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Reviews Categories | Transmitters: Vintage amateur | Collins 32V-3 Help

Reviews Summary for Collins 32V-3
Collins 32V-3 Reviews: 8 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $775.00
Description: 10-80 meter CW & AM transmitter
Product is not in production.
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W0TDH Rating: 5/5 Jul 28, 2014 07:24 Send this review to a friend
Great Rig!  Time owned: more than 12 months
My V3 is a hand me down from my Elmer. As is the A2 rcvr. The V3 lost grid drive one day and WAØGAG - Andy (SK now )convinced me I could do the repair. Changed the caps & resistors in the multiplier cans and it came back to life :)) Some years later that happened I said it was high time this rig went to the Collins Guru - Howard - W3HM for full restore. I had been to W3HM's QTH several times in the past with other rigs. Does wonderful work. Really awesome to see all those Collins rigs under repair, along with several ready to go home.
V3 now looks and works as new. See you on 10 or 15Mtr AM if Bands open up.
73, Tom WØTDH
WB8UHZ Rating: 2/5 Aug 20, 2010 18:22 Send this review to a friend
Problems  Time owned: more than 12 months
Low voltage transformer unless replace with a better one is prone to burning out. I agree with

KG8LB Rating: 3/5 Apr 2, 2008 08:58 Send this review to a friend
There are better values  Time owned: months
Collins; The Harley Davidson of amateur radio.
Typical of Collins a lot of quality parts the fails to become the sum of it's parts. Over-rated,OVERWEIGHT and difficult to service with un-needed sophistry.
They work OK and usually have stable VFOs. The iron used is pretty borderline and prone too fail. Servicing this overweight (Harley??) is quite inconvenient compared to virtually every one of it's contemporary competitor's offerings.

KC2NYQ Rating: 5/5 Feb 3, 2008 08:04 Send this review to a friend
Great AM transmitter  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I purchased this radio from Howard Mills last year. I was new to AM
and wanted a classic Collins transmitter. I could not afford the KW-1 so I chose the next best thing.

This transmitter is great. It performs flawlessly and I always get get audio reports from the contacts I make.
N1BEC Rating: 5/5 Sep 26, 2004 16:27 Send this review to a friend
Excellent Rig!  Time owned: more than 12 months
The 32V3 was my first AM HF transmitter. I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time, and picked it up for practically nothing when my college ham club had upgraded to more modern equipment and sold off the older stuff in 1982.
As far as I can tell, it had been there for 30 years since it was purchased new in 1952. It still has the original final, a big tribute to the sturdiness of the 4D32!
Mine also had the transformer go bad.
Also had to replace an arced bandswitch, not an easy task.
This is a glorious transmitter that has been a lot of fun to operate over the years!
If anything, it's only sin is that it doesn't operate on 160M.
Jump on the chance to get one if you can!

73's, -Tom
WA3VJB Rating: 4/5 Aug 22, 2003 17:29 Send this review to a friend
GOOD, with caution  Time owned: more than 12 months
I still have my 32V2 that I bought when I passed my Novice test in 1971. It has continued to serve me well, but there is a chronic failure that a potential buyer must become aware of.

The low voltage transformer has a design flaw that causes a shorted winding. I thought I had caused the failure by leaving it in CAL too long. (CAL generates a spot signal to let you zero-beat to your received station to be on the same frequency)

It turns out many, many of these transmitters have suffered the same problem, and it was NOT the fault of some rookie radio operator who didn't know any better.

A second shortcoming, and more forgiveable some 50+ years after manufacture, is the gradual failure of the fixed mica capacitors in the final tank.

The symptoms here include having to crank to the next position on the LOAD control to compensate when operating on 75 or 40 meters, and an unsettling frying sound when trying to operate as high as ten meters.

The stock audio quality is superb when using an open-sounding microphone like the high-impedance EV 719, or one of the older D-104 that has not been dropped.

The audio can be improved further with minor modifications in the 6SL7 and 6SN7 audio stages ahead of the pair of 807 modulators, that include increasing the coupling capacitors for improved low end response, and decreasing the bypass capacitors for improved high end response.

Check the PTO action to make sure the master oscillator has not seen too much use. Hi mileage examples will have a certain amount of backlash and "swoop" most noticed on 10 meters when the error is multipled the most.

Matching receivers from the Senior Collins line include the 75A, 75A2, and 75A3. The 75A4 does not match this transmitter in size or function and is not recommended (see my review).


W4PTO Rating: 5/5 Aug 22, 2002 07:59 Send this review to a friend
Great rig!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Definitely the choice for Collins fans seeking a medium power AM rig! I owned a 32V2 (since they are basically the same as a 32V3 save a few minor mods). The serial number was a patriotic #1776!

She came to me in a tattered, disheveled state. The MCS scale was water damaged and the KCS dial was melted/burnt. The front panel on the unit was gouged out in certain places and the LV xfmr was oozing tar potting. After nearly a month and a half of non stop work (it was my senior project for Cal Poly), I restored her to "fighting trim". She was beautiful!

Getting to the bones of her performance, the 32V is a wonderful rig to use. At 100 watts, I had great success with using her on the West Coast AMI net. I had great complements on her audio (using the D104 mic) and tag teamed her with various Collins A line receivers, the 75A2 and 75A4). I had two faults with her after I restored her: a bad mica capacitor in one of the driver stages, and finally, something went out and smoked in another part of the rig. I finally gave up and sold her to a friend. I think I regret that move and may try to deal with him to get her back.

So, if you can attend to the maladies of the 32V and get her all fixed up, it is a classic to treasure and own. One bad thing is that she won't do 160 meters. But you can always get another rig to do that.
W4BIZ Rating: 5/5 Aug 5, 2001 17:21 Send this review to a friend
Solid Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
You either hate this radio or love it. The radio I have was picked up at a hamfest over 5
years ago. The original owner used it for RTTY during the Vietnam era. The radio has never
given me any problems, good audio reports and 100 watts output all the time. I've never had
to work on the radio but have heard it's like working on a rubix cube (some owners report having to replace the mica transmitting caps). It has the classic "look" a boatanchor transmitter should have and weighs in like one too.

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