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
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.