Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Small Adventures #29

When I went to the International Exchange Center to attend the Friday lunchtime English lecture a few weeks ago, one of the other guys that drops by occasionally was there.  He's an electronics tech from Georgia, so we got to talking about electronics, and how it would be really nice to have a place like Akihabara down here in Kagoshima.  He mentioned that there is a components shop just off Tram Street, near where I'd gotten hit, but he didn't remember the name of the shop.  So, a few days later, when I was getting some exercise, I decided to go to that intersection.  All I could find there was a place called "My Shyodo".  The first floor had lighting fixtures, hard drives, and iPad headphones.  The second floor carried shortwave radios, and the third had audio components and systems.  Over the following few days, I'd be back at that intersection, and no matter where I looked, that's all that I could find.

Eventually, I needed to get an audio cable with RCA jacks at one end and a mini-stereo jack at the other, plus a pair of laptop stereo speakers to plug the cable into.  My Shyodo had both, but when I got home, I discovered that the audio cable from the speakers wasn't detachable.  So now, I had the cables with the male jack trying to connect to the male jack of the speakers.  Back I go to My Shoyo and they don't have a male-male adapter.  Figuring that the best place to get something like this is an audio shop, I go up to the third floor and really look around for the first time. The place is amazing, with thousand-dollar vacuum tube amps and receivers, and one entire glass case dedicated to phonograph needles.  Very upscale.  But, no adapter.

I go to the shop owner and tell him what I want.  He says to follow him, and we take the elevator back to the first floor, walk out the back door, through the covered parking lot, and up an outdoor staircase to a different shop on the second floor in a different building.  And here, are rows and rows of parts.  The main focus is on home wiring, so lots of fans, circuit breakers, light switches and security cameras.  But, one row has cabinets of resistors, caps, CMOS, and other stuff (I couldn't get close to check it all, because the employees were rewiring a light fixture over that section).  Now I can get there from the street, but without knowing what to look for, I'd been walking past this place for over a year.  The next time I have a few free hours for tinkering, I'm going to get a soldering iron, a solder sucker, some wire, a couple 50 K-ohm pots, and some switches.

It's not as well-stocked as any of the places in Akihabara, but it's better than nothing.

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