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Surplus Summit 2012 Part One: Los Angeles

Testing 47GHz radios
(Photo: Tony KC6QHP testing out his 47GHz amateur radio. Remember this post? All that work paid off, the radio works!)

Last month I cashed in some airline miles and finally got to visit some old friends and spend some time in beautiful Southern California. Some long-time readers of the blog may remember the last time I did something like this in 2009.

While I was there I visited my good friend Tony in Los Angeles, and we went on a tour of surplus electronics and swap meets that we called Surplus Summit 2012.

Continue reading Surplus Summit 2012 Part One: Los Angeles

Los Angeles Area Surplus Tour

Last month I spent a weekend in LA visiting Tony, who is building an awesome wood veneered enclosure for my Wifi Radio project.

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.

Stuff to look for: power supplies, handfuls of LEDs, reels of SMT components.

All ElectronicsXformersLEDsAll Electronics

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.

More photos of Apex on flickr.

APEXNo idea.ESP-130 Transistor InverterFlight instrumentation

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!