Tag Archives: Collins 32S1

Collins Ruminations – Forward Station(s) Design(s)

Collins S-Line Gear in Temporary Storage

Pickup up the freshened benched and aligned Collins S-Line S-1 Winged Emblem  (WE) station from Chuck W9KR at the end of November 2022. Hats off to Chuck W9KR for all his fine work and taking the time to educate me on many “things Collins.”

My original S-1 gear was a station assembled with each component having a different history. Most were workable, the 75S-1 Receiver, the first Collins unit I was given by George W9EVT to start my Collins Station building off, responded great to W9KR’s attentions. However the 32S-1 I acquired from Northwestern Wisconsin simply wouldn’t respond to W9KR’s best efforts and in the end is now relegated as a parts unit.

So in mass purchase I was able to purchase a 32S-1/75S-1 setup in near museum-grade condition.  These radios and accessories have stayed together since produced some 60+ years ago!  It appears that I am only the third owner to boot!

Chuck W9KR previously went through my Round Emblem (RE) Transceiver KWM-2/A setup.

So refreshed and ready to put on the air, I now have two complete Collins S-Line Stations – the early WE 32/75S-1 setup and the late RE KWM-2/A setup, plus my KWM-380 rack setup.

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Collins S-Line Mostly Returns

A load of Collins S-Line gear

After MUCH work and TLC by Chuck W9KR, the majority of both of my Collins S-Line stations was ready to pick up.

The 32s1 transmitter is only major piece left behind for final work, as it hasn’t been behaving as expected on each band.

On a temporary basis the RE (Round Emblem) late production transceiver – KWM-2/A with 321B5 Second VFO – and station components (30L1 Amp, 516F2 Power Supply and so on..) will be set up where my Flex-6600M runs. This will let me work the rig lunch hours and after work, as I would like to let the station run for a bit before hauling it out to Washington Island.

I’ll do the same with the 32s1/75s1/30L1/312B4/516F2 WE (Winged Emblem) station when the transmitter is done.

The work Chuck W9KR did is monumental. Recapped, Upgraded, New tubes as required, new parts as required, decades of dust & grime removed, New 572b tubes, in certain cases mouse infestations sign removed, tech bulletin upgrades, CCA upgrades, and a few Chuck W9KR upgrades – especially in improving the reliability of the 516F2 power supplies.

The gear arguably should work better than when new, should be reliable and should have all that great Collins sound.

Quietly I cannot say enough with the detective work and bench work of Chuck W9KR.  I realize that I have so much to learn just in order to fully understand all the goodness he baked into these radios.

Lots of Collins fun ahead for me working the airwaves with refreshed vintage gear!

73

Steve
K9ZW

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Collins Progress Update 1

Some in progress pictures as Chuck W9KR does his magic on the Collins 32S1/75S1 station.

Digging in at W9KR’s very well equipped workbench

Testing found some weak and failed tubes, all which are being replaced. I had bought tube kits for some of the units, and others have been sourced. All told about 8-10 tubes across the equipment are being replaced.

After a prolonged period of increasing voltages controlled by a variac, good meter readings

Prolonged means a lot longer than I would have thought, a gentle process.
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Collins S-Line Station Interconnects and Connects….

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

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

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

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

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

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