While I was there we spent a day checking out various electronics surplus shops in the area, several of which Tony had never visited before.
Here are the highlights of our tour:
All Electronics (Van Nuys, CA)
Most people know (or should know) of All Electronics as a catalog store with a long history in electronics and a decent website. It turns out (I was surprised by this) that you can visit their retail store at 14928 Oxnard Street in Van Nuys.
The store doubles as a makeshift electronics museum, with lots of vintage consumer and industrial equipment strewn around the room.
Apex Electronics (Sun Valley, CA)
This is what surplus electronics is all about! Absolute goldmine of bizarre electronics surplus equipment perched on the edge of civilization in Sun Valley. Wire, motors, meters, huge capacitors, electronic components, antennas, hardware, strange military stuff, hydraulics, pneumatics, you name it.
This is probably the best place to find weird surplus electronics junk in all of California, now that most of the Silicon Valley greats are gone or closed to walk-in customers.
We budgeted an hour here and could have spent all day. I would budget at least 2-3 hours or you won’t get to explore the whole store.
Need some decomissioned rocket launchers? You’ll find them here.
Last year I posted about how surplus electronics junk is getting harder and harder to find in Silicon Valley. Apex Electronics reminds me of RA Enterprises circa 1995 – mountains of electronics equipment waiting for someone to take home and turn into something new.
We didn’t get a chance to visit all of the places we wanted to thanks to LA’s signature traffic jams. Next time I’m back I hope to find some new surplus goldmines and report back.
Do you know of a place to find cool electronics junk in your area?
I know that the number of stores like Apex and All Electronics are dwindling as eBay and Digi-key take over.
Post in the comments and together we can try to keep these rare stores alive!