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The Best Technical Reference for the R390A/URR free PDF

Discussion in 'Tuners' started by transmaster, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The 21st Century R-390A/URR Technical Reverence

    It occurred to me that there might be some interest in the Very best technical reference available for the R390A/URR. This was a project that started in the late 1990's it's aim was to compile the best technical service information available. This manual is based on the 1985 Navy TM on the R390A which is the last and the best one it was then expanded to includes input from the the many technical experts on this receiver. It was published in the year 2000. It is a 309 page last word on the R390A. Best of all it is a free download.

    Enjoy: http://hilltoparmyradios.com/1948_R390A-Y2K-Release-1.PDF
     

     

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  2. Punker X

    Punker X Moderator Moderator Subscriber

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    Funny the service manual is from 85. I had the HF comms NEC in the Navy at that time and we were tossing old R390's overboard. The R1051 had long replaced them in the radio room. We had one in the ET shop just to goof around with.
     
  3. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Too bad you didn't have some of the R390A's you dumped over the side. A clean functional example with the original meters and covers is going for somewhere around $1800 dollars.
     
  4. Sandy G

    Sandy G Spiteful Old Cuss Staff Member Moderator Subscriber

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    Due to a Gov't procurement screw-up, there were a handful of R-390As produced in 1984-85, at a reputed cost of $30K apiece. That explains the 1985 tech manual.
     
  5. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    That's right 10 of them to be exact, each hand built. Even thought they had a warehouse of full of brand new R390A's at the time a contract was released for 10 radios which where specified for several Naval Destroyers which where being built at the time. I have always wondered which Senator, or Congressmen got that little pork barrel project through. This last group of R390A's are something of a legend the contract number is known, the serial numbers of these receivers are known but none of them have shown up in the surplus market.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
  6. Sandy G

    Sandy G Spiteful Old Cuss Staff Member Moderator Subscriber

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    There is at least ONE which is in private hands-It apparently surfaced in the infamous St Juliens Creek "Pile", was rescued, & was sent to Rick Mish for rehab...Rick seemed to think it was a pretty good radio, but not quite up to the standards of the last big build of R-390As in 1968. If you wanna see a grown man cry, especially one who is an R-390A aficionado, just show him a few pics of the St Juliens Creek "Pile"... As a testament to the design of the radio, there were a few sets that were relatively undamaged picked from the "Pile", hooked up to a rudimentary antenna, had a speaker attached, powered up, & worked..
     

     

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  7. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Groan :sigh: Once a Top secret radio now scrap. The meters declared radiation hazards. The Yellow Stripe R390A's For those of you who have never seen this disaster for fans of military grade receivers this is it The St Juliens Creek Massacre. :cry:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Sandy G

    Sandy G Spiteful Old Cuss Staff Member Moderator Subscriber

    Messages:
    48,262
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    Rogersville, Tennessee
    The meters had about the same amount of radiation on them as a early 20th century bedside clock, & 50-60 years down the road, whatever radiation they had is long dissipated, but some Chicken Little decided the meters were hazards, & a LOT of them were chiseled/prized off the radios, permanently defacing them.
     
  9. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I am so fortunate that My R390A which was in a Air Force Titan launch control complex was snatched by a Air Force MARS member from the surplus stash out at AFB Warren here in Cheyenne. It has it's meters, and covers. In order to get any illumination from the meters now I have to cook them with ultra violet light and it still only last a hour or so.
     
  10. Sandy G

    Sandy G Spiteful Old Cuss Staff Member Moderator Subscriber

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    I STOLE my 1955-Contract Collins out from under Phil Sellati @ Fair Radio.. GORGEOUS set, but it didn't work, so I sent it to Rick Mish.. He told me I didn't have a radio, I had a Frequency-Counter & offered me $5K or 2 of his museum grade restorations. It apparently had NEVER been thru a depot rebuild, all the modules were Collins. I paid $700 for it, that was about 2X what Fair was selling "Used, Repairable" examples for back then.. All Fair could/would tell me was that it had been picked up locally to them.. Rick thought it MIGHT have been a Wright-Patterson general's "Baby", it had seen little use..
     
  11. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Sweet! My dream is to walk into a long closed Military warehouse and find a wooden shipping box with a brand new R390A with all of the spares and such they shipped with, and since we are dreaming one of the early all Collins rigs like yours.
     

     

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  12. R390a

    R390a AK Member

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    I have two brand new 1985 T.M.s. It took me over two years and lots of correspondence to a Navy lady there. I even sent her a Christmas Card to jog her memory. Later, I received a bill for these "free" manuals from the Navy and had to cough up $125 each for them! This was back in 1986 or so. But they are rare and I wanted them pretty bad.

    Speaking of rare I have a small blackout window accessory with a flip down lid which screws onto the odometer readout. This blocks an observer from seeing the frequency reading on the receiver. Also, I have some original screwdrivers which were mounted on the rear panel. Hard to find now.

    The CY 979 shockmount cabinet now costs about as much as the receiver. I have only seen three of them in around 35 years and I own two of these. They are rare as most 390a's were rack mounted. The manual states to throw away the upper and lower covers when rack mounting. That's why a pair of dust covers cost about $100 now. Best regards.
     
  13. R390a

    R390a AK Member

    Messages:
    169
    Location:
    Texas
    By the way, a brand new 390a in it's original shiping box sold for over $11,000 on the bay about 6 or7 years ago. It had been purchased for an experiment of some kind, stored away, never used, later found and sold. Best regards.
     
  14. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    Sold both mine with a few spare parts to a bud a few months back. Just never used them much lately.

    Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk
     
  15. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    You can purchase most non-classified technical manuals from The National Technical Information Service US Government. The problem is it is a nightmare to navigate through this monumental library. You just about have to call one of the librarians with the number to see what they have. If they have a particular manual in stock they will sell it to you. I just put R390A/URR in the search engine and came up with this. In 1969 an electronic digital frequency readout design for the R390A. In 1969 this would have been done with nixie tubes, this would be interesting to see. I have not yet purchased this document. but if you know exactly what you are looking for the NTIS is amazing.

    http://www.ntis.gov/search/index.aspx

    98190
    R-390A/Urr Digital Frequency Readout Unit.
    The design and development of the R-390A/URR Digital Frequency Readout Unit is presented. The history of development including the techniques considered are discussed. Digital pulse subtraction, which was chosen as the most economical technique, is descri...
    Author: I. Bicevskis W. Emeny
    Year: 1969
    Select media and add to Cart to buy this item
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
  16. Sandy G

    Sandy G Spiteful Old Cuss Staff Member Moderator Subscriber

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    Lightning struck 2X in my case.. several years back, Fair ran a "Special" on R-392 "Parts sets" for $99.95... I got one, it was a pretty functional Collins-contract set... Rick "Went Thru" it, it now does as good as any of the other R-3XX sets I have..
     

     

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  17. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  18. radioactive

    radioactive tube gear fanatic Subscriber

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    thanks for the links transmaster.the r390A has been on my bucketlist since i got hooked on old boatanchors some 30 years ago.i will get one someday but for now im content with the radios i have on hand.
     
  19. radioactive

    radioactive tube gear fanatic Subscriber

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    i remember fair radio quite well sandy :yes: i use to sit there and wait for their new catalog to come in them mail.yeah the mail the days before this instant gradification internet.:D

    use to drool at the r390's for $400 "checked" and all the other cool stuff they sold:smoke:
     
  20. transmaster

    transmaster AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Honestly I would look for an R388/URR first, I have both it and the R390A of the two I like the R388 better, and you are not going to pay nearly as much for one.
     

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