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Ken Gracey
08-18-2011, 09:42 PM
Hey all,

RadioShack is dead serious about their investment in the DIY/creator/inventor/entrepreneur/hobbyist electronics business, just to confirm the discussions going on around here. Parallax and many others have been working closely with RadioShack over the past year. And, shortly they'll be surfing the great wave that you've been riding for many years already. Everything offered is priced to take home, below spousal approval level if one exists.

Don't have much time to get into the details, but shortly you will find a significant selection of Parallax products at your local RadioShack. Depending on the store, it's likely to be one of these three scenarios: everything you see is stocked; the core Propeller and BASIC Stamp items plus a few sensors are in-stock; or they're a franchise dealer where they choose what they stock [because we are selling it to 5,000 stores - one at a time - all next week in Dallas!]. Below is a quick look into what's going on around here lately.

You have made this possible, by the way, not us. We're just trying to design and manufacture the finest quality product as a result of your inspiration, feedback and encouragement.

Ken Gracey

You will see some new sensors:

http://forums.parallax.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=84228&d=1313700057

Some of the favorites:

http://forums.parallax.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=84229&d=1313700058

Propellers, in RadioShack!

http://forums.parallax.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=84227&d=1313700057

Could it get any better? An XBee Starter Pack that uses the Parallax documentation?

http://forums.parallax.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=84226&d=1313700056

GordonMcComb
08-18-2011, 10:05 PM
Vast improvement!

The old packaging was prone to good old "five-finger discounting," so that should help, too.

These look made for the pegboard, though. Are they moving away from the drawers for these?

-- Gordon

PS: Nice new compass, BTW. I never got the old one to work reliably. Also like the mounting hole on it, so it's not just for breadboard play.

wjsteele
08-18-2011, 10:10 PM
Very cool, Ken... now when I need something ASAP I have a bunch of places to go to get them!

Bill

Bill Henning
08-18-2011, 10:12 PM
Congratulations Ken!

The new packaging looks fantastic!

Now you should chase after "thesource.ca" - the Canadian equivalent of RS, which was bought by another company... but still carries the same products... Canada only has 10% of the population of the states, however an extra 10% never hurts; and I suspect Canadians buy more geek toys per capita.

Bobb Fwed
08-18-2011, 10:25 PM
Very cool! I'm looking forward to the ready availability of many of the new parts.

davejames
08-18-2011, 10:26 PM
...very nice - great looks!

Microcontrolled
08-18-2011, 10:29 PM
I literally just came back from the local electronics store, thinking how great it would be if they carried Propeller goods. Now, I come in, pop up Firefox, and see this thread.

GREAT JOB PARALLAX!!!!!

Ken Gracey
08-18-2011, 10:31 PM
These look made for the pegboard, though. Are they moving away from the drawers for these?

-- Gordon

Yes, Gordon, they're moving to the pegboards. You'll see several square feet of Parallax products. The Ping))) and PIR are coming out of the drawers for the party, but the Memsic2125 will stay in the drawers with some other items I forget to mention: joysticks, servos, and 5-position switches.

Ken Gracey

Ron Czapala
08-18-2011, 10:42 PM
Yes, Gordon, they're moving to the pegboards. You'll see several square feet of Parallax products. The Ping))) and PIR are coming out of the drawers for the party, but the Memsic2125 will stay in the drawers with some other items I forget to mention: joysticks, servos, and 5-position switches.

Ken Gracey

That is great news! If you need/want a device quickly it will be nice to grab one locally.
I'm sure the prices will be a little higher from RS but...


EDIT: What is the deal with the compass, altimeter and gyroscope modules? I don't see that in the Parallax store - are they new products that will be available here?

rod1963
08-18-2011, 10:44 PM
Very, very cool. This is a positive change from the time the only electronic stuff they had was resisters, caps and assorted odds and ends stuffed away in the corner.

This will be especially good for schools with robotics teams.

ctwardell
08-18-2011, 10:47 PM
With help from Parallax, Radio Shack may soon be a place where self-respecting geeks are willing to be seen!

Way to go Ken and team.

C.W.

RonP
08-18-2011, 10:48 PM
Can't wait to go shopping.

blittled
08-18-2011, 10:57 PM
The peg board is coming back?? Great! I have fond memories of going to my local Radio Shack at least weekly as a teenager and looking at a full wall of pegboard stuff. I still have a SPO256 chip I bought there. With all those Parallax items I'll be going more often and I may need to get a second job to support my hobby :). Thanks for all your work Ken in getting Radio Shack to stock Parallax items!

bill190
08-18-2011, 11:02 PM
Just curious... Did you do any research as to the colors used on the packaging?

In the past I have read that for products like Coke, Pepsi, Crest Toothpaste, etc., they will spend TONS of money researching what specific colors to use on their packages. I realize Parallax can't do that, but wondering if smaller companies take that into consideration as well?

P.S. I like the colors!

Ken Gracey
08-18-2011, 11:02 PM
The peg board is coming back?? Great! I have fond memories of going to my local Radio Shack at least weekly as a teenager and looking at a full wall of pegboard stuff. I still have a SPO256 chip I bought there. With all those Parallax items I'll be going more often and I may need to get a second job to support my hobby :). Thanks for all your work Ken in getting Radio Shack to stock Parallax items!

You're welcome, but it's the whole Parallax team and you that make this possible.

There's an interesting generational gap about the value of RadioShack for this kind of product. Ask anybody over 35-40 if RadioShack had anything to do with their interest in electronics and the answer is an obvious "yes". Heck, I used to go there with Chip and we'd buy speaker drivers, 8-tracks, CB radios, soldering stations, etc. while my dad was waving around his free battery card to get another D-cell for our flashlights. But, check in with somebody younger and they primarily know RadioShack as a cell phone source. RadioShack is back in the electronics game and this perception will be altered. I'm not one to be "won over" but they're in this for real.

Ken Gracey
08-18-2011, 11:05 PM
Just curious... Did you do any research as to the colors used on the packaging?

In the past I have read that for products like Coke, Pepsi, Crest Toothpaste, etc., they will spend TONS of money researching what specific colors to use on their packages. I realize Parallax can't do that, but wondering if smaller companies take that into consideration as well?

Yes, "lots" of research was done. The marketing people first waved our traditional light blue colors around the office, then a few other new colors. Captured a few yawns, some compliments, and some criticism. Then they showed up with this purple/blue scheme and everybody jumped up and down. Marketing research hereby concluded. Wish I could tell you a big story, but we're squeeky clean (did you see our new hand sanitizer line?).

These packages are going everywhere, BTW: Fry's Electronics, hobby shops, and towards any other sources where you want to buy.

Ken Gracey

davejames
08-18-2011, 11:09 PM
Needed some 339 quad comparators to finish a project and I didn't want to spend the hour and a half driving to/from the local surplus store...so I check Radio Shack on line and found stock at the local store just a few minutes away.

I was very surprised to see a visable increase in DIY products and kits in general and a noticable Parallax presence.

I told the kid who was manning the store how pleased I was by this change. He was happy - didn't really undestand why I was so pleased, but he saw a happy customer.

Maybe he'll pass the experience on to the store manager.

$WMc%
08-18-2011, 11:12 PM
Great news

tobdec
08-18-2011, 11:32 PM
Can't wait to see these on our shelf! ...that is if my manager decides to get them....

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
08-18-2011, 11:37 PM
That retail packaging is very cool! Hat's off to Parallax's art department -- and to Ken and all the Parallax crew for making this happen! It's neat that you get the brand recognition, too, and didn't have to private label it as a RS-only product.

Where will the actual packaging be done? (Rocklin? Ft. Worth? China?) That, in itself, is going to be a lot of work for the presumed volume.

-Phil

tobdec
08-18-2011, 11:39 PM
Will there be (displays) with pamplets and the such giving a run down of what all they do and what is offered?

RobotWorkshop
08-18-2011, 11:58 PM
Yes, Gordon, they're moving to the pegboards. You'll see several square feet of Parallax products. The Ping))) and PIR are coming out of the drawers for the party, but the Memsic2125 will stay in the drawers with some other items I forget to mention: joysticks, servos, and 5-position switches.

Ken Gracey

That is a good sign. The drawers work fine for a lot of parts but it is better to have your sensors, etc on a peg board. I recall seeing a couple of the PIR sensors at one Radio Shack that looked like they were caught in the draw when it closed and damaged the lens...

Just make sure you send some stock to the Radio Shack on Mack Ave in Grosse Pointe Woods. That is close enough for me to walk to if I need to get something quick!

Great news.

Robert

localroger
08-19-2011, 12:25 AM
Just adding to the chorus of "this is fantastic." Great looking packaging and it'll be a real treat to be able to run down to the local RS if I have a sudden need for ... a QuickStart!

x5aint
08-19-2011, 01:01 AM
Awesome! Whenever I need a part or have an itch to create something I can head on over to my local RadioShack :thumb:

Oldbitcollector (Jeff)
08-19-2011, 02:08 AM
Congrats to Parallax for this second, bold step into Radio Shack.

OBC

Matt Gilliland
08-19-2011, 02:16 AM
...have an itch to create something...

I suffer from the same embarrassing condition...
Welcome to the Forums X5aint!

-Matt

Cole Logan
08-19-2011, 02:22 AM
This is awesome. I always hated when I wanted to work on a project and I have to wait several days to get a part or have to pay an arm and a leg to get it the next day.

Jay B. Harlow
08-19-2011, 02:24 AM
Ken,
Excellent news!

Can't wait for product to show up at my local Radio Shack.

Jay

wrightme
08-19-2011, 02:48 AM
as someone mentioned on the facebook post.....

What is a "Gyrocope?" Tell us that was a "beta" package.

Matt Gilliland
08-19-2011, 02:49 AM
IDEA! Follow me on this...

Radio Shack suffers from having sales associates that are not "up to speed" on this stuff. We here on the Forums know how cool this stuff is.

I have (3) Radio Shacks near me. I'm going to introduce myself to the guys/gals that work there and show them what can be done (and how to do it!) with this stuff.

I'll get them up to speed on the *coolness* of what we all play with everyday.

The majority of you Forumistas are great teachers here on the Forums - now, let's teach the Radio Shacks - one by one!

In short: Teach the Stores how to have fun, so they can much more effectively communicate to their customers what we experience all the time, so they can have fun too.

If many of you do the same in your neighborhoods - the number of newcomers would grow exponentially!

It's a Win for all parties.

Who's with me?

Hoorah!
-Matt

RonP
08-19-2011, 03:04 AM
Great idea Matt.
It seems to me every time I go into a Radio Shack at least in my area anyway, that the sales associates are processing some kind of cell phone payment. One cell phone payment after another. They have become a Cell Phone Payment Processing Center. If you could get their attention between payments you might be able to show them a thing or two. Just my observations.

Ron

Martin_H
08-19-2011, 03:04 AM
The pegboard packaging is a good idea. Right now the Parallax sensors are in the drawer with the resistors and capacitors. Out of sight out of mind, but out in the open helps generate interest.

RonP
08-19-2011, 03:24 AM
Maybe Parallax and Radio Shack can get together and produce a 10-20 minute video explaining all the new stuff to their employees. Then maybe Radio Shack employees could do a better job of explaining them to customers. There must be something like this in the works. I have ran across a few RS employees who are in the know.

Oldbitcollector (Jeff)
08-19-2011, 03:28 AM
Matt:

Already wayyy ahead of you.. Spent a couple hours with my local RS guy this week while buying a droid. They will be looking for new products.

OBC



IDEA! Follow me on this...

Radio Shack suffers from having sales associates that are not "up to speed" on this stuff. We here on the Forums know how cool this stuff is.

I have (3) Radio Shacks near me. I'm going to introduce myself to the guys/gals that work there and show them what can be done (and how to do it!) with this stuff.

I'll get them up to speed on the *coolness* of what we all play with everyday.

The majority of you Forumistas are great teachers here on the Forums - now, let's teach the Radio Shacks - one by one!

In short: Teach the Stores how to have fun, so they can much more effectively communicate to their customers what we experience all the time, so they can have fun too.

If many of you do the same in your neighborhoods - the number of newcomers would grow exponentially!

It's a Win for all parties.

Who's with me?

Hoorah!
-Matt

ihmech
08-19-2011, 03:31 AM
Very nice packaging. :-)

I'm 31 and Radio Shack was the reason I got into electronics as a hobby and almost a career. Most notably Forest Mims books got me started. Hopefully my local RS will stock a lot of those nice looking products.

But, they'll probably keep pushing their cell phones instead. It's sad, we have a local 4H robotics club that would probably make use of a lot of those nice products.

Hopefully we'll see them in our local RS. Thanks for your hard work!

Whit
08-19-2011, 03:56 AM
This is fantastic news Ken!

erco
08-19-2011, 04:00 AM
SHAQ: Best days behind!

SHACK: Best days ahead...?

ratronic
08-19-2011, 04:12 AM
I wonder how soon Parallax is going to start selling that 3 axis gyro?

Bamse
08-19-2011, 04:12 AM
Awesome, I'll be checking the stores next week, hope to be able to pick up a few boards...

Roy Eltham
08-19-2011, 04:17 AM
Really nice, Ken! Can't wait to see these in the stores.

hmiller
08-19-2011, 04:20 AM
This is great!

tdlivings
08-19-2011, 04:36 AM
Great news Ken
I will have to pay a visit to my local Radio Shack, actually a couple close to me, and see if they know
about this or could care less.
The ones here in Michigan still have the parts drawers last I was there but big on cell phones and cell
phone accessorys.
I was at MicroCenter yesterday and they have a SparkFun display, it is actually in the Games section.

This is really good to see
Tom

Ravenkallen
08-19-2011, 05:00 AM
Words cannot describe the feeling of excitement that i had when i saw this post!!!!... Great job guys. This will be a huge benefit to every party involved. I just might buy my first QuickStart board from Radioshack:)

electromanj
08-19-2011, 05:10 AM
This is fantastic news! Speaking for those of us that are "urbanly challenged" Thank You Very Much! My local RS carries PINGS, accelerometers, PIRs, light to frequency, and before they clearanced them out they had RFID readers. (cleaned them out of those ). Can't wait to see what they decide to stock! Hopefully pretty soon I'm saying " Honey, got to run to Radio Shack and pick up a quickstart board!"

traVis

Martin Hodge
08-19-2011, 05:18 AM
HIp, hip, hooray!

tdlivings
08-19-2011, 05:18 AM
Ken
What kind of info is on the back of the packages you show. There is not much space for a lot of detail but
how about the idea of a QR code linked back to the doc's on the Parallax site.
More and more phones can decode the QR code and go to the web link.
I can see the younger generation with there iphone or ipad using the QR code to get the doc on the item
and viewing it while shopping. I am not sure Apple ipad , iphone read pdf's

If you have not already thought of it, something to mention when you give your presentation to Radio Shack

Tom

Roy Eltham
08-19-2011, 05:48 AM
Also, Ken, when can I buy one of those 3 axis gyros?

FredBlais
08-19-2011, 01:41 PM
Hey, is it possible for a non radioshack store to have thoses in stock?

Fred

parsko
08-19-2011, 01:48 PM
Wow!!! Awesome!!!

It's been a LONG while since I've put a post up here. So many distractions have entered my life in the past few years, I feel almost ashamed. Aside from being 1 week away from child #2, one of those distractions has been a 2nd job at Radio Shack. Yes, I am an employee of The Shack.

I am looking at this post at my day job, and my jaw is hitting my keyboard. This is awesome!!! My store only has a few items in stock. I know we have a PIR, and a 2 axis accel, and your normal Stamp starter kits. In the 2 months I've been there, I've sold none, unfortunately. I push this stuff, believe me.

One of the reasons I got a 2nd job there, besides the obvious of trying to feed my family, was to bring back the DIY state-of-mind to the stores. In the 6 or so years I've been a member of this forum, and a Propeller user, I've not heard many positive comments towards the Shack, due to this lack of knowledge. I hope to be a part of the movement that helps change that stigma.

It amuses me regularly, too. On this forum, I'm pretty much stupid compared to rest of the crowd, when it comes to electronics. But, when I walk in that door at the Shack, I'm a genius. I've asked EVERY colleague I've worked with to-date; "what is Ohm's law?". Not a single one has gotten it right. All the way up to my District Manager!!!! It sickens me a bit.

I try to engage with my customers about being a Maker, about DIY, about putting an antenna on your roof to try to cut out the cable companies. I get mixed responses though. Partly due to being located in the "center of the ghetto", we don't get the best crowd in. But, this is an area where parents and kids can engage with one another and do stuff. It's a way to get these kids out of the ghetto.

So, thanks Ken. I look forward to hanging the Prop on a peg, out in the open. I'll even be my stores first customer (even though it will probably take that whole 4 hour shift to pay for the thing!). I'll keep working on trying to get my co-workers and managers educated too. We recently began to stock Velleman kits, which are EXCELLENT, IMHO. The Parallax products, in blister packs, will make for a great display. I look forward to selling all of it. Great choice of products to stock too!

Shack employee at store 1230. (I hope this post doesn't get me fired!)

-Luke (aka parsko to you folks)

tobdec
08-19-2011, 02:15 PM
Just talked to my manager....franchise radioshacks will have them too! Aparently there is a huge demand for...as the old grey hairs would say "Anything but a dam videogame" This christmas. I realy hope people start geting back into diy hobbys like they used to....esp at radioshack!

xanatos
08-19-2011, 02:17 PM
This is FANTASTIC!

Humanoido
08-19-2011, 03:01 PM
Ken, this is fantastic! Great job, very impressive and useful! For the future, if you could get some low cost Parallax circuit books, like Forest M. Mimms had in the past, that would be a great matching element.

Tubular
08-19-2011, 03:33 PM
Excellent work Parallax.

Now for that matching vending machine...

PS like the QR code idea for the generation coming through...

Ken Gracey
08-19-2011, 03:54 PM
Ken
What kind of info is on the back of the packages you show. There is not much space for a lot of detail but
how about the idea of a QR code linked back to the doc's on the Parallax site.
More and more phones can decode the QR code and go to the web link.
I can see the younger generation with there iphone or ipad using the QR code to get the doc on the item
and viewing it while shopping. I am not sure Apple ipad , iphone read pdf's

If you have not already thought of it, something to mention when you give your presentation to Radio Shack

Tom

Tom, that's a very useful suggestion and I want to thank you for making it. Please drop me a message by e-mail if you can.

QR codes will be part of the final packaging. Thankfully the files were not leaving for the printer until later today.

Ken Gracey

piguy101
08-19-2011, 04:02 PM
Now only if the employees at Radio Shack knew anything in the world except about cell phones...I hate getting blank stares from the workers at Radio Shack when I ask them a question.

Fxc2hh
08-19-2011, 04:50 PM
Hey all,

RadioShack is dead serious about their investment in the DIY/creator/inventor/entrepreneur/hobbyist electronics business,

Congratulations to you and Parallax.

I still can't find solder braid at Radio Shack and I think I will buy somewhere else because I compare prices and Radio Shack is high priced.

wjsteele
08-19-2011, 05:19 PM
I still can't find solder braid at Radio Shack...

Hmmm... Normally RS carries it as an "always instock" item! http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062744

Bill

PJ Allen
08-19-2011, 05:34 PM
http://hackaday.com/2011/08/19/meet-radio-shacks-new-parallax-lineup/

And they didn't use the word quite at all.

Sariel
08-19-2011, 05:39 PM
I got my start in electronics a number of years ago, by buying books by Mr. Forrest Mimms III, along with the needed parts form the local Radio Shack. I was very upset When I found out they were discontinuing this line. Lately, I have noticed a that they are bringing it back to the forefront. Thank you Chip, and all others at your company for partnering up with RS, and hopefully bringing interested yound minds back into electronics.

piguy101
08-19-2011, 05:47 PM
How many of us looked at that photo and didn't notice "gyrocope" ?

Wow, I didn't even notice.

I am very pleased with this about Radio Shack and I have one question: What will the pricing be relative to Parallax's pricing? The same? Five dollars more?

RDL2004
08-19-2011, 05:51 PM
oops, accidentally deleted that post, it's okay though. Your quote has the whole post.

ElectricAye
08-19-2011, 05:56 PM
This is excellent news. And a brilliant strategy. Good job!

tdlivings
08-19-2011, 06:38 PM
A comment on the package name for the QuickStart board.
Maybe just me so I will post what I am thinking for others to comment.
By calling it the Multicore Programming Board it gives the impression to
someone who is completely new to Parallax Products that you need this
to program the chips, like a pic programmer.
Granted you need some sort of experimenter's protoboard to get started
so I think a better name would be something along the lines of QuickStart
Experiment board or Project Board

Just a thought I had when I viewed the image, unless I missed something and it
is a Programming Board

84255

Tom

Ken Gracey
08-19-2011, 07:47 PM
Thanks Tom - tdlivings. We have made a few name changes already including the one you pointed out.

Ken Gracey

Tor
08-19-2011, 09:44 PM
Ken
What kind of info is on the back of the packages you show. There is not much space for a lot of detail but
how about the idea of a QR code linked back to the doc's on the Parallax site.
More and more phones can decode the QR code and go to the web link.
I can see the younger generation with there iphone or ipad using the QR code to get the doc on the item
and viewing it while shopping. I am not sure Apple ipad , iphone read pdf's
Good idea, and Android phones and tablets can also read and handle those QR codes via several applications, including Google's own Google Goggles.

-Tor

Tony B.
08-19-2011, 09:49 PM
IDEA! Follow me on this...

Radio Shack suffers from having sales associates that are not "up to speed" on this stuff. We here on the Forums know how cool this stuff is.

I have (3) Radio Shacks near me. I'm going to introduce myself to the guys/gals that work there and show them what can be done (and how to do it!) with this stuff.

I'll get them up to speed on the *coolness* of what we all play with everyday.

The majority of you Forumistas are great teachers here on the Forums - now, let's teach the Radio Shacks - one by one!

In short: Teach the Stores how to have fun, so they can much more effectively communicate to their customers what we experience all the time, so they can have fun too.

If many of you do the same in your neighborhoods - the number of newcomers would grow exponentially!

It's a Win for all parties.

Who's with me?

Hoorah!
-Matt

I'm with you Matt. I will stop by my radio shacks that I know of in Central Illinois and help introduce them to Parallax and the wonder sources for info and help. I'll even take some of my robots and demo them for them.

I wonder if a pad of small info sheets could be hung with the products listing website address, the many free sources available, and pictures of completed projects using the items being sold etc. to help people visualize what can be done or remind of ideas they might have once had.

I've wanted to start an electronics club in our town for some time. This could be the perfect time!

Very glad to have GREAT Parallax products so close and available!

Tony

bomber
08-19-2011, 09:58 PM
IDEA! Follow me on this...

Radio Shack suffers from having sales associates that are not "up to speed" on this stuff. We here on the Forums know how cool this stuff is.

I have (3) Radio Shacks near me. I'm going to introduce myself to the guys/gals that work there and show them what can be done (and how to do it!) with this stuff.

I'll get them up to speed on the *coolness* of what we all play with everyday.

The majority of you Forumistas are great teachers here on the Forums - now, let's teach the Radio Shacks - one by one!

In short: Teach the Stores how to have fun, so they can much more effectively communicate to their customers what we experience all the time, so they can have fun too.

If many of you do the same in your neighborhoods - the number of newcomers would grow exponentially!

It's a Win for all parties.

Who's with me?

Hoorah!
-Matt

I will!

bill190
08-20-2011, 02:52 AM
A comment on the package name for the QuickStart board.
Maybe just me so I will post what I am thinking for others to comment.
By calling it the Multicore Programming Board it gives the impression to
someone who is completely new to Parallax Products that you need this
to program the chips, like a pic programmer.
Granted you need some sort of experimenter's protoboard to get started
so I think a better name would be something along the lines of QuickStart
Experiment board or Project Board...

THAT is a very difficult thing to do. Think of *who* might look at a product for the first time, then think of a name to give the product which will explain what that product does! And also be limited to the small space on the package.

Glad I don't have that job!

I suppose you could take "test packages" out on the street and ask random people what the thing is? (A street in front of a school of electrical engineering would be cheating!)

bsnut
08-20-2011, 02:56 AM
Its good to see that Parallax is working with Radio Shack. I am also to see Radio Shack is taking the junk out of the shack and putting more DIY products back in it's stores. I am also glad to see someone is willing from these forums to take time out of there day to teach the sales associates. I hope that someone from that local Radio Shack is willing to make a deal in exchange for teaching the sales associates. But, I don't think it will happen. But, it worth the try.

Jorge P
08-20-2011, 08:08 AM
I haven't seen a response to Ron's post #9 http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?133909-New-packaging-and-products-for-RadioShack-stores-a-quick-look!&p=1028418&viewfull=1#post1028418 (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?133909-New-packaging-and-products-for-RadioShack-stores-a-quick-look%21&p=1028418&viewfull=1#post1028418) about the compass, altimeter. and gyroscope.

I am interested in the altimeter. Can you divulge any information on this module yet? Will it be a Radio Shack specific product?

@Parallax
Will there be a guaranteed stock in Corporate run stores versus franchises? Is there any talk about any weekly/monthly local store meetups of hobbyists run by the Corporate stores?

I knew Radio Shack was getting somewhat back into hobbyist market when I noticed the Forrest Mimms books showing up quite a few months ago.

Matt Gilliland
08-20-2011, 03:11 PM
I asked,
Who's with me?
and Bomber said...

I will!
I knew I could count on you Bomber :D

RonP WTG!

Tony B said...

I'm with you ...
OBC said...

Already wayyy ahead of (you matt)...
You are as usual!

Piguy101 said...

I hate getting blank stares from the workers at Radio Shack ...
Exactly - me too! But there was a time when I had that "blank stare" too. It's was only after someone took the time to "show me the world", that I able to catch the vision of "what I CAN DO".

Even if we only touch the minds of 10% of the RS guys - that's still hundreds of store affected in a positive way - RS makes more sales, newbies are born, our industry grows, more new products are developed, and we all benefit from increased ingenuity and market size.

C'mon, who else is with me!
-Matt

Bob Lawrence (VE1RLL)
08-20-2011, 04:46 PM
@ Ken Gracey

Do you have a similar plan for the Canadian market? We don't have Radio Shack stores.

Tor
08-20-2011, 06:15 PM
Do you have a similar plan for the Canadian market? We don't have Radio Shack stores. I'm pretty certain I visited a Radio Shack store in Ottawa, years ago.. it was inside a shopping mall in Rideau Street as I recall. Bought a European/American mains converter or something, maybe it was just the cable. It's probably nearly 20 years ago though, but google seems to indicate that there are still Radio Shack stores some places in Canada, although the one in Rideau St., Ottawa, may be gone..

-Tor

Ken Gracey
08-20-2011, 06:30 PM
@ Ken Gracey

Do you have a similar plan for the Canadian market? We don't have Radio Shack stores.

Hey Bob, who's the leading electronic retailer in Canada? Let us know your preference and we'll put the product into their stores.

Thanks!

GordonMcComb
08-20-2011, 07:05 PM
I understand The Source (was run by Radio Shack) has a lot of stores.

There's Future Shop, but I think that's more like a Best Buy than a Radio Shack (not surprising because I'm pretty sure Best Buy now owns them).

I like seeing the greater retail channel push, but I think the largest segment will still come from mail order. RobotShop is already a big Parallax reseller for Canada. Same with HVW Tech. Don't know how much volume they push, but I know one thing that might help is if there's an independent (non-parallax.com) site with project examples with code.

-- Gordon

bill190
08-21-2011, 03:58 PM
FYI - Some stores in Oregon/Washington State carry products which are also sold in Canada. These have packaging with both English and French wording.

84336

I found the following on the internet, but it has a date of 1999. Might be out of date or could be current?
http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/01248.html

sylvie369
08-21-2011, 04:01 PM
I might just take a project or two over to Radio Shack to show them as well.
--------------------------
Did I miss something? What is a 2x16 LCD _with speaker_? (see the second of Ken's photos). There's a speaker built into the LCD somehow?

Are there plans to somehow direct RS customers who buy this stuff over here to the forums? After all, quite a bit of the value of the Parallax products (over what you'd get from Mouser, for example, or even Sparkfun) is the support community.

PJ Allen
08-21-2011, 05:54 PM
Sylvie,
The latest Rev. Serial LCDs now have a piezo-"speaker" -- helps in getting real (authentic) with the Ctrl-G (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ctrl-G) thang.

Loopy Byteloose
08-21-2011, 06:06 PM
Oregonians don't speak French, neither do the Canadians in British Columbia -- rather odd. Nonetheless, I must say that I am beginning to wish that we had a Radio Shack in Taiwan. My electronic suppliers mostly have kits still using versions of 8051 chips.

ElectricAye
08-21-2011, 06:16 PM
But how to draw nerds and DIYers into the store? Are they going to have projects running in their storefront windows?

People are very used to seeing slick finished products do amazing things but I'd bet that seeing something home made buzzing around in front of them would , psychologically speaking, push a whole different set of buttons.

GordonMcComb
08-21-2011, 09:12 PM
I may be very wrong about this, but my feeling is that simply having the product in the stores won't make a lot a difference. People need to be shown what to do, and how to do it. They need to see a demonstration of the finished project to get jazzed about it. You don't get that with parts hanging on a slatwall.

I am making the hopeful assumption this is all endemic thinking to Ken and Radio Shack and the other stakeholders in this, but the way to generate interest is one or more of the following:

1. Small, inexpensive books sold at Radio Shack covering many projects you can do with the Parallax product (full source code can be online) -- I'm thinking books very much like Matt's Cookbooks;

2. A big push to create, promote, and exploit Parallax-inspired projects on the Radio Shack's DIY site;

3. Working with authors and contributors to let them know of the product mix available at Radio Shack, so when an article is written about so-and-such, they can say "Available at your local Radio Shack," instead of listing the usual online sources;

4. A publicly editable wiki or "playground," supported by Parallax but not officially connected with them, where people can post their projects. The site would be moderated to prevent abuse.

5. And this heretical suggestion: More examples, using other microcontrollers, for supporting Parallax modular product (gyro, FM module, altimeter, whatever). This simply increases the population of potential customers.

For my part, I'm trying to develop additional examples of Parallax's modular products, and have these published in print or on the Web. But it's slow-going because the current examples and datasheets are centered toward the BS2/Prop. Okay, that makes sense, and I understand why things are this way. But it takes more work to find tidbits like the I2C address. It's in the program demos, in one form or another, but not in the datasheet (I've run into two so far that are this way, the FM Module and the OFN module). These are GREAT products at a TERIFFIC pricepoint, but the datasheet/example problem pretty much locks these out to the average DIYer if their school, Scout den, robotics club, or whatever has settled on another MCU for their projects.

IMO, embracing these other controllers is the key to making all this work. This isn't saying anything about the functionality of BS2 or Prop, but is merely a recognition of the current market.

-- Gordon

Microcontrolled
08-21-2011, 10:15 PM
I may be very wrong about this, but my feeling is that simply having the product in the stores won't make a lot a difference. People need to be shown what to do, and how to do it. They need to see a demonstration of the finished project to get jazzed about it. You don't get that with parts hanging on a slatwall.

I don't know, that exactly what got me hooked on microcontrollers. I had been dabbling in electronics for a few year,s, but didn't know microcontrollers existed until I saw Parallax's Boe bot at RadioShack. I was instantly hooked before I even knew what they did.
I'd say about half of smartphone users know that a "tilt sensor" is called an "accelerometer", so when they see an "accelerometer module" in their local RadioShack, they would probably think "Hey, there is something I can buy that will let me measure tilt the same way my smartphone does? That's cool! I can think of a good use for that..." and then they would look at the other modules, probably finding the "Programming module" that would make it all happen.

piguy101
08-22-2011, 12:31 AM
Microcontrolled has got it: Relate every possible Parallax to product to something that would be in a cell phone or GPS because 99% of people going to RS are probably getting a cell phone or a GPS.

@Microcontrolled Is that a xenon lamp for the "C" in you avatar?

Microcontrolled
08-22-2011, 12:55 AM
@piguy101: The avatar is a 3D image that I designed and rendered, not a photo of an actual circuit board. When modeling it, I didn't know what to make for the "C", so I just modeled what I thought looked like a xenon lamp. Due to the way Blender handles the Curve modifier, I couldn't get it to curve properly into a 180 degree turn, so I got the image you see above. Before I go to UPENE, I've been trying to build a physical representation of my avatar, but I can't find that one part. :)

bomber
08-22-2011, 01:07 AM
I've been trying to build a physical representation of my avatar, but I can't find that one part.

@Microcontrolled
You don't need to "find that part, you can make your own! A piece of diffused rubber tubing or a glass tube, a couple of white LEDs, resistors, some hot glue, and some paint (optional).

N0M4dIC
08-22-2011, 01:09 AM
I'm Canadian and Radioshack was pretty much replaced by The Source. It's the same concept, but with a different name. They still sell (few and overpriced) electronic components. That would be so awesome if you sold these things there!

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
08-22-2011, 01:23 AM
I seem to remember that, around 1986 or so, Future Electronics had retail outlets in Canada. Is that still the case? Or is my memory misleading me?

-Phil

N0M4dIC
08-22-2011, 01:34 AM
Yeah, well, my father used to buy electronics there. I know they still exist but I don't think they're selling DIY stuff like Parallax. More like Digi-Key.

bill190
08-22-2011, 03:18 AM
How about paying to have your product shown in a movie? Maybe mentioned in a song? Shown on a TV series? Etc. I don't know how much this costs, but here is the info...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product_placement

At the following link, select Category: Electronics, then click on Search. This will give you a list of product placement agencies for that category.

Entertainment Resources and Marketing Association (ERMA)...
http://www.erma.org

Tony B.
08-22-2011, 03:24 AM
Went to one of the local Radio Shacks and they didn't have any products yet and were not aware of the new coming products. Shared with him the new style of packaging and that I was willing to help educate them on the usefulness of the products for DIY projects. He didn't seem too interested and said what they did have didn't ever sell. I like a good challenge. I have some thoughts for others going to talk to their local Shacks.

1. Take pictures of the new packages.

2. Take a project or two to show.

3. Make up a sheet with all the cool website addresses for Parallax and note the many available resources especially the free training resources.

When I mentioned this I got his attention with a favorable response. It may take a little effort, but as Matt has noted it will be well worth it to us all.

Tony

parsko
08-22-2011, 12:51 PM
http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2102816

84406




@Microcontrolled
You don't need to "find that part, you can make your own! A piece of diffused rubber tubing or a glass tube, a couple of white LEDs, resistors, some hot glue, and some paint (optional).

sylvie369
08-22-2011, 02:34 PM
Okay, another packaging question. I see the packages are color-coded for "sensor", "control board", "display", and "wireless". Cool.
But why is the GPS module marked as "wireless"? I mean, yeah, I know, it receives wireless signals from the GPS satellites, but that's how it works, not what it's for. I think of GPS much more as a sensor. Am I just weird?

Spiral_72
08-22-2011, 04:13 PM
Well no kidding? The packaging does look good.... and I thought RS was getting out of the DIY scene after I purchased all their "CLEARANCE" Parallax stuff.

I had written RS off as an electronics part supplier. Maybe that was a bit hasty. It looks like they are trying once again.

Lauren Davis
08-22-2011, 04:48 PM
Okay, another packaging question. I see the packages are color-coded for "sensor", "control board", "display", and "wireless". Cool.
But why is the GPS module marked as "wireless"? I mean, yeah, I know, it receives wireless signals from the GPS satellites, but that's how it works, not what it's for. I think of GPS much more as a sensor. Am I just weird?

Thanks for pointing that out, you're right sensor would be better, we'll go ahead and make that change.

WBA Consulting
08-23-2011, 07:14 AM
This is really refreshing! Glad to hear that "the shack" is changing back to "Radio Shack". You can't find much worthwhile in their stores now, but it appears that that is changing. I caught the "gyrocope"typo immediately so I am glad others already mentioned it.

I think we need to have a list of Parallax items that will be in RS so we can develop a few "Radio Shack purchased" item based projects. They should also be posted on the forums, Instructables, hackaday, etc, etc, or any other place that also provides a bit of publicity. If you can get a servo from RS, I could make an RS only version of the reverse geocache box.

Peter KG6LSE
08-23-2011, 12:58 PM
way to go idaho !


Ken et Al . Yall ROCK!

May the shack be alive again !



Peter..

mindrobots
08-23-2011, 02:09 PM
I think we need to have a list of Parallax items that will be in RS so we can develop a few "Radio Shack purchased" item based projects.

This is a great idea! How cool to walk into a "shack" with some nifty (yes, I really talk like this) project and tell tehm you built it all with parts from THEM!!

I have three shacks nearby...I'll try and drop in and see what they are up to with Parallax parts.

Matt Gilliland
08-23-2011, 03:55 PM
we need to have a list of Parallax items that will be in RS

Your wish is granted!
This is what we're starting with...

On Hangers :

40000 - Propeller QuickStart Board

555-28188 - BASIC Stamp 2 Board

555-28027 - PIR Sensor

28015 - Ping))) Sensor


In Drawers:

27801 - 5-Position Switch

900-00005 - Standard Servo

27800 - Joystick


Initial (Select) Stores:

27977 - Serial LCD - Backlit

28500 - GPS Module

32440 - XBee Starter Pack

29124 - Altimeter Module (MS5611-01BA03)

27911 - 3-Axis Gyroscope Module (L3G4200D)

29133 - 3-Axis Compass Module (HMC5883L)

Matt Gilliland
08-23-2011, 03:58 PM
Keep in mind, that it'll take a little time for them to show up on the shelves too...
-Matt

RobotWorkshop
08-23-2011, 03:59 PM
Can we put in requests for which "Initial (Select) Stores" are selected?? I haven't picked up a QuickStart board yet so I'll probably get it from my local Radio Shack when they get them in. How soon will they be in stores??

bomber
08-23-2011, 04:10 PM
How soon will they be in stores??

I talked to Mr. Lindsay about that just yesterday, he guessed hat Mr. Gracey doesn't even know yet!!

Matt Gilliland
08-23-2011, 04:11 PM
Both "On Hangers" and "In Drawers" are in company owned stores (read "a lot"). This does not include "franchises". We're presenting to Franchisees this week in fact. It will be up to each individual Franchise Store Owner which (if any) products they want to carry. (make your voices heard ;-)

The "Select Stores" items are being determined by RS management (as I understand it). Don't know how many, nor where these will be.

-Matt

Ken Gracey
08-23-2011, 04:14 PM
Can we put in requests for which "Initial (Select) Stores" are selected?? I haven't picked up a QuickStart board yet so I'll probably get it from my local Radio Shack when they get them in. How soon will they be in stores??

Hey Robert! The "select stores" where you'll find everything (all nine items) consists of the top 1000 RadioShack stores. In some way these are an expanded test market selection of stores. You should see product there by the end of September, or early October.

Thank you for the support -

Ken Gracey

GordonMcComb
08-23-2011, 04:16 PM
Hmmmm, gyroscope and compass, but no accelerometer. Do you think one will be added to the mix? Of the three inertial sensors accelerometers are the most useful for robotics. (It's also helpful when usesd with compasses like the HMC5883 that aren't tilt compensated.)

Your Memsic 2125 seems pretty good. Haven't run into any problems with it, though it is "only" 2-axis.

-- Gordon

RobotWorkshop
08-23-2011, 04:17 PM
That is great! I'll watch for them in my local store. There is one less than 1/2 mile away and is close enough to walk to or a good excuse for a bike ride if I need to get something quick.

Robert

Ken Gracey
08-23-2011, 04:25 PM
I may be very wrong about this, but my feeling is that simply having the product in the stores won't make a lot a difference. People need to be shown what to do, and how to do it. They need to see a demonstration of the finished project to get jazzed about it. You don't get that with parts hanging on a slatwall.

I am making the hopeful assumption this is all endemic thinking to Ken and Radio Shack and the other stakeholders in this, but the way to generate interest is one or more of the following:

Gordon, we sure appreciate your input in this way. Thinking about what's the right way to support this and doing it are two different things. Perhaps more than most of us, you know from your authoring experience that it takes a significant commitment to round out the selection of hardware with examples, ideas, applications, etc. We will most certainly need the assistance of you and all the forum members who can participate. It would be our honor to have such support.



1. Small, inexpensive books sold at Radio Shack covering many projects you can do with the Parallax product (full source code can be online) -- I'm thinking books very much like Matt's Cookbooks;

We can produce the book and then offer it to them. Parents, teachers, and anybody else raised without digital media would find this valuable.



2. A big push to create, promote, and exploit Parallax-inspired projects on the Radio Shack's DIY site;

RadioShack has asked for exactly this item.



3. Working with authors and contributors to let them know of the product mix available at Radio Shack, so when an article is written about so-and-such, they can say "Available at your local Radio Shack," instead of listing the usual online sources;


Also agreed.

4. A publicly editable wiki or "playground," supported by Parallax but not officially connected with them, where people can post their projects. The site would be moderated to prevent abuse.



5. And this heretical suggestion: More examples, using other microcontrollers, for supporting Parallax modular product (gyro, FM module, altimeter, whatever). This simply increases the population of potential customers.


Certainly. We must have code for Arduino and other popular platforms if the item is sold in RadioShack. Again, an area where we will need some assistance.



For my part, I'm trying to develop additional examples of Parallax's modular products, and have these published in print or on the Web. But it's slow-going because the current examples and datasheets are centered toward the BS2/Prop. Okay, that makes sense, and I understand why things are this way. But it takes more work to find tidbits like the I2C address. It's in the program demos, in one form or another, but not in the datasheet (I've run into two so far that are this way, the FM Module and the OFN module). These are GREAT products at a TERIFFIC pricepoint, but the datasheet/example problem pretty much locks these out to the average DIYer if their school, Scout den, robotics club, or whatever has settled on another MCU for their projects.

IMO, embracing these other controllers is the key to making all this work. This isn't saying anything about the functionality of BS2 or Prop, but is merely a recognition of the current market.

-- Gordon

Gordon, we agree with your points and would like to support them. Combine your efforts with Matt's "teach a RadioShack employee about the Parallax parts" campaign and we could make this a success. Hardware alone is not enough.

At the moment, I'm on an airplane to a RadioShack Biz Summit (select AA flights have WiFi!). We're spending a couple of days with their store managers (five thousand of them) to share our products. From this event we will collect some additional feedback about how we could best assist them. It would be our pleasure to have your assistance - I'll drop you an e-mail in a few minutes.

Sincerely,

Ken Gracey

RobotWorkshop
08-23-2011, 04:29 PM
At the moment, I'm on an airplane to a RadioShack Biz Summit (select AA flights have WiFi!). We're spending a couple of days with their store managers (five thousand of them) to share our products. From this event we will collect some additional feedback about how we could best assist them. It would be our pleasure to have your assistance - I'll drop you an e-mail in a few minutes.

Why don't you mention this weekends UPENE show to the RadioShack Managers. If there are any in the area it would certainly be good for them to attend the show and see what people are building with your products. There is nothing like seeing them used in real projects and talking directly to people who use them.....

Robert

$WMc%
08-23-2011, 04:33 PM
I wonder if RadioShack is gonna have a WiFi module?
'
I couldn't resist

Ken Gracey
08-23-2011, 04:47 PM
I wonder if RadioShack is gonna have a WiFi module?
'
I couldn't resist

Don't resist this particular temptation, Walt! We should be shipping these by now. Kevin took a temporary sideshow in Parallax to support a specific customer but he's almost done. The actual modules have been manufactured, so they are sitting in the production shop waiting for final marching orders on testing, packaging and sale. I plan on sending one each to you and Bill to thank you for your patience.

But as you know, they'll be too expensive for RadioShack stores.

Ken Gracey

Ken Gracey
08-23-2011, 04:49 PM
Hmmmm, gyroscope and compass, but no accelerometer. Do you think one will be added to the mix? Of the three inertial sensors accelerometers are the most useful for robotics. (It's also helpful when usesd with compasses like the HMC5883 that aren't tilt compensated.)

Your Memsic 2125 seems pretty good. Haven't run into any problems with it, though it is "only" 2-axis.

-- Gordon


No fears - the Memsic 2125 is already stocked in 5600+ stores, but in the drawers. It will stay in the drawers, unfortunately, but I was able to promote the Ping))) and PIR to center stage where they will bask in the fluorescent glory where they belong. The accelerometer is one of my favorite sensors, but we were given a limited amount of wall peg space.

Ken Gracey

Publison
08-23-2011, 04:52 PM
Hmmmm, gyroscope and compass, but no accelerometer. Do you think one will be added to the mix? Of the three inertial sensors accelerometers are the most useful for robotics. (It's also helpful when usesd with compasses like the HMC5883 that aren't tilt compensated.)

Your Memsic 2125 seems pretty good. Haven't run into any problems with it, though it is "only" 2-axis.

-- Gordon

I agree Gordon. They should add the MMA7455 3-Axis Accelerometer Module (http://www.parallax.com/Store/Sensors/AccelerationTilt/tabid/172/CategoryID/47/List/0/SortField/0/Level/a/ProductID/585/Default.aspx) to the "Hanger" list.

Jim

Edit: I see Ken already replied.

Publison
08-23-2011, 04:57 PM
@Ken,

I assume all the RS items will be available from the Parallax store also?

Just in case I'm on a deserted island with no Radio Shack, I can have Tom Hanks deliver by FedEx.

Jim

tdlivings
08-23-2011, 05:18 PM
So the stuff is already in select RS stores. I wonder if RS has a link somewhere as to which stores in a given state.
As I said I was going to do I went to my closest RS and the sales person seemed to know about it but he was not
real excited either way about it. The store does have DIY items and is not totally phones.

Tom

bomber
08-23-2011, 05:27 PM
I did a search on radioshack.com for "Parallax" and I got 2 matches. The ping and the WAM kit. when will the new Parallax products show up on the website?

Publison
08-23-2011, 06:14 PM
I did a search on radioshack.com for "Parallax" and I got 2 matches. The ping and the WAM kit. when will the new Parallax products show up on the website?

It is my impression that the final artwork for the packaging only went out this week. As Ken pointed out, you will not see product at the Shack until Sept-Oct.

I do hope Parallax will offer the new products through their store earlier so we can build something to bring into the RS stores and show them off.

Jim

$WMc%
08-23-2011, 06:33 PM
Pub
'
Look in the Store tab on the Parallax home page.

GordonMcComb
08-23-2011, 07:13 PM
It would be our pleasure to have your assistance

Ken, You got it! Whatever I can do I'd be honored.

Matt and I have already talked and a plan-of-action worked up. Enjoy the cool Ft. Worth weather (only 105 today!) and best of luck at the biz center convention. These products are a great opportunity for RS corporate and franchisees, as they play directly into the maker movement that's still showing growth, despite the economy.

-- Gordon

Publison
08-23-2011, 07:20 PM
Pub
'
Look in the Store tab on the Parallax home page.

Walt,

Have you searched for those product codes ? They don't exist yet in the store.

Jim

EDIT: Sorry Walt. I should have been more specific. These are the items I was talking about:

29124 - Altimeter Module (MS5611-01BA03)

27911 - 3-Axis Gyroscope Module (L3G4200D)

29133 - 3-Axis Compass Module (HMC5883L)

Kevin Cook
08-23-2011, 09:55 PM
What is the deal with the compass, altimeter and gyroscope modules? I don't see that in the Parallax store - are they new products that will be available here?

Hi Ron, Yes the compass, altimeter and gyroscope will all become available in our store (www.parallax.com (http://www.parallax.com)) at the beginning of October. The product name includes the IC's these units will be using. You should be able to search out the datasheets from Google. All of the units will default to IC for communication (both the Altimeter and Gyroscope can also be used in SPI mode). Power requirements on all of them will be the same (3.0V - 5.5V).

If you have any detailed questions please write me directly.

prof_braino
08-23-2011, 10:32 PM
Joining the chorus that this is great and has lots of possibility.


...Teach the Stores ..... Who's with me?


I'm with you Matt. I will .....

This seems like a very powerful potential. There is a Radio Shack near most every forum member in the US. Folks that are interested enough to participate in the forums also seem likely to participate with the store staff. Users training sales staff, possibly on a national scale. Has this been done before?

Maybe this aspect could be managed by parallax with simple instructions, or guidelines, or at least a list of highlights that parallax suggests?

Some of us have more enthusiasm than skill, but we still want to help.

WBA Consulting
08-24-2011, 12:30 AM
40000 - Propeller QuickStart Board............
900-00005 - Standard Servo.........
27977 - Serial LCD - Backlit......
28500 - GPS Module .........

(quote truncated)


Looks like I can probably make a Radio Shack version of my Reverse GeoCache Box (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?118830) if I use a quickstart board and the serial LCD. Guess I will have to add one quickstart to my next shopping list.

Tony B.
08-24-2011, 12:58 PM
With Ken going to the large convention it gave me an idea. What if willing forum members with the help of Parallax held regional/area training meetings to help introduce and train Radio Shack sales people on Parallax products and great support resources? Might be a bit easier to cover more stores and may just get managers attention and support of the new products.

I would be willing to try it in Central Illinois. If Parallax is interested please contact me.

Tony

prof_braino
08-24-2011, 02:57 PM
[FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]an idea. ...willing forum members...area training meetings .. try it in Central Illinois.

This is a great idea. I would be interested in providing support (effort, not money) or at least observing, as possible from Chicago.

Matt Gilliland
08-24-2011, 05:36 PM
Hey Tony, braino and everybody else...

Here's what we're thinking: We going to create a "demo device" that can be used to show off multiple items that RS will be stocking, and then you can leave it with the Store.

We're also developing an of incentive program for those of you who want to participate!

Evolving as we speak, toss your ideas into the mix...more details to come :-)

-Matt

erco
08-24-2011, 05:45 PM
Unfortunately my local "Rolling Robots" store closed this year. http://rollingrobots.com

They were in a premium ($$$) location in a busy mall, they lasted several years. Sold all sorts of robots (Parallax too) but their mainstay was an R/C arena where kids (and adults) rent a robot and race over light-up targets and move balls around to score. They did birthday parties and robot building sessions, which were very popular and fairly pricey. I wonder if Radio Shack would consider hosting any BoeBot competitions or something similar.

Most stores are too small for huge events, but maybe people could come by in small groups and compete over the course of a week to post their best score on a board. Rolling Robots maintained a web site with weekly and all-time high scores.

Matt Gilliland
08-24-2011, 05:51 PM
Just received...hot off the press...

Communique from Ken:

"TELL THEM WE ARE TRAINING THOUSANDS!"

84496
-Matt

Matt Gilliland
08-24-2011, 06:54 PM
From Ken -

This is Ken and Amy Shineman - the girl from the video...

84501

-Matt

Matt Gilliland
08-24-2011, 06:56 PM
The RS Soldering Stations are busy training managers to solder...

I could be wrong. But is it really possible that Radio Shack is SERIOUS about DIY? Me thinks so!

84502

YA-HOO RADIO SHACK!
-Matt

Matt Gilliland
08-24-2011, 06:58 PM
"The Project"...

84503

Matt Gilliland
08-24-2011, 07:13 PM
RS Soldering Stations are busy training managers to solder

RS looks like they're serious.

If we Forumistas unite and help RS teach their Stores, the whole community benefits :-)

Still working on our "RS Store Education Initiative" here. Will keep you posted!

-Matt

Microcontrolled
08-24-2011, 09:17 PM
WOW awesome work Parallax!!!! I can't believe that RS is taking this so seriously. I guess electronics are making a comeback!

BTW nice little kit that they are soldering, is that a work of Parallax?

mindrobots
08-24-2011, 09:41 PM
Hmmmm....a picture of a STANDARD PRODUCT line MadeUSA on display next to a Quad-copter and above other STANDARD PRODUCT LINE items.....did someone leak a photo they shouldn't have???? Is this like the spy photos of the 2014 cars in Popular Mechanics????

What? Me? I didn't see nuthin' unusual........

Publison
08-25-2011, 01:09 AM
Is Ken on his unicycle or is Amy just a little short? :smile:


From Ken -

This is Ken and Amy Shineman - the girl from the video...

84501

-Matt

Publison
08-25-2011, 01:16 AM
The BOEBot and the S2 SHOULD have been included in the rollout. There is nothing like moving objects to get the kids interested. (Price too high? They sell R/C toys that are close in price)

I understand that all the i's are dotted and t's crossed, but it could be a push for the Christmas season. Still time for a November-December sale.


Just received...hot off the press...

Communique from Ken:

"TELL THEM WE ARE TRAINING THOUSANDS!"

84496
-Matt

RS_Jim
08-26-2011, 10:32 PM
Hi,
As a member of the Shack team in Phoenix, I could not be more excited about the new product. I for one was very upset when they removed most of the DIY product from the stores three years ago. Now we are swing back toward the end of the spectrum where we started. I will go after my bosses to make sure that my store has all of the new product as I am the most qualified in the district tosell it. I get phone calls from stores all over the district on what size a resister do I need for this LED.
Jim

prof_braino
08-26-2011, 10:50 PM
Here's what we're thinking: We going to create a "demo device" that can be used to show off multiple items that RS will be stocking, and then you can leave it with the Store. We're also developing an of incentive program for those of you who want to participate!

I'm in.

What about software, in particular software training? In the case of software, the product is not parts, but it is books and classes. There is a LOT to software that has not been addressed by industry in general. I deal with experienced professionals, and many pro's don't know about process. Anybody who still thinks software starts and ends with coding has missed out.

The concepts of software development process as evolved from telecommunication, medical devices, and later aerospace and aviation, are now fairly well known and established. But this technology has not made it down the technology curve to other fields. Since this effort is focused on making "high tech" into "common tech", the software aspect should not be ignored.

My humble suggestion is that this has huge potential.

bomber
08-27-2011, 12:21 AM
from the looks of it the "project" is a bi color LED, two buttons, and a battery. please let me know if i am right.

Ken Gracey
08-27-2011, 02:59 AM
from the looks of it the "project" is a bi color LED, two buttons, and a battery. please let me know if i am right.

That's about right, bomber, except for the fact it's a tri-color LED. Each button press is a different color. The RadioShack folks were rightfully proud of the project and results.

Ken Gracey

potatohead
08-28-2011, 02:05 AM
This is really cool!

Thanks for the photos. Training thousands... Who would have thought? Clearly, I have to go visit my Radio Shack, and I'll have to show 'n tell and leave a card. What a wonderful way to meet up with some fellow prop heads, or potential prop heads in your local area.

frank freedman
08-28-2011, 03:05 AM
OMG!!! Radio Shack training managers to solder real boards!!!!! YIKES!!! What is this world coming to? I may not even have to go to Frys for a while?.. ....

Anyone out there remember the old Radio Shack P-box kits???

Frank

RS_Jim
08-28-2011, 02:19 PM
Matt,

RS looks like they're serious.

If we Forumistas unite and help RS teach their Stores, the whole community benefits :-)

Still working on our "RS Store Education Initiative" here. Will keep you posted!

I am not sure if my store will get the product immediately but I have put my word in with the district manager. Count me in from the Parallax side to teach my fellow associates!
Jim

CannibalRobotics
08-29-2011, 05:34 PM
So.... When are you going public and do we get any advance purchase options?

tdlivings
08-29-2011, 09:21 PM
Made my second trip to a Radio Shack today, this store the two sales people were interested and talked about
how the amount of area for parts and DIY had recently been increased in their store.
One of them indicated if I call back in the future I can get the district managers phone number and he is the one
who would decide what products are carried in the store. He indicated that many customers asking for them to
carry a particular RS part can be the driving force in having it in the store.

I put on my retailing hat and am thinking there needs to be a set of projects that uses the individual sensors and
other parts Parallax is going to package up for Radio Shack. Projects for local Boy Scout groups or school projects that
creates foot traffic at Radio Shack to get their project parts. Someone mentioned selling the S2 there and that is fine
but it is one higher cost item which already has all the sensors so it is a couple of sales but the rest of the parts just lay
there. Individual projects that use each sensor for learning would create more sales .

Just my thoughts
Tom

Matt Gilliland
08-30-2011, 04:37 AM
So.... When are you going public...?

Ok, so I can't speak for the owners, but I'm pretty certain it ain't gonna happen.

One of the many beauties of being a privately held company is that there is no pressure "to hit expectations", or to do things that create more hype than substance, rather than simply making the best stuff we can, and selling it at a fair price.

Honestly, if I were given the opportunity to gain some equity myself, I would take it in a heartbeat - not because of an "anticipated meteoric rise in value", but because the company is well ran, we invest in the best equipment, and the employees are treated more fairly than anywhere I've ever been. (And I've been a lot of places).

We're not perfect, but we're encouraged to do the best we can and when mistakes do happen, we're empowered to make things right.

Sounds trite, I know. But it's true, I see it happen everyday.
-Matt

Matt Gilliland
08-30-2011, 04:51 AM
Ok, back on topic -

We're slammed right now with three significant "projects" (that I'm involved with to some degree).

One is Radio Shack, second is Maker Fair NY prep, and the third is the "mystery project".

No, I still can't say.

Anyway...standby for upcoming details on how we (us and you) are gonna help usher in a whole new generation into geek-dom. It'll be fun, and it'll be an opportunity to grow our community!

We don't have all the answers, so "brainstorm" along with us :-)
-Matt

RS_Jim
08-30-2011, 01:18 PM
Ken,
How was your trip to FTW?
Jim

bomber
08-30-2011, 03:06 PM
When are you going public
Technically speaking... it has already gone public. Public meaning that it was announced on the forums. Public meaning that anybody can visit the forums. Public meaning that... you get the idea.

jim N8RHQ
08-30-2011, 05:18 PM
Hey Ken, great job to Parallax for helping Radio Shack re-enter the DIY market, like many others, I can hardly wait for my local stores to stock up.

Any chance of the 3 wire extension cables being available? Maybe a 5 pack of the 10" variety, for like $9.95

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
08-30-2011, 06:01 PM
Any chance of the 3 wire extension cables being available? Maybe a 5 pack of the 10" variety, for like $9.95
I would definitely second that suggestion! Those cables are some of the most valuable commodities in my shop. And when you need one really badly, having them on the shelf at RadioShack -- at whatever price -- would be much better than waiting for an order to arrive.

In the same vein, an assortment of #4 hardware (screws, nuts, spacers, R/A brackets) would also come in handy. The local hardware store does pretty well with the screws and nuts, but spacers and, in particular, R/A brackets are not so easy to find in the small sizes.

-Phil

Oldbitcollector (Jeff)
08-30-2011, 07:19 PM
Any chance of the 3 wire extension cables being available? Maybe a 5 pack of the 10" variety, for like $9.95

Great Idea! MOTION CARRIED..

OBC

RS_Jim
08-30-2011, 11:45 PM
Great Idea Jim N8RHQ
How about some 3 pin headers as well! I am taking apart some old protoboards to get them!
Jim

doggiedoc
08-31-2011, 12:04 AM
Any chance of the 3 wire extension cables being available? Maybe a 5 pack of the 10" variety, for like $9.95


How about some 3 pin headers as well!

Best ideas I've heard all year!

Paul

RS_Jim
09-01-2011, 01:26 PM
Hi,
Last night, I had an opportunity to discuss some of the new products with a young man and his mother about the upcomming new products from Parallax. He can't wait! He was so excited to find someone in a Radio Shack store that could mentor his electronics interests. I really had a story to tell because of the upcomming products from Parallax. I will bet that he can introduce me to more individuals that need that kind of mentoring and this kind of product. Now, with Verizon cell phones on the Horizon and Props a commin things are looking up at the shack!
Jim

prof_braino
09-01-2011, 04:33 PM
someone in a Radio Shack store that could mentor his electronics interests.

Hey! There's an idea!

Perhaps parallax could help us organize a way for forumistas to become mentors for specific radio shack stores? We could probably "wander in" and maybe strike up a conversation with individual managers, but it might better if something were organized as a "program" for legal, safety, organizational, etc.

Even if it were to arrange for mentors and neophytes to communicate on a forum location, or arrange a time to meet in the store to look at a project.

Ideas?

bill190
09-01-2011, 06:00 PM
In the past I have attended local "user group" meetings for this or that. There are sometimes community rooms available for groups to meet in for free or at little cost. Ask your city/county/parks department or some restaurants have separate rooms for meetings.

These would meet once a month in the evening typically. And someone from the group would make a presentation about something he/she was working on or knew about. Then after that there might be a general questions time. Anyone could throw out questions to the group. Every so often they might have a pot luck. And there might be a visiting guest speaker from out of town every so often. For programming, businesses would show up looking for someone to hire. Etc.

And these groups might be computer, ham radio, Microsoft Access Database programmers, etc.

People would come from 100 miles away to attend these meetings.

There is even a wikipedia page for this...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Users'_group

List of user groups...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_users%27_groups

Matt Gilliland
09-02-2011, 05:01 AM
Hey all - totally slammed with the "mystery project" all day today - all great stuff/ideas here...

...and this is at least as important as that :-)

Maker Fair prep going on too - thread coming soon on that.

Stay tuned and keep ideas coming...
-Matt

Fxc2hh
09-02-2011, 06:05 AM
Hey! There's an idea!

Perhaps parallax could help us organize a way for forumistas to become mentors for specific radio shack stores? We could probably "wander in" and maybe strike up a conversation with individual managers, but it might better if something were organized as a "program" for legal, safety, organizational, etc.

Even if it were to arrange for mentors and neophytes to communicate on a forum location, or arrange a time to meet in the store to look at a project.

Ideas?

Maybe if it was a club or a group that wanted to meet there and have a common goal. At least they would all be doing the same thing and maybe the outcome would be profitable.

I've tried to give my employer advice but they don't listen because they've tried everything before. Or why should they listen to me when they pay a professional or a consultant?

If mentors aren't representative of society as a whole then any store might stock up on some items that people don't want to buy and they might end up putting their money in stock that won't sell. Owners are afraid of getting stuck with inventory.

How would a store know if a mentor had the right stuff? How many projects has the mentor made? How many of those products are worthwhile? I think they might be self employed if their ideas were profitable.

How many of those mentors had their products on Instructables? How many of those mentors had their products on Kickstarter?

And there are smart people who make products that fail. Remember the PC Junior by IBM? I'm also trying to understand why HP wants to drop their product line. Would someone want them guiding Radio Shack?

frank freedman
09-03-2011, 07:35 AM
Gordon, we sure appreciate your input in this way.

We can produce the book and then offer it to them. Parents, teachers, and anybody else raised without digital media would find this valuable.


At the moment, I'm on an airplane to a RadioShack Biz Summit (select AA flights have WiFi!). We're spending a couple of days with their store managers (five thousand of them) to share our products. From this event we will collect some additional feedback about how we could best assist them. It would be our pleasure to have your assistance - I'll drop you an e-mail in a few minutes.

Sincerely,

Ken Gracey

Found this browsing so it is a bit late, but regarding the little book idea, I think Radio Shack may even still have their Experimenters handbook out there. Remember these from a ways back, they were supposed to look like an engineering note book with "hand drawn sketches of the napkin style common from to long a late nighter tossing ideas around at Denny's", and also print looking like hand written printed text. If I am not suffering from early onset CRS, I think the author was Forrest Mims. Would be a not bad idea to have your Parallax FAEs do a couple of these for the MCUs and perhaps a sensors book that would be "independent" (yeah, I know watch that political stuff) of processor.

Frank Freedman

erco
09-03-2011, 08:10 AM
Hey all - totally slammed with the "mystery project" all day today - all great stuff/ideas here...

Yeah, Matt, I know just what you mean. I'm slammed with my own "mystery project". It's fabulous and it's gonna set the world on fire, not just Maker Faire. Gee Whiz, it's a dang shame I can't tell you anything about it...

Ravenkallen
09-03-2011, 05:33 PM
This might be a stupid question, but i have not been to a Radio shack in awhile. Are the new Parallax products already available in stores?

RS_Jim
09-04-2011, 02:33 PM
Revinkallen

This might be a stupid question, but i have not been to a Radio shack in awhile. Are the new Parallax products already available in stores?
No, I would not expect to see them until Oct. we have not yet seen the floorplan updates that would tell us that the product is on the way.
Jim

Ron Czapala
09-10-2011, 09:41 PM
I went to RadioShack today and asked the salesperson about the arrival of Parallax products.

She said corporate said more DYI parts would be coming but she hasn't seen anything yet.

From the expression on her face, the "Parallax" name didn't seem familiar to her...

Jay B. Harlow
09-10-2011, 09:48 PM
I asked at one of our local Radio Shack's he suggested he saw the memo, but didn't remember details, nor was he allowed to discuss it.

He indicated 3 in town are corporate stores, the rest are franchises.

Jay

sylvie369
09-11-2011, 03:00 PM
Seeing this and the "Sparkfun at Micro Centers" thread makes me wonder if the good folks at Parallax have ever tried to get space at Amateur Electronic Supply. Sure, they don't have a lot of traffic, and they only have four stores (right?), but the people who do come through there all receive a monthly magazine (QST) that describes do-it-yourself electronics projects, and most of them know more about that kind of thing than I ever will. The photos in that "Micro Center" thread really look just like the "do-it-yourself" corner at the Milwaukee store.

Fxc2hh
09-11-2011, 08:08 PM
I have a tip for everyone.

I was at a mall Radio Shack and the manager told me there is a difference between the mall stores and the strip mall stores. The mall stores are more consumer oriented and the strip malls are more hobby oriented. The strip malls may have more part cabinets and carry a more full line of your hobby line. The mall stores will not carry a whole hobby line and won't have all the parts.

RS_Jim
09-12-2011, 05:09 PM
Mall stores tend to be "shopper's stores" and Strip stores tend to be destination stores. I generally have seen more hobby activity at strip stores than Mall stores.
Jim

Bob Lawrence (VE1RLL)
09-13-2011, 03:59 AM
@Ken Gracey

re: Do you have a similar plan for the Canadian market? We don't have Radio Shack stores.
Hey Bob, who's the leading electronic retailer in Canada? Let us know your preference and we'll put the product into their stores.

We used to have Radio Shack stores but they were taken over by "The Source". They would be a good fit for your products.

Background on The Source - How it came to be:

Operations in Canada

[edit (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=RadioShack&action=edit&section=13)] Pre-2005

The Canadian counterpart of RadioShack, also known as RadioShack, was run by a company called InterTAN (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/InterTAN), acquired in 2004 by Circuit City (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circuit_City_%281949%E2%80%932009_company%29). However, RadioShack sued InterTAN one week after the purchase, claiming InterTAN had breached the terms of their agreement. On March 24, 2005, a U.S. district court judge ruled in favor of RadioShack and cancelled their agreement, meaning that all 950 RadioShack stores in Canada must stop using the brand name in any of their products, packaging or advertising by June 30, 2005. As a result, all of the InterTAN stores were rebranded under the name The Source by Circuit City (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Source_by_Circuit_City) and RadioShack Corporation planned to open its own stores in Canada under the RadioShack name.
[edit (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=RadioShack&action=edit&section=14)] Post-2005

After preventing InterTAN from using the RadioShack trademark, RadioShack announced its intention to re-enter the Canadian market itself with a Canadian division. InterTAN pursued court action to prevent RadioShack from using the trademark in Canada until the original 2010 expiry date of the original licensing agreement. The company had planned to have 20 to 30 stores operating in Canada as RadioShack by the end of 2005, mostly in the Toronto area, but progress was slower than anticipated. As of September 2006, nine company-owned stores had been opened and 16 dealer stores were operating under the name RadioShack, signing new agreements with RadioShack Corporation.


In January 2007, RadioShack Corporation announced that it closed its nine company-owned stores in Canada in order for the company to refocus its attention and resources on strengthening its core business in the U.S.[17] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RadioShack#cite_note-16)

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RadioShack#cite_note-16)
The Source by Circuit City (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Source_by_Circuit_City) was sold to Bell Canada (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_Canada) and rebranded as The Source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Source_%28retailer%29) and continues to operate in Canada despite the closure of all US Circuit City (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circuit_City_%281949%E2%80%932009_company%29) (big box) stores in February 2009.


Info copied and pasted from here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RadioShack





The Source Website:

http://www.thesource.ca/estore/default.aspx?language=en-CA&swlang=true

================================================== ================================
Corporate Info:
The Source (Bell) Electronics Inc ***

Phone: (705) 728-1617Fax: (866) 384-3420279 Bayview Dr, Barrie, ON L4M 4W5http://www.thesource.ca

Buck Rogers
09-26-2011, 11:26 PM
You're welcome, but it's the whole Parallax team and you that make this possible.

There's an interesting generational gap about the value of RadioShack for this kind of product. Ask anybody over 35-40 if RadioShack had anything to do with their interest in electronics and the answer is an obvious "yes". Heck, I used to go there with Chip and we'd buy speaker drivers, 8-tracks, CB radios, soldering stations, etc. while my dad was waving around his free battery card to get another D-cell for our flashlights. But, check in with somebody younger and they primarily know RadioShack as a cell phone source. RadioShack is back in the electronics game and this perception will be altered. I'm not one to be "won over" but they're in this for real.

Hello!
I agree! I remember those cards. I even found a few whilst sorting out stuff some weeks to months previously.

I even saw these new items at the Maker Faire, It was an interesting discussion that ensued regarding them. I mentioned what happened when I mentioned on the Forum about two sensors being sold at prices that implied that the company, (RS) was discontinuing the effort of carrying them. They were the RFID reader, and the optical sensor, the TS230.

Now I thought that you were Chip, because the group there referred to you as such.

I already know what I am buying.

photomankc
09-28-2011, 05:07 PM
Good greif yes, I can't wait! I remember blowing my allowance each week on another proto-board and some more ICs. Then it turned into a cell phone store and even getting a pack of resistors, or a useful switch was becoming difficult. Yes, Jameco, Mouser, ect. has a whole warehouse of stuff but there is nothing more irritating to me than waiting 4 days for a resistor or capicitor and having to order a ton of crap I don't really need just to justify the shipping. This is great news. I love being able to grab something interesting to try out this week without the hassel of online orders.

RS_Jim
10-01-2011, 12:45 AM
Hi,
Just learned this week that there is a reset occuring at the end of October. That means the new products will get displayed in the late October time frame.
Jim

WBA Consulting
10-01-2011, 06:41 AM
Excellent! That means I now have a deadline for the "Radio Shackable Propeller Based Reverse Geo-Cache Box" project. I am remaking my Reverse Geo-Cache project (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?118830) with Parallax parts that will be sold at RS. This means that the 4 major components (GPS, Microcontroller, Display, and Servo) can be picked up at RS. The rest of the components can be picked up between RS and Walmart.

RS_Jim
10-01-2011, 02:09 PM
Andrew, I look forward to seeing your results!
Jim

Matt Gilliland
10-02-2011, 04:09 AM
Hey everyone!
So sorry for the silence here on our end. This has been an amazing few weeks here with Eddie-bot, and RS production and shipping readiness.

Our Kitting Department has been working 6 days a week with lots of extra help from all departments within, and extra help from outside as well.

Today (Sat), for example RS Kitting was staffed by the Regulars as well as part of the Sales team too.

We have Pot-loads of Full-Blown Eddies in production as well. Today, I was on "Charger modification duty".

I say all this to let you know we have not forgotten about this thread and those of you who are interested in helping usher in the next batch of DIY'ers through the RS doors :D

More to come!
-Matt

Matt Gilliland
10-02-2011, 04:10 AM
I now have a deadline for the "Radio Shackable Propeller Based Reverse Geo-Cache Box" project

Go WBA, Go!
-Matt

Matt Gilliland
10-02-2011, 04:13 AM
Just learned this week that there is a reset occuring at the end of October. That means the new products will get displayed in the late October time frame.

Hey RSJim -
This sounds about right from our viewpoint too. We have big outgoing shipments pending for first week of October :D

-Matt

lanternfish
10-03-2011, 09:41 AM
I wonder if Jaycar (Oz & NZ) will pick up on this ....

Buck Rogers
10-04-2011, 05:04 AM
Hey RSJim -
This sounds about right from our viewpoint too. We have big outgoing shipments pending for first week of October :D

-Matt

Hello!
Well group, I just ran a search on the key word Parallax on the Radio Shack site, all it that <Crude description of site's search engine deleted> found was the WAM and the PING!!! sensor. It didn't even think of the Memsic sensor as well.

When about is this big delivery of new stuff going to land at Radio Shack? (Note there are two stores within walking distance of me, on is on 31AVE by the Astoria BLVD-Ditmars Subway stop, and the other is on Steinway Street. Both sadly are inhabited by people that are barely above the capabilities of individuals who did not make the cut to become members of the Grand Army of the Republic, or even Borg Drones.)

I might try my luck asking at two others....

RS_Jim
10-04-2011, 02:24 PM
Buck,
Don't expect to find anything about the new Parallax Products until the third week in Oct. If Parallax wants good exposure on the shack web site, I suggest that they make up some electronic data sheets that follow the format of the shack web info and forward to corporate. Particularly important would be the tech spec sheet. The individuals that enter that info are electronically challanged and can bearly read what is written on the package!
Jim

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
10-04-2011, 04:20 PM
About those so-called "Tech Specs": now there's something that just has to change if RS is serious about supporting the experiment/hobbyist community. Here's an example of what I'm talking about (from the RS website for a dual op amp):


Tech Specs

General Features

Model: TL082/TL082CP
Product Type: IC-Analog
Enclosure Color: Black

Fits What

Model: TL082/TL082CP

Miscellaneous Features

Min Operating Temperature: 32 Fahrenheit
Max Operating Temperature: 158 Fahrenheit
Supported Languages: English
Mounting Kit: Requires 8 pin dip socket
#per pack: 1

"Enclosure color?" Seriously? It's a chip, for heaven's sake! Who cares what color it is? And where's the spec for voltage? Are the inputs/outputs rail-to-rail? What about the gain-bandwidth product?

I disagree that Parallax should follow the "leader" with the Tech Spec stuff; they need to be the leader and guide RadioShack's hand if RS expects to garner any respect for it's hobbyist/experimenter offerings.

-Phil

mindrobots
10-04-2011, 04:38 PM
At least it's good to know that this particular op-amp supports English! I hate having to use those "translator" chips between components!!

Martin_H
10-04-2011, 04:58 PM
Phil, I agree that Radio Shack's lack of technical data compared to competitors is a problem. I recently bought a 38 KHz IR detector came from Radio Shack and the packaging only had the pin out diagram. The Radio Shack website has no pointers to data sheets and the part number looked like a radio Shack catalog number and not an industry one.

Now it worked for IR remote decoding, but when I tried to send it my own IR pulses, I had to use trial and error coupled with forum help (thanks Gordon) to figure out what its tolerances were.

Matt Gilliland
10-04-2011, 10:21 PM
Hey all -

Thought you might like a peek as to where we are in the Radio Shack Project...

Various stuff, getting stuffed...
85669

Part of our intrepid "Packing Crew" - Yay Team!
85668

More Stuff...
85667

...yet more stuff...
85666

...and more of the Crew! Hurry up and pack!
85665

-Matt

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
10-04-2011, 10:38 PM
That's really a sweet view -- all that stuff nearly ready to go! Do you have some kind of verifiable auditing in place for the piece counts in each case? (I speak from the experience of a friend who sells fishing tackle to large distributors.) Are you hiring a truck to get it all to Fort Worth? It looks like a bit too much for a UPS shipment. :)

-Phil

Matt Gilliland
10-05-2011, 04:33 PM
Hey all - pics of pallets getting readied for Radio Shack...

85689

hmmmm...I wonder what all those #28015's are?
85690

And the Packing Crew...(noticeably exhaused ;-) Way to go Crew!
85688
-Matt
http://forums.parallax.com/images/misc/pencil.png

Matt Gilliland
10-05-2011, 04:42 PM
...Are you hiring a truck to get it all to Fort Worth?
No. I think it's all going out freight. Probably around 8 or 10 pallets for the first out-going batch.

Verifying the carton count is simply done by two packers, one of which is our Kitting leader (Mark).
-Matt

Publison
10-05-2011, 04:55 PM
That IS a great sight!

They are exhausted because you are feeding them hamburgers. Try Red Bull instead. :)

Oldbitcollector (Jeff)
10-05-2011, 05:22 PM
Talked with my local Radio Shack yesterday..

They are looking forward to seeing what is coming in from Parallax. While they won't let me leave a project with them for the counter, ("If we did this for one, we'd have to do it for everyone.") They have invited me to bring them a Quickstart board demo so that they can see what can be done with it.

I'm pretty hyped, as they are currently #4 in the region for moving electronics parts.

OBC

Matt Gilliland
10-05-2011, 08:51 PM
("If we did this for one, we'd have to do it for everyone.")
Hey OBC -
What does that mean? "for one employee, for all employees at the store", or "for one and all stores" ? Could you clarify?
Thanks!
Matt

localroger
10-05-2011, 09:43 PM
Matt, OBC's RS probably meant that if they let one customer showcase a product in the case, they'd have to let all of their customers do the same.

Oldbitcollector (Jeff)
10-05-2011, 11:46 PM
They won't let me bring in a demonstration Quickstart and leave it with them on the counter...
They will let me bring in a demonstration Quickstart and show it off to the staff so that they can talk about it with the customers.

OBC


Hey OBC -
What does that mean? "for one employee, for all employees at the store", or "for one and all stores" ? Could you clarify?
Thanks!
Matt

Matt Gilliland
10-06-2011, 03:39 AM
Hummm. I wonder if that's a RS policy, or a franchisee policy, or something? I shall try it myself here in the next week...
-Matt

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
10-06-2011, 03:53 AM
Matt,

Have you guys considered creating a simple self-running POS demo for the stores? (No, not that POS, the other one: "Point of Sale." Geez! I can read your mind from here! Through the rain!) 'Just thinking that something provided via Fort Worth might meet less resistance from the store managers.

-Phil

RS_Jim
10-06-2011, 02:00 PM
Hummm. I wonder if that's a RS policy, or a franchisee policy, or something? I shall try it myself here in the next week...
-Matt

Radio Shack Corporate policy is that no advertising material may be displayed in any store without corporate approval. This applies to any vendor generated "POP" . I suggest such a demo be designed and approved by FTW then we can put it into the stores.
Another Jumpstart program would be to build projects using available Radio Shack parts and submitting them to the RS DIY website. I would like to see a small robot built with maybe PB Jar lids with LiveStrong wrist bands for tires and housed in a project box. I will be unable to build anything myself until the products hit the stores when I can buy at my employee price. Let me know via this thread or PM when such projects get posted and I will send internal message to the DIY folks.

Jim

RobotWorkshop
10-06-2011, 03:20 PM
Jim,

Do you happen to know if the Radio Shack in Grosse Pointe Woods on Mack Ave is going to get the Parallax items? It is one of the larger stores in the area and with the demographics of the people in the area it would be a good location for the parts. I'd really like to see them at this store since it is close enough to walk to if I needed something. I haven't picked up a QuickStart board yet and was holding off until they get them in that store.

Robert

tdlivings
10-06-2011, 04:28 PM
Jim
I will let you know if I see anything at the Oakland Mall store or Troy store.
I am in Sterling Heights

Tom

RS_Jim
10-06-2011, 04:33 PM
Jim,

Do you happen to know if the Radio Shack in Grosse Pointe Woods on Mack Ave is going to get the Parallax items? It is one of the larger stores in the area and with the demographics of the people in the area it would be a good location for the parts. I'd really like to see them at this store since it is close enough to walk to if I needed something. I haven't picked up a QuickStart board yet and was holding off until they get them in that store.

Robert
Robert,
I don't even know if my store is going to get the product.
Jim

Matt Gilliland
10-07-2011, 03:52 AM
A peek "from deep within the bowels of the top-secret Kitting Department"...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=np21NWBwT0A

-Matt

rbwilliams
10-10-2011, 04:52 PM
I can't wait until my local RS store stocks this stuff!!

As a side note, that video was terrible!

Sorry - but it sounds like Parallax suffers the same problem that most companies do - managers completely out of touch with their employees.

Or, at least edit it so that we don't hear managerial pep-talk!

Thanks for all you do!

Matt Gilliland
10-10-2011, 05:34 PM
Hi rbwilliams - Welcome to the Forums! :D


As a side note, that video was terrible!

You are soooo right! The videos really do *stink* ! Especially this one. (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?135011-The-Great-Radio-Shack-Ship!-All-Aboard!!!)

A little background that might help "justify" why it's so awful...

Everybody in those videos has been working non-stop on two HUGE projects - Both Radio Shack and the Eddie Robot Platform for Microsoft's RDS Group.

Manufacturing has been putting in countless hours getting the product built and Kitting has been packing for WEEKS.

Everybody in that video (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?135011-The-Great-Radio-Shack-Ship!-All-Aboard!!!) was completely exhausted (in fact, most went home right after the video was produced. I can point to multiple examples of how each one of those people gave up their early mornings and late nights routinely to get these shipments out the door, and on time :-)

As an example, Kitting starts around 4:30am and has been going home around 4pm for quite a while now.

Multiple people in Manufacturing (including that tired looking guy in the Krispy Kreme hat :) start early and work late everyday for the last few weeks - this, for many of them also meant giving up their Saturdays - and Sunday's too. (Although this was not a mandated requirement by Management here - we just love what we do, and this was an opportunity to go "above and beyond".)

For example, Mr. Krispy Kreme was here all day, every day last week. He went home at 1:30 am Friday morning, and was back in here at 7am the same day (Friday) - He's not the only one, just an example of how our team strives toward excellence. (Not that we're excellent - we just want to make the best stuff we can, with the resources we have).

As for the video? Holy Cow, that's really, really bad !!!
I'm the videographer (and cheerleader!)...(embarrassed to admit :-)

At the time I'm up on a ladder (not quite stable anyway), tired and being rushed because everybody there was DONE! and they just wanted to go home...

Then here I come along and say, "Hey - got an idea" Even though we're all "dead" - let's make a video and tell the world what's coming their way!!!

All I heard way "groans", and "you're nuts dude" - but rally to my side, they did!

Pretty? no.
Professionally done? no.

Pooped? Absolutely Yes!

Welcome to the Forums rbwilliams:smile: - you just happened along to catch us in a "quite unlike Parallax" mood on the video. Hang around and hopefully you'll see us in a better light :-)

No worries!
-Matt

mindrobots
10-10-2011, 05:38 PM
My only problem with the video is I keep reading "KITTEN" instead of "KITTING" and that would just be so wrong........:lol:

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
10-10-2011, 05:38 PM
Sorry - but it sounds like Parallax suffers the same problem that most companies do - managers completely out of touch with their employees.

I couldn't disagree more with that assessment. What the video reveals to me is a very collegial environment, where the staff at all levels has a sense of common purpose and ownership over the work they do. In how many more traditional work environments could someone unselfconsciously admit that another person can work faster than he does? To me, this exemplifies a healthy workplace, where each team member is valued for what they can do. If you were to visit Parallax, you would experience this atmosphere firsthand, since it pervades the entire company and everything they do.

-Phil

Matt Gilliland
10-10-2011, 05:52 PM
Oh, Phil - lighten up :D
rb just came along at the exactly the wrong time to get a fair perspective on how we operate here - heck, I would have probably come to the same conclusion...

And just to clarify a little bit rb - I'm not a manager here (by any stretch of imagination!) Everybody here is encouraged to interact with customers - anytime, anywhere. Just because I take pictures/videos of the crew, doesn't mean I manage anyone or any thing - I'm simply a "part of the team" (and blessed to be so).

(At the risk of sounding like a cheerleader again),
Welcome rb!

-Matt

doggiedoc
10-10-2011, 07:43 PM
@Matt - I want to work with you guys! Any positions open at Parallax for a veterinarian?

Back on topic - I stopped by my neighborhood RS today at lunch and chatted with the manager for a few. She said they are due a reset at the end of this month but didn't have access to any details. This seconds what others have said in the thread. RS_Jim I believe said something similar.

Paul

xanatos
10-11-2011, 12:00 AM
Unfortunately my Radio Shack managers here in Western Massachusetts seem to have not a CLUE about ANY of this. And I've been asking for a few months now. Starting to think they were all at a different meeting when the rest of the country's RS managers were talking with Parallax...

RS_Jim
10-22-2011, 03:15 PM
Parallax parts slowly trickling into stores. Call your freindly local shack and ask if they have the new technical kits section. If they do, they will have Parallax parts coming in. I have some prices and from what I see our prices are within $1 or $2 of online prices from Parallax. Unfortunately my store doesn't have that section.
Jim

RS_Jim
10-23-2011, 02:13 PM
Part numbers that you are looking for are 276-0119 thru 276-0126. These parts are not currently comming up under the Radio Shack online search engine. I will keep you posted as to when they are arriving in stores. Should happen about midweek this week. Call your local store and ask them for a 2760119 (gyro) if they don't have it ask them to do an inventory search in the "Product Information tool" in ANSO.
Jim

doggiedoc
10-23-2011, 03:05 PM
Thanks Jim - your info is very helpful.


Paul

prof_braino
10-23-2011, 04:44 PM
I don't know if y'all have thought about this, but at my local radio shack, most of the customers and workers speak Spanish. Mexican type Spanish as this is Chicago. Of course the workers speak American well enough (notice I did not mistakenly say English here, that is a different topic) but the majority of the customers and workers THINK in Spanish.

Of course in this neighborhood, there are more or less equal amounts of Polish, Ukrainian, Hindi, Bengali, and Chinese that are also present; but Spanish is the biggest, probably equal to the others combined.

Does the packaging contain line that says "instrucions y data sheets en espaniol es en www:parallax/spanishstuff/" ? (Except spelled correctly)? Sure would be easier if the kids (i.e. parents) didn't have to do the translation.

Buck Rogers
10-23-2011, 06:42 PM
I don't know if y'all have thought about this, but at my local radio shack, most of the customers and workers speak Spanish. Mexican type Spanish as this is Chicago. Of course the workers speak American well enough (notice I did not mistakenly say English here, that is a different topic) but the majority of the customers and workers THINK in Spanish.

Of course in this neighborhood, there are more or less equal amounts of Polish, Ukrainian, Hindi, Bengali, and Chinese that are also present; but Spanish is the biggest, probably equal to the others combined.

Does the packaging contain line that says "instrucions y data sheets en espaniol es en www:parallax/spanishstuff/" ? (Except spelled correctly)? Sure would be easier if the kids (i.e. parents) didn't have to do the translation.


Hello!
Same problem with where I am. (Queens New York) But the RS where I buy the majority of items, they can't decide, it being Astoria. One in Rego Park, again leans towards Spanish, except I did hear the manager, (wonderful fellow most days of the week) cursing in Russian, once. (The kind of curses that have to be said in a different language.)

They do, taken as a whole, speak perfect American English with a mild Queens accent, except for that manager. And the local Astoria one just got the manager from parts of the underworld...... RS makes a point of inserting specialty managers into stores they think are not doing very well it seems. Well, the fact that particular store does not sell as many cell phones as they do computers..... Same for the Forest Hills one.

Well group we shall see when we see.

rbwilliams
11-01-2011, 05:13 PM
Visited my local RS last night. Was happy to see a small section of hook space opening up. Indeed I saw 2 PING sensors hanging on them. I did not ask the sales assoc. if more devices were coming.

Matt Gilliland
11-02-2011, 04:49 AM
Hey rbwilliams-
Welcome to the Forums!

It'll be interesting to see these displays as they get populated. Perhaps those of you who happen to be near one of the initial Stocking Stores, could snap a couple pics for all of use to see? I think there's a couple here in the Sacramento area that I'll visit in a week or two - I'll try and check it out too.

-Matt

Publison
11-02-2011, 07:52 PM
Hey rbwilliams-
Welcome to the Forums!

It'll be interesting to see these displays as they get populated. Perhaps those of you who happen to be near one of the initial Stocking Stores, could snap a couple pics for all of use to see? I think there's a couple here in the Sacramento area that I'll visit in a week or two - I'll try and check it out too.

-Matt

Went to snap a shot of the pegboard today at a RS store 8 miles from me. I checked to see if they had a 3-Axis Gyro in stock, and they did. Drove down and looked all over the store for the display. None to be found. I asked if the Gyros were in stock, ( yea, they are in a box in the back).

After purchasing the Gyro and getting home, I check the stock of all the other items at the store, (I was only interested in the Gyro today), and they only had 3 items in stock.

They said they were behind a little bit on the reset.

I bet cell phone sales took much of that time away from them. :)

Jim

doggiedoc
11-03-2011, 02:46 AM
My local store that's on the list is very slow getting every thing in. I went back tonight and they still haven't put anything out yet. The salesman was kind enough to go in the back and bring out some of everything they've gotten in so far. The only Parallax products he had yet beside the Ping))) was the LCD and the Gyroscope. I bought one of each and some of the MakerSHED items that will be going into the same new DIY section.

The salesman said they would wait for all of the items to come in before redoing the display so there are no gaps or empty places.

Paul

frank freedman
11-03-2011, 03:57 AM
Hopefully this will be a bit more coordinated than phx area Fry's. Here you can buy the schmartboard qfn prop board, and guess which 40 pin version of the prop chip? Yep, no quad pkg devices to be found. The schmart (correctly) is where the solder/wrap/buildit parts live. The prop stuff ping, quick start, BOE and other kit stuff is in with the legos arduinos and other science related kits. That is where the 40 pin chip lives. But no chips for the schmartboard. I went w/ the GG usb platform.

Frank

RS_Jim
11-03-2011, 02:12 PM
Right now the shipments are dribbling in. Our store has had the prop board 0'd out two weeks in a row. We went to reset the "kits and cleaners" section, but not enough product available to make the rework worth while. The only thing we have gotten besids the basic stamp homework board is PIR and Ping. No servos, no joysticks no cpu or gyro or compass. When more product gets in, I will try and sort out the difference between a "core store" and a Tech store as far as Parallax stocking is concerned.

Jim

ajward
11-04-2011, 02:36 AM
Stopped by the local RS today and found a USB Homework board in addition to the Ping and PIR.

Good times coming!

Amanda

RobotWorkshop
11-04-2011, 07:30 PM
The only thing I have seen so far at the Radio Shack stores are a couple PING modules. Hopefully the rest will start showing up soon.

However, I had to go to the Micro Center at 14 Mile in Madison Heights to pickup a new fan for my PC. While I was there I went to the section where the SparkFun product were hanging and saw that they now have a bunch of the Parallax items in stock. Hanging on the pegs were: Analog Joystick, Gyro, BASIC Stamp board, Accelerometer. They also had some BoeBots and S2 robots on the shelf. I'm not sure if they have any more on the way but at least some of it is up for sale now...

Robert

tdlivings
11-04-2011, 08:36 PM
@RobotWorkshop
I just returned from the Troy Commons store, they have a few more items.
I purchased a 2x16 Serial LCD, they still have one more.
They have a couple of ping modules a gyro.
They seem to be setting up a DIY section in the corner which will be a mix of
Parallax and Make Kits.
One of the Make kits for $35 you get an Adrinio, a protoboard and some parts to
experiment with. As I stated in a previous post it makes the $40 RS cost of a
QuickStart board not a good choice for a beginner starting out. Maybe the RS
web has an error and that is not the price.
The other Parallax stuff is priced resonable.
The salesman I talked to is big on Robotics. Ray is his name if I remeber right.
He is new and we had a good discussion on Parallax.
The other sales people I talked to over the last several weeks were good people
it was just that did not know Parallax , but they were very interested in having it and
the DIY stuff in the store.

Tom

RobotWorkshop
11-04-2011, 08:55 PM
Hello Tom,

Maybe next week I can stop by that store during lunch time and see what else shows up. I agree that at $40 the QuickStart may not be as popular as the Adrunio started pack. An appropriate price would have been $29.95 which is only $4.95 more than on the Parallax site and a little less than the Adruino. I don't mind paying a few dollars more for the convenience of getting it locally quick when I need to but a $15 dollar premium is just too much. I hope they make an adjustment on that and the price drops.

Robert

Spamity Calamity
11-06-2011, 05:44 PM
I'm liking the new packaging. I remember seeing the PING sensors stuffed away in one of those gray parts bins in a boring white bag and thought it didnt really do the product justice.

Buck Rogers
11-07-2011, 01:12 AM
I'm liking the new packaging. I remember seeing the PING sensors stuffed away in one of those gray parts bins in a boring white bag and thought it didnt really do the product justice.

Hello!
So far that's all I am seeing. I've used first the Memsic based gizmo and then the PING to explain what the whole business is about. The first one I checked with was the one in Astoria with the blockhead of a manager who's got no clear idea that he's in a store that sells huge quantities of DIY stuff and then cells and finally computers and even a few HDTV units. It seemed they are aware of the decision, but nothing has arrived, despite the fact that the kludge of a website insists otherwise.

The second was one in Elmhurst who has a boob of a clerk who's manager wasn't at that meeting obviously, and thought that when they would arrive they would also be going into that drawer. The third was one in Forest Hills which is where that blockhead came from. In this case that store was largely clueless and did not even know what they were, despite my efforts to use the two surviving things from the drawer as teaching examples.

Ken, I do know of your efforts earlier, but can you contact your contacts at the RS home offices and have them start reminding the stores in the NYC area about this arriving line?

I mean I described the string of events from the Maker Faire onward to describe the whole business, in the first two stores, and didn't in the third.

So far when it comes to buying more Parallax supplies I won't be buying anything from an RS outfit until they wake up to the fact.

Publison
11-07-2011, 01:22 AM
Hello!
So far that's all I am seeing. I've used first the Memsic based gizmo and then the PING to explain what the whole business is about. The first one I checked with was the one in Astoria with the blockhead of a manager who's got no clear idea that he's in a store that sells huge quantities of DIY stuff and then cells and finally computers and even a few HDTV units. It seemed they are aware of the decision, but nothing has arrived, despite the fact that the kludge of a website insists otherwise.

The second was one in Elmhurst who has a boob of a clerk who's manager wasn't at that meeting obviously, and thought that when they would arrive they would also be going into that drawer. The third was one in Forest Hills which is where that blockhead came from. In this case that store was largely clueless and did not even know what they were, despite my efforts to use the two surviving things from the drawer as teaching examples.

Ken, I do know of your efforts earlier, but can you contact your contacts at the RS home offices and have them start reminding the stores in the NYC area about this arriving line?

I mean I described the string of events from the Maker Faire onward to describe the whole business, in the first two stores, and didn't in the third.

So far when it comes to buying more Parallax supplies I won't be buying anything from an RS outfit until they wake up to the fact.

Are you stores on the initial list that Matt posted?

Not all RS store are getting the product. Some of the stores that you visited may be franchises and not company owned stores, and may opt to not but the product. And only a percentage of company stores are getting the initial product.

Double check the list that Matt put out.

.

NWUpgrades
11-07-2011, 07:50 PM
Yea, I was really surprised the other day when I went to my local RS. They had a couple items only but I am hoping they get more. The Ping Sensors were priced the SAME as Parallax, which for RS shocked me as their markup is about 500 % on most items!!!

Buck Rogers
11-08-2011, 01:53 AM
Are you stores on the initial list that Matt posted?

Not all RS store are getting the product. Some of the stores that you visited may be franchises and not company owned stores, and may opt to not but the product. And only a percentage of company stores are getting the initial product.

Double check the list that Matt put out.

.

Hello!
I wouldn't know. I can't find it, at the moment. But I am fairly certain that these stores are indeed company stores. I can say with certainty that the boob of a manager who I complained about his complete lack of realty perception in a certain area, (and to the district office!) did depart from that store for a few weeks. I was surprised when he landed at that Astoria store.

Actually I did find a listing. There are a few NY stores on it. One in Manhattan is a good possibility. But that does not explain why that Astoria store did indeed have them listed but not actually there. I do know that the majority of stores in NYC are indeed a company one.

prof_braino
11-08-2011, 02:45 AM
Made it out to the Crystal Lake store, 8 miles from the braino labs.

2 Basic stamp boards, and 2 Quickstart boards; 2 Ping sensors in the drawers, and at least one Education kit locked in the back store room.

The biggest surprise was the kid working there. He knew something about micro controllers! Quite a step in the right direction, if only my local store could follow.....

The world turns slowly, but sometimes you can almost see it move.

Computer Geek 101
11-08-2011, 03:31 PM
Well, the only one near me was the Terre Haute store. I was going to check, but the one in my town has the items!! I think they noticed the store here sells WAY more parts (thanks to me). We have about 4 items so far on the shelves.

Matt Gilliland
11-08-2011, 04:40 PM
I wouldn't know. I can't find it (the list of locations), at the moment.
Post #42 in this thread (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?135011-The-Great-Radio-Shack-Ship!-All-Aboard!!!-NOW-WITH-INITIAL-LOCATIONS!/page3)is the list of initial locations.
-Matt

4x5n
11-08-2011, 05:07 PM
Made it out to the Crystal Lake store, 8 miles from the braino labs.

2 Basic stamp boards, and 2 Quickstart boards; 2 Ping sensors in the drawers, and at least one Education kit locked in the back store room.

The biggest surprise was the kid working there. He knew something about micro controllers! Quite a step in the right direction, if only my local store could follow.....

The world turns slowly, but sometimes you can almost see it move.

I went to the closest RS to me and they didn't have anything from parallax. The person working there never heard of them and there wasn't a spot on the shelf for anything parallax related. The other stores in the area I've went to have the old stuff like "what's a microcontroller, etc. Nothing more then they've had for years. Still slim pickings though.

Matt Gilliland
11-08-2011, 11:04 PM
The person working there never heard of them and there wasn't a spot on the shelf for anything parallax related.

Hi 4x5n-
Yep, it's gonna be "hit and miss" I'm afraid. Way, way back in the *gasp* - 70's - it was the same way. There are regular salesmen, and then there's the occasional geek that gets it.

Don't be discouraged - we're in the beginning stages of a resurgence in DIY-ing circuits - it'll take a while, but in the meantime it'll be fun for you and us to be leading the way :-)

-Matt

Matt Gilliland
11-08-2011, 11:08 PM
I think they noticed the store here sells WAY more parts (thanks to me).

WTG CG101! :-)

-Matt

Buck Rogers
11-08-2011, 11:21 PM
Post #42 in this thread (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?135011-The-Great-Radio-Shack-Ship!-All-Aboard!!!-NOW-WITH-INITIAL-LOCATIONS!/page3)is the list of initial locations.
-Matt

Hello!
My edit includes that I did indeed find it. I looked at it, of course. And as it happens the interesting thing is that of the locations list for NY, only one is reasonably close to me. That's the one for Manhattan. However I've not been there yet.

I am still appalled at the fact that the majority of other locations, (no not the ones listed) either aren't aware of what Parallax sells, or worse not even aware of what's actually inside that cabinet, and who makes the two selected items.

And I am still annoyed that their website still resembles something made by a group of high school students attending a class on that subject, and worse relies on the annoyance of Flash to cover most mistakes. (Or cause them.) Ideally they should start all over again and present a properly created one that takes everything into account.

Publison
11-08-2011, 11:28 PM
[QUOTE=Buck Rogers;1049971}


I am still appalled at the fact that the majority of other locations, (no not the ones listed) either aren't aware of what Parallax sells, or worse not even aware of what's actually inside that cabinet, and who makes the two selected items.

[/QUOTE]

That surprises you ? :)

We are talking Radio Shack phone selling personnel. Most have no idea what Diodes are in the bin. Or what they are.

Spamity Calamity
11-08-2011, 11:29 PM
Looking at the list I see alot of Texas stores. The closest one for me is Austin. I asked the clerk in the Round Rock store anyway just for fun because I was in there for something else and he told me to go check Fry's. That seems to be the standard answer to shuffle me out the door at that store. Which I find strange because if you would think if the person is asking for DIY components, they would know about Fry's.

Publison
11-08-2011, 11:31 PM
Hello!


And I am still annoyed that their website still resembles something made by a group of high school students attending a class on that subject, and worse relies on the annoyance of Flash to cover most mistakes. (Or cause them.) Ideally they should start all over again and present a properly created one that takes everything into account.

You can always use the Parallax link for all the Parallax products that Radio Shack sells:

http://www.parallax.com/RS


(http://www.parallax.com/RS)

4x5n
11-09-2011, 01:35 AM
Hi 4x5n-
Yep, it's gonna be "hit and miss" I'm afraid. Way, way back in the *gasp* - 70's - it was the same way. There are regular salesmen, and then there's the occasional geek that gets it.

Don't be discouraged - we're in the beginning stages of a resurgence in DIY-ing circuits - it'll take a while, but in the meantime it'll be fun for you and us to be leading the way :-)

-Matt

On the positive side I noticed that the local Microcenter has 5-6 products from Parallax (2 weeks ago they had nothing but arduino stuff) and the Fry's in the area has even more Parallax stuff then before. Since I'm rarely in much of a hurry I can wait for web orders placed directly with Parallax and others. :-)

Matt Gilliland
11-09-2011, 01:53 AM
Hey 4x-
Where is your Microcenter located? I wasn't aware that we had shipped out anything substantial, but the people "up in the front office" tend to want to keep me in the dark about most goings-on here anyway. Probably for good reason.
-Matt

4x5n
11-09-2011, 02:20 AM
Hey 4x-
Where is your Microcenter located? I wasn't aware that we had shipped out anything substantial, but the people "up in the front office" tend to want to keep me in the dark about most goings-on here anyway. Probably for good reason.
-Matt

The Microcenter I was at this evening is in Westmont Il. They didn't have a whole lot but there was already a lot of Arduino kit and parts and my guess is that Microcenter didn't want to duplicate the Aruino stuff. No Propeller parts, etc but there were a couple of Basic stamp kits and boards though.

Computer Geek 101
11-09-2011, 12:07 PM
@Matt: The RS is just over 1 block from my workplace. Right now I have 1 Material control device, 7 Data Collections devices, 4 RFID Door Locks, and 2 Display Boards. All running with Propellers and a few other Parallax parts, but I get my general stuff at my local RS. They tend to go through alot of project boxes, buttons, LEDs, connectors, capacitors, and resistors.

ajward
11-09-2011, 02:24 PM
Went to a "nearby" Frys yesterday and noted they had increased their Parallax parts selection. New things were the Stamp BOE, joystick and 2x16 LCD module. They also increased their stock of robot kits.
I came home with the LCD module.

Amanda

4x5n
11-09-2011, 08:09 PM
The Microcenter I was at this evening is in Westmont Il. They didn't have a whole lot but there was already a lot of Arduino kit and parts and my guess is that Microcenter didn't want to duplicate the Aruino stuff. No Propeller parts, etc but there were a couple of Basic stamp kits and boards though.

Struggled with getting the usb "homework board" from MicroCenter when I was there last night and decided today to go back and get one! I just wish that it had a barrel plug so I don't have connect one to a 9V battery connector myself. :-) My first experience with Parallax was with the boe bot and the basic stamp board that came with it. Had a lot of fun with it but using it for other things while attached to the boe bot frame is clumsy.

rbwilliams
11-10-2011, 07:52 PM
Checked RS online today. The P8X32A is selling for $39.99!! If that's the price its going for in the stores, its too high just for convenience.

hover1
11-10-2011, 08:59 PM
Checked RS online today. The P8X32A is selling for $39.99!! If that's the price its going for in the stores, its too high just for convenience.

Yes,

$29.99 seems more appropriate for that product:

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12310183

I (http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12310183) guess Parallax will be getting more orders from their store.

Ken Gracey
11-10-2011, 10:24 PM
The RadioShack price for the QuickStart includes a USB cable and packaging, so it's a bit higher.

Ken Gracey

Buck Rogers
11-10-2011, 11:57 PM
You can always use the Parallax link for all the Parallax products that Radio Shack sells:

http://www.parallax.com/RS


(http://www.parallax.com/RS)

Hello!
I went to the first (and then closest and easiest to get to) store on the list. That was the one in Manhattan. I have to admit it that I indulged in theater there, and eventually found them. They were hanging up in methods described. However they were hanging up in two places.

I pointed out to the manager who then looked at everything, that the packages of PING sensors should be in the same place. He commented that was the way it was setup. He also confirmed that other stuff "might" be arriving. (Of course I'm aware that it was a test in progress) He then described the whole process.

I kept suggesting to the clerk who attempted to assist me that he should visit http://www.parallax.com/RS not just the crappy company website. He did not. I suspect he didn't want to be confronted with the eventual impossibility of understanding the DIY ideas that the selection suggests.

I also showed the gentleman the extraction I made up of the stores in New York (State) and that he noted his store was there. I've not as yet tried any of the ones on Staten Island, or in Brooklyn, so its still anyone's game. Even though that link does indicate that the Memsic 2125 Dual-axis Accelerometer is supposed to be available via the usual methods, I found it in their drawer system suffering from a drastically inflated price. It should be sold at the same price that the link says it is.

bsnut
11-11-2011, 03:03 AM
I see that they are on the east coast stores. But, here in Maryland I haven't seen them.

I'm also in agreement with you about the Radio Shack clerks and all are not DIY knowledgeable.

Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)
11-11-2011, 03:23 AM
I'm also in agreement with you about the Radio Shack clerks and all are not DIY knowledgeable.
That seems to depend on their age. The older guys are often semi-retired engineers/technicians -- or even ham ops -- who've been around the dance floor a few times and know their stuff. These are more often found in associate stores in out-of-the way locales. (My local RS store was started in the 70's by a retired Lockheed engineer.) The mall stores, OTOH, seem to hire minimum-wage, young salesmen types who lack an intimate connection to the technology. But that's a culture that may change along with the new product mix. It's not going to be an easy slog for RadioShack to change direction back to a DIY emphasis, but I'm rooting for them all the way! We really need a local presence to supply our needs and to inspire the next generation of DIYers.

-Phil

jim N8RHQ
11-11-2011, 05:27 AM
I visited my local RS again today just to see what was new and maybe drum up a little interest in the QS board, had mine in my pocket rigged with a demo. Both employees greeted me before the front door closed and one asked me if there was anything they could help me find. Told them I was just looking to see what was new and they went back to what looked like receiving and shelving phone accessories. I was the only customer in the store. Quick check of the Parallax section, just the same two pings from last week for $29.95. I went around to the other side and checked the drawers, one more ping for $32.95. I mentioned this to the clerk and he informed me they were from different manufacturers. I told him, "No, see these both say parallax". He politely informed me that they have different part numbers and therefore were indeed from different manufactures. I then asked if he had seen a QS board yet. "No." I asked he would like to see one, and he replied "If we weren't so busy". I gave up and walked out. I would put both clerks in their early to mid 20's.

Buck Rogers
11-11-2011, 07:02 AM
I visited my local RS again today just to see what was new and maybe drum up a little interest in the QS board, had mine in my pocket rigged with a demo. Both employees greeted me before the front door closed and one asked me if there was anything they could help me find. Told them I was just looking to see what was new and they went back to what looked like receiving and shelving phone accessories. I was the only customer in the store. Quick check of the Parallax section, just the same two pings from last week for $29.95. I went around to the other side and checked the drawers, one more ping for $32.95. I mentioned this to the clerk and he informed me they were from different manufacturers. I told him, "No, see these both say parallax". He politely informed me that they have different part numbers and therefore were indeed from different manufactures. I then asked if he had seen a QS board yet. "No." I asked he would like to see one, and he replied "If we weren't so busy". I gave up and walked out. I would put both clerks in their early to mid 20's.

Hello!
That's what happened with me. I chose that guy. (The part.) There was also a PING sensor in the bin. Along with the PIR one. I believe that the idea that it was same-old same-old idea regarding the chosen things is what confused the kid. I firmly believe that it was so obvious even someone who just discovered electronics that morning would notice it. Ideally RS is going to convince its clerical staff and managers of course, to believe their customers before believing their cataloging system.

4x5n
11-11-2011, 08:58 PM
Had a sad experience at a RS near the office. Went there for lunch and they had nothing from Parallax. The one or two items they used to carry are gone. :-(

hover1
11-11-2011, 09:11 PM
The RadioShack price for the QuickStart includes a USB cable and packaging, so it's a bit higher.

Ken Gracey

Ken,

I forgot about all the effort and expense for packaging. Need to recoup something.

And the spell check on Gyrocope? :smile:

Jim