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  • #9397
    Don Henschel
    Forum Participant

    Other than the previously mentioned suppliers (or as we refer to parts suppliers on automotive forums as “the usual suspects”) of antique or vintage radio, where can I find companies that offer “grab bags” or bulk assortments which can consist of new unsorted surplus, or clearance items. Years ago such as back in the seventies I used to deal with a company in Quebec called Etco electronics or as it is called Etco Electronic Distributors but myself and others can’t seem to find contact information. They used to sell bulk, surplus, used such as circuit boards filled with goodies etc. There are companies in the United States advertising these grab bags of new assorted reaistors, capacitors, etc. etc. but there has to be something In Canuckastan. I discovered how meger my assortment of resistors and capacitors has become when I had to replace a number of resistors and found most of whist I used to have is gone. A grab bag or two helps to get things rolling again and if there is a unique value well then that can be ordered.

    Gerry O’Hara

    Hi Don,

    I don’t know where you would buy ‘grab bags’ these days – though I do remember similar being sold back in the late-1960s and 1970s in the UK. If they are available, I doubt that many of the parts, including maybe even resistors (low wattage, low voltage), would be that suitable for vintage radio restoration though (maybe for transistor sets). Companies such as JustRadios sell bags of resistor and capacitor selections that can get your parts stock re-started (that’s what I did). However, if you go that route its likely that you will end up multiples of several values that will never get used (like me), and forever buying more frequently-used values such as 0.22uF, 0,1uF, 0.047uF, 0.022uF, 0.01uF and 0.001uF 630vw film caps, 4.7uF, 10uF, 22uF and 33uF 450vw, and 25uF 50vw electrolytic caps, and 470ohm, 1k, 2.2k, 4.7k, 10k, 27k, 47k, 100k, 270k, 470k and 1m (mostly 1w) metal film resistors. Even so, buying an assortment pack of each to start may be better value than buying individual packs of the various values (not cheap though!).


    Don Henschel
    Forum Participant

    Lots of assortments on ePay but they are low voltage or just plain and simple overpriced junk. I stopped by B&E Electronics in Saskatoon and their polystyrene assortment was quite disappointing for older tube equipment due to the modern low voltage issue but one fellow gave me a local lead that I will have to check out. Yes there are some outfits selling large quantity resistor assortments (a bit low on the watts) but still nice assortments) but in the Unnited States and our dollar situation is pathetic. Other sources on ePay are located in China as well with questionable values and voltages. Locating parts has become as dificult as locating parts for my cars. I guess I will order an assortment from Just Radios. I was thinking electrolytic were dificult but at least B&E has these in low uf at high voltages.

    John Bartley
    Forum Participant

    Years ago such as back in the seventies I used to deal with a company in Quebec called Etco electronics or as it is called Etco Electronic Distributors but myself and others can’t seem to find contact information.

    I also used to buy from ETCO and was in their store in the early seventies. I bought my #19 set from them via mail order ….. what a great store …. full of surprises!! Unfortunately they are long since defunct.

    Following is web info on ETCO :

    Company Information
    ETCO ELECTRONIC DISTRIBUTORS LTD., also known as ETCO DISTRIBUTEURS ELECTRONIQUE LTEE, is a company from MONTREAL QC Canada. The company has corporate status: Dissolved by the corporation (s. 210)on 1984-08-03.

    ETCO ELECTRONIC DISTRIBUTORS LTD. is governed under the Canada Business Corporations Act- 1980-11-25. It a company of type: Non-distributing corporation with 50 or fewer shareholders.
    The date of the company’s last Annual Meeting is 1983-08-19.
    This company has had the following names:

    ETCO ELECTRONIC DISTRIBUTORS LTD. – 1968-04-26 to Present

    Forum Participant

    I think one of the best sources is just in attending the CVRS swap meets and such. Some members reach a point of downsizing and are happy to pass on miscellaneous parts, maybe not so many new capacitors but you’ll find things like little drawer cabinets of this and that. sometimes items are donated. and if so they are sold at the meetings with proceeeds to the CVRS

    so ask your fellow local members that’s the best source for older parts.
    In this new forum format I’m not sure how I see what area you are in.
    normally in these forums you can just click the persons name but I just get some goofy popup about upgrading my membership, so far as I know I’m paid up to date but I haven’t; seen a newsletter in a quite while either.


    • This reply was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by phil.
    Sterling Spurrell
    CVRS Member

    I buy my capacitors and resistors from Just radios and you get good quality and good service.

    Don Henschel
    Forum Participant

    Thanks phil and Sterling and as for the CVRS swap meets, there doesn’t seem to be much of anything that I know of in Saskatchewan. Edmonton is 585 KM away if memory serves correct and Saskatoon, I don’t know of anything. As it is Les Dickson of Prince Albert sent me a message indicating he is from Saskatchewan but I think us Saskatchewanians are few and far between.
    As for Just Radios I received an email that he ONLY sells capacitors and resistors which surprises me because the whole radio doesn’t rotate around capacitors and resistors leading me to think it’s back down south of the boarder again!! Take for instance vibrators, I was informed by one outfit regarding solid state vibrators that I have to send my 20+ lb radio to be repaired to get one?? WTH and then he mentioned most get their radios converted to solid state AM/FM. I guess he figures my shipping of a large heavy item bounced across the country is free and this tells me that if he is too important to sell me a solid state vibrator, I’m not important enough or simply putting it another way would be is he is not hungry enough again sending me back down south or forcing me to have to dig up the modern components and just attempt building one. This is of course after I have to purchase an assortment of resistors and capacitors from Just Radios across the country.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 11 months ago by Don Henschel.
    Don Henschel
    Forum Participant

    I received an email from Sal at
    and he said he would also ship free on orders of $100 and 100 at his store goes much farther!! My beef with Just Radios is why does a Canadian company have to charge a Canadian US dollars? Sal is slowly building up his selection of parts such as resistors but his capacitor selection is quite large with good prices.
    My question is resistor wattage and most likely the old carbon resistors are much larger than modern replacements?? Looking at the sizes of the resistors in my Macaroni radios, how far will I get with a 1-2 watt assortment and how useful or useless are 1/2 watt resistors? I suspect the older carbon are much larger physically than the modern metal film? My schematics do not specify wattage of resistors or voltage of capacitors so other than looking for exploding capacitors or smoke signals from resistors cooking due to guesstimating the resistor watt values what is a good starting point?

    Don Henschel
    Forum Participant

    I posted another response but after editing it, it disappeared (or I was having a “senior moment” ) but anyway here is my next attempt at getting an assortment started.

    Perhaps these are not the best type but will get my assortment started and these look like what we used to call Mylars back in the 70’s and 80’s and will probably work just fine until I find a “usual suspect” on ePay that sells axial polystyrene or poly propolyne but notice one thing, the values, quantity and numbers of the values in the assortment are identical to what Sal’s and Just Radios sells and I don’t know where theirs came from. Also for under $4.00 beaver pelts and free shipping compared to $75+++ leaves me to realize what have I got to loose at this amount?? Resistor assortments are 1/2 watt with the choice of metal film or carbon for values starting very low under 100 to in the megohm ranges for similar amounts as my assortment coming from China for $4. These are well into the hundreds with 10-20 of each value. Some also have 1,2,&3 watt assortments but this will take some foraging and ferreting around. They have axial and radial electrolytics at compatible prices but so far I’ve only found up to 50 volts but I’m sure I will find 450-630 eventually. ePays search engine sucks the big one and what I find is usually from searching through the sellers plunder and hoard or sending them an Inquiry. As for the capacitors I will test them as I use them using my Heathkit tester that determines the value as well as leakage and shorts.

    Steve Dow
    Forum Participant

    Hello Don,
    An add in local paper, or even on notice boards in your community:
    Wanted, hobby/HAM radio collection of parts, partially completed,
    or taken apart stuff.. Will haul away. Some cash for better things.

    The radio experimenter, and Ham community of the era you know is
    getting old. It is quite a strain to clean out old stuff, knowing it will end
    up as scrap, and handing over to new and willing hands may be welcome.

    I go back a tad further with ETCO I worked for them in Montreal 56 years ago.
    On the day I set out for the West Coast, the funds came from selling my Heath kit
    test gear, which I was using to repair radios and TV. The deal at ETCO was they
    bought for cash, clean working Heath gear, for 50 % of the kit price.
    Also, I got introductions , from Marvin , (VE2ANN) to take with me to
    firms like ARMACO in Vancouver. After about a week, I landed a job
    with an importer of stereo and transistor radios.
    Another interesting thing about ETCO was a perk that permitted
    employees to hand out their business cards, to customers seeking
    repair work (which ETCO did not do). Everyone .there was a HAM or
    Someone mentioned buying their 19 set from ETCO. One of
    my jobs was to go to view and report on Crown assets the firm
    was bidding on. A huge lot at the 25th Central Ordinance Depot,
    was crated mark two 19 sets. ETCO bought these. I think they sold
    in the store for about $12.
    I was in Saskatoon setting up a service depot in a retail location.
    This was in the 70s. I was service manager for the parent company
    that owned the Kelly Deyong Stereo chain. Central Electronics
    Service was my division, and shops spanned Canada.
    I had to buy a fur hat, for Winter trips to the Western shops.


    Don Henschel
    Forum Participant

    Thanks Steve (another VE7) My father VE7ELH became a VE7 after he moved to BC back in the eighties and he had a Mohawk with his Apache but sold it and now I’m looking for a Mohawk to keep my Marauder company. Who knows ? I might get lucky and stumble upon a boat anchor and perhaps maybe a Warior? There was I believe a Chipawa but it sounds like there were practically next to none around and I have seen some that sold for over $1000 due to this. They used the same tubes as my fathers SB200?or SB220? I inherited. Sigh my memory is failing 😟 One local Amature here is downsizing after moving because he is 87 so I got a few goodies from him including boxes of tubes some of which were balloon style and shoulder top. He also had a Wincharger from the 40’s that he rewound to charge 12 volts instead of 6 so I bought that as well. I live in a windy area so it will find a new home on my roof and perhaps the whistling of the blades will annoy the neighbors, maybe not. It puts out about 200 watts with centrifugal speed reduction if the wind is too strong and power inverters are very inexpensive now. This probably makes more sense to me instead of solar panels being very expensive. We have more days with wind than without and recently we had a nasty storm where six or more trees were blown down in town and numerous Shingles were scattered. Yes there are forums on these vintage Wind charges just like vintage radios. Old cars, radios, and now Winchargers. Other than the accumulation of antiques around me, I guess this won’t hurt.

    Don Henschel
    Forum Participant

    To my surprise I started noticing voltage ratings for the so called metal film resistors?? WTH and I don’t remember seeing anything about this with the carbon resistors other than the wattage of these and this was fairly easy to determine using smoke signals. If the resistor didn’t change color or smoke it was a safe bet it was the correct size. How concerned should we be about this voltage rating of resistors or should one just get the carbon at lets say 5-10% tolerance? There was mention of arching or piercing of the film if the voltage was exceeded for these metal film resistors leading me to think other than fairly good tolerance values, perhaps they are on the “wimpy” side for tube circuits.

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