Not exactly heaven, but . . .

BancorpmthoodAs I write this I’m upstate in Portland (Oregon). I’ve been here for more than a week, so I’ve had a chance to window shop at some local radio-related suppliers.

For component-level stuff, there’s Fry’s. It’s a chain similar to BestBuy except it caters to both the consumer as well as the professional repair and amateur electronics markets. They carry the full NTE line and *lots* of other components and materials (including enclosures).

Except for hollowstate projects, one could pretty much be supplied for serious work just from there. Back home, Medford is growing big enough that Fry’s ought to open a store there.

Frys_wilsonville_pic1Focusing entirely at the component level is Oregon Electronics, a reincarnation of Norvac. They have a store in Eugene, too. The full NTE line can be found here, too, along with the best selection of connectors of all types one could imagine.

They have a better selection of Arduino and other microcontroller-related items than Fry’s, including a huge array of break-out boards for devices available only in surface mount. These include sensors of various sorts such as temp and humidity, gas ionization, ultrasonic range finding, multi-axis accelerometers, and WiFi connectivity.

OE stands out by having their full inventory (i.e., what they actually have in stock) searchable online. There are enough goose chases in life already so this is great.Oregon_Electronics

The most fun supplier up here is Surplus Gizmos. It’s a warehouse-sized wonderland of almost anything having to do with electricity. Some is surplus and some is salvage. I’d say some was obtained by dumpster diving, but I don’t have smoking-gun evidence for it.

If you can’t find something elsewhere in town, the chance is SG will have it. They had the RG-174 I was looking for! The guys at HRO (see below) sent me there. Much of what Surplus Gizmos has is also available from their online store.



Nice_storefront_2013_smallerThough useful for lots of ham-related paraphernalia, Ham Radio Outlet on Hwy 99W does not cater to the DIY or homebrew community. They do carry a good selection of the latest and greatest rigs; they’re all set up along one wall and one of several antennas on the roof can be used for a test drive. They also have a good stock of MFJ accessories, a nice selection of antennas and antenna-related gear by several manufacturers, the full Heil line of mics and boom sets, and a decent stock of coax and ladder line. cn85ok-hro-0926

HRO is definitely the place to go for “plug n’ play” or “turn-key” ham radio. The folks behind the counter are real Hams, and they’re easy to deal with, too. locations.cfm?storeid=11.

There are more suppliers up here that I’ve not visited yet. I’ll give you a report on those on the club reflector. If you’re going to be up this way, plan some time to check-out these suppliers. I’ll leave it to you whether or not you leave your wallet back at the hotel.

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