V or better. How about the same for film caps? How about spending more on the caps and less on the package. The prices for what you’ve got are absurd.
    You used to sell ham gear, but still sell CBs. So why, in your transitor/MOSFET selection do you not carry any of the usual output/finals? Where are the dummy loads in your “Antennas & Dummy Loads” section?
    When will your employees stop insulting those of us with years of technical knowledge & experience? (I started buying at RS well over 40 years ago.) A little absurd for an employee to approach you when you’re looking at the small selection of ICs, sort of designing in your head only to have an employee come over and ask if they can help you in spite of the fact that they no clue about the components you’re looking at. That makes no sense at all. Why did you stop hiring licensed ham operators? My local RS used to require it, now it is a very rare bird indeed….
    I’m not gettin’ it???

  • Scott

    You want to get back in the good graces of the DIY crowd? Do a little research. Vintage radio restoration has become big business. Do a Google. Check eBay. Take a visit to Just Radios in Canada.
    A nice selection of capacitors, standard values, rated at 450V or better would be a way to get started. Sell them behind the counter, not in packages…..You don’t have the shelf space. There’s only one reason that I can find for not buying in bulk and then selling is that you don’t trust your own employees.
    Give it a try! Not much fun blowing $80 for a bulk Web order only to find you were a tad short of one or two values. Much easier to hit a local store and buy what you need.
    Maybe it is too much to ask as your attorneys will probably object, but how about stopping w/the no user serviceable parts inside, especially w/test gear? Why would you buy it if you didn’t know how to use it? if you know how to use it, well, you use it to isolate components and make replacements. The logic doesn’t jive? Everything you sell contains standard components, not alien technology. And, by the way, do RS techs not use RS meters? Why not? If they do, do they abide by the label and not repair?
    Again…..I’m not gettin’ it………..

  • Tony

    Put your big boy underpants on and take a risk – I really think that with RS backing, this piece of kit that I read about today (for making pretty much anything you want out of plastic) could be immensely popular.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/printrbot/printrbot-your-first-3d-printer?ref=category

    3D printing kits have been around for a long while now, but they have been difficult to make and very expensive. This version seems to have solved those problems and brought cost down a lot more. But who wouldn’t like to go to RS and buy a 3D printer to start making plastic parts?

  • Regenia Montaya

    According to Wiki, they aren’t for sale to the general public.. So your evil plans will have to be on hold until you build your own or convince them to make an exception for you. Sorry.

  • Tony

    No, they are not for sale yet as they are in the final stages of development. That kinda is the idea. You pledge money now to allow the develpment, they already have more than they need from the pledge figure.

    So imagine they get their kits and iron out the initial problems, then RS puts them on the shelves. Most people would probably only hear of them for the first time when they were offered for sale by RS. The idea of “printing” plastic objects is catchy enough, but you would be about half the price of the nearest competitior.

    Not only that, but economies of scale (where the gamble, but potentially very lucrative part comes in), is RS could source/make the parts in such large quantities, that they could sell the kit as a started kit, with some plastic to get you going, plus say the design for a chess set or something like that, perhaps an “ideas” DVD – Actually a training DVD in essence, with a few more ideas in it to teach and inspire people to try their own.

    From my reading of this 3D printer, they are way ahead of anyone else in making them easy to assemble and reducing the cost. I’d like to see RS really jump start this hobby and get it in to the mainstream hobbiest’s hands.

    Imagine being able to make your own coil formers? Insulating spudgers, tools for prying open plastic cases without damage, coil/variable resistor tuning and alignment tools (non-magnetic & insulating).

    You could sell CDs of the paterns for seasonal designs, like Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter Decorations. Letter & Number patterns for making signs and display use. “Hardware” like P-Clips, spacers, stand-offs, cable clips, etc. to your own specifications (really mod your computer or electronics project for example).

    There has to be so much more I’ve not thought of yet.

    Not only that, but with RSs expertese, improvements could be made, giving a real advantage over other designs.

    All RS electronic kits could include a pattern, so if you own one of these 3D printers, you could print out the perfect enclosure for your completed kit, including mounting posts attached to the inside of the case and so on. No more drilling and fileing on a standard enclosure that will look amaturish anyway.

    Sell the supplies it needs as well. There must be so many ways of making this as useful to an electronics hobbiest as an oscilloscope is?

    Just a thought – As you can guess, I’d love one to be in my Christmas stocking this year, but maybe next year perhaps?

  • Mike

    Radio Shack has become nothing more than cell phones and remote control cars. I seriously doubt the staff could handle anything much more technical than that anymore. It is a a shame, there was once a day you could find parts and components….no longer. It’s a shame…A real shame. I recently went there to look for an antenna….no antennas, no CBs, few parts, lots of crap I didnt need nor want….I can only hope it will change back, but I doubt it….the Shack sold out it’s faithful customers long ago……….

  • Sean

    OMG I went to my local shack on the way home .. and there was all these new diy kits for beginners, Arduino, and even expanded the components section .. still has a lot of room for improvement .. but its a baby step towards being what they once where

  • Carlie Nichols

    Thanks for the blog.Thanks Again. Really Great.

  • Dan

    Ham Radio gear and antenna making equipment!

  • Eric

    We need headers!!!!

    Like the progress so far….

    L@@K at the website today….. we have over 500 or so new caps and resistors!!!!! They are website only but that’s a start.

    Arduinos are in stock! And their accessories too!

    Servos, more kits, pink leds, and in my store…..

    Knowledgable staff who aren’t rude and will try to help to find everything you might need for that project.

    Humor us as we do our job… reminding you about the batteries and why you should consider us for your next cell phone and of course that service plan for those headphones that are bound to short out if your kid uses them everyday.

    Keep those new parts coming!

    Team RadioShack 01-3510
    Proudly serving San Luis Obispo, Ca and all those future engineers @ Cal Poly tpo

  • David Miller

    I telephoned the McKinley Mall store in Hamburg, NY. I gave a Radio Shack part number and asked if they stocked the item. The girl said,”there are way too many items in the store for me to known everything here.” I would be impressed if she knew from memory, the entire store’s inventory. I said, “perhaps you could look.” She said, ” no.” The district manager needs to find a new employee. Oh yes, I bought my parts from DigiKey.

  • Tri shorts

    This is the Radio Shack i remember from when i was like 4 years old. RS was everywhere in my house!

  • Lloyd Cooper

    I am very pleased that Radio Shack is supporting the DIY movement. I have been engaged in robotics as a hobby for the last year. I live in a relatively small town so I purchase a lot of items online. I have been purchasing quite a few items from ebay. Mostly from Asian suppliers. I would like to be able to purchase my items from a U.S. company, (like yours) . However, pricing would have to be competitive with the Asian prices. There is a Radio Shack about 5 miles from my home. It would be great if I could purchase from this outlet. Keep working on lower prices and I’d be happy to buy from you.

  • Will

    Firstly, get rid of all the consumer crap that people would prefer to purchase at Best Buy or other LARGE electronics shops. Get rid of the stupid cell phone section. Focus on your customers needs like you did in the old days. And if you are going to bring ‘parts’ back, then make sure that your employees keep things neat and organized. Every radio shack I have ever been in the last 10 years has a MESS in the electronics drawers. I used to go to Radio Shack easily 3-4 times a week. Then they starting becoming ‘consumer’ and all of the ‘parts’ went away, and so did I. I went for YEARS with out walking in to a Radio Shack because thats NOT where I would buy a stereo system, or a TV or a cell phone which seems to be all that they carry. Oh and batteries.

    This could be the beginning of the rejuvenation of radio shack and I support it 100%.

  • DAVID

    Bring back ham radio equipment and supplies. Also have employees that are familiar with your stock.

  • Tony

    Here it is 2013 and despite the good intentions very little appears to have changed. The meager selection of components in my local store is relagated to a small shelf box in the back corner as though it’s something to be ashamed of. I’d love to see the Shack increase the selection of components in stock and possibly take a look at the chain auto parts stores method of overnight store to store and warehouse to store transfers. I for one would be willing to pay a premium in many cases to be able to buy the components I need for a project or repair immediately or overnight instead of ordering online and waiting for them to ship.

  • Jim

    Don’t know if it’s possible or not but it would be cool if you could carry the Raspberry pi. Or expansion boards / connectors

  • James

    Both of my local Radioshacks have drawers of components, but the selection and quantity leave much to be desired. Whenever people build a project, they typically need more than 1 transistor. I talked to the associate, telling him I’m working on a project that would require several more, and asked if he could order more in his next shipment, and he refused, saying “I only keep one of these in stock at any one time”. Also, prices are not competitive at all. It’s much cheaper to order online from somebody else, and that INCLUDES the cost of shipping.

    Radioshack: a small little drawer of a few components in the corner of the store does not make you a DIY store.

  • Matthew Cook

    Hi,

    I do like that the shack has increased its DIY electronics arsenal, but not to the degree I was hoping. The IC section is still pitiful. Where is the 7400 series logic, where are the micro-controllers? I am sick of going into my local store and only seeing that one lone quad-input op-amp sitting in the case. For the markup you could create alone on these IC’s I just don’t see how moving back to an electronics shop and away from a cell phone store could hurt. Lets face it, no one is going to radio shack for a phone, or a TV. Wait let me rephrase that, no one is going to radio shacks, period. Let’s bring back the spirit of do-it-yourself electronics that radio shack once had, and leave behind the best-buy its turning into.

  • rebecca harper

    I had an idea after the super bowl commercial and hearing of closing of stores to change your name to technology house

  • Gregory Whitcomb

    Radio Shack should host “Saturday Mornings at the Shack” where you have some training (soldering, kit building, using an ohmmeter, wires and cabling, and other how-tos). The idea is to bring fathers and sons into the stores to both educate them, provide a chance for fathers and children to do something together/bonding, and to promote products. I loved the kits such as the 150-in-1 projects when I was going and am so pleased that radio shack continues to sell resistors and project kits and accessories.