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Radio Row

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by WA4ILH, Apr 4, 2018.

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  1. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    The dual installation of PDP 11/70s with 4 MB RAM that my employer ran in the 1980's certainly were two large minicomputers...

    Dual-ported Massbus RM05 and RA60 discs, RA81 Winchesters, TE16 tape-drives.

    73/
    Karl-Arne
    SM0AOM
     
  2. N7ZAL

    N7ZAL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I went to "Radio Row" in Philadelphia during the 1950s-60s...on Arch Street. I imagine it was very similar to the others in other larger cities.

    Tons of surplus, large quantities of tubes, parts, and equipment. I remember they had wooden barrels full of some stuff, like J-38 keys, 807s, and other Jan tubes. It was an amazing experience and yields great memories. :)
     
    KD2ACO likes this.
  3. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I remember when I was in grammar school I took a bus down to a local electronics shop in Buffalo NY. It looked similar to some of the photos here. I would submit a parts list for some electronics project I was home building to the guy at the counter ..he would return with all my parts and some advice...for very little money...because that was all I had.
     
  4. KA2CZU

    KA2CZU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I worked extensively with PDP-70s back then. Can't remember all the drive models, since I have about a 10 byte FIFO for a brain :)

    I know we had the RM05's as well as the tape-drives. Later on those washing machine sized drives with the layered disc packs (think we got those with the vax 11/780's though).

    At any rate, hauling any of this stuff from radio row would've been a chore :D
     
  5. K7KBN

    K7KBN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was born in Las Vegas and never had a chance to spend any time on the USA East Coast. I did, however, visit the very real yet legendary Akihabara district of Tokyo in the '60s. Many times.

    Haven't been there since; I understand it's pretty much a shadow of its former self (to coin a phrase...).
     
  6. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Those were the RA60. A lot of capacity in a quite small package compared to the RM05.

    When the operations moved in 1993, the whole computer hall went to the scrap heap. The replacements were two PDP-11/84s with SCSI discs, and the TK50 cartridge tape drive.
    Four times the disc capacity in a 1/10 size cabinet.

    I miss the 11/70s and the RM05s.
    The floor shook when the disc alignment and diagnostics software ran...

    73/
    Karl-Arne
    SM0AOM
     
    KD2ACO and KA2CZU like this.
  7. K2HAT

    K2HAT QRZ Volunteer Volunteer DX Helper QRZ Page

    I got my Amateur License in 2007..... Had never heard of this radiorow street.

    I am not from NY City, that may make a difference also. LOL. You should have bought a wareehouse full of stuff that Might be worth more now,
    but some items value has dropped in the last 5 years.

    I see lots of "boat anchor' stuff at hamfests that does not move easy and for cheap prices....
     
  8. K9ALT

    K9ALT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Oh yes...used to work on these....fun times!
     
  9. WD9GNG

    WD9GNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I sure miss Floyd Electronics that was near here when located in Collinsville, IL before he moved to Las Vegas years ago. Unfortunately W9MPD has passed on. It was always fun to go on Saturday morning and have coffee while perusing new and old radios. It was a great gathering place! With all the new mail order places old time ham radio stores are few and far between. I miss the Walter Ash radio stores and even old time Allied & Lafayette catalogs from back in the day.
     
  10. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You were more than 40 years too late.

    Three problems with that sort of thing:

    1) The cost of storage - how much is 40 years of warehouse storage?

    2) Knowing what to buy. We know now that certain things would increase in value, but how could we know it then?

    3) If a lot of something is kept, its value doesn't increase much.

    Back in the immediate postwar period, there were some rigs manufactured which used the 4D32 tube - a radar pulse modulator. The Viking I, for example.

    Then the 6146 came along, and interest in the 4D32 went away.

    As stocks of the 4D32 were used up, the tube became very pricey, and the rigs that used it very cheap. Some folks converted their 4D32 rigs to use a pair of 6146s, just to keep them on the air. Others were parted out.

    And then - it was discovered that there was a warehouse full of 4D32s, which had been bought as spares for a radar system that was no longer in use. So the 4D32s flooded the market, and the prices fell dramatically.

    If someone had bought 4D32s back-in-the-day with the idea that they'd be valuable.....OOOPS.

    73 de Jim, N2EY
     
    WA7PRC and K2HAT like this.

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