Technology

Radio Shack Blog Post: Amy and Lauren Recap Maker Faire

I really enjoyed meeting the Radio Shack folks at Maker Faire Bay Area. They seemed genuinely interested in understanding the needs of makers and trying to stock the types of products that we might want. We’re looking forward to working with them in the future. The team that was at the Faire did a few videos and a blog report about their experiences.

More:
Radio Shack Decides It Loves DIYers After All

28 thoughts on “Radio Shack at the Faire

  1. Good for Radio Shack!  My local store’s doubled their hobby electronics stock in the past few months.  You can’t get everything there, but it’s a good start.

  2. Hearing that Radio Shack might be a local retail DIY store makes me want to drive to the closest one and talk tech with them. ..But last time I asked after some components, they were very honest in telling me that weren’t familiar with that section of the store.

    My hope is that they can draw enthusiastic hobbyists in for employment. If you staff and stock it, we will come — and our appetite for repeat visits can be voracious.

  3. A Radio Shack product marketing manager is learning to solder for the first time? While I’m glad that Radio Shack is targeting the DIY community, this just shows how far they have to go.

    1. Well Christian, we all have to start somewhere! One day at a time… This experience at Maker Faire was in my first month on the job. I chose to be the marketer on this product line to learn something completely new and to challenge me. I decided to eagerly dive right in at the event, and I thought learning how to solder would be the best place to start. What do you think I should be learning on my next steps to becoming a technical enthusiast?

      1. It depends somewhat on your interests.

        There’s experimenting with LEDs and clothing, jewelry, hats, shoes, etc. Requires artistic skills.

        There’s collecting and disassembling random broken household electronics. May lead to fixing them.

        There’s experimenting with Arduinos – which involves programming.

        There’s more mechanically oriented things like clockworks.

        And there’s the overlap of the last two in robotics.

        There are plenty of other areas, but the above can all we explored well just with the contents of my local Radio Shack.

        If I had one hope for Radio Shack, it would revolve around promoting kits – and possibly requesting or designing new ones. Things like the simple $20 Radio Shack universal remote could be more “Maker Friendly” by either providing programming details, or offering “Plastic shell, buttons, provide-your-own-micro” style kits. The same basic parts can get to the functionality of the $100+ remotes with just a tiny bit of “openness”.

        1. Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll have dig further into each to see where my interests lie. I did venture over to the MakerShed to check out the Arduino kits and was intrigued. Make’s article on the microcontroller phenom was a good read, but a beginner’s guide would be a MUST in my case. Given my recent soldering-relationship with LEDs, I think adhering them onto my clothing would be a reasonable next step.

        2. Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll have dig further into each to see where my interests lie. I did venture over to the MakerShed to check out the Arduino kits and was intrigued. Make’s article on the microcontroller phenom was a good read, but a beginner’s guide would be a MUST in my case. Given my recent soldering-relationship with LEDs, I think adhering them onto my clothing would be a reasonable next step.

      2. It depends somewhat on your interests.

        There’s experimenting with LEDs and clothing, jewelry, hats, shoes, etc. Requires artistic skills.

        There’s collecting and disassembling random broken household electronics. May lead to fixing them.

        There’s experimenting with Arduinos – which involves programming.

        There’s more mechanically oriented things like clockworks.

        And there’s the overlap of the last two in robotics.

        There are plenty of other areas, but the above can all we explored well just with the contents of my local Radio Shack.

        If I had one hope for Radio Shack, it would revolve around promoting kits – and possibly requesting or designing new ones. Things like the simple $20 Radio Shack universal remote could be more “Maker Friendly” by either providing programming details, or offering “Plastic shell, buttons, provide-your-own-micro” style kits. The same basic parts can get to the functionality of the $100+ remotes with just a tiny bit of “openness”.

      3. It depends somewhat on your interests.

        There’s experimenting with LEDs and clothing, jewelry, hats, shoes, etc. Requires artistic skills.

        There’s collecting and disassembling random broken household electronics. May lead to fixing them.

        There’s experimenting with Arduinos – which involves programming.

        There’s more mechanically oriented things like clockworks.

        And there’s the overlap of the last two in robotics.

        There are plenty of other areas, but the above can all we explored well just with the contents of my local Radio Shack.

        If I had one hope for Radio Shack, it would revolve around promoting kits – and possibly requesting or designing new ones. Things like the simple $20 Radio Shack universal remote could be more “Maker Friendly” by either providing programming details, or offering “Plastic shell, buttons, provide-your-own-micro” style kits. The same basic parts can get to the functionality of the $100+ remotes with just a tiny bit of “openness”.

      4. It depends somewhat on your interests.

        There’s experimenting with LEDs and clothing, jewelry, hats, shoes, etc. Requires artistic skills.

        There’s collecting and disassembling random broken household electronics. May lead to fixing them.

        There’s experimenting with Arduinos – which involves programming.

        There’s more mechanically oriented things like clockworks.

        And there’s the overlap of the last two in robotics.

        There are plenty of other areas, but the above can all we explored well just with the contents of my local Radio Shack.

        If I had one hope for Radio Shack, it would revolve around promoting kits – and possibly requesting or designing new ones. Things like the simple $20 Radio Shack universal remote could be more “Maker Friendly” by either providing programming details, or offering “Plastic shell, buttons, provide-your-own-micro” style kits. The same basic parts can get to the functionality of the $100+ remotes with just a tiny bit of “openness”.

    2. I would hope that a marketing manager’s core competency would be marketing, not soldering.

      It seems flippant to expect that everyone that works for Red Path Sugar knows how to operate a mill, or that everyone that works for Domtar can make paper, for example.

  4. I only wish Radio Shack was still here in Canada – they were bought out years ago by Circuit City and renamed The Source, and were again sold off to by Bell Telecom in 2009. They have decent stock, but the prices are always so ridiculous it’s cheaper for me to order online from an American company and pay the shipping

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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