Monday, October 10, 2005

Getting a rig repaired 

I had an email today from a local ham who was looking for somewhere to get a rig repaired. Those who are old enough will remember the glory days of amateur radio in Pittsburgh when there were three large distributors of ham equipment in the Pittsburgh area. I was in sixth and seventh grades in school then and loved going down to one of those stores and looking at the rows of Halllicrafters, National, Hammarlund, E.F. Johnson and R. L. Drake equipment. And then there was always the Collins S Line. Even then I could walk up, turn the tuning knob and feel the smoothness of the other controls on the Collins gear and without being told you knew that you were touching equipment that was of the highest quality that would last for decades if not a lifetime.

Then you could stop by Olsen's Electronics and look at the six and ten meter transceivers and general coverage receivers that they sold which were actually in your price range. While there you picked up a few parts for the latest project that you were building and the latest catalog so you could continue to build your “wish list” once back home. If you had time and were making the rounds you stopped in at Lafayette Radio and Electronics which was very similar to Olsen's just a little upscale. They sold more high end audio equipment but also had a line of amateur radio gear some of which was only available through the catalog.

Sad to say those days are long gone and Pittsburgh currently has no major amateur radio store in town. What we do have is Whiteside Electronics. Located on Saltsburg Road in Penn Hills Jack has been in business much longer than I care to remember and in my amateur radio careerer has changed locations only once. He used to be located in a much smaller building on Fransktown Road next to a new car dealer. I believe that building now houses equipment for a cell site. Anyway, Jack does equipment repair and sells new and used equipment. I haven't been up to see him in quite a while so I can't tell you what he currently has on the shelves but if you stop in tell him I said “Hello” and that I mentioned him on my blog.

Whiteside Electronics
6415 Saltsburg Road
Penn Hills, PA 15235-2071
Phone: (412)793-6667

While on the subject this is a question that comes up every so often. I know there are a number of hams out there that will do equipment repair as a sideline and have the needed test gear for the job. If you know of such a person drop me a note and perhaps we can get a list compiled of local resources when someone is looking for this type of service. If you know of some one that would like to be listed send me their contact information in EMAIL.

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