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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Collins 75S-1 & 32S-1 Help

Reviews Summary for Collins 75S-1 & 32S-1
Collins 75S-1 & 32S-1 Reviews: 3 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $495 & 595
Description: Collins seperate transmitter & receiver
Product is not in production.
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You can write your own review of the Collins 75S-1 & 32S-1.

KE6PID Rating: 5/5 Apr 12, 2006 11:12 Send this review to a friend
Vintage Bliss.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The Collins S Line radio gear is legendary, and I agree. The 75S and 32S were introduced 1n 1962 and for their day they were the best you could get. My particular pair were produced in 1966, a 75S-3B and 32S-1. Collins continued to produce these rigs into the early '70's to give you an idea of their superiority and following. For the day there were very expensive compared to other rigs-you paid a lot, but you got a lot.

I found my pair on the floor in a basement; they had been idle for at least 20 years.
Stained with nicotine and full of dirt I began to clean them up. I could not help but notice that the quality of the radios was top notch for equipment of the day. Not military top notch like a R-390, but much better than it's contemporary counterparts. I continued to clean all the switch contacts and replace filter capacitors. All I found wrong was a single tube in the receiver had become gassy over the years-that's all.

When I awoke them from their 20 year slumber (on a variac) they both came up and worked! A complete bench test confirmed that both the transmitter and receiver met original factory spec. This is a testament as the quality of the design, assembly and components used by Collins.

Operating: The transmitter can be slaved from the receiver VFO, the rigs are connected with a series of RCA co-ax cables, they should be RG-58 where RF is concerned, the rest could be off the shelf audio cables, although I built all my RCA cables from RG-58. Interconnections for the VFO, RF, Sidetone and receiver mute required. The transmitter contains a T/R switch, so the receiver is connected to the transmitter, and that is connected to your antenna through an RCA jack.

Transmitter tuneup is easy, and should be done quickly to prevent over dissipation of the RF output tubes. First the exciter is tuned (single knob) to produce maximum grid current then the final is tuned to resonance, (remember, dip the plate?) and loaded to produce 230 ma of plate current. This is an input power of 184 watts, the amplifer is about 54% efficient for an output of about 100 watts. On the 15 and 10 meter bands the efficiency drops to produce about 80 watts on 10 meters. A Key is connected to the transmitter through an RCA connector, surprisingly my Bencher/MFJ paddle worked just fine. The mic is connected through a TRS "long-finger" (slightly less than 1/4") on the front panel. VOX and QSK are available. Metering includes grid current, plate current and ALC. No output metering is included. The wattmeter was included in the station console, an option I do not have. I am using a (bite your tongue!) Daiwa.

There is a lot of knob twisting that goes on with these older rigs to get them tuned up right. I have found additional adjustments once tuned up on the particular band are only slight, generally one can QSY within the band without additional retuning.

Tuning is provided through a vernier drive; by today's standards the tuning is quite fast, but not so fast as to hard to dial the station in. Where ever the receiver goes the transmitter follows, just don't forget to retune when you change bands. The frequency readouts are quite accurate. Once you know the starting frequency (determined by a crystal) you add the dial number, so on 10 meters the supplied crystal starts you at 28.5, add the number on the dial number and you are there! (28.5 + 70 = 28.570 MHz). Split operation is easy, place the transmitter into local VFO mode, spot calibrate the TX to the RX and move to the new transmit frequency. Once warm there is hardly any frequency drift. Now, when I say that I am talking relative to a rig of the same vintage folks!

Once the QSO starts the rig sings a song of a bygone era. The receiver has a very "laid back" attitude about how it works. It's sensitive; and for its day quite selective thanks to the pre-selector and famous Collins mechanical filters; certainly up to the task and then some, but I am afraid to say contemporary contest rig it isn't, although I'd bet one wouldn't do all that badly in a contest if they used a 75S-3! It's very relaxing to use. You hear the signals just fine, but the noise is somehow suppressed. The sound is very natural and clean. Face it, there isn't a lot the signal is going through between the antenna connector and headphones, when compared to a modern rig.

The transmitter works very well is solid as a rock. Mic gain is adjusted via the ALC indication on the meter. Providing it's not overdriven the transmitted audio sounds fantastic; loads of punch too. No splatter, harmonics are suppressed at least -50 dB, at least on my rig, so sayeth my SA. The IF filter is also a Collins mechanical with a cut-off of 2.2 Khz. It's a good neighbor. I'd hazard to say it is better than many modern transmitters from a spectral purity standpoint.

No, it's not my Orion, nor will it ever replace it. But if you would like a very nice vintage station that can still dance on the airwaves without falling down maybe an old girl like this is for you.
KK8ZZ Rating: 5/5 Dec 3, 2005 14:40 Send this review to a friend
Beautiful Legacy Receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
Found one of these beauties in a SK attic and had it tuned up and restored a bit. Rich sound, excellent selectivity and sensitivity, and a fabulous connection with those who made our hobby before many of us were born. Moved it to my office to display it and play a little on lunch-time. Many comments on the beautiful old radio.... I'll pass it on to the next generation....
JAMES_BENEDICT_EX_N8FVJ Rating: 4/5 Dec 22, 2000 22:52 Send this review to a friend
Strong Performer  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The Collins 75S-1 is a 80 thru 10 meter receiver that accommodates up to 14 xtals for 14- 200 Khz ranges from 3.4 to 30 Mhz. The receiver is dual conversion, xtal controlled 1st oscillator for high stability. Permeability tuned VFO, selective mechanical filter, 100 Khz calibrator and product detector. Receives SSB, AM and CW. IF rejection is -70 db and image rejection is -60 db. AM is 'straight thru' IF transformers, mechanical filters for 2.1 Khz SSB and .5 Khz for CW.
The 32S-1 matching transmitter is rated 175 watts PEP SSB and 160 watts CW input. The SSB generation makes use of a mechanical filter. The VFO is permeability tuned for high stability. Tuning range is the same as the 75S-1. The carrier suppression is -50 db.
The receiver is very sensitive and selective. Sensitivity does not drop off much like some other receivers from the same era. The transmitter operates SSB and CW. Output is about 100 watts on lower frequencies dropping off to 85 watts on 10 meters. The pair is a pleasure to use. Handily outperforms other gear such as Heathkits, Galaxy, Tempo and the like.

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