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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: 16 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $1,556.00
Description: HF Linear Amplifier
Product is not in production.
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N4JHY Rating: 5/5 Jan 24, 2019 18:42 Send this review to a friend
The 30S-1 is a fantastic HF Amplifier  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I had looked for 20 years for the right 30S-1 amplifier to buy. A 75 meter friend sadly passed away and I bought it from his estate. My friend was the second owner, the first, also known to me was a guy big into making ham gear, and also a friend. This particular 30S-1 is a real high SN round emblem amp with the serial number 30,xxx, and by the parts within was built in 1972. This amplifier stayed crated up in a warehouse till 1991 when the first owner bought it and set it up for the first time.
I got the amp with the weak original tube, a NOS NIB Eimac 4cx1000a tube, some spare lamps and a new pair of relays to cover the two that can be a bit problematic in this amp. I got a fantastic price on this amplifier, and it looks NEW, along with the new shine.
This late round emblem loads up to 1700 watts on all three of my inline watt meters into a 1:1 swr with 75 watts of drive. SSB output is about 1600 watts PEP with the same drive. WOW, I thought these amps barely made 1200 watts. I suspect that the late round emblem amps had a HV transformer that was a little more beefy.
It is ultra quiet, and the plate tune/antenna load settings are very repeatable, so no tune up once done one time, with logging the numbers.
It looks great in my shack (see for my call), and puts a huge smile on my face when I look at this "sugar". No, excuse me, SUGAR!!
I know it does not have 160 meters on it, but can be modded to do 160, but I want to leave her stock, and will use my Alpha amp on 160.
I sort of wish I had found one of these in nice shape years ago, as it is a real blast to operate. These amplifiers are very low in IM distortion, and I get great audio reports.
Get one, you will love it, as I do. 73, Bruce
KB3BF Rating: 5/5 Dec 23, 2017 20:53 Send this review to a friend
One of the best amplifiers that Collins designed and built.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had the 30S1 for over a decade and love its excellent performance. The only problem was dealing with a broken 45 degree index wafer for the input circuit which I had to build from scratch (they are very hard to find).
I decided to add 160m since I could do it without making any permanent mods to the amp. The band switch now points downward for 160m.
Aside from replacing the rectifiers with SS types, everything else is original. I am satisfied with 1KW output and see no need to change the screen voltage or the PA tube.
For a several decades old amplifier it is amazing how well it holds its own. The main drawbacks are some replacement parts are hard to find and it is very heavy.
K8HU Rating: 5/5 Sep 29, 2016 13:22 Send this review to a friend
Superb Product  Time owned: more than 12 months
From the drawing board of Warren Brune, W5OLY comes this superb HF amplifier. Mine, #462 was built in 1962 and still had the original 4CX-1000 installed. Had a couple easily corrected problems along the way in the form of metering diodes opening up. Replaced these with 1N34's in about 15 minutes and its working just fine. SSB/CW switch actually changes bias along with plate voltage allowing the amp to run class "C" in CW. This is not an amplifier to "run conservative SSB" with that switch in the "CW" position. Load the amp up per the book, using the tuning meter to the "old" spec of 1000W input and I consistently see 1400W out peaks. The fan is so quiet, you may not know its even turned on but be sure to add a couple drops of oil once a year to the oiler tubes above the front and rear bearings.
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.
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