UK guys please visit this shop and tell me what to buy...

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Some time ago in the Black Market I placed an posting asking whether anybody had visisted this shop
http://www.zyra.org.uk/birkett.htm

Well - managed to get over to Lincoln at the weekend (Saturday) and have a look inside...

This is what I found...
Lovely old couple running it - and having their roast dinner on the counter when I walked in..
Imagine a electrical component shop untouched for 30 years (apart from some new leads on the wall)...
Really small shop...Dust everywhere...
Boxes of compoenents and old things all over the floor, upside down etc...
You have to lift up old circuit boards and transformers to find more boxes underneath full of stuff
Boxes and boxes of old (really old) transistors - but I couldn;t get close enough ('cos of rubbish) to see them
The weirdest capacitors I have ever seen in my life (abaout the size of a spectacles case, called Dublier or something and named a plastic capacitor)
Old RAF altimeters, farnell square/sign wave oscillators, old brown transformers, bits of valve equipment all stacked on top of each other.
When was the last time you looked at a window display that contained RAF radios, valve oscilloscopes, 22k Log Pots (50 pence each written in felt tip marker), bits of transformers, headset microphones and some outstanding cobwebs

Further up the road is his other shop which he uses for storage - looked in the window and it is packed from top to bottom with stuff in old browning/yellowing boxes..
I did spot a few marconi valves in original boxes.

It looks like he is looking to get rid of the lot soon as his advert in Practical Wireless is talking about lists of stuff for sales (but valves not yet listed)

Note - the shop is on the main high street in Lincoln just before that ridiculous steep hill

Anybody who goes - please tell me if there is some stuff that I should be buying!
 

NewYorkDave

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It's very much like the funky old electronics stores I loved in my youth, some of which were considered old-fashioned even back then. I'd love to visit a place like that again.
 
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[quote author="NewYorkDave"]It's very much like the funky old electronics stores I loved in my youth, some of which were considered old-fashioned even back then. I'd love to visit a place like that again.[/quote]

This is the problem I have got...
I have access to this place... but I don;t know what to look for
In a couple of years time when I know my octal base from a rats tail then I feel I am going to be kicking myself for not having the knowledge of what to get now...
 

gyraf

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It was in a shop like that - in Budapest, Hungaria - that I found (amongst other stuff) 6 NOS Telefunken VF14 tubes - at some 2?/pcs.. :shock:

Jakob E.
 

zebra50

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I walked past that place a couple of years ago but it was closed. Looks good! I must try to get down there again soon - not too far from York.
 

zebra50

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[quote author="gyraf"] 6 NOS Telefunken VF14 tubes - at some 2?/pcs.. :shock:

Jakob E.[/quote]

Now that is a good find!
 

SSLtech

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I went there about 18 years ago, when I was still parachuting at Lincoln Parachute Centre. I came away with a nice Wow & Flutter meter for about $5!!! :shock:

I lent the wow & flutter meter to another "tech" who disappeared, some time later. I often wondered if the shop was still there!

Keith
 

FrankSL

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If my eyes don't lie there's a tek 465 oscilloscope in condition way better than mine... If price is low it's a great buy, you can send it to me if you want... :grin:
Frank
 

SmG

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Last time I passed that shop my wife wouldn't let me go in! What I need now is an excuse to go to Lincoln on my own... just to have a look around, that is. I really need to get on with clearing out the stuff I don't want or need any more before I acquire anything else, I think.
 

SmG

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You wanted to know what sort of things to look for?

Apart from valves and suitable transformers, which are obvious, it's worth remembering that the really expensive part of building stuff is generally purchasing the hardware rather than the electronics bits. So it's worth looking around at switches, cases, decent sets of knobs, stuff like that. Okay, this sort of stuff is not as sexy as some things are, but if you are going to pay a lot more otherwise, possibly worth it. Another thing to look out for is suitable tools - things like Q-max chassis cutting punches - I got quite a lot from a shop like this one years ago, and they have been very useful over the years. Generally, mechanical things that you can see the true state of are a safer bet than old capacitors, for instance. Especially electrolytics.

And if you find anything like a variac in there, grab it. These are very useful for running the mains up slowly on projects. I found a 2A one in an old Claude-Lyons stabilised mains supply (it was driven by an electric motor via some rather dubious electronics), and when reassembled into a box with an AC meter on the front, it worked fine. Just remember that the output of these is not isolated, though.

Test equipment is a bit of a mixed blessing - simply because it's often not so easy to fix when it goes wrong, and you are never absolutely sure of its calibration unless you go to some extaordinary lengths. And in a shop like that, whatever it is is likely to be old, large and probably not too stable. Although that said, things like old TEK scopes are usually fixable, and seem to last forever.

But there is a large degree of serendipity involved with any shop like this - and you always end up kicking yourself for not getting things somewhere down the line. It is a real shame that there are so few of these shops left now - I have to go a long way now to get to anywhere like that at all.

I hope that's some help, anyway.
 

peter purpose

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Simon,
Just take your jam jar up there with a grand in your sky and inform the Mrs. that this years holiday will be in Bognor.

peter
 

microx

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Check out the RCA AR88 and the R1155 wartime receivers. In my youth I had both of those. In fact my first job when I left school was in a shop in Hursrt Street in Birmingham called Norman H. Field. He, and his brother who were bitter rivals, both traded in WW2 surplus. I ran the basement where he sold all this junk and I made him a fortune. My reward, the AR88 in it's original packing.
Years later when I moved to Spain I gave it to a young lad, wish I still had it.
As to what you should buy, in these shops you tend to find something and then invent some use for it rather than than finding what you are looking for, so just browse and buy.
I might just phone and ask about the AR88.
Steve
 

chrissugar

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"It was in a shop like that - in Budapest, Hungaria - that I found (amongst other stuff) 6 NOS Telefunken VF14 tubes - at some 2?/pcs.. "

Hey Jakob, where is that shop in Budapest? I know that city like my hand. It was a time when I was there at least two times per month.

chrissugar
 

gyraf

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No - I don't remember the shop's name - it was completely un-pronouncable for a dane like me. But I have a snapshot photograph that my girlfriend took of me at the shop just at the moment when I saw that the window exibition included two original nos U47 connectors - you know the type with integral stand thread :shock:

The very old lady at the shop did not speak a word english, german, french, or anything - so I was almost panic'ing at first. But luckily her at-least-as-old friend came by for coffee, and she could translate from german if it was kept strictly non-technical. It turned out that the old lady at the shop inhereted the stock from her husband who had a large radio store pre-1956..

I will see if I can find the image and post it.. You may be able to dechipher the name of the store..

Jakob E.
 

chrissugar

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Yes Jakob, please post the pic. Do you have an idea about an aproximate location? I supose it was in Pest not Buda part of the city.
Budapest is my favourite city. I love it so so much that sometimes I went there just to walk on the streets and watch the architecture. Beautiful.

chrissugar
 

gyraf

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It was on the lower side of town - just south of the large road leading from the river up to the central station - some 2 or 3 blocks from the water.

I love that city also. Very beautifull - and civilized in some old-fashion way that find hard to describe. It's the place outside of denmark that I feel most at home..

Budapest_Shop.jpg


This pic is taken almost in the same instant when I saw the u47-connectors laying there.. :shock:

Jakob E.
 

chrissugar

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Oh that was long ago, i remember before 2000 many of these little hobby electronics shops dissapeared.
In mid eighties Budapest was full of small shops like this. I always bought there many interesting things.

chrissugar
 

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