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Reviews For: Collins KWM-1 Transceiver

Category: Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - non QRP <5W

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Review Summary For : Collins KWM-1 Transceiver
Reviews: 3MSRP: 770.00
The Collins KWM-1 was a breakthrough SSB/CW transceiver introduced in 1957, is considered an engineering marvel. It covered 14-30mc in 100kc segments, VOX and CW break-in, and 100 watt output all in a compact package capable of fixed station or mobile. Accessories include 516F-1 AC/516E-1DC supply,312B-1speaker,312B-2speaker/wattmeter.
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
W1RC Rating: 2020-04-20
Classic SSB alltime favourite! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
My first SSB xcvr in 1967! No one wanted these then, but the sunspot cycle was peaking and I had a ball with it. Eventually picked up a KWM-2A but had to sell the M-1 to an amateur in JA-land to buy it. Picked up a couple over the years but finally got one with the noise blanker that is MINT and a high serial number with the LOCK position.

The weak point are the two relays. Changing them is a challenge. My advice is to keep them clean and do it annually.

If you can get the crystal this radio is wonderful on 17m at 100 Watts mainly because there are no contesters hogging the band.

Also note that even though there is a CW position on the EMISSION switch this is not an ideal radio for that mode. It is USB only, 14-30MHz.

Some KWM-1 trivia: When Vice President Richard Nixon visited South Venezuela in May 1958, the trip was disrupted by violent mobs who tried to attack his motorcade in Caracas. Nixon’s pilot and longtime ham, Colonel Tommy Collins (no relation) had brought his own recently acquired Collins KWM-1 along for his own use. He used his KWM-1 with a wire antenna strung up at the hotel, fired it up and in minutes was in direct contact with the White House through phone patches by American amateur ham radio operators.

This was how the outside world learned about the mob attack on Nixon.

KWM-1s that were highly modified were installed as survival radios on fixed frequencies with remote control on some U-2 flights........ but little more about this is known about this even today.

The KWM-1 has a great pedigree.......if you are lucky enough to have one....use it and ENJOY!
W6MWS Rating: 2018-12-21
An important part of the Collins heritage Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The history of the KWM-1 is well documented among Collins historians, but the outside world knows very little about this very unique radio.

It was designed by Gene Senti, a brilliant engineer at Collins. He reportedly designed it in his basement. It was not on the development list until he showed a working model to Art Collins. The rest is history, and the follow-on KWM-2 became the most successful transceiver in history.

The production run for the KWM-1 was 1,250 units. My unit is among the first hundred built, and it is somewhat different than later models.

It continues to perform flawlessly, and I use it quite often on 20 meters.

No one knows how many are left, but suffice it to say there are very few still operational.

Due to the complexity of combining send and receive into one small cabinet using 1950"s architecture, these are not easy radios to work on. But Gene Senti and Collins did a magnificent job using available technology at the time.

If you see one for sale, my advice is buy it.

WS5C Rating: 2016-01-10
A Collins breakthrough transceiver Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I noticed that there was no prior listing or reviews of the Collins KWM-1. In order to preserve this xcvr for history, here it is.

KWM-1's are now 60+ years old and becoming increasingly rare. I believe that the KWM-1 is the most fascinating Collins piece that I own.

I purchased this KWM-1, 516F-1, & 516F-2 in 1986 from K6POK (now s.k.). It was recently returned to the air after being on display and has performed unbelievably well.

I have not been on CW by choice. Tried several hi-impedance mics, and for me the D104 gets best reports.

The rig needs a little warm-up time, then it settles in nicely! Great nostalgia to operate, takes up very little desk space, and a conversation piece. I intend to try it on 17m & 12m for fun.

I am sure these transceivers are out there, lets hear them!