UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Powered By Google Custom Search Vintage Radio and TV Service Data

Go Back   UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Discussion Forum > General Vintage Technology > Where To Get Sets and Parts

Notices

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).

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 6th Jun 2020, 11:30 am   #661
BRASSBITS
Hexode
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 335
Default Re: Maplin stores

I never understood the gift voucher thing, my gift vouchers have a picture of the queen on them and are redeemable anywhere.
BRASSBITS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th Jun 2020, 12:45 pm   #662
Station X
Moderator
 
Station X's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4, UK.
Posts: 18,492
Default Re: Maplin stores

Some people consider it vulgar to give cash as a gift. It's also not a good idea to send cash in the post.
__________________
Graham. Forum Moderator

Keep the soldering iron hot.
Station X is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th Jun 2020, 1:02 pm   #663
ThePillenwerfer
Octode
 
ThePillenwerfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 1,411
Default Re: Maplin stores

If a gift voucher goes AWOL in the normal post the GPO won't pay out compensation in they same way they wouldn't if a bank note did.
ThePillenwerfer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th Jun 2020, 1:15 pm   #664
Station X
Moderator
 
Station X's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4, UK.
Posts: 18,492
Default Re: Maplin stores

I know from experience that bank notes go missing in the post. Apparently it's quite easy to detect them in an envelope. As a previous poster said, you can use them anywhere.

Gift cards don't have the same attraction.
__________________
Graham. Forum Moderator

Keep the soldering iron hot.
Station X is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th Jun 2020, 7:46 am   #665
chriswood1900
Octode
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bristol, UK.
Posts: 1,169
Default Are you missing Maplins?

I believe today is the second anniversary of final demise of Maplins, I was wondering if people missed them, how they are managing now and who they now use as suppliers. Whilst in my view they were in decline for many years losing their appeal to the hobbyist, I still popped in for the odd component. For at least the last 30 years I have had a Maplins within 2 miles of my home and constructed many projects from kits and designs of theirs. I am now mainly using RS and Farnells supplemented by Ebay, but Maplins were useful being able to buy in small quantities whereas I find with the like of RS that transistor you want is only available in 50s so Iím building up stocks more than I want!

How are others managing?
__________________
Chris Wood
BVWS Member
chriswood1900 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th Jun 2020, 8:18 am   #666
philthespark
Pentode
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside, UK.
Posts: 158
Default Re: Are you missing Maplins?

I never really used Maplins except in an emergency, I begrudged paying stupid prices for stuff, for example, 1 red plastic phono plug, Maplin price 99P, CPC price, 10 for 99P.
A small pack of resistors would cost about a pound, yet at CPC I could get a pack of 100 for a pound. I would rather have stock lying about spare than pay over the odds for something, there's a pretty good chance that if I need lets say 1 phono plug today, I will need more in the future.
philthespark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th Jun 2020, 8:21 am   #667
rontech
Heptode
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Southport, Merseyside, UK.
Posts: 574
Default Re: Are you missing Maplins?

I have got used to the absence of Maplin. I think one of their problems was having too many stores. I am close to Liverpool and they had a store in a prime city centre location and two more in the outer suburbs.

I now use mostly Cricklewood and CPC ( Preston ). There are also a good number of small companies for hardware like BA nuts/bolts
__________________
Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana
rontech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th Jun 2020, 8:25 am   #668
Malcolm G6ANZ
Heptode
 
Malcolm G6ANZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Bristol, UK.
Posts: 868
Default Re: Are you missing Maplins?

I found Maplin useful to get hardware such as boxes and connectors, DIN phono etc. They weren't cheap but local and quick. I never bothered trying to get components from them, I once asked for 6 x 0.1uF caps only to be told that they only keep 2 in stock at any one time. The same for resistors.
I now use the internet for components be it eBay, amazon or one of the major suppliers.
Malcolm G6ANZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th Jun 2020, 8:30 am   #669
stevehertz
Dekatron
 
stevehertz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Rugeley, Staffordshire, UK.
Posts: 5,534
Default Re: Are you missing Maplins?

Yes, very handy for my hobbies, interests and needs when I just needed to jump in the car and buy it 'today'.
__________________
A digital radio is the latest thing, but a vintage wireless is forever..
stevehertz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th Jun 2020, 8:32 am   #670
PsychMan
Octode
 
PsychMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Fleet, Hampshire, UK
Posts: 1,677
Default Re: Are you missing Maplins?

Not really. Its forced me to order online and pay much cheaper prices, exercise a bit of patience, and plan better.

Even when I did use Maplin i'd wait at the parts counter for several minutes, sometimes I would have to go and find the staff to help... And sometimes a part the web site claimed they had wasn't in stock. Might sound harsh but - Good riddance!
PsychMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th Jun 2020, 8:35 am   #671
barrymagrec
Octode
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Morden, Surrey, UK.
Posts: 1,210
Default Re: Are you missing Maplins?

Maplins were handy when I was working in central London as they had a shop just a hundred yards away in Tottenham Court Road which was good if you needed something quickly and didn`t want to wait for RS the next day - other than that I`ve never used them.
barrymagrec is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th Jun 2020, 8:36 am   #672
turretslug
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Surrey, UK.
Posts: 3,845
Default Re: Are you missing Maplins?

I miss the Maplin of 40-odd years ago, but not what they had latterly turned into and their demise barely figured in my thoughts. I'd long replaced them with the likes of Farnell, then eBay added to the sourcing diversity- caveat emptor for sure, but there are plenty of willing little vendors there with the NOS, wire-ended, HV, whatever stuff that the big operators are featuring less of. OK, Maplins meant that you could have it today- but I've also ordered stuff from Farnell late in the afternoon and had a Bruges-stock package turn up next morning.
turretslug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th Jun 2020, 8:37 am   #673
M0FYA Andy
Nonode
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Preston, Lancashire, UK.
Posts: 2,254
Default Re: Are you missing Maplins?

I used Maplins only occasionally, the thing which annoyed me most was the lack of product knowledge by the staff. The last thing I bought before they closed was a dongle to convert a VCR output into something my computer could recognise. They had one at about £30 and another at over £100. The assistant couldn't explain what the expensive one offered over the cheaper one, other than 'it must be better'! Needless to say I bought the cheap one.

Andy
M0FYA Andy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th Jun 2020, 8:39 am   #674
bobbyball
Octode
 
bobbyball's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Stockport, Greater Manchester
Posts: 1,141
Default Re: Are you missing Maplins?

The local store was just up the road from my work and I often used the "click and collect" feature, and got to know some of the staff quite well.

The problem with the company was that is was loaded with debt by it's owners and had a particularly rubbish website - the "search" was hopeless.

Much missed.
__________________
Robert
bobbyball is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th Jun 2020, 8:44 am   #675
philthespark
Pentode
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside, UK.
Posts: 158
Default Re: Are you missing Maplins?

I have never been able to understand electronics, as a qualified electrician some people find this hard to understand, probably because they don't understand the difference between electrics and electronics. we used to say that an electrician works with relatively low voltages but high currents whereas in electronics you work with higher voltages but lower currents.
I had a friend at school who was brilliant at electronics, he tried to teach me but failed miserably, I think part of my problem was a lack of freely available clear information, yes there were books about, but most of them didn't explain stuff properly, yes they would tell you how to connect say for example a 555 chip, but very often they didn't tell you what pin 1 did, or what happened if you connected say a 1K resistor to it rather than the specified 1.5K. What probably didn't help me either was that I tended to try and run before I could walk! Why build a circuit to flash 2 lights alternatively when you could build a computer?
Anyway recently while being off work I ordered nearly a hundred quids worth of stuff of cpc, transistors, resistors, capacitors, all sorts I even bought a breadboard as well and some veroboard, I was going to give it another go. I downloaded some simple drawings and set to work, the other night I was really pleased with myself, I built a simple circuit, it just flashes two LED's alternately, nothing special, but it works, and I built it. I also have a better understanding now of how components work and what happens if you start altering the values. I am now looking at my next project, this one is going to involve transistors!
I didn't imagine that at 55 years of age I would get excited over a few small bits of metal and plastic. lol
philthespark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th Jun 2020, 9:03 am   #676
Backtoreality
Hexode
 
Backtoreality's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Ossett, West Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 315
Default Re: Are you missing Maplins?

Well I don't know about missing Maplin as a whole but I do miss being able to pop into my local store when I need the odd component. The staff were always very friendly and tried to be helpful but there was only one of them who had any idea about individual components. I was shocked a few years ago when I bought a ferrite rod aerial and a germanium diode but couldn't buy a variable capacitor of any kind and none of the staff actually knew what one was! I bought a load of stuff when they were closing down but I'll probably end up disposing of most of it on this forum. (Two baskets of anything for a fiver on the last day!) They were expensive for a lot of things but a lot of ordinary folk found them useful and if the successive owners hadn't loaded the company with the cost of buying it they would still be operating. As it was despite making a profit the company wasn't able to make a big enough profit to service the interest payments on the debt. A bit like when Manchester United was bought by the Americans but Maplin wasn't Manchester United!
David
Backtoreality is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th Jun 2020, 9:27 am   #677
TALKINGWITHPYE
Pentode
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Carrickfergus, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, UK.
Posts: 102
Default Re: Are you missing Maplins?

Yes I miss Maplins, mainly for the ability to actually see the size of items you were likely to buy. There was a branch close to my work location which was useful. I do agree that it was a bit pricey. There were a few good electronic junk shops in Belfast when I was growing up and I spent many happy Saturdays in them but they went down the chute mainly due to retirement. Now I use ebay and CPC but it was nice to be able to see the actual item in your hand before you made up your mind as to whether or not to buy.
TALKINGWITHPYE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th Jun 2020, 9:47 am   #678
Richard_FM
Octode
 
Richard_FM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Stockport, Cheshire, UK.
Posts: 1,600
Default Re: Are you missing Maplins?

I used their shops in Stockport and Marple a few times over the years. When I first started using them in the mid 1990s it seemed just right, with a limited number of smallish shops and a catalogue, with the option to mail order.

It's a shame their later owners invested too much in bricks & mortar shops instead of developing an efficient online service that could also offer a click & collect to their existing shops.

I remember the Stockport outlet moved from a smallish shop to a big unit in an edge of town development.

The Huddersfield shop was the size of a small supermarket, or "nerd heaven" as my then girlfriend called it when we had a look round!

I've still got a 2004 catalogue that shows they still had a decent mix of components and "out the box" products.
__________________
Hello IT: Have you Tried Turning It Off & On Again?
Richard_FM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th Jun 2020, 10:13 am   #679
Welsh Anorak
Dekatron
 
Welsh Anorak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: North Wales, UK.
Posts: 5,592
Default Re: Are you missing Maplins?

I agree with post#8 - it turned into something else many years ago. I remember as a teenager, before they diversified into shops, ordering things from Southend and being so excitied when the big parcel arrived. I could only dream of making their audio mixer, but did use some of their parts such as peak LED meters and headphone amplifiers to customise my homebrew attempts. In my house in the Eighties I built and installed a complicated Maplin control panel to turn lights and various things on and off at preset times. I wonder if the small relay boxes are still there or whether a puzzled electrician wondered what on earth they were?
Like others have mentioned, I visited their shop occasionally if I needed a part straight away for a local job. I regarded it as you would the corner shop - expensive but convenient, though avoiding all the remote control helicopters and computer dongles to find an RF connector could be tedious!
__________________
Glyn
www.gdelectronics.wales
Welsh Anorak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th Jun 2020, 10:21 am   #680
TonyDuell
Dekatron
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Biggin Hill, London, UK.
Posts: 4,297
Default Re: Are you missing Maplins?

Just yesterday I was thinking 'Oh how I miss Maplin'. I needed to make up some cables for an ancient EPROM programmer (RS232, video and cassette). Maplin would have sold all the connectors and more importantly they sold cable by the metre. Fortunately I had some offcuts of the right cables in the junk box (probably from Maplin originally) but what I do next time I need some I don't know. I can't afford or store reels of every cable I sometimes use.

There were 4 Maplin shops that I could get to easily by bus from here. Normally going round several of them got me all I needed.

But I agree that Maplin were much more interesting for us about 30 years ago. Alas back then I couldn't afford all the kits I would have liked (I did build just about every one of their ISA cards, some of the home computer add-ons, the Nicam TV tuner/decoder and some others, but I wish I could have afforded/justified the Maplin modem (an interesting bit of history IMHO), the telephone exchange, the weather satellite receiver/decoder/display, etc, etc, etc).
TonyDuell is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools



All times are GMT. The time now is 6:45 am.


All information and advice on this forum is subject to the WARNING AND DISCLAIMER located at https://www.vintage-radio.net/rules.html.
Failure to heed this warning may result in death or serious injury to yourself and/or others.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2002 - 2021, Paul Stenning.