Re: {Collins} Serial # Range - 75S-3B SB1?



I am new to this forum so bear with me. I was an engineer in Cedar Rapids
from June 1963 to August 1974 less a little time out to visit Southeast
Asia. In 1974 I transferred to the Richardson plant. My job involved design
work in the non-RF area but we used the same part number configuration rules
throughout the company. The CPN ten digit Collins part number was sacred. A
part number equaled anything from a component part to a finished assembly
and in fact is an engineering drawing set. A dash number (last three digits)
was a functional variant requiring either new drawing or notes on the
drawing. Emphasis on functional which might include different materials or
components that could alter the specification. MCN or manufacturing control
numbers were assigned and controlled be the factory to track equipment in
production. Unfortunately MCN's are not self reading from a date time
standpoint. They are however sequential. For example if you question the
implementation of an engineering change which might ultimately be a Service
Bulletin it was always effective with a particular MCN. Serial numbers were
controlled by Product Management (marketing). Almost every product started
off at 101 or 1001 to convey the image of product maturity. In the case of
S-Line equipment I do know its manufacturing was moved from Butler in Cedar
Rapids to Anamosa to Toronto at various times which might have resulted in
serial number discontinuities due to the issuing of number plates to
different factories. 

I do not believe there was any scrambling of serial numbers because it just
was not easy to do. Lots of stuff was blamed on Mr. Collins instructions. It
was kind of like if someone had to deal with an unpopular topic it was
imputed to him. I worked personally with him for several years in the late
70's and will tell you he disliked marketing and disliked doing anything
illogical. I cannot swear that serial numbers were not scrambled but would
bet a lot of money that you won't find a memo from him with that
instruction. Meanwhile you can hang your hat on an MCN which is usually
stamped with ink on the assembly in question. To be honest I can't remember
exactly that system went into play but once it did John Nyquist made it
universal in his factories.


Clarence G. Marshall

AE5UB

P 918-366-9164
M 918-630-1357




-----Original Message-----
From: jim [mailto:jonesjames@xxxxxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2011 3:03 PM
To: Glen Zook; collins@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: {Collins} Serial # Range - 75S-3B SB1?

?Would sure be interested in the "instructions" issued by Mr. Collins with 
regard to S-Line SN scrambling.  I talked to one of the configuration 
management guys from the S-Line era and he denies there was any scrambling. 
I have also talked to several engineers and techs involved with the S-Line 
and they were not aware of intentional scrambling.

Everyone agrees that the serial number discontinuity is likely a result of 
the fact that blocks of serial numbers were issued on individual contracts. 
Rod Blocksome and I looked at some of the old micro film records several 
years ago and had hoped to establish a good data base for S/Ns vs delivery 
dates, but before we able to complete the project, the records got moved to 
"secure storage" at an off site location.  We could still access the 
records, but we needed to provide a "business case" and provide charge 
center numbers for the fairly significant costs associated with getting the 
records.  Both of us were extremely busy with our "day" jobs at RC, so we 
had to abandon the project.

An interesting aspect of the project revealed that there were many SN 1s ( 
as well as 101s and1001s).  When I talked to the nameplate issuers, they 
said if the customer was military/govt, the nameplate would have included 
the contract information and the SN was issued against the contract.  I 
don't think any of the commercial contracts had the contract number on the 
nameplate, therefore the requirement for the serial number blocks.

Another thing to consider is that there were a fairly large number of "dash"

numbers.  The KWM-2 had 7 or 8 dash numbers, so each dash would require a 
new SN sequence.  (Most of the dash number differences were related to 
nameplate requirements).

The other thing to consider is the MCN system (Manufacturing Control 
Number).  I think it was introduced sometime during S-line Production, but I

have never been able to absolutely determine when.  This number is a better 
indication of build sequence for a particular assembly.  This allows 
building common assemblies and conducting unique contract required testing 
before the final serial number nameplate is installed.

The other thing that may have impacted SN sequencing  is that some units had

to be reworked or repaired after serial numbers were applied.  I don't think

the delays were generally enough to a be a factor, but I understand there 
were a few units that got shelved for up to a year before they made it back 
through testing.

Interesting stuff.

73
Jim w0nkn

--------------------------------------------------
From: "Glen Zook" <gzook@xxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2011 12:22 AM
To: <collins@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>; "Rich Hallman - N7TR" <rich@xxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: {Collins} Serial # Range - 75S-3B SB1?

> At the instructions of Art Collins the serial numbers were "scrambled" and

> therefore you can't tell from the serial number the date of production. 
> This was because the 75A-4 receivers were valued depending on the serial 
> number.  There are ways of estimating the date of the receiver including 
> the dates on the heterodyne oscillator crystals (if they have not all been

> changed).  Typically, the crystals were used within a month, or two, of 
> the date which they were made.
>
> Glen, K9STH
>
> Website:  http://k9sth.com
>
>
> --- On Wed, 6/1/11, Rich Hallman - N7TR <rich@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
>
> Is there a serial number range that all 75S-3B's had the SB1 / 2 included 
> from the factory?
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