Physical stores

Information about and links to physical stores. I've lived a significant time in the pre-internet era so I've grown a fondness for fumbling about certain stores.

My current favorite is the Baco in IJmuiden, an army dump store that has been around since the 1970's. Because they operate in a niche market since so long they have quite some NOS stuff lying around. Their vacuum tubes department is quite big and if you ask for PNP Germanium transistors they can even ask which ones you need because they simply stock several types. It's my to go to store if I run out of basic stuff like wires, stripboard or certain components.

Baco Army Goods

There's a Smorenberg within walking distance from my house so whenever I need something quickly I try first at Smorenberg. They are quite expensive though but I'm willing to pay something extra for like 22nF film capacitors when I can pick them up right away.

Smorenberg

Any shop with a wall full of drawers crammed with components has my attention. Radio Elco is one of them.

Radio Elco

Like having a physical AliExpress around the corner. Great for storage boxes, tools like digital calipers and multimeters, paint, markers, photo paper for PCB transfers, step drills, etc.

Action

Store in Schagen. A place where time stood still. One of the few places where you can get ferric chloride.

http://www.rens-electronics.nl/

Before we moved to Heemskerk in 1988 we lived one year on the Breestraat in Beverwijk right above the NTC carpet store and next to Wilms Floet, a sports store. Ruco in the Baanstraat was close by. I was 13 around that time but I vividly remember Ruco, the electronics store of Beverwijk, on the Baanstraat. I got a mixing panel from Ruco for my birthday, great device that I also used when I started playing electric guitar. I didn't have an amp so I had an old organ speaker connected to the mixer that I cranked up until it started distorting. Loved it. My mother hated it.

Ruco left the Baanstraat and moved to the Bergerslaan where they focused on building high-end tube amplifiers. By the time they went out of business me and my wife moved to the Bergerslaan. Ruco's office on the Bergerslaan was close to De Gein, a thrift shop where I bought a Coron 10 distortion once for €2,50.