This is the Collins Radio Section of
The Broadcast Archive

Maintained by:
Barry Mishkind - The Eclectic Engineer
Last Update 11/2/09

Collins Radio Company
Cedar Rapids, IA
Dallas, TX (Broadcast Division)

Dallas, TX

Parts and technical support available at Continental Electronics.

The Collins Radio Company* was founded in 1932 by Arthur A. Collins* at Cedar Rapids, IA.  It was famous for producing high quality transmitters for amateurs, the military and the  broadcast industry. Under the Collins label also came some of the most popular consoles and cart machines used by radio stations.

Dave Hultsman recalls that "Collins first sold FM transmitters from 1947-1958, but found little demand. They then sold ITA transmitters with a Collins logo for a few years, before building the 830 series in the early 1960s. The ITA tetrode transmitters were very unstable in the PA stage. Neutralization was a major problem. That is probably why Bernie [Wise] went to Juan Chibrando's grounded grid triode design at CCA."

Collins reduced the neutralization problem by grounding the screen in the 830 and 831 series.

In 1964, Collins moved the Broadcast Division from Cedar Rapids to Dallas, TX. Among the first products was the 820 series of AM transmitters, designed to meet new FCC regulations regarding the need to contain harmonics and spurious emissions inside the transmitter.

In the late-1960s, the 831 series was produced, the first model being a 2 kW, 831-D, to take advantage of adding vertical polarization

In 1977, Collins Radio Co. was bought by Rockwell and moved to Dallas, TX, as Rockwell-Collins. On October 1, 1980, Rockwell spun the Collins Broadcast line off to Continental Electronics as of 1/1/81. (See also the CONTINENTAL ELECTRONICS page).

2002 - A new book on the life of Arthur Collins is now available.

* - This is a link to a site that focuses on the amateur/military products from Collins. However, the server seems occasionally to be balky and slow. 

AM Transmitters

(See Dave Hultsman's explanation for the numbering system, below!)

Click on picture for a larger image
  300 - 250/100 W () 
Also C, C-1

300D 100 W    (1935)

300E/F 100 W    (1935)

300FA - 250/100 W (193x) 

300G - 250/100 W

Promotional picture

  300J - 250/100 W

550A - 250/500 W () 
  20C - 1 kW (1935)
  20H - 1 kW ( 
  20H - 1 kW () 
  20J - 1 kW () 

20T - 1 kW ()

20V - 1 kW () 
This workhorse kept many stations rolling for years and years. A ham favorite.

20V2 - 1 kW

20V3 - 1 kW

21A - 5 kW

21B - 5 kW
  21D - 5 kW

21E - 5 kW - 1953
KNST - Tucson, AZ
Here's a 21E, converted to Ham use!
A nice ham studio with Tx!

21M - 10 kW (195x)

820D-1  - 1 kW

820D-2 "The Rock"  - 1 kW

820E-1 - 5 kW
820F-1 - 10 kW
  828C-1 - 1 kW

828E-1 "Power Rock" - 5 kW
A PDM transmitter that did, indeed, rock!

828H-1 - A proposed 50 kW product. It was never built


FM Transmitters

Click on picture for a larger image
738A 738B  10 Watt 
Designed for Educational stations
  830 - 250 W

830B-1A  1 kW - 1961
  830D - 1 kW - 1961
  830D-1 - 2 kW - 1962
Serial #1 - KHAK, Cedar Rapids,. IA
  830D-2 - 1967- used the 310-Z1
  830E - 5 kW 

830E-1A  5 kW - 1961

830F-1 - 10 kW
  830-H/N - 20 kW (dual 10 kW)
  831D - 2 kW - mid 1970s

831D-1 -
WIHN - Bloomington, IL
  831D-2 - 2.5 kW
  831E - 5 kW
S/N 101 at WTUN-FM, Selma, AL
  831F- 10 kW
  831G - 1969
  831G-1 - 20 kW
831G-2 - 20 KW+  - 1977
KPLU, Tacoma
Tech tips - Gray Frierson Haertig




310Z-2  (also Continental 510Z-R)  - 1973
  310-Z3 (built special for Swedish government 250 units)


Dave Hultsman writes:

Any Continental transmitter with "R" means it came from Rockwell-Collins
        Collins                        Continental
        310-Z2                  510-R       FM Exciter
        831-D2                  814-R1      2.5 kW FM
        831-F2                  816R-1      10-11 kW.
        831-G2                  816R-2      20-21.5 kW.
        831-G3                  816R-3      25 kW.
        831-H2                  817R-2      40 kW.
        831-H2C             	817R-3      50 kW.
        828-D1                  314R-1      1  KW. AM
        828-E1                  315R-1      5  KW. AM
All of the single tube transmitters sold with power levels from 33 kW. to 48 kW. were Model 817-A Transmitters 
of which as I recall there were 13 manufactured.  All have since been returned and disassembled.