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 Post subject: Re: Collins Receivers high prices
PostPosted: Nov Tue 24, 2020 8:07 pm 
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Location: Ashhurst, New Zealand
Jim said:
Quote:
There is always Collins R-390A and 51J-4 for sale.


Not here there ain't! Shipping would be astronomical and very risky.

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 Post subject: Re: Collins Receivers high prices
PostPosted: Nov Tue 24, 2020 9:16 pm 
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Joined: Jan Tue 07, 2020 1:41 am
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Location: Fenton, MI 48430
majoco wrote:
Jim said:
Quote:
There is always Collins R-390A and 51J-4 for sale.


Not here there ain't! Shipping would be astronomical and very risky.

Ham swaps have been open.

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 Post subject: Re: Collins Receivers high prices
PostPosted: Nov Wed 25, 2020 4:47 am 
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BTW- brisk sales on AM/CW tube transmitters. About two a day on eBay. I do not know if just collectors or new vintage operators.

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 Post subject: Re: Collins Receivers high prices
PostPosted: Nov Wed 25, 2020 7:57 pm 
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It would be a rather long and damp drive for me to go to a ham swap meet in the US.

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 Post subject: Re: Collins Receivers high prices
PostPosted: Nov Wed 25, 2020 8:23 pm 
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Joined: Jan Fri 20, 2012 10:25 pm
Posts: 264
Location: Warminster, PA
majoco wrote:
It would be a rather long and damp drive for me to go to a ham swap meet in the US.



Curious, what would an approximate cost be to ship a radio like the R390A down under?

Tom
W3TA


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 Post subject: Re: Collins Receivers high prices
PostPosted: Nov Wed 25, 2020 11:49 pm 
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Joined: Jan Tue 07, 2020 1:41 am
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Location: Fenton, MI 48430
thoyer wrote:
majoco wrote:
It would be a rather long and damp drive for me to go to a ham swap meet in the US.



Curious, what would an approximate cost be to ship a radio like the R390A down under?

Tom
W3TA

From USA about $1200-$1225 is best price via FedEx. USPS will not ship over 50lbs. Craziest I ever seen was a friend in USA sold Collins twins to ham in Japan. He sent a delivery service car 60 miles to his house to pick up and drop off at airport and bought a seat on a plane from USA to Japan. He likely had it the next day.

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Last edited by jimbenedict on Nov Thu 26, 2020 1:36 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Collins Receivers high prices
PostPosted: Nov Wed 25, 2020 11:50 pm 
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Location: Fenton, MI 48430
majoco wrote:
It would be a rather long and damp drive for me to go to a ham swap meet in the US.

New Zealand Ham Swaps locked down?

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 Post subject: Re: Collins Receivers high prices
PostPosted: Nov Thu 26, 2020 3:30 pm 
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Joined: Jan Mon 28, 2013 9:35 pm
Posts: 1633
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
As a kid I could just drool over Collins gear. Despite knowing quite a few hams
no one owned any Collins gear, This was the late 60's, early '70's. A few years
ago came across a 75A2 at a ham junkfest that sat on a guys table all day.
At the end of the swap finally got up the nerve to ask price. $100. WOW!
Why? Mouse nest nestled inside and it had that unmistakable odor.
Bought it, fixed it up and got hooked on pre-S line.
Since then I've ended up with all of the 51J series, 75A series and
32V series except for the 32V3.

The key is being patient, avoid ebay like the plague, look locally, and be willing to
take on major projects. One example, a 75A4 for $100 (with much haggling).
The top had been replaced with plywood, all mech filters 'harvested' for
sale on that evil auction site and hammified. Lots of work later and now
its back to stock and works great!

Other than the 32V2 (near mint) I've never paid more than $150 for
any of these rigs.
Steve W6SSP

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 Post subject: Re: Collins Receivers high prices
PostPosted: Nov Thu 26, 2020 3:52 pm 
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Joined: Jan Tue 07, 2020 1:41 am
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Location: Fenton, MI 48430
Waiting for cheap prices is good. But, if you want a radio now for your AM Ham station a reasonable deal shows up on the Ham classified ads or ebay. It may take 6 weeks. I bought a very clean 51J-4 for $500. But, it is worth $500 any day if I put it up for sale. It is those $800 offers for the radio I would not purchase.

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 Post subject: Re: Collins Receivers high prices
PostPosted: Nov Thu 26, 2020 4:02 pm 
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there are only 6000 hams in NZ. I suspect that the any American made communication gear is rare as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Collins Receivers high prices
PostPosted: Nov Thu 26, 2020 7:33 pm 
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A few years ago I had a very nice 75S1 and after searching and waiting I was able to get a Collins 500 KHz mechanical filter for it. I also installed extra crystals for 30 and 17 meters. Later I sold it. What a mistake! Now I am looking again at the 75S series. There are 75S3s on eBay and I bet they go for a lot. Collins radios were so far ahead of their time in terms of SSB performance. That is why collectors still go for them.

73s, Scott, N6CIC

Happy Thanksgiving!


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 Post subject: Re: Collins Receivers high prices
PostPosted: Nov Thu 26, 2020 8:11 pm 
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Joined: Jun Sun 15, 2014 5:37 pm
Posts: 732
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Traditionally, and maybe still today, imported ham equipment carried a premium to many countries. Not just shipping, but tariffs. So it limited what might show up in the first place.

So a limited selection on the used market.


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 Post subject: Re: Collins Receivers high prices
PostPosted: Nov Mon 30, 2020 2:56 pm 
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Location: Fenton, MI 48430
Going on 3 weeks and ebay listings at $500 and higher for 75A and 51J-1 thru 3 series plus R-388 are not selling. An R-388 listed at $450 and offered $400 is over a week old and no sale. It will likely sell at $400. Since Nov 1 two have sold in the $550 range being an R-388 and 75A-4. And a rebuilt R-390A sold for $850 on Nov 12.

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 Post subject: Re: Collins Receivers high prices
PostPosted: Nov Mon 30, 2020 3:42 pm 
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19&41 wrote:
When I was 20, I was given the use of 3 Collins KWM-2A's, each with power amps by my rich uncle (Sam). I monitored them for 12 hours daily for 3 days a week, answering random hourly radio checks and copying whatever traffic deemed necessary. That sated quickly, whatever desire I had to have even one of my own, though I can see why they are prized.


I owned a S Line back around 1972 or so--ran it for a few years and eventually sold off the twins. I do wish I keep the 75S3B receiver however.... I had a few shots at a KWM-2, but the poor method they used for CW generation was a turn off for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Collins Receivers high prices
PostPosted: Nov Mon 30, 2020 3:56 pm 
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Joined: Jan Tue 07, 2020 1:41 am
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Location: Fenton, MI 48430
Peter Bertini wrote:
19&41 wrote:
When I was 20, I was given the use of 3 Collins KWM-2A's, each with power amps by my rich uncle (Sam). I monitored them for 12 hours daily for 3 days a week, answering random hourly radio checks and copying whatever traffic deemed necessary. That sated quickly, whatever desire I had to have even one of my own, though I can see why they are prized.


I owned a S Line back around 1972 or so--ran it for a few years and eventually sold off the twins. I do wish I keep the 75S3B receiver however.... I had a few shots at a KWM-2, but the poor method they used for CW generation was a turn off for me.

Collins S lines are all over the map price wise on eBay. $200 to $1200, but many 75S-1 are under $500. 75S-2 and 75S-3 start at $500. I prefer the older larger Collins receivers with the mechanical IF filters.

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 Post subject: Re: Collins Receivers high prices
PostPosted: Nov Mon 30, 2020 5:20 pm 
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jimbenedict wrote:
Peter Bertini wrote:
19&41 wrote:
When I was 20, I was given the use of 3 Collins KWM-2A's, each with power amps by my rich uncle (Sam). I monitored them for 12 hours daily for 3 days a week, answering random hourly radio checks and copying whatever traffic deemed necessary. That sated quickly, whatever desire I had to have even one of my own, though I can see why they are prized.


I owned a S Line back around 1972 or so--ran it for a few years and eventually sold off the twins. I do wish I keep the 75S3B receiver however.... I had a few shots at a KWM-2, but the poor method they used for CW generation was a turn off for me.

Collins S lines are all over the map price wise on eBay. $200 to $1200, but many 75S-1 are under $500. 75S-2 and 75S-3 start at $500. I prefer the older larger Collins receivers with the mechanical IF filters.


What is a good AM receiver does not always equate to similar performance on CW or SSB. Tuning rates, product detectors, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Collins Receivers high prices
PostPosted: Nov Mon 30, 2020 6:01 pm 
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Location: Fenton, MI 48430
I owned a S Line back around 1972 or so--ran it for a few years and eventually sold off the twins. I do wish I keep the 75S3B receiver however.... I had a few shots at a KWM-2, but the poor method they used for CW generation was a turn off for me.[/quote]
Collins S lines are all over the map price wise on eBay. $200 to $1200, but many 75S-1 are under $500. 75S-2 and 75S-3 start at $500. I prefer the older larger Collins receivers with the mechanical IF filters.[/quote]

What is a good AM receiver does not always equate to similar performance on CW or SSB. Tuning rates, product detectors, etc.[/quote]

Yes. Collins receiver for AM and use a transceiver for SSB. I prefer the clearer audio from tubes thus use a National NCX-5 for SSB. The NCX-5 with dual RF tubes in receive is as sensitive as any SS transceiver.

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 Post subject: Re: Collins Receivers high prices
PostPosted: Dec Thu 03, 2020 9:08 pm 
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I'm still waiting to break even on my R-390A. I was mesmerized in 1972 when I discovered that this radio existed and was being surplused by the DOD. The idea of a radio that could read frequency to 300 cycles, and was stable to tens of cycles, was almost unbelievable to me at the time. The surplus dealers started selling refurbished (lightly used) radios for $2000 (1972 dollars). That was unworkable for me, but when a dealer offered a like-new radio for $595 I snapped it up. I would say it outperformed the other contemporary radios, significantly better than the typical ham rigs, but only a little better than the general coverage Collins receivers of the time. It now has the reputation of being the finest tube radio, and it was more widely used than any other radio of the time.
In 2020 dollars, I paid about $3700 for it, so even if I got $1000 for it, I'm not close to breaking even. However, I've had 40+ years of enjoyment using the radio for both ham and SWL listening. I've argued that until recently it could hold its own against Japanese ham receivers for SSB and CW, but recently the solid state revolution has achieved performance that is at least an order of magnitude better than the old R-390A. But I'm still awed by the performance achieved by Collins back in 1955.
Fortunately, I've carefully maintained it, since I probably cannot get it off the desk and onto the workbench if it needed repair.
Ed


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 Post subject: Re: Collins Receivers high prices
PostPosted: Dec Thu 03, 2020 9:12 pm 
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Joined: Jan Tue 07, 2020 1:41 am
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Location: Fenton, MI 48430
djed wrote:
I'm still waiting to break even on my R-390A. I was mesmerized in 1972 when I discovered that this radio existed and was being surplused by the DOD. The idea of a radio that could read frequency to 300 cycles, and was stable to tens of cycles, was almost unbelievable to me at the time. The surplus dealers started selling refurbished (lightly used) radios for $2000 (1972 dollars). That was unworkable for me, but when a dealer offered a like-new radio for $595 I snapped it up. I would say it outperformed the other contemporary radios, significantly better than the typical ham rigs, but only a little better than the general coverage Collins receivers of the time. It now has the reputation of being the finest tube radio, and it was more widely used than any other radio of the time.
In 2020 dollars, I paid about $3700 for it, so even if I got $1000 for it, I'm not close to breaking even. However, I've had 40+ years of enjoyment using the radio for both ham and SWL listening. I've argued that until recently it could hold its own against Japanese ham receivers for SSB and CW, but recently the solid state revolution has achieved performance that is at least an order of magnitude better than the old R-390A. But I'm still awed by the performance achieved by Collins back in 1955.
Fortunately, I've carefully maintained it, since I probably cannot get it off the desk and onto the workbench if it needed repair.
Ed

The new SS receivers do not have the ultra clear audio of tube receivers. It makes a large difference with less than great ears (age).

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 Post subject: Re: Collins Receivers high prices
PostPosted: Dec Thu 03, 2020 9:22 pm 
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Joined: Jan Fri 20, 2012 10:25 pm
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Location: Warminster, PA
djed wrote:
However, I've had 40+ years of enjoyment using the radio for both ham and SWL listening.


Sounds to me like your enjoyment far outweighs any value you could put on the radio. You can't put a dollar value on 40+ years of "enjoyment".

Tom
W3TA


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