Radio Row

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

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  1. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Have they found you yet? :confused: I've done there, been that (at Apex.) A seismic event while inside there is MY worst nightmare. (or daymare, as the case may be.) Nonetheless, I luv the place.
  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've been to Apex probably at least 100 times over the years...actually my first visit there was in 1979, 9 years before I moved to L.A. -- Wayne N6NB took me there, as he was living in Woodland Hills at the time and used to buy a lot of stuff there. I never forgot the place or how to get there. Lucky for me it's really only 20 mins away under normal traffic.

    I got to know Bill Slater (owner) well enough that at least he knew my name and would show me "goodies" he had stashed upstairs where the general public usually cannot access.

    You probably know Bill's son Steve runs Apex Jr. in the San Gabriel Valley.

    It's a bit of a treasure trove if you have patience and bring a good flashlight.:p My last homebrew amplifier, an 8877 for six meters, was built almost entirely using surplus parts from Apex, except for the Dahl power transformer which I did buy new.
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Re "Radio Row," yes, "we" in the local area used to just call it "Cortlandt Street."

    My timing was just right to visit several times before they tore it all down, but I was still a kid (the "construction" started about 1965) and had to take a bus and a train to get there -- but it didn't take long, maybe 45 mins each way. I then watched the WTC go up out my 3rd floor bedroom window (no joke -- once they got to about Floor #20 or so, I could see the buildings). Seemed to take forever, but actually they went up very fast. Just when you're a kid everything seems forever.

    There was a surplus electronics/radio place in NJ, I think in Paterson, called VETSALCO (Veteran's Salvage Co.) who sold all the same stuff they had on Cortlandt St, but it was all one shop and it was in a basement -- a very large basement, probably 10,000 square feet or more. The old guy who ran that was "Uncle Dave," and he may have been a ham but I don't know his callsign; in any case he knew quite a lot about ham radio and liked kids, so any time I went there he'd just charge me "by the pound" for anything -- including tubes, resistors, capacitors, tube sockets, transformers, chassis, anything. Most stuff was in the $0.50 to $1.00 per pound range.

    One time I bought about $10 worth of stuff and ran out of money. "Uncle Dave, I want to build something but I don't have the wire..." and he gave me a 500' spool of solid conductor insulated hookup wire for free. "When you build it, bring it back and show it to me."

    Nice guy.
    W4KYR and KD2ACO like this.
  4. WA4ILH

    WA4ILH Subscriber QRZ Page

    I stand corrected on “Canal” street. You are indeed correct. The Jersey Central (RR) Ferry terminal was just a few blocks away on Liberty St..
    We also had two small military surplus stores in Elizabeth. (small by NYC standards) One on Morris avenue very near the “arch” and another on Elizabeth avenue near city hall. Both were one man operations but had some bargains if you knew where to look.
    Tom WA4ILH
  5. KD2ACO

    KD2ACO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Me too, but it was the only "Radio Row" I knew so it had to do... and I still miss it.
  6. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Then, there was always W2FNT's basement (John, in Linden, NJ) -- what a treasure trove!
    KB2FCV and N2EY like this.
  7. WA4ILH

    WA4ILH Subscriber QRZ Page

    It was pretty easy for me to get to NYC from the western edge of Elizabeth (Elmora section). I could walk 2 blocks to Westfield avenue (route 28?) and catch the Summerset Bus Company to the Port Authority bus terminal for 65 cents or take the CNJ to the Liberty Street ferry terminal. The CNJ was a few cents more but I always enjoyed the ferry ride. Either way, it was only 15 cents to ride the subway in 1964. (Boy has that changed!) In the summer of 1965, I worked at Radio City Music Hall. What a great experience. And eating at Horn & Hardart. (65 cents for a chicken pot pie)
    Tom WA4ILH
  8. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Don't forget a good magnifying glass (and extra batteries) when venturing into Apex! Glad Wayne was able to introduce you to that little gem of a "junque shop." (Other's junk, but OUR gems, even if in the rough.!) I need to get back there sometime soon... Apex has (loads) of ~1/4" aluminum tubing just perfect for UHF antennae!:D
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018
  9. WB2YZX

    WB2YZX Ham Member QRZ Page

    KB4QAA - I like your picture, I worked for Metro Electronics around the corner from Leeds (owned by W2BNW). The man on the far right looks like Bernie Goetz who gained notoriety in the mid 80's as the Subway Vigilante (check Wikipedia). He was not a ham but I often chatted with him about radio. He was front page news in NYC for a long time.
  10. N4MTB

    N4MTB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    In Chicago the radio shops were on South Michigan Ave. There was also "Berg the King of Jeeps" with surplus jeeps and parts and 2 or 3 other surplus outfits.
    I remember my dad (WB9DCV no longer active) and I going there on Saturday mornings for bargains. Ben Comb, Dave at Arrow Electronics.
    They are all gone ...sigh

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