September 27, 2016

Ra-el-co Electric

by Mark Limes

Hole in the Wall Greatness

Ra-el-co is the type of place that gets a techie excited, probably too excited. Whether you’re looking to fix that 300 W tube amp you just busted up trying to kick like Yngwie Malmsteen or building your own Tesla Death Ray©, this place has got your fix. Lurking through the cluttered halls, one can find just about any component to fit their needs. The plethora of stuff contained in these walls provide a much needed vestige from the way that electronic products have become in today’s pre-packaged marketplace.

Robert Gunnell (owner), Cal Johnson, Joel Gunnell, Paul Hoagland. Ra-el-co stands for Ray’s Electric Company

Take HAM radio man Chuck Walker’s words, “I was telling my grandson, there used to be a lot of stores like this… where you can go in and just buy some resistors and capacitors.” Aside from all the connectors, cable, power supplies, small scale transformers, IC’s, and components a gal could ever want, these guys also have all the hardware you’d need to make your own printed circuit boards in the confines of your own home.

If you find yourself getting lost in your own little world in this shop, you’re not alone, but the staff here will pull you back to reality and help you find what you need. “Looks like it’s chaos here but we really know where most things are,” says owner Robert Gunnell jokingly. “People are repairing stuff a lot more instead of buying new,” he says. “We’re not a repair shop but we give advice when we can.” Take it from me, these guys’ advice are quite a bit more helpful than some jack-schmoes picking their favorite hole at the national chains. Local Eric Sorte gives his experience, “I go in there looking for some special cables, they showed me how to make my own and I saved like 40 bucks.” Ra-el-co also buys unique equipment and components. So if you have an old hundred-pound box of metal stamped with HP that looks like it survived a nuclear test site, Ra-el-co Inc. is the place to take it.

At Ra-el-co you might find just what
you’ve been looking for in a Skippy jar