CCA Grading Standards
The Sunday 20-meter technical and swap net, 75-meter weekday nets and the CCA E-Mail Reflector are official functions of the Collins Collectors Association. In consideration of the privilege to participate in these nets and the Reflector, CCA members and non-members alike are encouraged and expected to follow these equipment grading standards when describing the condition of listed equipment. Honesty and integrity cannot be legislated. However, when both buyer and seller use the same terms to describe a piece of equipment, the chances for misrepresentation, innocent or intentional, are greatly reduced. All transactions made on the Collins Collectors Association nets are the sole responsibility of the buyer and seller.
Mint condition is defined as the same condition in which the set left the factory when it was manufactured. A set in mint condition will be functioning perfectly, there will be no damaged or missing parts, no signs of wear and tear, and the cabinet finish will be perfect without a single sign of use. A mint condition Collins Radio will be accompanied by its original operating manual and may have the factory shipping carton as well. Mint condition radios may or may not have service bulletins incorporated. If so, the bulletins must all be those approved by Collins and the workmanship must be equal to that of Collins. No other components, other than tubes, shall have been replaced. The phrase “mint condition” is a very over used one when describing the condition of radio equipment. There are very few Collins radios which actually qualify as “mint”.
Sets in excellent condition are completely functional, have no missing or damaged parts, show only minute (nearly undetectable) signs of wear and tear, and the cabinet and front panel will be nearly perfect, without scratches or dents and there is minimal dust on the chassis. Original RCA and type “PJ” jacks are in their proper position and show no signs of wear. The material from which certain parts are made may show physical age – for example, plastic parts may change color with age. The radio may have had components replaced but will have no modifications installed which were not approved by Collins and the workmanship must be equal to that of Collins.
Very Good Condition
A set in very good condition will be completely functional, there will be signs of wear and tear and the front panel may be minimally scratched. Damaged or missing parts may have been replaced. White insulator materials in RCA jacks show definite signs of wear and tear. The cabinet finish will have only minor damage (a few small scratches or signs of wear but not into the metal) and dust may be expected in the chassis. The cabinet may have been repainted, quality equivalent to original but it shall be identified as a repaint.
A Collins radio in good condition will be either fully functional or easily repairable, there may be a few minor missing parts which are relatively easy to obtain, there will be signs of normal wear and tear, and there may be extra holes drilled in the chassis and cabinet. Panel scratches may exist but are not extensive and the cabinet finish may have scratches into the metal which will require touch up or refinishing. There may be minimal corrosion on the chassis in places. The radio may have had components replaced but will have no modifications installed which were not approved by Collins. Workmanship may not be equal to that of Collins, but still of good quality.
Collins Radios in fair condition will usually not be completely functional, but it will be repairable with considerable labor. There may be a few missing parts which may be difficult to obtain. There will be signs of excessive wear and tear and lots of chassis grime due to prolonged use. The cabinet and front panel will probably require refinishing and the chassis may have age related corrosion as a matter of routine. Non-Collins modifications may have been installed in the radio.
A set in poor condition will probably not be functional and will probably require excessive labor to repair. There will probably be several missing parts which are difficult to obtain . There will be signs of very excessive wear and tear which will probably be impossible to completely repair. The cabinet finish will probably have heavy dents and scratches which are difficult or impossible to repair with refinishing.
The proverbial “basket case.” A Collins radio in bad condition is usually good for parts only. Critical components will probably be burned out or damaged beyond repair, rendering the set permanently non-functional. There will probably be missing parts which are impossible to obtain. There will be irreparable damage and abuse. The cabinet may be missing or damaged beyond repair.
It is necessary to evaluate the condition of Collins radios on the basis of this scale to determine if it is worth more or less than the value specified. “Mint,” “excellent,” and “very good” sets are worth more than the prices stated. Of course, “fair,” “poor,” and “bad” sets are worth much less. When a set has been properly restored, it may move to a much higher condition rating and its value can increase accordingly. However, it must be represented that the set has been restored. A poorly done restoration will greatly reduce the value of an otherwise rare find.
All transactions made on the Collins Collectors Association nets are the sole responsibility of the buyer and seller!