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Collins
Collins Radio Company, Cedar Rapids, USA

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Collins
Collins 51 J - 4
Collins 51 S - 1
Collins R - 388 A
Collins R - 390 A
Collins 651 S - 1
 
shortwave reception
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überarbeitet am 23.7.2010

Arthur Collins founded it's own "Collins Radio Company" in Cedar Rapids in 1932, they started business constructing transmitters and amateur radio equipment and got much experience producing aeronautical transceivers and transmitters during wartime. Based on these experiences, Collins went into production of amateur radio receivers (the famous 75-A series) again after 1946.
After 1949, Collins brought out communication receivers covering not only the ham bands but the complete shortwave spectrum. These sets startiung with the 51J / 51-J with linear analog dials covering the shortwave spectrum in 30 1-MHz-segments were very successful. The 51J-3 (and it's military variant R-388) was equipped with coil filters, the 51 J - 4 (military variant R-388A) was the first Collins set using their very famous mechanical filters, it appeared on the market in 1957.
It's military successor was the 1951 model R-390 with it's mechanical digital frequency display (frequency readout on a kind of odometer), and the later R-390A, which gives nearly unsurpassed AM reception on the tropical bands with. You find the Collins mechanical filters 16/8/4/2/1/0,1 kHz only in this popular variant - it has been produced by a series of other companies under contract.
For civilian use, Collins had a range of smaller lightweight amateur band receivers, the legendary 51S-1 covering the complete shortwave spectrum from 200 kHz - 30 MHz in 1 MHz segments offered a linear analog dial with a dial resolution of better than 500 Hz and was fully equipped with tubes.
In 1974, Collins has been taken over by Rockwell Intl. and is since then still very active in the military and aeronautical communications segment.
51 J - 3: 1952, triple conversion,
540 kHz - 30,5 MHz,
AM, CW, SSB
51 J - 4 / R - 388A: 1957, triple conversion,
540 kHz - 30,5 MHz,
AM, CW, SSB, mechanical IF filters 1,5 / 3 / 6 MHz
R - 390: 1951, triple conversion,
500 kHz - 32 MHz,
AM, CW, SSB
 
R - 390 A: 1954, triple conversion,
500 kHz - 32 MHz,
AM, CW, SSB, mechanical IF filters 100 Hz / 1 / 2 / 4 / 8 / 16 kHz
R - 392: 1954, triple conversion,
500 kHz - 32 MHz,
AM, CW, SSB, coil IF filters 2 / 4 / 8 kHz
51 S - 1: 1959, double-/ triple conversion,
200 kHz - 30 MHz, AM, LSB, USB, CW,
older series with "winged logo",
newer series with "round logo"
651 S - 1: 1971/3, triple conversion,
400 kHz - 30 MHz,
AM, LSB, USB, CW, NBFM (optional)
older series with coupled modes/bandwith switch,
newer series with separate mode / bandwidth controls
851 S - 1: 1982, triple conversion,
250 kHz (optional 12 kHz) - 30 MHz,
AM, LSB, USB, CW

further reading:
d: Schiffhauer Nils: Oldie-KW-Empfänger, vth-Verlag, D - 7570 Baden - Baden
e: Osterman, Fred: Receivers Past & Present, Universal Radio Research, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068, USA, ISBN 1-882123-07-7
e: Moore, Raymond,S.: Communications Receivers, RSM Communications, LaBelle, FL 33975, USA
e: http://www.collinsradio.org: Collins Collectors Association
e: http://www.wa3key.com/collins.html: WA3KEY Virtual Collins Museum