Is Electronics Surplus Still Alive in Silicon Valley?

Bins of ICs at Excess Solutions

Last Monday I went on a surplus run in the South Bay.

This was a common pastime for myself and a few especially geeky friends around 1994-2002. After that, eBay and mail order electronics pretty much took over, forcing the most interesting surplus electronics stores in Silicon Valley (ie. RA Enterprises) to close their doors.  With the news that HSC Electronics is moving to an undisclosed location and Triangle Machine is going out of business, I was starting to worry that the days of finding cheap, local electronics surplus were over.

However, thanks to this guide I discovered a few new surplus goldmines:

So maybe electronics surplus is still alive in Silicon Valley.  Both stores are a bit of a drive from the city, but both are still open to foot traffic and appear to have almost every component you could possibly need for an electronics project.  What I did find lacking at both locations was cheap surplus equipment.  One of the most rewarding things for me in the past has been taking apart mysterious equipment to collect interesting bits and pieces for my junk box.  Triangle Machine still has some, but may only be around through the end of August.  Regardless, I will definitely be making the trip back to the South Bay for some electronics scrounging soon, whether HSC sticks around or not.

4 thoughts on “Is Electronics Surplus Still Alive in Silicon Valley?”

  1. I just received an e-mail from someone at HSC today:

    Subject: Still here

    Hi – We were to move by the end of the year but the landlords worked a deal so we can stay where we are. We are in fact losing our warehouse and will be doing a lot of re-organizing to make allowances. So, yes. We are still at 3500 Ryder Street (for at least another years)

    Sounds like they are alive and well, thankfully! I still visit them once every few weeks for assorted odds and ends and they usually have what I need.

  2. According to the owner of Triangle Machine, the increase in the price of metals has also been a culprit in the reduction of surplus places. Its now more profitable to buy up stuff for the scrap metal value than for the surplus market. That probably has something to do with the smaller amount of large boxes/instruments available.

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