By the early 1970s many angry and creative people of my age realized they could make money helping the experimenters and do-it-yourselfers. They would get jobs at local electronics distributors, both on the counters and in the office, set up false accounts, and sell to trusted people at wholesale price if the correct code word or name was given, along with a "tip". It was an electronics speakeasy! Mangement was alert to all of this and tried to stop it, but the backlash in alternative newspapers and boycotts of their brands of appliances and electronics caused them to accept and tolerate it. The internet has almost totally ended the need for that sort of thing, and none too soon.
toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
Bruce Gentry, KA2IVY
On 8/26/20 11:35 PM, Shirley Dulcey KE1L wrote:
Electronics distributors have gotten a lot more friendly to small customers
over the years. Digi-Key and Mouser pioneered it, catering to hams and
hobbyists from the get-go. That turned out to be a great business model for
them, because some of those people later went on to work in the industry
and continued to order from the companies they knew and loved.
The second thing that helped the change along was the ubiquitous adoption
of credit cards. In the olden daisies a big obstacle to ordering from most
distributors (other than Digi-Key and Mouser, and Lafayette when it was
still around) was the need to have an account. Now that everybody has
credit cards, they have become the normal way for small to medium-ish
companies to order; it's too much trouble to set up an account and go
through the bank investigations. A typical startup doesn't even bother to
apply until it starts making production orders, assuming it ever does
rather than outsourcing manufacturing.
Finally, there was the internet. Online ordering lowered the cost of
handling orders a lot;. You don't have to pay somebody to answer the phone
or transcribe paper order forms, and the error rate dropped because of
eliminating an intermediate step.
At this point, our orders really aren't any different from a small company
ordering parts for a prototype, and we're no more trouble to process.
They're ordering parts to make somewhere between one and five of something,
and so are we. Digi-Key and Mouser are still there to take our orders, and
other distributors like Arrow have made a move into the small-order game.
There are still a few things that are hard to order because they are only
handled by old-school distributors that are unfriendly to us, but those
areas are shrinking.
I'm not sure the situation has changed as dramatically in fields other than
electronics. Somebody here may know.
On Wed, Aug 26, 2020 at 10:13 PM greenboxmaven via groups.io <ka2ivy=
Even with repair manuals and schematics, there was another obstacle
years ago-parts. I'm not speaking of unique Tektronix built parts, but
rather condensers and resistors, tubes, transistors and connectors. In
the place and time I spent my youth, there was a constant struggle for
hobbyists and experimenters to buy basic components from suppliers. They
tried to sell only to commercial businesses, angering a whole generation
who were delighted when they went out of business years later. I
especially enjoy restoring Tektronix and products of the other major
instrument and scope builder because they were built with excellence and
pride, and prospered by the merit of their work rather than entrapment.
Bruce Gentry, KA2IVY
On 8/26/20 9:14 PM, Michael W. Lynch via groups.io wrote:
Right to repair is opposed by Apple, John Deere and hundreds of others.Their "cash cow" is gouging customers for "repairs" by restricting the
availability of service information and parts. My father in law runs John
Deere equipment and is constantly being screwed for that green paint that
they spray on almost every part. A $10.00 SKF of Timken bearing, painted
JD Green magically costs $150-$200 at the dealer; same part in a JD Box!
As Mr. Griessen stated, the Firmware and Software are even more vulnerable,
as there is no alternative. This is an area where the Governments should
act and they do not, since these companies have powerful lobbies across the