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Collins 32RA Salvage and some other stuff




 
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Author Topic: Collins 32RA Salvage and some other stuff  (Read 1057 times)
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Patrick J. / KD5OEI
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« on: March 06, 2022, 12:56:59 AM »

Today was the Irving Amateur Radio Club hamfest. It was a lot of fun all day, and I met a gentleman there who kindly gifted me the remains of a Collins 32RA, Model 8 according to the schematic with it.

The 32RA is a 120LB desktop boatanchor covering 1.5 to 15MC, with three 807s as the RF stage and four cathode-biased 6L6G as AB modulator having carbon mic input. AM is 50W carrier, pretty conservative, nice design. Rectifiers 2x 866 for the power stage plates and one 80 for the low B+ and bias, all choke input filters naturally. In Phone mode, plate voltage for audio and RF power stages is 450V.

At some time in the past, it had been pit in a pickup truck but the tailgate was accidentally left down. The transmitter fell out of the bed on the highway and partly demolished. What I received is the scarred control panel with several meters still intact, and the power supply chassis and modulator chassis that seem in pretty good shape.

These are really beefy assemblies with lots of weighty iron. The plate transformer rating is 450VA. The modulation transformer should give a clue to how the 6L6G are operated at the unusually high voltage, with a 4100 Ohm CT primary and a 50W rating from 30-8000CPS. Not sure what to do with these things right now except to care for them. It looks like an invitation to build a transmitter. 

Can anyone comment on their experiences with the 32RA?

https://collinsradio.org/archives/manuals/32RA-Model-8.pdf

Unrelatedly, the hamfest was eventually coming to a close and a few people did not want to tote everything home. Someone gave me an older ROBOT SSTV processor, a h/p 412A VTVM, and an h/p digital DVM with a 4-terminal setup for Ohms.
A new online surplus store based in texas, Magnetosphere.net, showed up with hundreds of different types of parts and sold them for cents on the dollar, just to say "Hi we're here!" Their web site is very plain but I like it anyway. I'm sure it will have to grow some more. so few surplus stores with Texas warehouses any more. used to be many!
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Radio Candelstein - Flagship Station of the NRK Radio Network.
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2022, 06:15:10 AM »

Patrick I have a 32RA 8 complete with original Collins 6L6G's! I had it, (and still have it) for sale. I had one tire kicker but that was it. I may strip it down and use the meters in one rig I have and sell the 6L6G's to the audiophools to try and recoup my money. I found that you could select what bands you want to use by swapping out the tuning 'modules' on it.
On a different front I will check out that website. I decided I need the use of a spectrum analyzer for some receiver alignments. I have 3 141T mainframes and I managed to get one working. However one of the deflection boards went Tango Uniform in the IF amplifier. I may be in the market for parts/pcbs.
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Invisible airwaves crackle with life, bright antenna bristle with the energy. Emotional feedback, on timeless wavelength, bearing a gift beyond lights, almost free.... Spirit of Radio/Rush
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2022, 07:39:34 PM »

I would think that transmitter would be too valuable as a collectors item to part out or rob it for parts. But I saw a model 7 sold For $140 at an auction last year which to me is very cheap for what it is. I guess rare does not mean expensive. Don't see many any more, which is kinds sad. Maybe they are all aging gracefully in collections, who knows.
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Radio Candelstein - Flagship Station of the NRK Radio Network.
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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2022, 09:09:13 AM »

Somehow would lump that in with a lot of the old marine radiotelephone equipment being rock bound and maybe less useless being in order to tune you have to preset coils and capacitors on the inside. On that old stuff just going between a couple different antennas can be an issue unless you used a external tuner.
Was a good radio for fixed location use with a fixed antenna but beyond that don’t see any good use for it in the Ham world beyond being a good source for parts for building a new transmitter, as far as the Collins moniker most collectors after getting all their S line, A line and maybe an ART-13 would only value it as another example of “The Collins way of life” thing.
With the damage to the case I am all for striping and selling the parts.
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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2022, 11:34:34 PM »

I intend to do something with the modulator chassis and the power supply chassis whether sell or use, who can say, but there are lots of good parts. The meters are not cosmetically pretty but someone who badly needs them for their 32RA might want them. Or any of the items. The modulation transformer is amazingly large, as is the power supply, very heavy with iron. The reason for the parts being so large is probably the age of the beast. It has an old call sign on what's left of the front panel: KKE 397 EC 18
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