Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The fixer

Jaytron, is my favorite marine electronics distributor. I can't remember how long I have dealt with them but its been many years. They're fair, have a smart staff, and a huge inventory. The conversations I have with them often go like, "Hi Frank, it's Bill, I need one of these Seaview round wedgie thingys for a KVH M1 satellite system mount and a Ray backbone kit, you know, the one with really long blue cable. Yeah that's it, the 20m cable is the right one. Thanks Frank." A large amount of my transactions are done from my cell phone whilst milling around in my less than palatial vehicle trying not to run over tourists. The slow ones at any rate. I rarely have part numbers at hand and rely on their very experienced staff to help me. Jaytron however has another huge asset.

Today is different, I'm waiting patiently in line at Jaytron clutching a large canvas bag. Vinnie, wearing a black suit and holding a clipboard is manning the rope line. "What's in the bag buddy?" inquires Vinnie. I quaver, "It's a Ray classic E-120 with no back lighting, and a classic C-80 with a broken on off switch. Vinnie stares into the bag for a second, then reaches back, unhooks the velvet rope, and says "The Fixer will now see you."

The Fixer is Steve Senft, a quite remarkable and extraordinarily talented professional. He was an electronics warfare tech in the navy, and afterwards worked for several contractors including GE on Andros Island. For the last twenty years he has been associated with Jaytron repairing marine electronics and amateur radio gear including single side band radios, one of his many specialties.