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Collins S-Line Station Interconnects and Connects…. 10 - October - 2012

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, K9ZW, K9ZW Learned, K9ZW Shack.
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For those of you who grew up with separate Receivers and Transmitter what I am working through is likely going to get a “Duh K9ZW, what did you think?” response, as I am learning all about the interconnects and connections of a Collins S-Line Station.

Black-Box radio users are accustomed to hooking up the power, the microphone, maybe a headset, the ground, and the antenna. If running an amp, tuner or SWR meter there is only a very few additional connections additional.

Not so with an S-Line Station. While possible to run the station with fewer interconnects the classic set up when a 30L1 Amp and 312B4 Station Control are added, the full complement is a whopping 18 cables!

Collins S-Line Full Interconnection Chart

Collins S-Line Full Interconnection Chart

There are four low-power RF connections using RG-58C/U terminated RCA-to-RCA. Yes those RCA connectors like a budget speaker system uses.

Then there are ten RCA-to-RCA patch cables, plus one RCA-to-bare-wire to connect your CW key.

Your microphone will need to terminate with a PJ-68 plug if your setup is a “S-1″ like mine.

You will need an odd RCA-to-90 degree N-Connector RG-58C/U cable if you want to skip the amp. May as well get one and have it on hand in case I want to operate sans the Amp.

Otherwise you need a N-connector-to-90 degree N-Connector RG-8/U cable between the Amp and 312S4 meter. To get from the meter to your usual station connections (Antenna Switches, Tuners and such) you will need a 90 degree N-Connector to usually a PL-259 RG-8/U type cable.

If you add that all up, it is actually 19 cables, but the odd RCA-to-90 degree N-Connector RG-58C/U cable is a spare if you want a no-amp configuration.

The high count excludes a ground and three electrical plug-ins! And there is a cable from the 516F2 Power Supply to the 32S1 transmitter as well. If we were really counting we should include the Twisted Pair from your POTS Telephone Line to the 312B4 if the Phone patch were hooked up. That I think brings us up to 25 cables plus the spare one for that no-amp reconfiguration!! Whew!

As I had on hand but half of the needed cables, I’ve gone internet shopping to fill out the cable set I actually needed.  Have sorted out adding the cables I need with again Mark KE9PQ supplying the additional newly fabricated cables I need and some spare/optional cables I wanted.

I should mention not all connections are on back plates, with several of the RCA connections inside the radios on the chassis. The units have a nice pass-through to allow the cables to get inside.

The 90-degree part on N-Connectors is to do with the limited space inside the 312B4. Straight N-Connectors will work if the coax is flexible enough.

While I’ve not yet put the Collins S-Line station on the air, I am having fun learning about another time’s technology in Amateur Radio.

73

Steve
K9ZW

Rounding Out the Collins S-Line Station – Found a 30L-1 Amp 19 - September - 2012

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, K9ZW, K9ZW Shack.
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Thanks to Gary K8BKB my Collins S-Line vintage station is gaining an amplifier.  Gary had a spare 30L-1 of a similar vintage and style as the rest of the station, so it seemed a natural.

Collins 30L-1 Amp

Collins 30L-1 Amp

Still hoping by the end of September to be regularly on the air with this Vintage Collins S-Line station all running – 75S-1 Receiver, 32S-1 Transmitter,  30L-1 Amp, Speaker, Power Supplies and Station control.

Photos of the completed S-Line station will follow once it is all up.

73

Steve

K9ZW

Yet Another Few Steps Closer on the Collins Station – Station Control 312B-4, Spare Tubes, and Capacitors 3 - September - 2012

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, K9ZW, K9ZW Shack.
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I think I am getting some of the idea about the “Collin’s Infection” as I’ve acquired a 312B-4 Station Control Unit (SWR/Watt Meter, Speaker and Phone Patch in one unit), and some of the replacement Tubes & Capacitor Sets for the gear.  George W9EVT warned me that these rigs seem to “breed on their own…”  New items are coming from Keith KD4AVP and Bill K8ZBY – thanks guys!

Collins 312B-4 Station Controller - Outside

Collins 312B-4 Station Controller – Outside

Collins 312B-4 Station Controller - Inside
Collins 312B-4 Station Controller – Inside

In theory I should search down a Collins 30L Amplifier to round out the new vintage station.

I’ve most of the needed manuals, now I need to get this setup working and on the air.

73

Steve

K9ZW

One Step Closer on the Collins Station – Found a 32S1 & Power Supply 1 - September - 2012

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, K9ZW, K9ZW Shack.
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Thanks to John K9JII and some transport leg work by my son Tom KC9JGD, I now have a Collins 32S1 Transmitter with its power supply to match the 75S1 Receiver acquired from George W9EVT.

Mark KE9PQ offers newly fabricated “slave cable” sets for the S-Series, and I’ve set ordered and on the way.

Hoping by the end of September to be regularly on the air with this Vintage Collins S-Line set up.

Now what is really neat about these units is that their serial numbers and other information date them to be the same age as I am!  More on this when I get some confirming help from perhaps the Collins Collector’s Association or other experts.

73

Steve

K9ZW

A bit of Station GAS at the K9ZW Shack 21 - August - 2012

Posted by k9zw in Amateur Radio, K9ZW, K9ZW Shack.
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GAS is sometimes defined as “Gear Acquisition Syndrome” or other descriptives to describe how one somehow keeps acquiring more radio gear.

I’m a learner when it comes to tube radios – boat anchors – and had been looking for a small transceiver to get started.

From Kurt WA9KMB I was able to acquire a Swan 350 with its XC117 Power Supply.  A couple pictures of this type of gear I grabbed off the web are:

Swan 350 Transceiver

Swan 350 Transceiver

Swan XC117 Power Supply

Swan XC117 Power Supply

Again thank you to the hams who put pictures up on the web, appreciated as I didn’t grab the Swap.QTH.com photos before they came down.

The Swan is pretty basic and radio that is noted to need to be steadied by being allowed to fully warm up.  Kurt WA9KMB certainly keeps his gear in fine shape and has helped encourage me in getting my feet wet with tube rigs.  Making the acquisition work smoothly was an opportunity that my eldest Tom KC9JGD had to pick up the radio & power supply in the course of his travels.

My good friend George W9EVT has for a few years been encouraging me to acquire a Collins station.  I’ve been putting this off as I know less about Collins than I would need to know to make such an investment.  I know the method to George’s plans to see I get a good start with Collins gear, as in the course of other trades/swaps and just out of his kindness he has seen to it that I have a start with a Collins 75S1 and Speaker.  Again borrowing a photo, here is what this receiver looks like:

Collins 75S1 Receiver

Collins 75S1 Receiver

I’ve been trying to find a matching 32S1 (2 or 3) Transmitter with its power supply, which look like this:

Collins 32S1 Transmitter

Collins 32S1 Transmitter

So far I have not found a 32S that either was high risk (untested, or “all sales final” with weak descriptives like “loads on the one band I tested, but I didn’t put it on the air…” or higher priced minty collector radios.)  Patience I guess.

GAS has also lead to a couple tool acquisitions – nothing expensive actually, just a new Dymo Labeler that will emboss metal tape labels and a very neat tech’s pocket screwdriver (I bought a couple to give one each to the boys).

Now to get on the air with the Swan….

73

Steve

K9ZW

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