Tag Archives: Surplus

HSC 45th Anniversary Sale this Saturday

I just got an e-mail from HSC Electronic Supply announcing their 45th Anniversary Sale (aka Sidewalk Sale), which takes place this Saturday, Sept. 26th.  If you are in Silicon Valley this weekend, this is definitely worth checking out.  If you want to get an idea of what this event is like, check out my photos from last year’s “Warehouse Clearance Sale.”  (It seems like they change the name of this event every year now!)

45th Anniversary Celebration
Local Customer? Come on in and celebrate with us and save
10%-60% on everything in our stores. One day only!
Out of the Area? For our online customers, from September
23rd to 27th, HSC will offer *FREE shipping plus an additional 10%
off any order over $50.00. Just mention “Anniversary Special” in
the shopping cart order notes and we’ll take care of your discount.
The 6,000 items listed online are just a sample of our extensive store inventory.
Don’t see what you need? Please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-442-5833.

HSC 45th Anniversary Sale

HSC is having some online specials too, although if you shop online you are missing out on 90% of the fun, such as sifting through crates of miscellaneous electronics parts!

HSC Warehouse Clearance Sale

Every project I work on usually involves at least one trip down to the South Bay to visit HSC, and I usually find at least a few interesting odds and ends at their annual clearance sales.  And while you’re in the area, I highly recommend a side trip to Weird Stuff Warehouse in Sunnyvale as well.

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!

HSC Electronics Clearance Annex Open

Last week I stopped by HSC Electronics in Santa Clara to pick up a few parts for my PID Controlled Soldering Hotplate project.

Earlier this year, there was an announcement that HSC was moving because their landlord would not renew the lease on the building they have occupied for the past 15-20 years.  At the last minute they were able to negotiate a lease for half of their original space, forcing them to vacate what was previously the warehouse/mail order side of the building.

So far, the evidence of these changes to their customers has been very limited.  Maybe there were a few extra items at the annual sidewalk sale and some extra bins of parts on the showroom floor, but overall things looked pretty much the same – until my most recent visit.

Now there is a new HSC Clearance Annex open to the public in what was formerly the employees-only warehouse space:

New HSC Clearance Area

I found some neat things inside: IEC line filters, variable inductors, an assortment of crystal oscillators, bags of PCB mount right angle RCA jacks.  Most items are $1-2 and many come in bags of 10-100 for that price.

New HSC Clearance Area

They also had huge boxes of assorted hardware and electrolytic capacitors – you can create your own grab bag for $1.  Usually these are only available during the sidewalk sales and are a surprisingly popular attraction:

HSC Warehouse Clearance Sale

If you’re in the area, HSC might be worth a visit.  HSC is located at 3500 Ryder Street, Santa Clara, California 95051.

I also recommend a side trip to Weird Stuff and Fry’s Electronics, both are within a few miles of HSC.  Stop at all three and you are pretty much guaranteed to satisfy your appetite for electronics.

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.