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unused Collins equipment

Discussion in '"Boat Anchor" & Classic Equipment' started by KA9UCN, Jun 7, 2017.

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  1. KA9UCN

    KA9UCN Ham Member QRZ Page

    It would appear that in the next couple of months. I will be put over the sale and redistribution of some very nice Collins equipment. A KWS1 transmitter and a 51S1 receiver among other things.
    They belonged to a silent key and I will be selling off the equipment for a fair, realistic price as the sone of the silent key requested that I try to find the equipment homes that value the equipment for what it is rather than its monetary value.

    The problem is that although the equipment has been stored in climate control. It has sat for many years and problems with age will have to be addressed.

    The question is to what end should I test the equipment. I could give it a good cleaning and put it on a variack and bring it up slow replacing electrolytic as required. Or not being a boat anchor person and due to the collectable value of this equipment. The direction I am leaning is to lightly clean the outside with a very mild detergent, take a lot of pictures and selling as is. What would you do? I would love to have this equipment for myself but cost and the fact that I am not a collector and or user of this era equipment. It will be passed on.

    The other thing is. How to price it? It will obviously reacquire some work to get it to function and more work to make it what it once was. It is in a category in my mind of somewhere between not working and functional so should sell for more than a D.O.A. lots of luck, and working, but where?

    This is larger collectable equipment that will not end up on ebay nor will it be given away. Any advice would be appreciated. The owner has many smaller items and parts. Some will be sold. The rest will be sold for the postage donated to charity or donated to a ham or youth organizations.

    Stay tuned collectors! The heir to the equipment wants it to be put back into appreciative hands so it probably wont be an equipment sale like most where $ dictate all the value.

    Joe KA9UCN
  2. KK6IYM

    KK6IYM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have bought and restored many boat anchors, including a number of Collins S line radios. I cringe when I read an ad for a radio and the seller states that they have powered up the radio (even on a variac). I know the radio needs work unless it has been restored by a known restorer, or there are photos showing the quality of the restoration. Clean up the radio, make it look pretty so the buyer can visualize the future and sell the radio as needing to be examined and checked before powering up.

  3. AC9QC

    AC9QC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah, if you're not a "boat anchor person" leave it be. If you start putting stuff up, I'm definitely interested in parts suitable for home brew (e.g. stuff that may not really have collectors value but have functional value.)
  4. KE4OH

    KE4OH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Don't do anything to the gear. Don't clean it. Don't energize it.

    The way you might clean it could interfere with how I would clean it. Running a fresh find from a Variac is anathema to me - I'm gonna replace all the electrolytic caps anyway. Some of the old ones could go like a firecracker, or spew, or take another part with it, even on a Variac.

    I myself prefer gear that has had no remediation at all. Much of the fun is in the fixin'.
  5. KE4OH

    KE4OH Ham Member QRZ Page


    I have to disagree. If it has been stored away for, as you say, many years, it is NOT WORKING. Period. Doesn't mean it's junk. Doesn't mean it will be difficult to get working. But it also doesn't mean that is isn't junk. Doesn't mean that it won't be difficult to get working.

    The gear is, electrically speaking, a pig in a poke. You can't expect a higher price for "might be working". Because if you can't say that it is working, then it isn't working.

    The fact that you are tempted to clean it tells me that ... it isn't clean.

    The good news is, Collins gear is sought after and valued by a number of hams. So it won't go for the same price as a Heathkit or a Drake.

    Not trying to pile on. But I'm trying to tell you what we "rig rescuers" think when we are buying gear. It may help you set reasonable expectations.

    By the way, what's wrong with eBay? eBay is a great way to buy and sell hobby items. People gripe about it all the time, but I can't figure out why. eBay has done more to keep old gear out of the dumpster and put it in the hands of someone who wants it than anything we've seen in our time.


    Steve KE4OH
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
  6. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    Agree 100%.

    If you do ANYthing to it, I would say a light vacuuming of dust would be OK though.
  7. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree too.

    That is the only thing that you need to do if it has vacuum tubes.
    WR2E likes this.
  8. KP4SX

    KP4SX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Figure that anyone who buys them will know how to treat them and what to do. Even if they were found brand new and still in the box they still need some checking out.
    You're not really losing anything by selling as-is if you don't want to go into the full-scale restoration mode to say otherwise. Even if they were sold as thoroughly checked out the first thing I would do is look under the chassis upon arrival!
  9. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's what I thought when I read the title!
  10. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Joe -

    Do yourself a big favor, just take a clear, well-focused picture (Biggest Internet sales issue).
    You admit you don't have "boat anchor skills", so forget "powering up" BS.
    I routinely find more damage by the "Chop Shops", "Hamfest/Estate Flippers", and "Wanta-be techs" -- sold at hamfests , Craigslist, and eBay.
    I have a transceiver on e-bench now ... Lazy Estate / Garage Sale picker and flipper.

    1.) Soldered wires to male Jones plug of radio (ugh) --- to power it up.
    2.) "It Powers Up! Receives! No Transmit.
    3.) Of course, you didn't jumper the other 2 pins that permits transmit (It's in the Manual).
    4.) DC Power Supply? Someone chopped off the Cinch/Beau 4-pin connector !


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