Champaign trip (aka DEC Galore)

From: <(>
Date: Tue Apr 16 10:47:49 2002

I took a little trip over to Champaign, IL yesterday (Mon) and met up with
fellow list member Chris Smith.

Chris: Just to let you know, I made it home, hot & tired, but ok.
        It was good to meet you and visit for a while.

No doubt, Chris spent yesterday evening going through the carload of stuff
I took over to him. I'll let him tell about that. Don't let him get
away with calling it his 'latest haul', because he didn't, it was
'home delivery'. :)

After that I went to a little town about 12 miles southwest of Champaign.
It is named Sadorus and has a population of around 400. It just occurred
to me, this town probably holds the record for DEC per capita. Anyway, I
stopped at a place called C-U Digital. There I found a warehouse, roughly
8,000 sq. ft., filled with nothing but DEC.

A summary of what I saw: Stacks of 5000/2xx DECstations, boxes of
LK201/401 keyboards, piles of DECserver 90's, several RAxx drives,
several StorageWorks cabinets, a mess of RF7x DSSI drives, a few
Alpha servers, several RAID cabinets. This is just the short list.
I'd go on but I don't want to be the cause of excess drooling. :)

Chris: IIRC, they have VT100 keyboards, and a few still in original

Kevin Craft, the owner, was away on a fishing trip, so I talked with
this brother Keith. It seems they are still doing a good business,
supplying die-hard customers with DEC hardware. He related one
recent story where a customer wanted to replace a couple dying VR260
monitors, only the customer insisted that they be new units.

I did get a few prices and as expected they are a lot higher than
what we list members would prefer. IIRC, an RRD42/43 for around $75,
or an RF73 for around $50. About the only good price I heard was
around $10 for about any DEC drive mounting bracket. Granted I have
found them for less than half that, but those deals are getting
fewer and farther between.

I guess I can't fault these two for the prices, after all, selling DEC is
their livelihood. Keith did mention the amounts of stuff setting around
that has not sold in years. For example, a pallet full of DELNI's.
I brought up the the subject of this mailing list and hobbyists who are
always looking for various items. I then mentioned that selling a mess
of DELNI's for a few bucks to hobbyists was better than setting on a pallet
gathering dust. He went defensive on me, stating that as soon as he
does that, he will get a call from a faithful customer wanting dozens of

Of course that was Keith talking and Kevin is the boss. I know from
past dealings that Kevin is a little more receptive to some ideas.

I did get an agreement that sounds promising. I know where this a local
cache of DEC, removed from service and setting dormant. The place has
a habit of letting stuff set for around five years and then just tossing
it. Even with that, I can't seem to talk them out of anything now.
I suspect that is because 1) I am cheap, 2) I am just some individual who
wandered in. I told Keith that I would get an inventory and he can make
an offer, and if it goes through I would like a couple of the machines
as a finder's fee. He agreed.

The big sour note, I recognized some single drive expansion boxes. However,
the DEC badge had been replaced with a Compaq. Compaq actually went to
the trouble of having the plastic badge inserts remade in their image.
Fortunately, I had not yet had lunch.

Well, I have rambled enough. If there is a DEC item that you just
absolutely, positively have to have regardless of the price then you
might want to contact them.

Kevin Craft
C-U Digital
100 W. Market St. (the main drag thru town)
Sadorus, IL 61872

(217) 598-2424 (Kevin's or Keith's, I don't know which)

Received on Tue Apr 16 2002 - 10:47:49 BST

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