Sunnyvale Ham Radio Outlet closes after 26 years


Big Island ARRL News, 26 March 2017, 03:55 hrs, UTC, Post #156.


Accessed on 26 March 2017, 03:55 hrs, UTC.

Reporter:  Victoria Kerza.

Please click link to read the full article.


A well-written, but sad article describing the close of yet another Amateur Radio store.  This time the bad news falls on the employees of the Sunnyvale Ham Radio Outlet, which will move its operations to the Oakland, California store.

Steve Gilmore, national sales manager for Ham Radio Outlet, says the closure comes in the face of excessive rents, limited parking, and a hike in the minimum wage.

Greg Lane, the president of the Santa Clara County Amateur Radio Club tells reporter Victoria Kerza the Sunnyvale store was more of a community center than a store, where hams could meet their friends and test new equipment before purchase.

“Gregg Lane, a regular customer and president of the Santa Clara County Amateur Radio Association, said he will likely still purchase parts and radios via mail from the Oakland location, but the in-person expertise found at the Sunnyvale shop will be difficult to replace.”

“What’s wonderful is that they had radios set up so if you were thinking of buying one you could try it out, play with them, and there were always a few people who were experienced that could talk to you and help you so you could get some experience,” he said.

“The store inventory will be packed up and sent to Oakland. Employees have been offered jobs there, but Kelly said none have accepted an offer yet.”

“This is depressing. It’s like the end of an era. It’s like your best friend moving away,” Lane said.”

Hawaii has experienced some of this blowback over the years with the closing of most Amateur Radio stores, including Delcomms in Aiea during the 1970s and the gradual disappearance of Honolulu Electronics from the Amateur Radio market place.

Even Radio Shack, which was once a place to buy parts and electronics tools, is fading from the scene.

I really miss a place where I could try equipment before I buy.  The days of the “brick and mortar” storefront are giving way to the online market place. Even former retail giants such as Sears, K-Mart, and J.C. Penny are mere shadows of their former selves. A sign of our times.

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Opinions expressed in this blog are mine unless otherwise stated.

Thanks for joining us today!

Aloha es 73 de

Russell Roberts (KH6JRM)

Public Information Coordinator

Hawaii County, ARRL Pacific Section


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