Radio Supply Company Auburn, CA

Discussion in 'Discussions, Opinions & Editorials' started by WA6Q, Jul 26, 2009.

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  1. WA6Q

    WA6Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    It was great to find this new shop in the foothills just east of Sacramento.

    The owner Dave has a great selection of equipment along with the rare stuff that all Amateur Radio operators really want to find. Nothing wrong with the "other guys" who cater to the ham radio community but, mail order is what it is. It's great to walk into a real shop with an owner who really know's all the aspects of electronic communication and a professional background. To find an independent shop like this and walk in to find exactly what you were looking for is outstanding. I've been a ham for nearly 30 years and I've seen ham stores come and go in the Sacramento Valley and I'm always sad to see them go away. Guys! Let's try to keep this shop around. For those of you on the west coast and in the northern valley take a look at what this shop offers.

    Please don't think I'm trashing the other outfits who provide equipment and parts for our wonderful hobby but, seriously if you have a chance to visit the Radio Supply Company do it! You won't be disappointed and you may very well be surprised to see equipment the other shops don't offer.

    Dave was kind enough to check the audio and deviation on my mobile FM rig with his service monitor while I shopped! You just can't find service like this in any of the other places. I picked up some coax and high quality connectors that I would have had to order from Andrews or Motorola and the Radio Supply had them INSTOCK! I was very impressed. I also found a new 2 meter vertical instock at pricing that was very competitive with the big guys and better yet...I took it home that very moment! I didn't have to wait for shippment to my home!

    Though I live near Chico California it was really worth the drive to walk into a place that reminded me of the times when we had shops like this all over the place. Today it's a rare find to have something like this in the neighborhood.

    I can't express my excitment more! Guys and gals, please take a look at this new professional Amateur Radio Supply facility! It caters to the new comer in radio and you old time hard-core fellows. Dave has some very cool stuff....need an 8877 platform for EME....check out the rare monsters at Radio Supply.

    I'm not affiliated with Radio Supply Company, I'm a hard-core guy who is very hard to please and this place ROCKS!

    William WA6Q
  2. KY5U

    KY5U Ham Member QRZ Page

    "....and now back to our program"
  3. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I drove to a HRO when I visited the Bay Area a few years ago. No used equipment, and very very small facility. I sure miss the days of Henry Radio when you could go in and see row after row of refurbished USED radios. I bought a Swan 250 from Henry in Anaheim. It is now a HRO store. Sometimes they have a few used radios, but nothing to speak of. Mostly consignment rigs from people who never heard of Ebay.
  4. KC0W

    KC0W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    So basically you are absolutely knocked out because he had coax & some Pl-259's in stock..........WOW, impressive!!!

    Tom KC0W
  5. W3WN

    W3WN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Interesting array of equipment on his web site.

    The odds are against him, you know.

    I hope he beats them.

  6. N7RJD

    N7RJD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've done that with Arrow. Oh wait, they didn't have it in stock. Dot put it together and got it ready to go while Al gave me the nickel tour of the shop. I still took it home with me that day.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2009
  7. KI6DCB

    KI6DCB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I used to shop at that store -- it was up on Euclid Avenue -- a long, long time ago.

    Until about thirty years ago, California had a "floor tax" law which required every business to perform a complete inventory of everything that was in the facility as of midnight New Year's Eve every year. This inventory was then valued and taxed at some fixed rate, the rate depending upon the industry in question. Many stores had things which were hard to sell, or, perhaps, they were simply not crazy about giving Big Brother more money, and this often made for some very good deals to be had between Christmas and the end of the year.

    Well, when I was in the sixth grade in 1964, my parents and I often traded at Henry Radio in Anaheim. One particular time, we went in for some little thing on their last day of business before the new year, and they had several "SURPRISE BOXES" which were about two cubic feet in size and weighed about ten pounds each. They knew that I was an avid experimenter as well as being a young kid, so they were trying to get me to buy them. The boxes were, however, ten dollars per, and that was quite a bit of money back then...especially for an eleven-year-old boy who only had $7.50 to his name, including Christmas money from distant family.

    We negotiated back and forth, and I looked to my parents for support; they told me that I was on my own. I begged the guy to tell me what was in the boxes, but he wouldn't budge; he would only say that they were worth more than the asking price. I can't recall the fellow's name, but I do remember him asking me how much I had, as well as making him laugh several times. Time marched on, and it was approaching closing time.

    Upshot? They sold me the five boxes for $1.50 each, including 5% sales tax. When we got home, I opened the boxes and found lots of random resistors, capacitors, a few solid-state devices, transformers, potentiometers, chassis parts -- probably several hundred dollars' worth of things altogether. I felt like a real idiot bargaining them down so far, so, the next time I went, I tried to apologize. They wouldn't have any of it, telling me that they were happy to help a young experimenter in his quest for knowledge. I also remember the boss telling me that I shouldn't feel cheap; he said, "Nothing is cheap if it costs all the money you have."

    The stuff from those boxes was instrumental in several science fair projects, and I still have many of the components from that deal today, almost fifty years later.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2009
  8. KE6KA

    KE6KA Ham Member QRZ Page

    You mean they were actually open?

    I don't know how many times I've stopped by that place. Every time it has been closed.
  9. WA6Q

    WA6Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    KC0W Tom, come on, you don't know me. Let's stop the poo-poo pants stuff. We all have little Radio Shack outlets in our own areas. I'm refering to 7/8" Andrews heliax with N-connectors. I have very few Fred Flintstone PL-259's in any of my systems.

    Radio Supply has the "cool" stuff you wish you could find in "walk-in-stores" that at one time, was normal.

    I found a roll of 100 plus feet of heliax for my weak signal 222 MHz project at Radio Supply, I asked about connectors and sure enough, Dave turned and handed them to me! Pricing was more than fair and yes, I found this aspect a bit beyond my local Radio Shack store.

    Having been a ham 30 years I like finding a facility like this that appeals to my slightly advanced taste and requirements. We all know who the big hitters are in the retail of major amateur radio gear. Most hams are so dirt cheap they forget the "little guy" who provides the real "edgy stuff" to make the foundation of radio equipment really sing. Yes, we all look to the big names when it comes to a major purchase but, if you ask those guys for a ceramic socket for a 3/1000 they look at you with the deer-in-the-headlights look.

    I'm lucky to have a place like the Radio Supply Company in my local area.

    It appeals to appliance operators and hard-core guys too!

  10. NA6DF

    NA6DF Ham Member QRZ Page

    A few Radio Supply Company Facts...

    Mr. Bogdanoff, (KC6ZLV)
    I am sorry you have been disappointed in my hours. My regular hours are Tuesday through Friday, 9am to 5:30pm, and Saturdays 10-4. Other than a funeral in January, two days up at EmcommWest/Pacificon in early may, and the 10 days for my family's vacation in late June, I have stuck by those hours. Hours are posted on my website, answering machine and front door. Any variations to that, as mentioned above are also posted the same way. That's just 14 days this year that were not to the regular schedule. I am a sole proprietor, and have no one else to cover the shop when I have had to leave. I just wanted you to understand the facts, as there are too many rumors of me being closed down or out of business floating around on local area repeaters.

    Thanks for your time to read this, and hope to do business with you some day soon.

    Dave Fortenberry NA6DF
    Radio Supply Company :D

  11. SJR236

    SJR236 QRZ Member

    Just my 2 cents for Dave

    I am here in a small town in Oregon with almost nothing here LOL, I have never met Dave eye to eye but have talked to him by phone a number of times and sent a few radios in for him to fix, and I must say I have always thought of him ( DAVE ) as a honest man and will go the extra mile to help you out. I hope in the near future I will meet him and shake his hand.
    Thank you all for the time
  12. K7DLX

    K7DLX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just went to the website, and was greeted by this message:

    What happened?
  13. W6ECE

    W6ECE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Now see what you have done Billy!
  14. KM6MB

    KM6MB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Dave's an OK honest guy, known him for many years, actually since I got licensed.
    He knows his stuff as he once was a commercial broadcast engineer. Trustworthy and honest as the day is long!!
    Just wished I was closer to drop by his store to say hi!

    BTW, Hi Dave.

  15. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That is a real TRAGEDY that the store closed. But, thanks to the people in Sacramento, that is what happens to many small business's here in Kalifornia. Sacramento makes so many unreasonable regulations and way overtaxes the stores to the point they need high volume sales to stay in business. Most small business's have moved out of state or folded up. Thanks, AHNOLD!

    I do miss the days of radio stores, and there were many here in San Diego as well, now long gone.

    Communication Headquarters, where I got a Swan 240.

    Gary Radio, which would eventually become a HRO.

    and then there was Electronics Emporium
    OH, what a store!
    Run by Karl Brownstein, and his very weird son Harvey, they had all kinds of Ham equipment for sale.
    I dated the cute clerk in the store until I found out she was married with 5 kids. Her Hubby was in WesPAC in the Navy. OH well! Can you say COUGAR? I was only 19 and she was 35!

    Karl sure had some shady business deals on the side, and the IRS finally caught up with him. He was sent to a low security prison somewhere up state. Then, there was the Daring Helicopter rescue where he escaped the prison and was whisked away to Israel never to be seen again! WOW! that would have made a great Movie!

    Now we have a wonderful HRO, but little to no used equipment except for a rare consignment. Ebay has overrun the used equipment world.

    I still need to stop into this place just south of Vegas next time up that way. I was with my Boss last time and he didn't want to take the side trip despite I was driving. Called Radio World in Boulder City. I heard there is all kinds of glorious junk in there! Just what I want, BOAT ANCHORS!!! But also heard it was pricey, so I might not be bringing much home. (As if I don't have enough already!)
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