Collins: What a Hobby!

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In 1979 I received my Swl listening licence from the Italian Post and Telecommunications Ministry. I had already been listening in, for about a year, with a Yaesu Musen Frg-7 receiver, bought with many months of savings put to one side.

From time to time I went to the elegant and beautiful residential area called 'Quarto al Mare', where in winter the temperature is often a few degrees higher than in the centre of Genoa. I took bus number 15 from Piazza Caricamento and got off at the 'Antica Osteria del Bai', a restaurant on the seafront, and then entered the distinguished 'Viale Quartara', and straightaway after a hundred or so metres I was surrounded by greenery and silence. In spring you can smell the scent of jasmine, wisteria, and numerous other plants, you can hear delicate birdsong, with the turtledoves clearly standing out; the passing of the hours is marked by a small bell belonging to the nearby Cappucin convent. Often I stopped to enjoy the silence, interrupted by fluttering of birds' wings and, rarely, by a car going past.
Almost at the end of Viale Quartara, surrounded by typical Mediterranean vegetation, rises splendidly one of the two pylons, which bear the wire aerials of Genoa Radio (Icb) coastal radio station, used for communication between ships and dry land.

Often I walked along a road that goes around the radio station building, and I saw, at the windows, some radio operators tinkering with a lot of radio sets. One in particular attracted my attention, a grey receiver with light grey edges. I did not yet know that this was the 51S-1 receiver, of the legendary Collins Radio Company.
I had already heard about Collins, but only many years later (in 1991 to be precise) I met Alberto Sannazzaro, (radio ham with name IK1-CXJ), through an advert in a magazine: he was selling some Collins radio equipment and was looking for more. I called him and he told me he was coming to a flea market in Genoa as an exhibitor, with several Collins. I already intended to purchase a Collins receiver, maybe with continuous coverage, one of the many types- Alberto had told me about the 51S-1. That Saturday I went to the market early, and immediately noticed Alberto's stand, from a distance. It was 50's style, and in the middle of the wall, a large Collins Radio Company sign stood out. Laid out tidily on the tables there were: a complete S line, a Kwm2-A transceiver, a 51S-1 receiver, and many other accessories.

I was very struck by these radio apparatuses, in fact the day after I went back to the market, and I asked Alberto to find me a Collins 51S-1 receiver, as the one which he had exhibited had been sold. I returned home satisfied - already infected by Collins-mania!!!!!!

With time, I have tried to purchase other Collins sets, with patience and a lot of sacrifice.

I greatly thank Alberto Sannazzaro, who introduced me to Collins - it was he who introduced me to the world of collecting, with precious advice and rare information, using his knowledge as an expert.

Lino Esposito (Swl:I1-3152/Ge)

Collins Collector

Swl: I1-3152/Ge

Lino Esposito   Swl: I1-3152/Ge
The Collins Collectors Association
membership no. AC 94-08490



In this photos we can see a phone book dating back to 1959, and a large note book, both with the brand name Collins, that were given in person by Arthur Andrew Collins to my friend engineer Luciano Bertucci (world renowned specialist in satellite communications) during one of their meetings in Dallas.

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