March 1965 Popular Electronics
Table of Contents
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles
published October 1954 - April 1985. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.
Today's ready availability of
just about everything from just about everywhere is something even we who have been around
a long time take for granted. Trade barriers have been drastically lowered or completely
removed for products not vital to national security - unless of course enough money is
paid to politicians to rule otherwise (e.g., uranium ore and ICBM stabilization systems).
This letter to the editor of Popular Electronics appeared in a 1965 issue lamenting the
severe price mark-up of common electronics components - in particular those mentioned
for projects in the magazine. The
currency exchange rate between the U.S. and Canada in 1965 was 1
CAD - Canada [Canadian dollar / $ CA] = 0.93 USD - United States [US dollar / $], so the
7% difference did not even come close to accounting for the kinds of price differences
cited by reader Dawson (exchange rate as of today is 0.78 USD). Part of the additional mark-up was due to shipping into
Canada and probably tariffs (I couldn't find a specific
but 10% was typical in 1965).
Letters from Our Readers - Parts Cost $$$ in Canada
Address correspondence for this department to:
Letters Editor, Popular Electronics
One Park Avenue, New York, N. Y. 10016
Parts Cost $$$ in Canada
I wonder if your American readers are a ware of the deplorable state of the electronics
parts business in Canada? The majority of Canadians who construct even the simplest of
projects have to resort to stripping old radios, etc., for parts because of the horrible
prices we have to pay here. I, myself, and a lot of other guys I know look at a project
and say, "Boy, wouldn't I like to build that!", and then pick up a Canadian catalogue
and tearfully forget about it. Do American manufacturers and distributors really give
a darn? How about the Canadian wholesaler who sells for 300 percent over the American
retailer? What can be done about the retailer who jacks the price another 300 percent
because "We don't sell many of these, so we've got to make a decent profit on it?" What
can be done about that international boundary which takes a bite of 43 percent on all
audio equipment and parts, radios, TV sets, etc., and an astounding 50 percent on all
test equipment? What about it, fellow electronics enthusiasts? How about raising a combined
scream of protest to our respective powers that be? Perhaps if the moans are loud enough,
the politicians will hear us above that clink in their gold-lined pockets. How about
some comments on this situation from both sides of the "Fleecing Line?"
D. Dawson, VE6PE4K
Penny, B. C.
It sounds as if you have a very legitimate gripe, reader Dawson, and that, to quote
an old phrase, "there ought to be a law" (or a lot less of them). Perhaps other readers
- both U.S. and Canadian - would like to comment.
More Humor Wanted
In the many years I have been a subscriber to Popular Electronics I have seldom had
as good a laugh as I did over the "Odds 'N' Ends" column on page 124 of the November,
1964, issue. I would like to see more of the same. Also, what happened to "Hobnobbing
with Harbaugh" in the October and November issues?
Antigua, British West Indies
Pico vs. Micromicro
Please use standard symbols in your construction articles. In the "Wireless Re-Broadcaster,
" January, 1965, the symbol "pf," was used as well as "μf" I never saw "pf." used
before, but I imagine it means "micormicrofarads."
Camp Hill, Pa.
You're right, Darrel; "pf." means the same as "μμf." As we pointed out in the
July, 1964, "Letters from our Readers" column, "pico" was one of the unit prefixes recently
adopted by the International Committee on Weights and measures. it means (as does "micromicro")
Posted March 1, 2018