Electronics Flea Market

While in the bay area this weekend  I stopped at the Electronics Flea Market. This swap meet occurs on the second Saturday of the month during the summer, and is held at De Anza College in Cupertino. The majority of the stuff being sold falls into one of three categories: ham radio equipment from the 40’s, miscellaneous circuit components, and electronics from the 80’s.  In addition,  most of the cliental are either in their 40’s or in their 70’s. I guess the lure of 30 year old test equipment and  tube transistors has a specific audience. At any rate, there were some pretty cool stuff hidden among all the junk.

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I had a homework problem in my machine elements course that used this exact gear box.

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What 10 years of progress yields. iPhone left, MessagePad (Newton) right.

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The largest calipers I’ve ever seen. The guy who ran this booth was quite interesting, he restores gramophones and microphones from the early 1900’s. The booth had an odd assortment of items for sale, among them were wax cylinder phonographs, machinist tools, microscopes that look like they could have been used by Isaac Newton, and gramophone horns.

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One of the items that got my attention was a desktop radio from the 1940’s.  It gave me an idea for a unique iPod dock. I would remove the insides and install a modern radio, amplifier, speaker setup, and possibly some kind of wifi for internet radio. A dock connect would go up top.

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In the end I came away empty handed, but it was still worth the trip out to the south bay. The last swap meet will be in October so if you can’t make it you’ll have to wait till next summer.

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