In Radio Shack: Still Relevant for Neighborhood Engineers?, I took a look at my local Radio Shack. It's within walking distance of my home and from what I can tell by the comments, it's one of the better Radio Shack stores for the do-it-yourself hobbyist or engineer. But when you really need electronic parts in the Boston area, you go to You-Do-It Electronics about a 20-minute drive to the west.
Overlooking Boston's Route 128 (officially I-95 but locals and traffic reporters still call it 128) in Needham, Mass., You-Do-It is where you go for passive and active components, connectors, cables, tools, CD radios, and test equipment. You-Do-It has been in the same location for many years. As a teenager, I bought a pair of 15-in. drivers for my bass guitar cabinets.
The photos in this slideshow were taken in November 2012 when I went to You-Do-It for an article published on The Connecting Edge (I was editor at the time). For that visit, I focused on connectors and cables, but did take other photos as well. A few of the photos here are repeated, but most are seen here for the first time.
You-Do-It's inventory has changed over the years. Now, it carries many computer and IT-related products such as cables, cable ties, connectors, and panels. But, you can still find a wide selection of truly electronic components, many more than at Radio Shack. The serious hobbyist and neighborhood engineer goes to You-Do-It when you need a part right away or on the weekend. You-Do-It opens at 8:00 a.m. on weekdays in case you need parts before heading to the lab.
Click on the image below to open the slideshow in a new window.
A package of 610 resistors will give you some variety when stocking a home lab.
—Martin Rowe, Senior Technical Editor