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Where To Get Sets and Parts For discussions about swapmeets, rallies, NVCF and BVWS, car boot sales, antique and charity shops, dealers, newspaper adverts, the local tip and just about any other source of equipment (other than eBay).

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Old 22nd Feb 2018, 8:33 pm   #121
Sean Williams
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Default Re: Maplin stores

They have, in the past month relocated the Stevenage store to a new building, and are sharing space with I Smash?

9 times out of 10 I leave the store without the items I needed, and an overwhelming feeling of despair, due to the clueless employees within.
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Old 22nd Feb 2018, 11:42 pm   #122
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Default Re: Maplin stores

For me ,a big + for RS. Order today and collect from RS almost tomorrow. Might be worth some folks looking for the nearest RS place, as carriage is a lot more than fuel. As for Maplin- I used to love to go in and have a chat with the staff. Alas, they've seen the light and moved on ( possibly before jobs were lost) to be replaced with folks who don't know an electrolytic from a tant.
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Old 23rd Feb 2018, 3:20 am   #123
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Default Re: Maplin stores

There was mention of Dick Smith Electronics in a previous post - now gone as bricks and mortar stores.

It was taken over by an online outfit when they went under a couple of years ago - only consumer goods now (although they only had a very small component range for some years before going bust anyway).

In addition to Jaycar, we also have Altronics (local Oz company, not the US one) who are still going strong.

Mouser and Digikey are starting to push a bit more in Oz, but you have to watch their freight charges.

I also buy from RS, especially if I need to know exactly what I'm getting and need it in a hurry (I kept my company structure when I retired for places like this), otherwise non urgent generic stuff comes off Ebay and such similar sites.
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Old 23rd Feb 2018, 11:03 am   #124
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Default Re: Maplin stores

I've never really lived close enough to a Maplin store to ever use them, although 30 years ago I used to regularly order from their catalogue by post, and used to enjoy reading through the catalogue to see what kits and things were available.

As others have said - the shift away from the electronics hobby business to general electronic products and toys was inevitable as society changed. And like various other retailers that were eminently suited to a move to online sales, they failed to do it well and so haven't had the transfer of business that could have kept them going.

For the last 10-15 years I've generally ordered from RS or CPC and taken delivery the next day, which works fine and there's way more range and often lower prices than Maplin ever had.

Then I switched to getting things from Amazon and eBay as often less common items were easier to find. Often I've had things arrive from Amazon on the same day.

More recently I tend to get components and modules direct from Chinese internet retailers such as Gearbest and Banggood. The prices are usually 30-50% of the price of the same thing from UK if you don't mind waiting a couple of weeks for delivery.

I think Maplin's failure to adapt to a changing demand and shopping culture has meant that it's been heading towards this point for some time.
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Old 23rd Feb 2018, 11:26 am   #125
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Quote:
Originally Posted by richrussell View Post
I think Maplin's failure to adapt to a changing demand and shopping culture has meant that it's been heading towards this point for some time.
That pretty much sums it up: truth is they're never going to get rich out of us hobbyist-types who might visit at most a couple of times a month to buy 7 of resistors/capacitors a banana-plug and a couple of BC108s. The cost of renting/heating/staffing a store - even in an out-of-town location - is really quite silly [not helped by recent increases in business-rates, minimum-wage, workplace-pensions etc] and to cover that you need a good turnover of high-profit high-value stuff.

RS, CPC, Farnell, Rapid, Mouser, Conrad, Digi-Key, all have a vastly better range of stuff, delivered quickly (a fiver for next-day courier delivery's fine by me - it's less than the cost of the Diesel it'd take me to drive to/from the nearest Maplin!).

I've also recently found Bitsbox - https://www.bitsbox.co.uk/ - who have a reasonable collection of stuff.

It'll be sad to see Maplin go (or drastically downsize) but that's evolution: no business has an innate and enduring right to survive after all.
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Old 23rd Feb 2018, 5:10 pm   #126
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Quote:
Originally Posted by sortedradio View Post
It can be anytime next day depending on the courier's round.
My RS order arrived today within the one hour time window predicted on the Parcelforce website. The price was the same (within a few pence) of the best I could find on eBay but that only included second class Royal Mail delivery.

I'm probably even closer to a Parcelforce depot than Chris Wood, though sadly I seem to be near the end of the route rather than the beginning!
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Old 23rd Feb 2018, 7:58 pm   #127
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldcodger View Post
...folks who don't know an electrolytic from a tant.
But aren't tantalum capacitors electrolytic anyway? Perhaps you intended to say "who don't know an aluminium electrolytic from a tantalum one"? Ok, I'll admit to being a pedant...
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Old 23rd Feb 2018, 8:03 pm   #128
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Default Re: Maplin stores

The 'best' version of that that I was involved in was when somebody (not on this forum) said 'He doesn't know a pentode from a NAND gate'. I pointed out that a pentode where the third grid could be use as a contol grid, like the 6F33, essentially _was_ a NAND gate.

Getting back on-topic-ish, I've had a couple of issues with RS recently. Specifically that items were said to be in stock for next day delivery on the website when I placed the order, but when I get the confirmation e-mail several hours later, they have a long (several months) lead time. Annoying as I could probably have found something else to do the job if I had known. The other annoyance is that some items are not available at trade counters. I can understand things like 43U rack cabinets (the trade counter probably doesn't have space to store it) but neon panel indicators Surely if they can send them to me, they could send them to a trade counter.
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Old 23rd Feb 2018, 8:07 pm   #129
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Default Re: Maplin stores

NOR gate I think.
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Old 23rd Feb 2018, 8:08 pm   #130
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It depends on what you call a '1' and a '0' ('Positve logic' .vs. 'Negative logic')

(Yes, I am a pedant too...)
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Old 23rd Feb 2018, 8:56 pm   #131
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I do normally try my local Maplin store first (it's only a 10 min cycle ride away) but it is sad to see how the size of the catalogue has diminished over the years. I guess it's a reflection of how much modern stuff is difficult to repair unless you have a binocular microscope workstation. They don't do cassette drive belts any more (understandably), but last month I ordered the ones I needed from CPC and they came by post in only a couple of days.
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Old 23rd Feb 2018, 9:47 pm   #132
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Default Re: Maplin stores

I'm a regular visitor to my local store, for bits and bobs. I often, um, "upsell" myself. Popped in for a click and collect of low value, end up buying a gigabit switch as well or something. But I appreciate this doesn't really a successful business make, in general.

I remain baffled as to why their website, a key sales and marketing tool, is so incomprehensibly bad. They actually "upgraded" it less than a year ago and the capacity to actually find anything on it actually managed to get even worse. Whatever numpty thinks I want to scroll through every possible resistor looking for 1k, with the choice of selecting by how many stars they have needs shooting. That alone must cost them a lot of sales. That and only having one or two of anything in stock.

They're a long way from their heyday, but the world has changed. But if they go down I will miss having a shop to go in. Some things are quite difficult to choose without seeing them e.g. little plastic boxes for projects, or switches that you want to fit some particular physical situation. That, and the shop is much quicker than delivery, particularly when it's Friday to Sunday and you just want a bit of heatshrink.
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Old 23rd Feb 2018, 10:01 pm   #133
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Agreed the indexes of both the paper catalogue and the on-line search engine, are less than ideal. I wanted some heatshrink sleeving, and drew a complete blank. They call it "Heatshrink Tube".
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Old 23rd Feb 2018, 10:56 pm   #134
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Default Re: Maplin stores

emeritusd- at risk of going OT, it's worth keeping tabs on Aldi. Every so often they stick in boxes of items . And Heatshrink in short length in various sizes, in a plastic case is one of these .
As for the paper catalogue, in days gone past, it was worth the cost, as it was more of a parts bible than anything else. On line, I must admit is now better than it used to be. At one time search for a 10uF /16v cap and the result was almost all the electrolytics held in stock. And then, unless you searched with a fine tooth comb, it took hours to find the one you wanted. Local store manager told me that he'd complained vigorously with no result, and urged customers to make a complaint.
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 9:43 am   #135
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Default Re: Maplin stores

It's incomprehensible to me why so many websites - not only Maplin's - are so bad.
There must surely be a de facto standard by now for translating a website query into an SQL search or similar.
The obvious workaround is to use an internet search engine. Type 'Maplin 1uF 16V' into Google, and it returns the best matches, which are easily sorted manually by the brief extracts provided.
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 10:43 am   #136
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Default Re: Maplin stores

It was a different story just three years ago:

https://www.retailgazette.co.uk/blog...th-for-maplin/
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 12:00 pm   #137
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Quote:
Originally Posted by David G4EBT View Post
It was a different story just three years ago:

https://www.retailgazette.co.uk/blog...th-for-maplin/
Sadly it seems that the word 'story' was the right one. I went on a 'media relations' course at work quite a while ago and we had a talk from a journalist. She explained pretty firmly that press stories weren't called stories for no reason .

VB
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 2:23 pm   #138
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Fopp's website is fairly useless, considering they stock more special interest items & don't have that many stores around.
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 2:40 pm   #139
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Who are Fopp?
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 7:29 pm   #140
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Default Re: Maplin stores

http://www.fopp.com/

Perhaps?
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