Sightseeing for Geeks
There are plenty of travel-related web sites, but how many are there
for those of us who are true geeks and not afraid to say so?
On recent trips to Los Angles and the San Francisco Bay Area, my
coworkers and I found a few places that any true geek will probably
want to check out. The focus of this list started out on electronic
surplus stores, but worthwhile sellers new electronic parts and
military and areospace museums are represented also.
There are probably may other such places out there also - do you know
of any better ones?
Places We've visited or intend to visit.
California - San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley
430 E. Brokaw Road San Jose, CA 95112
Monday-Friday 8am-6pm, Saturday 9am-4pm.
Looks like mostly new surplus electronic components.
Also mail order.
Halted Specialities Corp. (HSC)
3500 Ryder Street,
Santa Clara, CA 95051,
Monday-Friday 8AM-7PM, Saturday 9AM-5PM.
New and used electronic surplus parts, subassemblies,
and computer stuff. They do mail order.
- Wierd Stuff Warehouse
384 West Caribbean;
Monday - Saturday, 9:30 am - 6 pm.
The recently-expanded "as-is" area is much more interesting
than the stuff out front. They also have a Fremont store
that I haven't been to.
- Triangle Machinery and Tool
San Jose, CA.
These former favorites are no longer in the retail electronics business.
(Some still maintain a web presence).
Formerly on Zanker Road, San Jose. Still around but web-only.
- Haltek Electronics, formerly on Linda Vista Avenue, Mountain View.
Mike Quinn Electronics,
San Leandro, CA.
- RA Enterprises, formerly on Walsh Ave, Santa Clara.
- Fry's Electronics, Arques St near Lawrence, Sunnyvale,
CA, and several other bay area and southern california stores.
The famous outlet for new parts, computers, entertainment
electronics, etc. Folks say that it isn't as good as it was
back in the heyday of the home computer hobby revolution, but
still a required stop for geeks visiting the west coast. Wish
we had one back home in North Carolina.
- Western Aerospace Museum,
8260 Boeing St, Oakland, CA 94621. A funky little
airplane museum, with a mix of jets and props. The
highlight of the place is the flying boat, for which guided
tours are available and well worth the time.
Florida - Orlando
Skycraft Parts & Surplus, Inc,
2245 W. Fairbanks Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789. (407-628-5634).
This place is
astonishingly well organized for a surplus store, and also
appears well-staffed and popular. Take I-4 to exit 45, start
heading east on Fairbanks, and look for the building with the
UFO on top just as soon as you clear the interchange.
- No trip to central florida would be complete without a stop
at Kennedy Space Center.
California - Los Angeles Area
- All Electronics.
14928 Oxnard St.,
Van Nuys, CA 91411-2610,
Also web and mail order.
The All Electronics store in Los Angeles, formerly at 9th and Vermont,
is now closed.
- Apex Electronics,
8909 San Fernando Road,
Sun Valley, CA, 91352,
The best surplus
place so far on this list. Must be seen to be believed.
Rows of 16 foot high shelving with moderately well organized
parts, piles of stuff everywhere, and back lot for the big
stuff. Hasn't changed much over the years, still going strong.
- Fry's Electronics, Burbank, CA. See description above.
- Planes of Fame museum, Chino, CA. At the Chino Airport.
- March Air Force Base museum.
New Mexico - Albuquerque
In Albuquerque it is apparently Los Alamos National Labs, Kirtland
Air Force Base, and other such places that generate enough
interesting cast-offs to support a decent surplus market. These
three stops on central avenue (formerly US Route 66) in eastern
Albuquerque are all within a few blocks of each other.
- Electronic Surplus Company Incorporated,
Located in a little strip mall on the south side of central. Reportedly expanded and improved since I was there last.
- Surplus City, 10805 Central Ave N, Albuquerque, NM, 87123-2727, (505) 292-7131.
A warehouse-sized building that's pretty well organized,
and a backyard where the big and weirder stuff is located.
- Jones Surplus Barn, 10921 Central Ave, Albuquerque, NM.
A combination of new hardware, military surplus clothing and gear,
with some electronic surplus thrown in. Just a few hundred
yards east of Surplus City on the same side of Central Ave.
New York, New York
Last modified: Tue Jul 11 19:46:45 EDT 2006