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


Pretty good up until the last paragraph. Arthur spent most of his time in
Richardson from 1966-67 on. I believe Mary and the boys moved around 68.
Their home was just off Alpha Road between Hillcrest and Preston Roads in
North Dallas. They also spent about a third of the year at the Newport Bay
Club apartment in Newport Harbor where the Peregrin was tied up. Building
401 in Richardson was the corporate headquarters in those last years and in
fact he had to fly back to Cedar Rapids for the December 71 Board meeting.
The man who ran the company out of 407 the last few years was Bill Roodhouse
EVP. Mr. Collins during this period was totally immersed in the C System
Design which unfortunately was about 40 years ahead of the market.
It is true however that most of the equipment design with the exception of
microwave remained in CID. Building 412 and 402 in Richardson as well as a
couple of rented buildings around town were used by system engineering.
Please note that with TACAMO Flying Command Post and Civilian Agency
Projects system engineering was a major revenue producer in this period. The
TACAMO Aircraft AF1 and EC131 fleet were maintained electronically in the
Collins hangers at Addison airport. It was always fun to watch the TACAMO
vlf testing into a dummy load immersed in 55 gallons of oil on the runway
I along with many engineers would spend weeks each year in Richardson
meeting with Mr. Collins and other Senior VPs in the Green Room in the
Rayflex building. Dr. Bert Henry who led the C-System Software effort in
fact occupied two floors of the Richardson National Bank building on North
Central Expressway. I was transferred to Richardson in 1974 by Rockwell
management along with many other computer engineers. After the takeover by
Rockwell in 1972 Mr. Collins set up shop in his home in North Dallas. His
consulting company operating out of this home for several years. This home
was very interesting in that he had imported limestone to construct it from
Stone City IA the home of Grant Wood. He retained his home in IA but I do
not believe he spent much time there after 1972. I suspect there were too
many good memories there marred by the bad memory of the takeover.


Clarence G. Marshall
12701 South Harvard Ave.
Jenks, OK 74037


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

-----Original Message-----
From: jim [mailto:jonesjames@xxxxxxxxxxxx] 
Sent: Monday, June 06, 2011 9:08 PM
To: Glen Zook; collins@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: {Collins} Serial # Range - 75S-3B SB1?

Had coffee with some engineers from the S-line era on Saturday; included was

the project engineer for the 75S-1.  None of them were aware of any 
scrambling with regard to serial numbers.

Assigning blocks of serial numbers to specific contracts and the many dash 
numbers could certainly have the appearance of "scrambling", but everyone 
involved that I have talked to, thinks everything was done sequentially.

The Saturday crew thought that it would be unlikely Mr Collins would have 
made that sort of decision anyway; his son was closely involved with details

related to the S-line and is credited with filling the holes vacated in the 
front panel with screws during the changeover from winged to round emblem.

My concern is that this story paints Mr Collins and the company as a poorly 
managed operation.   I'm sure someone will point out the C-System "fiasco" 
as additional evidence that he was misguided.  The C-System proved to be 
very key to getting the company back on its feet after the Rockwell 
takeover, both from customer sales and internal manufacturing controls as 
well as providing the basis for lots of avionics innovation.

The WSJ reference is typical of what the east coast establishment had to say

about Collins;  they just could not believe that a startup out here in the 
corn fields of Iowa could  compete with the old established companies like 
RCA.  (Where are they now?)   I refer to area this as Silly Corn Valley.

The old timers were also amused at the "new corporate headquarters" in 
Dallas.  None of there were aware that headquarters had ever moved from 
Cedar Rapids to Dallas.  It was well known that Mr. Collins liked the longer

antenna building season in Dallas and there were rumors that he was 
considering making the move, but as far as we can tell, it never happened. 
Some of the systems groups were headquartered in Dallas, but Corporate 
remained here in Cedar Rapids.  There has always been competition between 
Dallas and Cedar for projects and funding, and it was not always friendly.

Rockwell Collins thrives today because of Arthur Collins not in spite of 
him; many of the values and systems he introduced decades ago survive in 
some form.

Jim, w0nkn

From: "Glen Zook" <gzook@xxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2011 4:08 PM
To: <collins@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>; "jim" <jonesjames@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: {Collins} Serial # Range - 75S-3B SB1?

> Well, I never heard Art Collins say that himself.  But, I also never asked

> him!  The late Joe Johnson, W5QBM, was pretty "high up" in the Collins 
> sales organization and he swore that the numbers were scrambled on Art's 
> orders.  If I remember correctly, the late Dave Medley, also "high up" in 
> the sales organizations, also said that the serial numbers were scrambled.
> The first time I met Art Collins was within the first week that I was 
> employed by Collins Radio (right out of Georgia Tech) at the "new" 
> corporate headquarters here in Richardson, Texas, in April of 1967.  Eric 
> Tedley's industrial design group was part of Process Division (where I 
> worked) and he was presenting the suggested cabinet designs for the KWM-3 
> (basically a 718T with coverage expanded down to 1800 kHz).  One of the 
> assistant division directors invited me to go to the unveiling.  I got to 
> know Art better after I left the company and he sold out to Rockwell 
> International.  Of course, the KWM-3 project was dropped.
> Art had some "strange" ideas on the S-Line.  For example, he forbid any 
> 75S-1 or 75S-2 being shipped with the 500 Hz mechanical CW filter 
> installed.  The person who purchased the receiver had to either buy the 
> field add-on kit (filter and matching BFO crystal) and install it 
> him/herself or send it back to the factory or factory authorized service 
> center to have the filter installed.  I have a 75S-1 that cost an employee

> his job.  He got the receiver through the employee purchase program and 
> since he "knew" someone at the Iowa factory, he got the filter installed 
> when the receiver was built.  A couple of weeks after the receiver was 
> received Art "found out" about the filter and called the employee "on the 
> carpet".  Basically, instead of facing Art the employee immediately quit 
> his job and sold the receiver to another amateur radio operator.
> The operator who bought the receiver had another 75S-1 receiver and put 
> this receiver in his garage where it sat for over 40 years.  The new owner

> then traded it to another operator who immediately traded it to me.  When 
> I checked out the receiver I discovered that it did have the CW filter. 
> The person that traded it to me did not know that it had the filter and 
> inquired of the person from whom he got the receiver.  That is when the 
> full story was known.
> Basically, the receiver had been used for about 2-weeks before it was 
> stored in a Dallas, Texas, area garage.  Then, over 40 years later, I 
> obtained the almost brand new 75S-1!
> Then, with the 75S-3 and 75S-3A, Art dictated that all the receivers be 
> shipped with a 200 Hz CW filter!  This changed with the 75S-3B and 75S-3C 
> when the filter was an expensive option!  Who knows what Art was thinking!
> Art was continuously dictating modifications be made on equipment that 
> were in production and, often before the modified unit made it "out the 
> door", he would order even more modifications.  As such, equipment just 
> was not being shipped and therefore payment was not received.  The result 
> was that every division had an "Art project" which was not really intended

> to ship anything but was intended to keep Art's attention so that real 
> projects could get units shipped and therefore income to the company.
> In either 1967 or early 1968, the Wall Street Journal had an article on 
> Collins Radio in which they bluntly stated that "Collins Radio survives in

> spite of Art Collins and not because of Art Collins".  Needless to say, 
> the Wall Street Journal was not popular around Collins Radio for some 
> time.
> Glen, K9STH
> Website:
> --- On Thu, 6/2/11, jim <jonesjames@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> 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.


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