[AMRadio] Can You Believe It? Johnson 500 / Collins 30K

w9gt at comcast.net w9gt at comcast.net
Sat Sep 15 08:28:38 EDT 2007

Hi Ellen,

Well, in some folk's opinion a 30K is not worth $4K.  Actually, it may be worth much more than that.  I know of another one in "5-land" that is being listed (with a 75A-1 receiver) for $12K!!!  It's like everything else....it is what someone is willing to pay for it that sets the value.  Does that make them foolish?....Maybe so, but if they have the money and want it bad enough, they will pay the price.  Just like a 1957 Chevy that once sold for $2500 may now be worth $30,000.

The 30K series are very nice transmitters and Collins didn't make very many of them,  so they have become quite "rare" and, consequently valuable.  The 30K-1 is the ham band version and it is the rarest and therefore the most expensive.  Frankly, I think the 30K-4 and 30K-5 are nicer rigs and they are better looking.  They are commercial versions and have built-in xtal controlled exciters and two complete RF tank circuits for instantaneously switching between two bands.  They are a bit more common than the 30K-1s, but still quite scarce.

I have owned my 30K-4 for several years and I love it.  I was very fortunate to find it and I certainly didn't pay $4K for it, but had to spend a bit of time and money to get it up and running.  

I really enjoy the old "St James Gray"  Collins gear.  Yes, it generally is somewhat expensive, but it is classic equipment and was the standard for quality in its day.  Collins gear is good stuff, but my motive for owning it has always been the enjoyment of operating and enjoying it on the air.....not just setting it on the shelf or collecting  it as an investment. 

 Just my two cents worth.....

73,  Jack, W9GT


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