Tag Archives: Collins S-Line Station

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

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

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.
Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,

Disposition of radios (2) – Collins S-Line Station

Collins S-Line (32/75/312-4…) Station Loaded for Service Work

Over the last 12 years I’d accumulated enough Collins S-Line equipment to not only complete the 32s/75s station started when George W9EVT gave me a 75S1 receiver with a shopping list of what I needed to complete an operating S-Line station, but a second KWM-2A transceiver based station which I will come back to in another post.

The 32S/75S setup was never fully setup once collected and consists of:

  • 32S1 – transmitter
  • 75S1 – receiver
  • 30L1 – amplifier
  • 312B4 – remote VFO
  • 516F2 – power supply
  • 312B3 – speaker
  • DL-1 – dummy load
  • Matching SWR Meter
  • SM-1 – microphone
  • SM-2 – microphone
  • Voice processor
  • Digital frequency Display
  • necessary interconnect cables, manuals, some spare tubes, and so on

At no one time has the entire station been in operation.

I reached out via the reflector to fellow members of the Collins Collectors Association asking for help checking over the gear, and more importantly helping me with some issues with the other S-Line station (the one that I will come back to in a later post).

Chuck W9KR reached out to me, as we are just over an hour apart, offing to help me out.

So the station made it way to Chuck’s QTH for review, tune-up and any catch-up work/mods.

We opened up the 30L1 amp to test the tubes, as replacing these tubes has become rather pricy. W9KR has awesomely kept tube testers that outshine a typical museum piece which were put to duty testing the four tubes.

All of the power tubes tested great, and digging a bit further we discovered this particular 30L1 had already had a power supply upgrade board and kit installed.

We spent some time with my describing how I wanted to end up with a robust station that I and others who didn’t have much of a chance to operate tube radios could work with learning these skills.

The station was left with Chuck W9KR to be systematically gone through. Planes are to bring in the KWM-2A station from Washington Island so Chuck can help me sort that station out as well.

73

Steve
K9ZW

Tagged , , ,

Collins K9ZW North Station in QSO

Eventually I intend to move the late Collins setup in this picture to my home QTH and bring up the S-Line separates set up.

This “Round Emblem” combined transceiver with external VFO for split operations is the final itineration of the S-Line series and was sold new in the mid/late 1970s.

K9ZW Collins KWM-2A Station

K9ZW Collins KWM-2A Station

  • KWM-2A transceiver
  • 312B-5 remote VFO and station console
  • 30L-1 amplifier
  • SM-1 microphone
  • Power supply is under bench

The other Collins station I own is a “Winged Emblem” first of the S-Line series with separate receiver/transmitter. That station is a 32S-1 transmitter, 75S-1 receiver, 312B-4 station console, 30L-1 amplifier, separate speaker and a power supply. The receiver/transmitter track each other usually. It dates from 1958 to 1960 from dating the serial numbers.

It has amazed me how many complex cables interface the various units. There are roughly a dozen cables in the KWM-2A station and about five-six more in the twins S-Line one. Many are simple, but some are complex and some are uncommon – things like RF coax with RCA plugs…..

The microphone jack is a military size and I had to source some as spares.

The KWM-2A station got great reports today using a SteppIR CrankIR portable antenna. Even worked some DX.

The audio has that warm friendly tube-amp sort of sound. Got great reports which I have to admit surprised me. I hadn’t expected it as there are so few adjustments possible compared to a modern rig.

I’m not happy with this particular SM-1 microphone and did make most contacts using an Astatic D-104 “lollipop” microphone instead. The SM-1 will go off for service.

I have a good ways to go in learning to use this gear, but as much fun as I had it is worth the study and practice time to get it right.

Made a interesting contrast to this weekends QSOs done with a barefoot Flex-6300 on the same antenna.

73

Steve
K9ZW

Tagged , ,

Collins S-Line Station Update – Making Space

With my present shack stacked on a single 30 inch wide assembly table, and boxed in by two big storage units, I’m struggling to find space to set up the Collins S-Line station.

My station is tucked in the end of a room originally intended to be a wine cellar/storage area.  A bit grandious of a feature for an otherwise normal walk-out ranch.

Here is a rough sketch:

K9ZW Present Radio Room Layout

K9ZW Present Radio Room Layout

The area is confined by large storage units, the positions of the doors, windows and an electrical sub-panel that has to be kept clear of obstruction by fire code.

Obviously if you look at my station photographs there is only enough room for what I have set up at any one time (the Alpha 78 is presently in storage having been replaced with an Expert SPE 1KW and the Palstar AT4K is stored while I use a Palstar AT-Auto antenna tunner):

K9ZW Layout with Flex-5000A

K9ZW Layout with Flex-5000A

SO here is the direction I am heading – where the present gear (and a future Flex-6000 series radio) go into a rack where the smaller storage units was, and a two tier station goes heind me wher ethe larger storage unit was.

Roughly something like this:

K9ZW Possible Radio Room Layout

K9ZW Possible Radio Room Layout

Obviously I need some family cooperation to move the two storage units somewhere else in the house. Sensitive negotiations are underway !

73

Steve
K9ZW

Tagged , ,

Collins S-Line Cable Set – A LOT of Cables!

Collins S-Line Cable Set - A LOT of Cables!

Collins S-Line Cable Set – A LOT of Cables!

Ok, the RCA-to-N is for another configuration and there are three spares included. But what a mass of cable to hook up a basic station!

I did order all the cables from the same source, as I wanted a fully matched set appearance and the convenience.

That odd RCA-N RF cable and the RCA-RCA RF cables would have been inconvenient to source any other way.

With modern rigs we either never have the connections (as more of the radio is in the single box) or have multi-wire connections that interconnect in a snap.

In the next installment we’ll show things hooked up (and hopefully keeping “the smoke in” and working!)

73

Steve
K9ZW

Tagged , , ,