Re: {Collins} Values of Collins gear, was: Collins KWM-2A xcvr

On 1/24/09, Kim Herron <kim.herron@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> One other thing that I forgot to mention that is VERY IMPORTANT to the value
> of Heath Radios versus Collins is that there never was a "kit" version of a
> Collins radio. Period.  The reason that Heath radios only bring what they do
> is not the design but the usually lousy construction that they have. I have
> several dozens of them as well and if you disassemble, re-resistor, recap
> and resolder the whole radio, you do have a decent radio.

Yep, good points. Same can be said to some extent about the quality of
WRL gear, but both filled a bigger need in the amateur service than
Collins ever did simply for the reason on cost vs available income for
the average ham. IMO, Collins was second to none when it comes to
design and quality of construction, materials used, etc.

> With the Collins, you plug in a crystal, and perhaps realign the
> RF output trimming caps.   Project done.

Which brings up one of the biggest complaints today about the junior
Collins gear: the coverage of a relatively small chunk of spectrum
before having to switch bands. Then there's the funky CW offset issue.
Basically, it's not "as good as a new radio". Big surprise there. But
like the Heathkit gear, Collins or any of this stuff is not the thing
to own if you're into convenience or the latest/greatest whizbang
gadgetry. No doubt why so many of us love the stuff, simply for what
it is vs. what it isn't.

Bill brought up some very good points about the perceived value of
Collins or any old gear today. Along with the poor economy, add in the
hard truth that fewer new hams are coming along behind us to carry the
torch. Of that few, how many even know, muchless care about this old

The value of this stuff is placed on it by *us*, with *us* being a
tiny portion of the overall population. Many of us wanted it as kids
but couldn't afford it. Others came along later and saw all the
excitement and decided they'd better get in on it fast. Still others
saw a chance to make a quick buck on that interest.

When you stop to think that the average person coming across grandpa's
old SB-101 or KWM-2 in their garage sees it more like an old microwave
oven than a beloved piece of history, it tends to put things in
perspective. Collectively we haven't done a very good job making
others aware or drawing in new blood.

IMO, if you find, restore, and use this old stuff because you enjoy
it, you'll never go wrong. If you do it as your retirement plan in
hopes of vast future fortunes, it might be a good time to rethink your

~ Todd,  KA1KAQ/4

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