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


Reviews Summary for Collins 30S-1
Collins 30S-1 Reviews: 13 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $1,556.00
Description: HF Linear Amplifier
Product is not in production.
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KE5OQV Rating: 5/5 Nov 10, 2012 06:18 Send this review to a friend
Flagship of the Collins S-Line  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I own two of these amps, a round emblem (RE) version (s/n 11xxx) and a winged emblem (WE) version (s/n 6xx). Both are in original condition, unmodified and in very good to excellent cosmetic condition.

Tuning up these amps require only peaking the tuning and loading controls with the Collins exciter on "tune". Switching the exciter to "lock" puts 90 watts into the amp. Repeating the peaking of the tuning and loading controls while monitoring the output of the amp into a dummy load facilitates optimizing the output to full power. I found that the output varied from 1200 watts PEP for the WE version to 1400 watts PEP for the RE version.

Both amps are relatively quiet during normal operation cycles. Collins designed these amps to operate with laminar air flow. If the amps are overdriven, then operating temperatures increase and distortion begins to occur in the audio. Don't overdrive this amp; it doesn't need it.

The audio quality of the signal is nothing less than superb. With the KWM-2A transceiver used as an exciter in combination with the 30S-1, you have a ham station that is hard to beat, even after 50 years.

For those hams that watch the bottom line, compare the cost of purchasing a KWM-2A/30S-1 system in excellent condition with purchasing a new solid state 100 watt transceiver and 1500 watt amplifier. It's approximately the same cost.

That's not true if you try to sell either system. The Collins station will hold its value whereas the solid state system suffers a 20% - 30% decline in value.

As the late Dutch Maurer used to say, "I love my Collins". So do I.
 
W8TRN Rating: 5/5 Oct 14, 2012 18:30 Send this review to a friend
Back to the Future  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I recently bought one in excellent physical condition but had a couple of defective parts: The 3 minute time delay and an electrolytic cap. considering the amp was built around 1964, I would chalk the problem up to fair wear and tear.
A couple of "oversights" in the manual: no "presets fot the Load and Tune. Those numbers not only quickly get you in the ball park, more more importantly, prevents excessive screen and/or grid current. The physical condition of the 4CX1000 leads me to believe that it is the second one in the hole. FWIW, from what I see this brute is completely original.
 
SWL377 Rating: 5/5 Dec 13, 2011 17:33 Send this review to a friend
Solid, very well made.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The 30L-1 is tempting, small, way cheaper than the 30S-1, but do not succumb to temptation. Buy the Gorilla not the Pussy Cat.

The 30S1 is built like a tank and weighs in at 160 lbs!!!. It has a single 4CX1000 ceramic tetrode and it can take a beating. It is easy to tune, is quieter than most KW amps and has good protective circuitry to keep you from ruining the tube when you make a mistake. It uses inverse RF feedback to maintain liearity. Also has a thermal overload bi-metal safety switch that interrupts power if things get too hot.

The 30S-1 is exceptionally good looking too. The high packing and shipping cost means you almost have to find one locally. They are VERY hard to find when used 30L1s abound. There is a reason. Once you own a 30S-1 you will not want to sell it.

CONS: Does not operate on 160M, although there may be mods. The tube is pricey if bought new, but lasts a long long time if not abused. Used working 4X1000s are cheap. Heavy, big, hard to transport.

If you can find one buy it. If you tire of it and want to go modern, eg solid state, you'll have no trouble selling your 30L-1. There will always be a market for these RF Gorillas.

 
N1JMS Rating: 5/5 Mar 3, 2009 19:41 Send this review to a friend
A Classic  Time owned: more than 12 months
I can't say it better than anyone else has. Stronger and even more stable than my Alpha 9500 yet, more durable than a Timex watch. Too bad that Collins isn't still making equipment today, it would still be without a doubt the word-class leader.
 
KD1ZM Rating: 5/5 Dec 31, 2008 11:22 Send this review to a friend
One of the best amplifiers that I have ever owned  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I was fortunate to come across a 30S-1 in an estate sale in New Jersey this past Summer, serial number 10012 wing emblem. The previous owner was the original owner and the amplifier is in the original unmodified excellent condition. I have used the 30S-1 in both the CW and SSB mode with fantastic reports on 40M & 20M. I am driving the 30S-1 with a Icom 781, 60 to 80 watts drive for 700 to 800 watts output, into a AT4K tuner, with plenty of reserve. I have owned several Amps including many Alpha's and as far as I am concerned the only other amp that I have used that is as good or better would be my Alpha 77SX. I have been looking for a 30S-1 for a few years, they are a little difficult to find in excellent condition since most who own them will not part with them. The Amplifier is heavy, 160 pounds, but the construction is unsurpassed in terms of the quality of materials used. One important advantage is that the 4cx1000 tubes are plentiful on the surplus market and not too expensive to replace compared to some other Amp tubes. The bottom line is if you can find one buy it; this is a high quality AMP that you will love to use and if taken care of it will last another 50 years.
 
ON4ALV Rating: 5/5 Jun 26, 2008 11:46 Send this review to a friend
Super!  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Without any doubt the best amplifier ever!

Got mine from Land Air Communication and it is worth every penny!(as is the excellent service from Land Air Communication,for international deals!)

This amplifier is build like a tank with ample reserve in operating capacity and components of the highest quality. Collins grade indeed.

Short; Collins quality not found any more!
 
TUBEHAM Rating: 5/5 Feb 5, 2008 17:31 Send this review to a friend
Incomparable  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is the best amp ever made. It loafs along at legal output. The ALC output control with Collins exciters is genius. The audio is unmatched. And the design, construction, and quality are robust, even by Collins standards. Plus it looks great. I can't even imagine what it would cost to build and sell a new 30S-1 today.

The only problem is finding a nice one to buy. I suggest replacing all of the original electrolytics and diodes first thing.
 
W9CTY Rating: 5/5 Apr 8, 2006 18:24 Send this review to a friend
Not bad for an old guy  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been using my 30S-1 since the day I bought it, 41 years ago. It is a constant reminder of the quality that Collins shipped out of its Cedar Raids plant on a daily basis....in fact, it's where I picked up mine. It's built like a tank, but only weighs half as much (owners laugh here!) It's gotten me through more pileups than I can remember....and coupled with a KWM-2 the audio is unmatched by anything on the market today.
 
N6YE Rating: 5/5 Apr 2, 2006 13:10 Send this review to a friend
Built like a battleship!!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had the pleasure of using the Collins S Line while I was stationed at the US Army Maintenance Command, Naha Okinawa, September 1964 to February 1966. The amateur radio station in our company was KR6CF, which I operated many hours running phone patches back to the states for military personnel. Also ran patches for the Navy guys on the USS Coral Sea. Collins equipment was always reliable! If you can find a 30S1 grab it! It will never let you down. Ken N6YE
 
AD5QP Rating: 5/5 Feb 3, 2006 11:31 Send this review to a friend
Super, Reliable Amp  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had the 30S-1 for a number of years now. Absolutely no problems. Have just added a 330uf filter in parellel with C204, the screen supply filter, and it increases the sideband punch. I clean it and oil the fan motor every 6 months or so, and it just keeps on working. The smell when it's operating is so reminiscent of the old equipment. I think it's the coatings on the transformer..... I am driving it now with a TS-850S, and it loves it. I traded a Henry amp for this and I think I got the better deal.
 
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