Collins 30K1 – Restoration Visual Essay

Collins 30K-1 Transmitter Restoration

The Cleaning, Restoration and Service of a Collins Time Capsule

Incoming

Shipping a 400 lb transmitter across the country is no easy task, but thanks to a
good packer and BAX Airfreight it arrived safe and sound in just two days!

You can’t use Styrofoam peanuts with these heavyweights, nothing less than high
density packing foam will do the trick!


RF Deck

The 30K-1 RF Deck, with a W7MGA mod, the DPDT knife switch attached to the
bandswitch. MGA was using multiple antennas and his implementation of a
switching network was both elegant and easily reversible. For my purposes, a
single antenna fed with balance line, I removed the switch. Thankfully he had
left the bandswitch connectors hanging on a loop of wire on the inside of the
cabinet, it was simple to reinstall for a single output.

The one and only casualty of the cross country move were the four porcelain
standoff insulators which attach the Output Network to the front cabinet. It
would appear that the inertia of the moving was too great. Thankfully my
junk box yielded four perfect spares!
 

The back of the meter panel and top of the RF Deck, prior to cleaning work.

The removed Output Network, prior to cleaning. Note plug in coil set on the left
side of the air variable cap, I have both the low and high band sets, so the TX
will cover 75 – 10 meters.

The Output Network after cleaning, a quick trip through the dishwasher did
the trick, washing away nearly half a century’s worth of dirt and dust.

The Front of the RF Output Network, note the insulation panels on the front of
of the unit. I assume these prevent arc over from the meter terminals.

 

The cleaning of the RF Deck. The large Johnson cap was removed and
disassembled for a through cleaning. Sure it takes time, but look at the results!


Modulator Deck
 

The Modulation Deck before and after cleaning photos. Love that 75th glow!
I did have a problem with the audio gain pot on the audio deck, the
unit was defective and a replacement 500K A/B pot was found and installed.
 


Low Voltage Deck

The Low Voltage Power Supply Deck, before and after cleaning. The unit
cleaned up very nicely, no repairs were needed, other than cleaning relay
contacts.


HV Power Supply Deck

The High Voltage Deck, shown with the 866 rectifiers removed for cleaning.


The Cabinet

The 30K-1 cabinet with all deck removed and ready for cleaning.

 


30K-1 Tour After Cleaning


30K-1 Glow


Amateur Radio Station W1UJR

1928 MOPA Transmitter

Two Stage Telegraph and Telephone Transmitter built by AB9ZG.

Though I’ve experimented a great deal in the field, using amateur radio satellites, as a ARMY MARS operator AAR2AJ, and even played with QRP (low power) gear, my interest tends to the early days of radio the 1920-1930s, what I feel was the golden era. During that time little commercial equipment was available, and most hams simply made their own using off the shelf materials and vacuum tubes, a process known as home brewing. Over the years I’ve restored many of these vintage radio sets, check my Restorations page for more details.

One of my antique radio friends built this transmitter some years back, a very true and authentic reproduction. I admired it at the time, not sure I ever worked him with it, but remembered it fondly.

Jon, the builder, kindly entrusted it to me as the caretaker, and looks like, given the weekend weather, I’ve finally got time to get it unpacked, tested, fired up, and on the air. Long, cold winter nights in Maine are ideal for radio.
I was therefore delighted to be contacted a few weeks by Jon, asking if I had interest in his creation. In any case, wanted to share Jon’s handiwork with my radio, and non-radio friends.

Even if you’re not an antique radio fan, you’ve just have to love the time and skill that went into building this rig. The wood, panel work, winding the coils out of copper tubing, the straight and true lines of the bus wiring, entirely handmade, it’s a work of art.

It is crystal controlled, you can see the xtal on the right of the upper deck.
The upper desk is the RF section, and the lower deck the power supply and modulator.

Ideally I’d like to find or build an old table so I can set up a replica 1920/30s station, complete with one of the early National SW-3 receivers.

I’ll post more as I get it on the air and operating!

– Bruce W1UJR

1928 MOPA Transmitter
1928 MOPA Transmitter
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