I have met quite a few Collins Radio Collectors. The three that I have met purchased their gear – had them restored, and then the gear sat idle for years – up to 10 years in one case. I’ve been greeted by several people who now think because I have the Gold Dust Twins that I am a Collector.
I am not – I am what I call a “Living History Enthusiast”. I want the receiver and transmitter to look nice (if only their face plate), I want the gear to perform as if new – but sides, back and the cabinet for the big file folder sized Power Supply (or the Dog House Power Supply for the SW-3) do not need to look restored – just clean. This would be heresy to a “real” collector! Its pretty funny – when I tell a collector this – they seem to ignore it and just continue the discussion assuming I will get things up to their idea of “snuff” – it’s pretty funny.
I want to use the gear – experience what is was like back in the gear’s hey day – and contrast and compare with my modern ICOM IC-7300 or my QRP rigs. I’ve been reading the history of technology, discovery / invention and manufacturing now for years – and love visiting the Hyde Street Pier, Cable Car Museum in San Francisco, and visit the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. I love seeing where we came from and think about where we are – and what the future might be.
I am sure all of this has become especially exciting as I approach my 60th birthday, but in one way it goes back to 4th grade – where my teacher Ms. Goodin introduced us to the Inventors. The tie from today back to those fun grammar school days – and everything in between is a fun and very positive nostalgia trip – filled with funny stories and thoughts like “I wonder if X happened or if Y never happened”. One area is smelling tube rigs and sending with a bug – but this time with gear I could never afford as a kid and a Begali Intrepid “backwards” bug – so I even have a new twist on an old subject.
What’s old is new again, and again, and again