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Author Topic: Collins R 648/ARR-41 Receiver...  (Read 1957 times)
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RolandSWL
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« on: February 21, 2013, 08:14:06 AM »

Hi All,

Does anyone have any experience or info on this radio?

Collins R 648/ARR-41 Receiver

I have not found much of anything on the interwebs.

Thanks, Roland...............
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RolandSWL
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2013, 08:18:38 AM »

A picture.


* R648-front.jpg (97.02 KB, 800x344 - viewed 233 times.)
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K7MCG
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2013, 11:26:16 AM »

Roland-
Just emailed you some manuals and magazine articles.
The R-648 is a fine radio.  I wish I hadn't sold mine.

73
Chuck K7MCG
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KA3EKH
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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2013, 01:53:04 PM »


I have played around with them a bit; have a web page in regards to converting it to a solid state power supply. Look at:

http://staff.salisbury.edu/~rafantini/ARR41modifications.htm

What did you want to know? Biggest problem with that radio is it was built by Collins so they sell for stupid money these days. Itís a ok receiver for AM but not worth the money they sell for.



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RolandSWL
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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2013, 03:22:59 PM »

Thanks for the info, Chuck.

In an idle moment I happened across a picture of this radio. Curiosity got the better of me so I just had to know more about it.

Trust me, I'm not looking to start "Roland's Collins Museum". If I buy a radio, it's gonna get used, not put up on a shelf under a glass dome. Not saying there is anything wrong with preserving tasty examples of radios past.

Putting price aside, does this radio merrit owning for it's superlative performance?
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K7MCG
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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2013, 03:48:03 PM »

Well, the radio tunes like an R-390, has Collins mechanical filters in the IF, and is small and light enough that you can move it around or put it on a desktop with room to spare.   When used with a longwire antenna, a small antenna tuner was useful to trim up the rf match for maximum sensitivity.  The one I had only cost me $50 at a West LosAngeles surplus shop in 1980 - so it was an outstanding bargain.

--Chuck
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KA3EKH
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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2013, 04:05:48 PM »

They were the standard HF receiver used on the P3 Orion ASW aircraft, not cetin if they were used on the P2 Neptune or not but maybe. No SSB capability with the radio mostly used for RTTY reception along with time information. Most P3 flights had an ARR-41 along with a couple 618T SSB transceivers for HF operations. Because of the tuning system along with the display people tend to call them flying R-390 receivers although they are more closely related to the AN/ARC-38 and ARC-38A transceivers. The receiver has two mechanical filters with one being sharp for CW and one wide for AM although the receiver has both wide and sharp modes in AM and CW. Itís a good receiver when all the mechanical and electrical alignment is correct but can be a bear if someone has hacked the gear train or the flock of crystals that are used in the 1st LO but when working just about as good as any other high end tube radio built before SSB Expect to pay $300 or $400 if its unmodified and less if it is converted to run off AC or otherwise modified. If you wanted to play around with a military receiver thatís around the same size and a lot of fun to convert and do things with think about the BC-348Q, you can pick them up cheap on EBay or at ham fest if there not all original and there are tons of modifications and things you can do with them. Itís an older receiver being from WW2 but they were in use up until the sixties and there are tons of them out there. The BC-348 and ART-13 transmitter together are the ARC-8 and many Hams operate them today on the AM sub bands. The BC-348 was the first receiver I started with back in the seventies when I was a teenager and perhaps that started me down the road to ruin, when all the other kids were in doing their homework and learning spelling and the like I was pulling tubes on that radio. Maybe thatís were things started going wrong?
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RolandSWL
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« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2013, 04:13:52 PM »

Thanks Ray.

How does it stack up against the R-392?

I have read that the R-390A is the only way to go for A.M. use but I don't have that kind of cash.

Roland...
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kb3ouk
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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2013, 08:36:31 PM »

If you want to have the performance of the R-390A without the price, get a R-392. It's pretty much all the basic parts (not as many bandwidth settings and a few other things) of a R-390A and is built like a tank.
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KA3EKH
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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2013, 09:55:30 PM »

The R-392 a good receiver also but suffers the same problem being built by Collins, they tend to cost between $200 to as much as $400 but there are more around and have seen them as cheap as $75 but not in the last five or ten years. They were paired with a T-195 100 watt AM/RTTY transmitter to form the GRC-19. I have a old 1965 M151A1 jeep out in the shed and have thought about putting together a GRC-19 to sit on the back of that but thatís project 4,096 and this week have completed project 4. Interesting trivia about the R-392, the radio runs entirely on +24 volts DC with that supplying the B+ for all the tubes.
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RolandSWL
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« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2013, 08:09:36 AM »

Thanks to all who replied. I saw a near mint condition R-392 at a hamfest last summer but I hesitated as the seller didn't know if it worked. It would have been a $350.00 gamble.
I have noticed that BC-348's in nice condition are also creeping up in price despite the number of units produced.
Loaded question alert!
What receivers are a good values these days? I've read many back threads here(and elswhere) and I'm thinking a Hammarlund HQ-150 is a viable choice.

Thanks,Roland..................
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KA3EKH
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« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2013, 02:52:46 PM »

Although it way old will still stand by the idea of finding a BC-348Q or the J or N version. I would not waste my time with any of the older designs like the R, O or P being they use stupid big pin grid cap tubes and the part layout is more difficult to deal with where the Q and newer octal only radios were built a lot like nineteen fifties TV sets with point to point construction thatís easy to follow. I have a 348Q that I regularly use to listen to AM on 80 and have also used it with a couple old transmitters for AM up on 40
Itís an old open easy radio to work on and until recently they were usually given away. Just looked at completed sales on EBay and there were a couple Q receivers that sold for under $50 although the clean radios are all going for around $150 and up. I am down to just one myself but maybe someone here on the list can set you up with something?
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Joe Connor
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« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2013, 09:53:43 PM »

Another decent radio that can usually be bought at a reasonable price is the BC-342. I suspect they are underrated because most still operate with the original leaky caps in the three under-the-chassis boxes. Those caps need to be replaced before you can see what a BC-342 can really do.

Does anyone know why the price of BC-348s has gone up recently? I can understand for the ones with original dynamotors still intact or ones with no post-war mods but not the the modified ones.

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