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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 3rd Mar 2018, 4:42 pm   #221
TonyDuell
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Default Re: Maplin stores

I am (was?) lucky as there are 4 Maplin shops (Bromley, Orpington, Charlton, Crayford) that are easy for me to get to. And one thing on the Maplin website that seems to work is finding which (if any) shops near you have the part in stock. I don't drive, so I buy a London bus pass anyway, as a result it doesn't cost me anything other than time to go to any of those shops.

I must have spent a couple of hundred pounds with them over the last year on connectors, boxes, switches, ICs, cable, etc. I suspect I bought up the last local stocks of some ICs and crystals (they would say they had 8 in stock and I would say that I would buy all 8). But that is nowhere near enough to keep a company going.

If Maplin go to mail order (or order on the web and collect from a shop in a couple of days) for components then, alas, I won't deal with them. There would be no point. Might as well do an RS order.
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 6:42 pm   #222
emeritus
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Default Re: Maplin stores

The last major item I bought from Maplin was last autumn, a Western Digital 1TB hard disc drive for my laptop. The original one had developed a fault in the area used to boot it up, but the data was all ok when I put in a USB docking station and accessed it via another PC. I could probably have got one cheaper on line but I wanted to get mine going again ASAP. We have previously bought several external hard drives from them. The ability to take faulty items back to a local shop outweighed cost considerations (not that this was an issue as it turned out).
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 8:26 pm   #223
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Quote:
Originally Posted by IanBland View Post
We tried to think of something you should build and the best we could come up with was a specialised power supply.
I built a magnetic cartridge pre-amp with no equalization for digitizing 78s. All the commercial ones seemed to come with built-in RIAA which is guaranteed to be wrong. All the parts came from China however.
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 11:38 pm   #224
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Default Re: Maplin stores

The last thing I bought from Maplin was a rotating disco light for our lads 6th birthday. We actually gave him one for the previous Christmas but it didn't work so had to go back to the shop and they had no more stock so we got the money refunded and bought another a few months later.

I've probably spent a couple of hundred pounds over the last year on things that Maplin should have been able to supply but, because they mainly concentrate right at the bottom of the market, I had to go elsewhere (mainly CPC) to find the slightly better quality that I was looking for.
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Old 3rd Mar 2018, 11:51 pm   #225
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Bigger items: PC RX470 graphics card, wireless router, gigabit switch. Surprisingly decent cheap soldering iron. Bits: veroboard, ICs, switches, couple of placky boxes, pots, caps, transistors, etc etc. Heatshrink, hookup wire. Set of Velleman ceramic caps. Can of Servisol. Three breadboards.

As I said before, I would have spent a lot more if they'd got the stock. Also a helping hands doodad which was disappointingly naff.

My other sources are mainly Farnell and Bright Components (great for job lots of LEDs, IC sockets, KK type connectors, etc.). Occasional eBay and even Amazon, also.
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Old 4th Mar 2018, 9:07 am   #226
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Default Re: Maplin stores

I tend to buy service parts such as American plugs for radios, 6xAA battery holders to replace PP9s and servisol/isopropanol, I rarely buy big items unless it is for the nephews. If the stores are to close, I had better get in some stock to keep me going. The Bath branch opened within weeks of Hanneys closing about eight years ago, it would be a sad loss and would probably become one of those beastly "nail bars" or betting shops.
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Old 4th Mar 2018, 11:02 am   #227
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Default Re: Maplin stores

I've not been a loyal customer for a good number of years, for a good number of reasons.

Our local moved to a retail park, now a 90 minute round trip only to discover their hopeless website, is also inaccurate, but 'they can order the bits for me & I can collect in store to avoid the extra postage'!

As others have said, I've dabbled with Rapberry Pi, my last effort a real corker, but Maplin only had some of the bits required, half of which, mail order.

Passing by the store 3 years ago, I know, I'll nip in since my Roberts R707 is due a set of batteries ..... At £9.99 each, the two stocked cells remained on the shelves! (Wilko's were selling Varta for £1.99 at that time). Browsing further revealed a toy shop with vastly overpriced phono sockets, switches, wire, heatshrink, switch cleaner et al, as for discrete components, slim chance.

A shame, when I was at college, you could design a stereo amplifier, nip to Maplin who would have all items in stock, plus things you hadn't considered feasible for a homebrew project, like back-lit VU meters!

Ho-hum,

Mark
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Old 4th Mar 2018, 11:34 am   #228
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Over the years I have built quite a few of the kits and projects they offered. The catalogue had pages and pages dedicated to them. They always offered data sheets and more than enough info to get it working. The PCBs were decent quality too. Ambit/Cirkit were another favourite hunting ground for me in earlier times. Again, always supported by decent catalogues full of data. I think this was a marketing ploy which worked. Knowing full well that people such as me would see a data sheet and this would often plant the seed for the next project, which was conveniently supplied by them. I am as guilty as the next person for the use it or lose it thing. Although I would say that I still spent about £100 over a typical year in the shop, although it was generally a visit only when I happened to be passing, rather than making a dedicated round trip of fifty miles. I now have a favourite "local" supplier, ESR Components in Cullercoats. A real old style component shop, although again I normally only pop in while visiting family in the area.
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Old 4th Mar 2018, 12:51 pm   #229
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Default Re: Maplin stores

I've just had a look at ESR component's photos on the web

Superb!

Next trip South, I need to plan the timing for a little diversion.

Maybe we should have a thread for surviving component shops? It would be more value than the one on vanished ones.

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Old 4th Mar 2018, 12:58 pm   #230
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Default Re: Maplin stores

What a good idea, a list of shops that still sell components etc.
Cheers
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Old 4th Mar 2018, 3:27 pm   #231
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Default Re: Maplin stores

There is a "Recommended Component Supplies" sticky at the top of this section. Sadly a lot of the places mentioned have ceased trading in recent times.
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Old 4th Mar 2018, 3:40 pm   #232
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Thank you for that, I should have been more observant.
Cheers
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Old 5th Mar 2018, 8:40 am   #233
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Default Re: Maplin stores

I'm just catching up with Young Sheldon [prequel to the Big Bang Theory] Thursdays 8-30pm E4 repeated Monday-Ep 2 tonight. In the course of this interesting Maplin discussion the US Tandy and Radio Shack chains have been mentioned with a sense of nostalgia while "The Times they Are A Changing" has also come up. Coincidentally, in episode one the nine year old Sheldon is persuaded to not wear a bow tie, as he enters Junior High School a couple of years early, by his mother who promises a weekend visit to Radio Shack-his very favourite thing! The last scene is them arriving at the "store". Sheldon gazes in wonder at the frontage, turns to his mother and says "In a world of uncertainty, it's good to know that this will always be here!"

Apart from being very funny and insightful this episode illustrates and establishes so well the difficulties that may be experienced by anyone on the autistic spectrum in relation to sensory overload or perhaps working out how to respond to the world around us on a daily basis. Generally though, it's just clever and so slyly funny!

Dave W

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Old 5th Mar 2018, 10:50 am   #234
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Maplins have 200 stores and 2500 staff, many staff probably part time. I cannot see component sales making enough money while being competitive to pay the wages, rent and rates etc.
I am no business person so I am probably wrong but the successful component suppliers, RS, Farnell, CPC and a few others have few or no shops, I would also think less staff.

I do not see a future for just component sales for Maplins in its present guise, what they could sell to stay afloat I donít know. Perhaps a few shops where trade has held up and an excellent mail order/ web site.

Number of visits to Maplins in the last 12 months, zero. It must be 4 years since I last used them.
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Old 5th Mar 2018, 11:04 am   #235
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Default Re: Maplin stores

RS is huge compared to Maplin. Half a million products and nearly 6000 staff!

This is the problem though. They supply industry with that staffing, not consumers. Consumers don't buy their stuff.

Last edited by MrBungle; 5th Mar 2018 at 11:11 am.
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Old 5th Mar 2018, 11:38 am   #236
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Default Re: Maplin stores

This consumer has started buying their stuff, after recommendations from other people here. I imagine they are also consumers or small traders and not buying in industrial quantities.

I guess we're piggy-backing on what is really there for industrial customers but RS et al don't mind as long as they at least cover their costs.

Didn't Maplin attempt to enter the industrial market with Maplin Professional Supplies a decade or two ago?
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Old 5th Mar 2018, 11:51 am   #237
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Yes that's about it. I think it's a good business model. Some of the smaller customers like ourselves are likely professional engineers during the day with significant purchasing decisions or by word of mouth, as this demonstrates, very happy to recommend them.

MPS died and was turned into Maplin B2B. This was for people who operated purchase orders and accounts only really. I've never heard of a customer in the wild!
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Old 5th Mar 2018, 12:42 pm   #238
ThePillenwerfer
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Default Re: Maplin stores

I was an MPS customer. I think the postage was less than on Maplin orders and you definitely got a free catalogue.
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Old 5th Mar 2018, 1:00 pm   #239
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Default Re: Maplin stores

On the goods purchased figures given in the posts so far its hardly surprising that they are going under.
Taken all together they don't amount to a days wages in one shop, with 200 is a disaster.
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Old 5th Mar 2018, 7:45 pm   #240
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Default Re: Maplin stores

Ominously our local Maplins has a hoarding out front "For Sale Warehouse and Trade Counter"
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