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Nice to see RadioShack continuing its re-embrace of the DIY scene! They’re sponsoring a hackerspace challenge between Ace Monster Toys and Artisan’s Asylum.

In the spirit of friendly competition, RadioShack challenged two DIY enthusiast groups known as hackerspaces—one on each coast—to build something cool out of everyday stuff. The rules were simple: use parts from RadioShack, including an Arduino (an inexpensive programmable device that can be used for all sorts of interesting interactive projects).

Our two teams come from the Ace Monster Toys hackerspace in Oakland, California, and Artisan’s Asylum in Somerville, Massachusetts (just outside Boston). Each team was given a $250 RadioShack gift card and one month to dream up, design and build their project. They both did an amazing job and used parts they found at RadioShack in unique and creative ways…. The winning team will receive $1000 and one lucky voter will receive a $1000 RadioShack Gift Card!

That’s right, just by voting for one of the two contestants gives you a chance at a big honkin’ gift card. Woot! [via Adafruit]

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net


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Comments

  1. chuck says:

    I’m glad Radio Shack is making an effort to reach out to the DIY scene again but it will take more than a marketing campaign to get us back. I sent my wife to pick up some basic components yesterday. At the first Radio Shack she was greeted by a salesman. When she told him she was looking for some diodes and pots and such he said ‘good luck- I don’t know anything about that stuff’ and walked away. She went back to the drawers and could only find two of the three pots I needed, and none of the transistors. She had to make two stops and still didn’t find everything I needed. This happens every time I go there. A quick trip to the Shack turns into a long trip to several locations trying to find what I need. Limited stock and selection paired with a clueless staff does not fill me with confidence. If I can’t find what I want easily, ask questions and get some one-on-one support why am I not just shopping at Mouser and saving money?

  2. Don says:

    It would be nice to see Radio Shack REALLY pursue the DIY market. That’s their roots. Unfortunately it appears to be all marketing with no substance. They still don’t carry much for components, and what they do is so overpriced it’s absurd. Maybe I’m just being nostalgic but it was Radio Shack and Heathkit catalogs that spurred my interest in electronics. I doubt they will ever return to those days! I seldom even think of them anymore when it comes to buying components, but yet it will be sad to see them go.

    1. McNugget says:

      No kidding. Sure, some of their stores now have a single arduino or propeller dev board on the shelf, but that’s about it, and at a 50%-100% premium. In fact I was in 2 RS stores earlier this week because I needed a couple of very common components in a major hurry; not only were their prices beyond absurd, but the service ranged from incompetent to downright diy hostile.
      At the first one I went to they only had two of one component I was looking for, but I needed three of them. I asked they guy if they had one more in back and was told, quite disgustedly, “we’re not a parts store, you should go somewhere else for that kind of stuff.” So i left.
      At the second one I was accosted by a staffer at the door asking if I needed any help. I asked her if they had the part I was looking for, to which she replied, “um, I’m not sure? but would you like to hear about our deals on cell phones?”
      FFFFFFFFFFFUUUUU-
      at least that location did have the parts. I do wish Make would stop whoring for these jackasses and their P.R. hacks.

      1. Stacy says:

        I just quit working there… They don’t teach their employees anything about parts. They just force you to learn everything you can about how to persuade people into buying phones and electronics. They make a lot more money off of those items and that is because they offer them at WAY lower prices than anywhere else. If you do not make the quota you get fired. End of story. You are supposed to sell a phone to everyone who walks in the door and if you don’t sell that phone with at least $20 worth of accessories (cases,chargers,headphones,whatever) you get in trouble. Its a huge competition. Oh yeah, same goes with batteries. Their biggest focus is selling phones, batteries, and re arranging and repricing the entire store every week. Maybe they should work on teaching their employees what everything in the store is and how to decide how to make the customer happy, rather than moving the product one peg over.

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