Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Amateur Radio station VK3JQ/ VK3KCM

Collins Logo

and the Collins compendium on the Web

This site is dedicated to:
Amateur Radio,
Care and feeding of Collins Amateur Radio equipment
The history of the Collins Radio Company in Australia
and Amalgamated Wireless Australasia.
Last modified : March 31, 2010

S-line system consisting of a 32S-3, 312B-4, 516F-2 and 75S-3

Hello and welcome to my homepage..My name is Ian McLean. The QTH is near Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
(Maidenhead/Grid square locator:QF22, -37:27:10.278 S, +144:41:07.435 W, Elevation 396.02 Metres) I have been a Radio Amateur since 1974 and I am the holder of a Full Call licence in accordance with ACA requirements.
After 23 years of operating with a Limited/Novice licence and the impending elimination of morse code as a requirement for radio amateurs, I decided it was time to shake off the shackles of 5 WPM and go for the 10 WPM full call requirement.
I sat the 10 WPM morse exam on the 22nd of July 2000 and advance to an unrestricted licence just after the ACA agreed to the 5 WPM requirement for full HF privileges on July 16th 2000.

This homepage is under constant revision and includes some Service notes on the various Collins Amateur radio products derived from a variety of sources. The majority of the information in these pages is relevant to the Collins KWM2/2A and S-line series of equipments. Other Collins related material will be added as information becomes avaliable. The website is dedicated to those people that own and operate Collins Amateur Radio equipment and covers a bit of the history of the Collins Radio Company in Australia.
The majority of the radios I own and operate are valve. There is nothing better than to sit in the shack with the glow of the Collins S-lines to light the room.
The latest addition to the shack is a Uniden 2020. Pictures and information will be made avaliable when I get around to writing something.

And, please, if you find you have trouble with a link off this page, let me know. I will chase it up, change it or remove it from the list.

Information and Data pages

Using your KWM-2/2A on the WARC bands
KWM-2/2A service notes (Chapter 1)
KWM-2/2A service notes (Chapter 2)
6146 variants and neutralization
S-line and KWM-2 dial alignment
70K-2 PTO Frequency Shift.
Installing fans in your KWM-2/2A
Questions about meters
EB5AGV's KWM-2A repair notes
75S-1/3 service notes
32S-1/3 service notes
30S-1 service notes
30L-1 service notes
51S-1 Service notes
651S-1 Service notes
51J-() Service notes
KWS-1 blower servicing
Collins Radio Repair
Collins Restoration and Repair
EV664 microphone information.
D-104 microphone information.
Boatanchor Manual Archive downloads.
IJL'S (OH5HOI) Technical Pages
N3IBX Collins S/Line AM Modification Page

Collins Mechanical filters.
KK6IL Home of Mechanical Filters.
Answers to questions about Meters
VT Tube cross reference
ASAB and Service Bulletin listing
Magazine article listing
Electric Radio Magazine

75S-1 oblique sounder receiver.
Favorite Tube-Type Shortwave Receivers

Collins Amateur Radio Club - Cedar Rapids
Collins Collectors Association
Archives of CCA and CRA Lists
How to use the Archive Search facility.
Collins Journal/CRA website
The Japan Collins Collectors association (Japanese)
Collins Pocket Guide

Floyd Soo, HI-RES Communications.
Mike Shelton,KE4LGX: Paint, silkscreening and repairs
Where can I get tubes and other parts for vintage tube-type amateur radio equipment?
Bob Logan, NZ5A, Collins Manuals on CD.
Almost all Digital Electronics
Surplus Sales of Nebraska.
Dave Medley's R-390 Compendium of Knowledge
Chuck Rippels R390A site
R390 Cookbook/FAQ
R-390 Digest Archive at Yahoo!
Valves and transformer rewinding

WA3KEY Virtual museum
Hammond Museum of Radio
Antique Radio Classified (Links)
Boatanchor Dreams
Collins Radio Classics
Lino Esposito Collins web site.
Bruce,K1XR's Page.
WB4HFN Collins homepage.
WA8DBW Collins page
Radio Archives: Collins on CD.
National Radio Club Publications Centre

Get your Collins screen savers here!

Collins Radio Company banner

A brief History of the Collins Radio Company in Australia.

Nearly 70 years ago, Arthur Collins began making radio transmitters in a new business venture called the Collins Radio Company. In 1930, the Collins Radio Company (of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA) was established to produce radio equipment for the amateur market. By the end of World War II, the Collins Radio Company was involved in the development and production of a wide range of high-performance communication equipment. The Company and its name have changed over time, yet its legacy of excellence in communications and aviation electronics has never waivered. The Collins Radio Company opened their Melbourne office in St Kilda road in 1958 before moving to a location in Collins street, in the Melbourne CBD, a year or two later and was known as the Collins Radio Company (Australasia) Pty. Ltd. (CRCA). CRCA had marketing and dealer responsibilities for Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, South East Asia and the Far East. The staff originally consisted of marketing people including Reg Morkham who was appointed later on to the position of marketing manager. 1963 saw CRCA gain its first major overseas contract - avionics for the newly formed Royal Malaysian Air Force and establishment of a ground support facility in Kuala Lumpur. This contract resulted in CRCA's first manufacturing task for the design and building of test sets and the selection of Collins avionics for all future RMAF aircraft. This was followed by numerous successes in winning other contracts, particularly the Collins High Power High Frequency computer-controlled transmitters at Darwin for Radio Australia and the world's first commercial Earth Satellite station at Moree, NSW for OTC (now Telstra).

The first service centre as such was set up in an old disused butchers shop in Matthews ave, Airport west and consisted of two people, Jack Benther was the manager with an assistant. This started in 1958-1960. The service centre grew quite rapidly and moved into new premises , an old warehouse in Niddrie, about where the current freeway is, in 1962. They not only repaired Collins avionics, but started to manufacturer test equipment (and assembly) and had a staff of about 14 technical people. By this time the Collins St organisation was getting much bigger and expanding their markets into Asia. Reg Morkham moved to Kuala Lumpar to set up a marketing office.

In 1969 a large contract for the supply of HF-80 equipment, both in Australia and Asia was won for the company and a new manufacturing facility was established at Lilydale in the same year and the new service centre staff and assembly personal transfered from Niddrie to Lilydale. The Lilydale facility also supported the repair and maintenance of the KWM-2(A), KWS-1, KWM-380, HF-380, 51S-1, S-line series receivers and transmitters, and many other Collins Radio products.

The Service centre continued at Niddrie on a much lower level as the majority of their work dissappeared when they transferred to Lilydale. AWA (Amalgamated Wireless Australasia Pty Ltd) were able to take over the role of providing support to the Airlines in Melbourne, from the Collins Service Centre in 1969/1970. At the same period in time, Rockwell took over the Collins Radio Co. and Arthur Collins, the then president of the company, resigned. In Australia the company was called "Collins Radio Company Australasia Pty Ltd" utill 1979, when Rockwell wanted their name included.

In 1971-1972 the AWA repair workshop located at Essendon Airport burnt down and all repair work and personnel from AWA transfered to Lilydale and used the Collins service centre facilities to support the Airlines while their new workshop was being built. When AWA moved into their new workshop in 1974 some people remained with Collins at Lilydale and carried out repair work for the company.
For the next 8 years, from 1972 until 1980, the majority of the repair work at Lilydale was either associated with the Manufacturing facility or with the Department of Defence within Australia. (80% military, 20% commercial.)

In 1975 it became apparent in Cedar Rapids, USA, that there was a need worldwide to improve our support image for repair of Collins Avionics Air Transport and General Aviation Equipments if we were to be the leader in our field and win more share of the market for Collins products It became apparent that the major obstacle to increase business was the location of the service centre at Lilydale, so a decision was made to transfer the CATD and CGAD capabilities to Tullamarine in 1980.
The new facility was set up in Assembly Drive and became operational on 25th of May 1980. The Manager, Ben Thurlow, with other personnel, (secretary, administrator and 4 Technicians.) transfered from Lilydale to Tullamarine, with most personnel being paid to transfer into new homes in the region.

In November 1997 Rockwell purchased the British Aerospace, Melbourne Avionics Workshop facility (ex-AWA Avionics) at King Street, Airport West, and the aquired staff and facilities moved to the Service Centre at the corner of Sharps Road and Allied Drive, Tullamarine. The Facility in Lilydale was purchased by Boeing and subsequently closed down and with its closure went the support for the KWM-2, KWM-380, HF-380, S-lines and many other old and wonderful radios that we have come to treasure.

A tour of the shack

The radio equipment shown is about 40 years old!

Collins 51S-1, 75S-3, 32S-3, 516F-2 and KWM-2A

Buckmaster Callsign Lookup

Enter a callsign:

When working with receivers, transmitters and RF amplifiers, a thing to remember is that unlike DC, RF circuits some times defy logic. You may notice that an RF circuit may appear both physically and electrically perfect but refuses to function as expected. This is the nature of RF. The position of a wire, component or shield can make a lot of difference in the operation of an RF stage.

When working in the transmitter be wary not only of the high voltage DC potentials, but be aware that RF can burn you more severely and is not forgiving of mistakes. Do not tamper with interlocks. They are there for your safety. Some KWM-2A's have an interlock under the PA cover. Heed the warning on the cover.

These equipments operate at voltages that bite, so lets be careful..OK!

And, if you have not aquired a manual for your equipment, get one! Most manuals are avaliable from a variety of sources, including the internet. Without the manual you are simply playing around in the dark.

I am a member of the following organizations:
Collins Amateur Radio Club - Cedar Rapids
Historical Radio Society of Australia Member No.1375.
Collins Collectors Association Member No. AC97-00456.
Collins Radio Association Member No. 73
Wireless Institute of Australia
AWA Veterans Association member No. 251
Alternative Technology Association
Astronomical Society of Victoria

Strength through Communications

If you would like to contact me I am avaliable at the following address.
Email: i_mclean at (no spam)

Page created : April 30, 1999 Last modified : March 31, 2010
Collins Compendium on the web, Copyright ? 1999-2008 by VK3JQ/ VK3KCM.
Material may be reproduced for noncommercial purposes as long as attribution is given and originators identification is included.
Thank you for visiting my page at Angelfire. Please come back and visit again!.

Return to the top of the page.

Visit the Nedstat information page for statistical information about this page