Ali’s Surplus Stuff

Over the holidays I had a chance to visit Ali’s Surplus Stuff in Sacramento, CA.

Ali's Surplus Stuff

This is my kind of place.  Surplus electronics piled from floor to ceiling.  Lots of oscilloscopes and useful stuff mixed in with bizarre industrial equipment.

Ali's Surplus Stuff

Lots of cool rack-mounted equipment here.  Lots of push-buttons too.

Ali's Surplus Stuff

Need a random computer-related printed circuit board?

Ali's Surplus Stuff

My recommendation for places like this is always to come to the counter with the biggest pile of stuff you can carry and haggle on a single price for everything.  You’ll end up paying a fair price for one or two big items and getting the rest thrown in “for free”.

Ali's Surplus Stuff

Here’s what I went home with: HP chart recorder, some IC sockets, webcam stand, random RF module, and some kind of monitor shutoff device from back when ‘green’ was just a color.  This is a remarkably small pile of stuff given what was available, but I knew I would have to pack all this into my checked luggage on the flight home.

Surplus finds

This was my first visit to Ali’s, and I came home really impressed.  I can’t think of a better place to find surplus electronics junk in the Sacramento area, especially now that HSC Electronics on Auburn Blvd. is gone.  I also feel that if you are looking for used industrial and test equipment, Ali’s has a better selection than Bay Area shops like Weird Stuff.  I will definitely be visiting Ali’s again the next time I’m Sacramento.

Ali’s Surplus Stuff is listed under Sacramento Area on the resources:surplus page of the MightyOhm Wiki.  Whew!

10 thoughts on “Ali’s Surplus Stuff”

    1. Beat me to it…

      HFE is still there, I was just in there last month. HSC was going to close down the location about 3 years ago, so the employees bought them out and just changed the name…

      1. I meant to visit HFE on my last trip, but couldn’t make it because they are only open on Saturdays. Do they have much test equipment and surplus stuff?

        I used to shop at HSC regularly when I lived in Sacramento.

        1. Not sure about test equipment, but they do have some surplus. They focus a little more on components, which is why I usually end up there instead of Surplus Stuff…

          1. Components are good. Out here in Austin we don’t have very many options for surplus or components. Fry’s is my #1 source for odds and ends, followed by, sorry to say it, Radio Shack. Mostly I use mail-order. Mouser in Dallas can get things here overnight even with ground shipping.

            I’ll try to stop by HFE the next time I’m in Sacramento.

          2. I just received this e-mail:

            “I don’t have an account on your wiki, but HFE Electronics in Sacramento is out of business. They had a public auction a few weeks ago to liquidate their entire inventory (I bought a frequency counter and crapload of SMT/through hole components).”

            Bad news if it’s true. Maybe someone can stop by the store to confirm? The website doesn’t mention anything about the auction or closing.

            Edit: Their phone number rings through to a voicemail message that confirms they are closed.

  1. That chart recorder looks pretty sweet! Does it work? If not, do you think you can fix it or are you going to repurpose it?

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