Located where I am there is a limited number of places you can walk into and browse around looking for unique and interesting items related to the electrical/electronics trade. Sometimes the best items I find are when I am at work and there is stuff heading to the garbage after a retro or upgrade. I've saved quite a number of good items from the landfill over the years...well, good to me.
Recently I was in Orlando, Florida on vacation with my family. After a few days of the "magic" of Disney I was ready to hit the reset button and find something that was more my kind of magic. I took a search on the 'net and found it - Skycraft Parts and Surplus. When you see a place with a flying saucer on the roof how can you go wrong?
I spent 2 hours going through this place and I could've spent another 2, easy. Rows and rows of stuff that is neatly arranged considering the volume of small parts and components. It's one of those places that people like me enjoy because you never know what you might find. Unfortunately, I doubt I will be getting back there anytime soon.
Anyone else know of stores similar to this in Canada or the US? The next time I go on vacation it would be great to have a one-stop place to look up those hidden gems like Skycraft. You never know, I might be on vacation close by and once again need a vacation from the vacation.
I purchased some run-of-the-mill parts that I knew I would use. For example, I bought a couple add-ons for an Arduino that included a Wi-Fi shield and PIR sensor. Plus I bought a couple of low power laser diodes and digital DC voltage displays. All very small items that were in packages with labels which I didn't think would give me any grief when going through border security at the airport. I am not a seasoned traveller when it comes to flying/border crossing and I wasn't sure what items could raise eyebrows with security. For example, I remembered a discussion at work where someone said bringing transducers across the border is a bad idea. I never took the time to research that statement because it was long before I ever expected to be travelling to Florida. So once I found myself at Skycraft I decided to play it safe.
Now, if a store like that existed in my home town, or even a couple towns away from home, then I would likely have a much more exciting list of purchases.
If I talked to my grand kids they would not imagine an audio recorder that used tape (what is tape?) and the idea that it would not fit in their pocket would baffle them. They brought me a VHS tape and asked what it was for. The 8 track I came up with really had them going. "This big and only 12 songs"?
Their cheap cell phone is an audio player, video camera/player, game boy and it also makes phone calls with no wires.
It's always an adventure going through the oddball stuff in their stores...including their off-the-wall descriptions like this one for a scissors designed to cut stiches:
"Suture Self "Or unsuture self, actually, with this pair of 4-1/2" long stainless steel suture scissors. Fulcrum is 1-1/4" from the tip. What makes them suture scissors is the little hook in the bottom blade, for getting under and lifting the stitch, but there's no law that says you can't cut anything else with them."