Old Ham Radio Shop Window Photographs
I took this in Vancouver at 1269 Granville St in 1969, the year I was licensed as a teenager. http://imageshack.us/f/685/1969thehamshackongranvi.jpg/
If you zoom in you might recognize some of the second-hand gear in the window. It would be interesting to see more old ham radio shop window photos.
There were three shops in those days that sold ham gear: The Ham Shack on Granville, Rendell-Paret Electronics on 4th, and Satellite Electronics Co on Nelson, now gone except that Rendell-Paret morphed into RP Electronics which is still in business on Rupert St, selling industrial electronics.
Some of the gear in the window looks homebrew.
We had a similar place in Oklahoma City called "Smitty's". Old Smitty had components, wire, used gear and lots of coffee. Hams and hobbyists would meet on Saturday morning and talk radio. At the end the store was purchased by a chain commercial electronics dealer out of Tulsa. They lasted about 10 more years but the lack of interest in building/restoring and competition from national companies put them out of business.
I purchased many of my components penny on the dollar during their last months.
Any business that involves hands-on technology is pretty much non-existent in Oklahoma. Internet and Mouser have replaced the local stores for those few folks still melting solder.
Thanks for the picture. Those were fun days!
That was a nice picture, reminds me of my first visits to Western Radio here in SanDiego.
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I actually worked in the shop for a few weeks when I was 15. I got paid $5 a day in merchandise, which I thought was a great deal. I learned a lot about retail. There were large bins of second-hand tubes, and selling these second-hand tubes for a dollar or two each was the shop's cash cow. Of course, free tube-testing on the shop tube tester was offered before purchase. The counter staff would look up the settings for the tube to be tested on the chart above the tester and dial the knobs accordingly. If the meter didn't rise to the green "GOOD" area right away, then the counter staff would turn the left-hand filament voltage knob up one click. That made most weak tubes test good, so they could be sold! The Ham Shack had a well-deserved bad reputation in the last years of its life, with nicknames like Sham Shack, Scam Shack, etc. A lot of the stuff in the window was indeed homebrew, and it was sold to the unsuspecting customer as whatever he came in looking for. If a customer wanted a preamp, the box with a tube sticking out of it was sold as a preamp. If he came in looking for a guitar fuzz-box, then that's what it was sold as! I heard quite a few customers complaining, but never saw a cash refund, only exchanges for other junk goods or credit notes.
Stretching the topic a bit, here's another ham gear shop window photo, taken in Monroe WA in June 2012 - A BC221 and a Dumont scope find new lives decorating a barber shop! There must be a message in that somewhere.
What I thought was interesting in 9V1DK's photo is the truck hood at the left. Ford F-100 grille with mercury letters on it.
Originally Posted by 9V1DK
It would really help new amateurs who want to build antennas to find an older copy of the ARRL Antenna book. There are too few explanations and too little data in the current editions. By old I mean say pre-1989. Cruise hamfest tables and Ebay, there are plenty available pretty cheap.
Monroe, WA is just a bit East of me. However, it's a bit far to go for a haircut.
Originally Posted by 9V1DK
Cool!!! It would be really nice to see more photos ... golden days of tubes
I took these photos a few years after the one at the top of the thread--lots of tubes visible:
Not ham related, but I'll bet that most of the techies in the photos were hams too.
That for posting that. I was first licensed in 84 and it's hard to imagine stores existing dedicated to ham radio!