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18-May-2015 15:22

); every species of wire and connector you've ever seen, as well as a multitude of semiconductor devices and used vacuum tubes.

On the mechanical side it's harder to characterize: Paint cans full of 7/8" ball bearing balls, casters and wheels and aluminum tubing, scrap PC board, rolls of thin foam plastic, chunks of Bakelite, some gears and bearing assemblies, and a great deal of stuff of unkown origin that simply defies description.

Larger items are marked, and they don't seem priced to move.

I was especially disappointed by the high prices on panel meters. Miller 4.5 MHz TV sound system coils for .50 each, and that was jack-fine, given that AES charges each for the same coils.

Most large cities have one; in Phoenix it was Apache Reclamation and Electronics, and in Chicago there were several, most of them now long gone.

(Anybody remember Gemco on West Madison just east of the River?

) My EE friend George Ott had been patiently cajoling me to go over there, even drawing maps so I wouldn't miss it, but with a fellow nerd like Pete in town it was the most natural tourist destination you could name. It really is (or was) a grocery supermarket years ago, and the original shelves and aisles are still there.

However, instead of being stocked with Cheerios and canned beans, they're stocked with resistors, capacitors, coils, and transformers; decrepit, defunct or obsolete computers and midlate 1990s software (Borland Quattro!

Any year you learn something is a good year, and this has been a good year.Let me list a few of the things that I learned (or re-learned) in 2005: Earlier today, Pete and I went up to OEM Parts, the Colorado Springs electronics and industrial surplus junkhouse.