How I Learned to Stop Worrying and NEVER shop at RadioShack

So, tips for building things that I've learned today:

Have some strange piece of hardware that you're trying to take apart? Like that dead cell phone, for its pager motor? I just found the bristlebot project, and it's too cute. Also, I'm home for winter, and all that Highschool-Star left here was a pile of magnet wire, and some electrical tape. Not even a breadboard! (Ah well, thanks highschool-Star, for what stuff is here - Star-of-the-future gets none!).

So, without a tiny Torx-6 screwdriver that I'm sure my family would use exactly once (I mean, that I would use exactly once), I drove to the nearest place and - did not buy one.

I walked in, unscrewed the screws I needed out, and put it back on the shelf.

$15, saved!

Also, don't buy batteries at radioshack, ever. 3V coin-cells were the same price as 1.5-volters, and, at $6, all of them cost less than a frappucino at Starbucks. Six dollars! That's around $2 per VOLT, at best! So I left and went to the drugstore where two 3V coincells cost $2. Much better.

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am1117 years ago
hey radio shack never carried lcd displays and i found some in a thrift store for $25 thrift stores, yard sales, and garage sales rock!!!!!!!!
But ma'am, do you need batteries for that?
dla8887 years ago
There's an online store called I've heard from several people that it has TONS of components and such. I've given it the once over and it appears to have every component I could dream of. 
110100101109 years ago
with free bad hardware from the computer repair center + school tech guy + (sometimes) friendly workers at construction sites + neighborhood trash . . . . who needs RS ?
Brennn109 years ago
I use RadioShack for when I am desperately in need of something. Other than that I try to stay away.
stasterisk (author)  Brennn109 years ago
My other experiences include a moment like this: 14-year-old-me: "I need picofarad capacitors for a radio I'm making, do you have any?" (yeah, well - I didn't know what low expectations to have.) radioshack: "picofarad? is that the little 'u' symbol?" me: no, that means micro. I need pico. Pico is a lot smaller. radioshack: "I'm sure u means pico. Let me go double check the stock-room." --15 minutes later-- radioshack: "wow, it's true! u means micro!" me: so, any picofarad caps? radioshack: "hang on, let me go check the stock-room..."
That reminds me the problem I had with Maplin! I went to maplin and I ask if they have any 7.2v R/C car's battery pack charger and more than thirty minutes later, they came back with a 12v lead-acid battery charger. Then I said "That is the wrong type of battery charger", and they did not say anything like if they don't understand my language. Those people just don't know what are they doing!
Ah yes my run in with maplin was met with impressive stupidity, I asked where I might find the components after forgetting that you needed to go to the back desk, first I was taken to the computer stuff then I said components for electronics... I was taken round to the MP3's etc, eventually I rhymed off a bunch of names and he went errrrrrrrr for 30 seconds and went 'iuno' so I asked the supervisor who was smart enough to ask for part numbers, I had written them down and had been staring at that list long enough to know them all by heart... He eventually tapped them into the computer, after finally getting the right components I started my not so polite complaint, I left with three times of everything I need and a job offer (minimum wage so nah) The clerk also rung the stuff in in a random order and missed two expensive things, saving me another few quid...
I am not too sure what you are talking about but I one time online ordered from maplin which is a ferrite ring (it cost £1.73) a NE555 timer chip (it cost £0.53) and some other things.

-- 5 days later --

When I received my postage, guess what I found inside the package, instead of a NE555 timer they sent me a 7555 timer! The 7555 timer from maplin are expensive (1.73 I think) and I could not find my ferrite ring anywhere in the package but I did find a very large bag full of cable ties bases and it cost £6.43 and I did not order that!
So maplin are not very well organized, they have given me about £6 ($12 for the US readers) for their stupidity! LOL!!!
Ah right I was instore... Basically they didn't now what I meant by components... The supervisor did the natural bricking it reaction, revert to the part codes, which solved the situation... Unleashing a torrent of complicated abuse got me a free triple order... You are right about the bad organisation, I went to the till and paid for a selection of my items but not all of them,...
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