Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Neil Goldstein, who writes:
I added a sub-page to radiokitguide.com with a list of the remaining electronics and radio surplus outlets I was able to find and verify. The list is evolving, but is complete enough to publish at this point. Enjoy!
As I have a PL-660 with a bad encoder decided to order one and replace it. The cost was only $5.95 with free shipping and took about 6 days from Hong Kong.
With a bit of un-soldering the replacement only took about 20 minutes and now works better than new, as the original was always a bit temperamental.
Wow–thank you for pointing this out, Rich! I didn’t realize so many parts were available including knobs, encoders, antennas, back stands and battery doors–essentially, all of the parts that are prone to damage or loss.
WHEN an insurance company declared the merchandise at Leeds Radio “not pilferable” last year, it meant that the store’s hundreds of thousands of analog electronic parts — all manufactured before 1968 — were unlikely to be stolen anytime soon.
[…]And yet Leeds, one of the oldest electronics stores in the country, has plenty of paying customers. Located at 68 North Seventh Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, two blocks from the Bedford Avenue stop of the L train, it attracts a steady stream of musicians, hi-fi aficionados, ham radio buffs and the kind of people who build Tesla coils in their basements.
The 2,500-square-foot space smells like a vintage record shop (an odor Mr. Matthews describes as equal parts phenolic resin, adhesive, old cardboard and wire insulation) and appears shockingly disorganized. Cubist piles of boxes overflow with switches, capacitors, Bakelite knobs and watt meters. The floor glitters with the glass of shattered vacuum tubes.
Sounds like my radio room, though on a much, much larger scale…the part with piles of boxes, at least. Thanks to the Herculodge for leading me to the NY Times article. We actually posted another article about Leeds Radio when it was featured on WNYC. As both articles mention, radio parts shops like Leeds are certainly on the decline [understatement alert]–luckily, the internet opens up a whole world of mom-and-pop vendors like Leeds, though with a virtual store front, so there is still hope.