[vcf-midatlantic] Kemner Surplus visit

Henry S. Courbis info at reactivemicro.com
Tue Feb 20 22:49:12 EST 2018

Just an FYI about the place - I was informed of a thread on Reddit a few
years back about this place.  The owner had a local high school kid working
in the place helping list items on eBay and other places.  Zach was his
name and he worked on consignment.  The owner however treated the kid
pretty badly and kept changing the "deal" on and when get would get paid
from what Zach told me.  That was a big turn off to me hearing and seeing
how he treated Zach and even his own daughter.

I went to the place since Zach listed a lot of Apple and other retro
parts.  Full systems, software, you name it.  Most of the Apple II systems
I looked at however were damaged and very dirty.  I was later told by the
owner that they were kept in a barn he owned and stacked over 10 high,
hence the broken keyboards, rat droppings, hay in the cases, and cracks.
However I didn't care as my goal was a group buy.  So I made a list of
things, talk with friends to see who wanted what, and then went back to
make an offer.  After some time "negotiating" the prices keep rising and
the owner kept talking himself in to eBay style prices for barn kept
equipment which as all broken, dirty, and untested.  He seemed more like a
hoarder and didn't really want to part with anything.  After about a week
of going through Zach trying to facilitate a buy where I would pay Zach a
percentage since the owner somehow managed to convince himself to cut Zach
out, I gave up.

There were some other personal grievances about my experience but aren't
really relevant here.  The owner just really rubbed me the wrong way about
a lot of things.  The place however is really neat, and there's a lot to
see there.  Reminds me of some old places that used to be on Arch Street in
Philly.  Just sharing my experience.

Henry S. Courbis

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On Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 7:14 PM, Mike Loewen via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org> wrote:

>    It was a nice day for a drive, so I finally paid a visit to Kemner's
> Surplus Warehouse in Pottstown.  Interesting place, with something for
> everyone.  Vintage computer-wise, there are piles of Apple ][e systems and
> disk drives, various Mac vintages, C64s, Vic 20s, TRS-80 Cocos (all
> versions). I saw a TRS-80 Model I and a couple of monitors, and two Model
> II disk expansion bays (one with 1 drive and the other with 3 drives).
> Printers, joysticks, software, game cartridges, plotters, monitors,
> keyboards galore.
>    Test equipment-wise, there were many varieties of oscilloscopes,
> meters, signal generators.  Old radios, tape machines, slide and movie
> projectors. Several aisles worth of electronics components: resistors,
> capacitors, sockets, switches, transformers, ICs, lamp sockets, fuse
> holders, cables, probes, etc.
>    I was briefly excited when I noticed an HP1000 under a pile of stuff.
> Too good to be true.  Written on it was "bad power supply, bad memory
> controller, bad backplane".  Plus, it was missing the front panel
> switch/indicator assembly.  It was a model 2112A, one of the earlier
> models.  Oh, well.  I even found a disc pack for my 404MB HP drive, but it
> was dusty outside AND inside.
>    I picked up several bags full of parts and a new scope probe. The
> prices on the small parts are pretty reasonable.  However, the prices on
> the vintage computer stuff are way too high, IMO.  $125 for a ][e, $65 for
> a TRS-80 Model I monitor, $150 for a Model I CPU/keyboard.  You may be able
> to negotiate for slightly better prices.  If you visit, you should be able
> to get a system tested and configured for your needs.
>    Oh yeah - an IBM System 34 for $9,000 or "Make a good offer".  Rusty
> and dusty.  The systems in the vintage computer room are generally clean,
> but many of them on the shelves on the main floor are dusty and dirty.
>    All in all, it was a worthwhile trip.  If you need parts, it's a good
> place to check out.
> Mike Loewen                             mloewen at cpumagic.scol.pa.us
> Old Technology                          http://q7.neurotica.com/Oldtech/

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