Thrift Store Sightings

I was tasked with discarding an old (1999) Zenith CRT television this week. The set worked perfectly but it’s bulky and gets no use today. Our primary TV is a Sony KD-34XBR970. It’s also a CRT but a Hi-Def model, and supposedly the last CRT manufactured by Sony. I love the picture quality on this and have not yet seen an LCD or plasma that can compare to it.

I delivered the TV to the local GoodWill store and they refused to take it. “We’ll only take in TVs that were manufactured after the year 2000.” So, I travelled to another thrift store and, thank goodness, they willingly loaded the Zenith onto an old shopping cart and rolled it into the shop. Hope it finds a home!

Thrift stores are terrific for finding interesting, old electronic stuff and “Value Village” was no exception. I spotted a Sharp GX-CD10 boombox in decent shape and 100% operational. Take a look at the back of the radio–apparently by 1990, Sharp had already moved at least some of their manufacturing out of Japan and into Malaysia.

Up front and behind the main counter is where the store keeps its big-ticket stuff like artwork, jewelry, and apparently antique video game systems like the Sears-branded Intellivision, called the Super Video Arcade. I didn’t know Sears had sold a re-branded Mattel’s Intellivision, I knew they had done the same with the Atari 2600. This particular model looks different than Mattel’s system: note the white and dark brown color combination (as opposed to the gold and brown Intellivison) and the controller placement is different too. Did Sears actually redesign the console? The one I spotted is still in its original box. In 1982, this home game console cost just north of $200. Fifteen or so years ago, we were tripping over Atari 2600s, Odyssey IIs and the like in the general merchandise area of thrift shops, usually priced around five or ten bucks. Times have changed because the Value Village Super Video Arcade is priced at $99.99!

Only In Japan, Aiwa’s Answering Machine Boombox

Perhaps one of the most innovative (read: useless) boomboxes is Aiwa’s <i>Rusuban</i> CS-TW80. This sleak little model from 1987 was equipped with AM/FM and TV sound, dual cassettes and two RJ-45 jacks in the back. What for? For the telephone answering system, of course! That’s right, the CS-TW80 connected to your phone line to record incoming calls onto cassette.

Sharp Melody Searcher Keyboard Boombox

Sharp was gutsy in their boombox experimentation, an example being the MR-990. The interface in the bottom center is a keyboard! If you’re an ’80s synthesizer enthusiast, look for one of these to make your collection complete. Thanks go to Rick in New Hampshire for providing a photo of this exotic piece.

Toshiba RT-SF5 From San Diego

Nestor in San Diego is the owner of this cool Toshiba. “The RT-SF5 is way cool. It is feature laden despite the small size. It has an advanced, for its day, autoreverse cassette mechanism with soft touch controls, a 4 band tuner with 2 shortwave bands and a fine tuning control. Metal and CRO2 tape capability, beat and stereo wide, external microphone and aux high level source RCA jacks and a two way speaker system with tiny piezo tweeters. It’s all a very complete package, and a boombox I am most likely to keep.”

Jet Black Yamaha PC-8

Burn in Canada provided a shot of his cool Yamaha PC-8. This thing just reeks of ’80s appeal, doesn’t it? AM/FM tuner, five-band eq, slider controls for volume and balance and logic controls. Use it for tunes as your riding your Yamaha motorcycle or jet-ski, or record a sample from your Yamaha DX-7 synthesizer keyboard.

Stefan’s Sony FH-7 Mark II & Mark III

Stefan in Ontario provides some nice pictures of two very hi-tech Sonys, the FH-7MKII and FH-7MKIII. Guessing that the only difference is the speaker style; the Mark III seems to offer slightly better ones. Gotta like that brushed aluminum trim too! By the way these were for sale. Chances are he’s got some other good stuff to offer if you’re in the market. Check ebay for some of his auctions, maybe he has a stereo for sale for you!