VE3AB Netty Electronics

While ordering components for my 630m transverter project, an internet search for some needed FT-37-77 cores brought me to the website run by Earl, VE3AB in NE Ontario.

Purchasing just a small number of parts can usually be expensive, considering the high cost of mailing these days but in this case, the toroids and a few other parts turned into a real bargain.  Earl is a retired Defence Department Manager and Technical Specialist and has one of the most colorful and informative sites that I've ever run across. The extensive, somewhat 'eclectic' site, might at first appear to be a bit disorganized but it really all works nicely once you delve a little deeper ... and there are many layers on Earl's site. It really is quite different and one thing that comes through is his passion for doing things the right way!

It seems that Earl's two main passions are fishing and supplying quality components at good prices. His dirt-cheap shipping to both Canada and the U.S. is something not often seen any longer, as shipping costs often make small purchases totally uneconomical. Forgive me if this sounds like a blatant plug for Earl's business ... it is not. It's just that I found his site extremely interesting and very different from most ... the fact that he is offering something that many hams might find helpful, is my main motivation.

The introductory 'ham radio' page contains, among other things, a collection of Earl's articles describing repairs on many solid state transceivers while his 'Netty Electronics' page describes his small home-based component selling and acquisition activities. His 'ham electronics magazine' page contains articles on working with circuit boards (re-capping, repairing, de-soldering), antenna articles as well as numerous articles on components, all authored by VE3AB. Earl's website and free services are all financed by personally using monies obtained through sales of parts and part radios as he sees it is a service to the amateur radio hobby, which he obviously loves deeply.

Earl specializes in solid state devices of all description, from vintage to modern. He offers a vast selection of parts for older radios and has information on repairing dozens of older solid state rigs. All parts are tested or guaranteed to be working within specs.

His pages contain extensive information describing his tests of popular Chinese-made transistors, such as this one describing a batch of dual-gate MOSFET BF981 transistors. His 'test' pages are definitely worthy of your attention and, for many, might be a bit of an eye-opener.

If you are looking for a manual for an older rig, Earl has an extensive offering of free manuals on his site. If it's not there, he can probably get it for you.

He is continually buying up collections of older components, as well as new parts ... if you have stuff to unload you might wish to check with him as so many of these valuable parts end up in the trash as shacks go silent. His extensive list of components can be found here. ... you may just find that special part you've been looking for.

One of Earl's goals for the website is to put up a search-engine for his parts but in the meantime, I found my browser's "Find" function worked well in sorting through the large list.

There is enough interesting information on his pages to keep you reading for hours and I find the random nature of much of it rather attractive. Earl says that changes to the site are coming but I hope they're not too drastic ... I kind of like it just the way it is!
Steve McDonald, VE7SL, is a regular contributor to and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

One Response to “VE3AB Netty Electronics”

  • Robert VA3AOD:


    I have met Earl at a hamfest and exchanged at least one email with him.
    He is an honest, friendly and very helpful guy. What he does looks more like an enjoyable hobby than a money making business. He really tries to be of service to his fellow amateurs who can’t get small quantities of parts and repairs elsewhere for a reasonable price. I suspect (don’t know) his DND pension is his main source of income.

Leave a Comment

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter
News, Opinion, Giveaways & More!

Join over 7,000 subscribers!
We never share your e-mail address.

Also available via RSS feed, Twitter, and Facebook.

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter

We never share your e-mail address.

Do you like to write?
Interesting project to share?
Helpful tips and ideas for other hams?

Submit an article and we will review it for publication on!

Have a ham radio product or service?
Consider advertising on our site.

Are you a reporter covering ham radio?
Find ham radio experts for your story.

How to Set Up a Ham Radio Blog
Get started in less than 15 minutes!

  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor

Sign up for our free
Amateur Radio Newsletter

Enter your e-mail address: