vrijdag 5 juli 2013

Collins 390a news history

Some news about the Collins 390a

Quite an array of receivers had been brought along including a Drake R8 and R8A. A pair of Watkins-Johnson HF-1000's, an R388, R390A and a JRC NRD-535. It was a particularly good morning with extraordinarily quiet conditions and a strong opening into the Pacific and Asia. Around 1130 UTC I checked 3304.8 for the Radio Republic Indonesia outlet in Dili, once Portuguese Timor. Although it had not been reliably logged since the late 70's, it was there that morning weakly, just a het in the R8A.
Everyone quickly tuned to the frequency determined not to miss the opportunity to log such a rare station. However, even the $4,000 Watkins-Johnson receivers could not extract more that a few words of copy. Our R390A was equipped with a Sherwood SE-3 synchronous detector and I quickly tuned to 3304.8.
The R390A and Sherwood SE-3 extracted recordable audio from that signal when no other receiver we had could. That put the receiver in a whole new category not only for me but the others in attendance.
Of the R390A's I own, 3 are capable of sensitivity performances in the .07-.08uv for 10db S/N + N using the 4 kc filter and standard AM detection. I know of few receivers available today at any price able to duplicate of that level of performance.

  R-390A --- Venerated as the best MW DX machine of the 50's-70's.  This military tube-type receiver has mechanical digital read-out, Collins mechanical filters, and is built like a tank (it also weighs a ton).  Best acquired by the mechanically and electronically inclined.  Dropped two spots because of Kenwood and Yaesu voters, not because of DX capability.

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