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Reviews Categories | Amplifiers: RF Power - HF & HF+6M | Collins 30L-1 Help

Reviews Summary for Collins 30L-1
Collins 30L-1 Reviews: 34 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $520.00
Description: 80-10 meter 1KW PEP linear amplifier
Product is not in production.
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K3JJC Rating: 5/5 Dec 15, 2008 16:03 Send this review to a friend
The Best There Is  Time owned: more than 12 months
I own two 30L1s and they are both on the air every day. The just continue to work and work and work. Very reliable, beautifully made and easy to tune. I can not understand why anyone would buy one of the new 3-hole or 4-hole amps when these great amps are still available. I guess some people have to have new. A nice 30L1 can be had for under $650. But, I won't sell either of mine. If you are looking for a medium power amp that runs 811As, find a friend running a 30L1 and check it out before you spring for something else.

WA0IIH Rating: 5/5 Nov 17, 2008 16:43 Send this review to a friend
A True Classic!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Art Collins and the gang hit a home run with this amp!! The quality is unmatched by anything out there, mil-spec all the way. I own two, one made in 1962 and the other in 1964. Both needed some resto work but what a beauty to work on and what reliability they give. I am glad I am stuck in a time warp back to the 60s, I am having a blast!!! Built like a tank with the classic curves of the best looking gear ever made. Mine are NOT for sale at any price. 73s, Shawn, WA0IIH
K8DGL Rating: 5/5 Aug 30, 2008 04:53 Send this review to a friend
Marvelous  Time owned: more than 12 months
My second one and all I can say it is hard to beat. I installed the aftermarket power supply board and new Taylor finals. Works great, quiet, easy to tune and as loyal as a dog.
I have had several 811 amps and the 30L-1 is simply the best.
W4CAS Rating: 5/5 Jun 26, 2008 06:22 Send this review to a friend
Still the best!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Couldn't resist adding my 5/5 rating to the fray! Have had this fine piece of gear for over 20 years and it hasn't failed me yet! Easy to tune, easy to operate, good looking, cheap to re-tube, built to MIL-SPECs! You CANNOT find another amp that even comes close in this category! If you are looking for a workhorse, quality amp that will last a lifetime, don't waste your money on the other crop of 811 amps out there! There are plenty of these gems still available for around $600 to $700 - the best money you'll ever spend on an amp!
N7WR Rating: 5/5 Jan 23, 2008 13:03 Send this review to a friend
Great to have  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After many years I decided to re-create a station I once had that I enjoyed more than any other over the 50 years I've been a ham. Part of that included a 30L1. I was fortunate to find one in excellent shape (private party via a dealer, not e-bay). Switched it back to 110vac since I don't have an easy way to get 220 into the shack. Put a drop of oil on the fan motor and off we went. Works just like I remember my previous one working. Excellent, quiet, nice size. You can see a picture on qrz under my call
K3JJC Rating: 5/5 Jul 20, 2007 13:01 Send this review to a friend
Best amplifier out there  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have two of these at present. Love them both. One is on 75 meters for about 2 to 3 hours per day every day. One is on 20 meters for a few hours every weekend. Both are real troopers, great performers, very reliable, no proplems ever with either. Both have been in service at this location for several years.
K4SPS Rating: 5/5 Jul 1, 2007 12:32 Send this review to a friend
Still the best table top amp there is!  Time owned: months
Have had my 'new' Collins 30-L for one month. Bought it off of E-bay. It is a truly superior design and it works as well as the day it left the factory, 46 years ago. I put 4 new Chinese 572B tubes in it, that load up and work perfectly. The original 811A's had multiple holes burned through the plates; they still had adequate output, in all fairness. The new 572B tubes have allowed lower loading and produce +500 watts on all bands. I love this amp. I am very glad I didn't buy a new 'equivalent(?)' Ameritron. I have $515 dollars invested in this amp: a depreciation of $5.00 dollars over its original price of $520.00! I did add additional through the bottom air cooling with a fan from the thrift store. Buy one, new licensee; you'll be glad you did! K4SPS
W2RS Rating: 5/5 Apr 11, 2007 00:24 Send this review to a friend
Still a real workhorse  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have only a few footnotes to what other reviewers have already said.

The 30L-1 is my main amp for 80-10, including the WARC bands with no problems. I drive it with a KWM-2 and an Orion II, using the Ameritron ARB-704 interface with the latter because of the 30L-1's high relay-control voltage. No, I haven't tried to make it do QSK, but it does everything else. Power output is 600-700 W CW, depending on band and drive level (always under 100 W).

It did run hot, so I put an external exhaust fan over the tubes to help out the interal blower. No more fried eggs. When I first fired it up, I did fry a helf-watt resistor in the relay-control circuit. I replaced it with a one-watt resistor, and the amp has been a real workhorse ever since.

If you want a medium-power amp, and don't need 160-meter or 6-meter coverage, get one! They sure don't make amps like they used to.
W7NWH Rating: 5/5 Mar 15, 2007 23:15 Send this review to a friend
Great medium power amp  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I enjoy using my 30-L1 Amp! My first linear and was really easy to hook up and use. I used an ampkeyer to toggle the amp from my Icom Pro III. I have spare tubes at the ready but the thing is still able to push 500 watts which for me is plenty.

I purchased off of Ebay which at times can be dicey. This was a clean unit which really surpasses the modern stuff being built in it's power range.

Make sure you get tubes that can be used in a horizontal mounting arrangment and that are in a matched set. A good source is RF Central which is where I ordered my spares.

I did put a drop of machine oil on the fan. One thing I'm not used to is how hot the thing runs. I had it somewhat enclosed, now I keep it out in the open with lots of air circulation.

Anyway, great amp, highly recommended when you don't need legal limit.
K4KIO Rating: 5/5 Jun 30, 2006 10:11 Send this review to a friend
Works per specs  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've been using a 30L-1 for about three months. It is my first amplifier so admittedly, I don't have a lot of reference to which to compare the Collins amp. Nevertheless, here is my take on it so far.

Very easy to tune with the special comparator circuit. Just zero the meter and it takes all the guess work (and some of the fun) out of tuning and loading.

Works on all the WARC bands without a bit of difficulty, especially if the transceiver has an auto antenna tuner to maximize power transfer to the amp. I like the instant warm up feature and see no problem using it as the factory designed it to be used.

Use of the factory recommended 20.5 foot RG58 interconnecting cable turned out to improve performance noticably. I use a homebrew soft key circuit to key the Collins relay from the ICOM 746 transceiver. The ALC feedback to the transceiver works fine; voltage levels are correct for the ICOM 746.

The meter scale is not the best in the world; takes a bit of staring to see just what is the voltage and current. Keydown input power is close to the spec level as well as I can calculate from the meter. Power output is probably 5-600 watts as well as I can determine from the antenna tuner meter. I really don't know the condition of the tubes that came with this unit; maybe a new set would produce a bit more.

On the whole, I am quite pleased with this amp and doubt if I would see the need go to a higher power level. Great feeling using a classic like this.
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