I joined the CCA after a few very nice and helpful hams who have Collins gear highly recommended that I join. I have already found it to be a wonderful group of friendly people – who genuinely are excited that I am now “in the fold”.
Interconnections between the 75A-4 and KWS-1
All of the Collins manuals are online at the CCA website – and I now understand how the KWS-1 and 75A-4 are interconnected. Its a great thing that as WN2QHN I used a 117 vac Dow Key tube TR switch and had that between a Hallicrafters HT-40 and my lowly Heathkit SW-717 receiver. I do remember worrying a bit about having a tube do the switching – remember, I was at the very end of using tube gear in 1973. After that the hybrid rigs came out – they still used tubes in the finals – like my Kenwood TS-511s – which was my pride a joy and which I bought after being a dishwasher (barely legal age to work – I think 14 years old?) at Don Bosco College. A few years later I would learn that the first computers were basically banks of tube based switches, so my 13 year old worries were unfounded!
I purchased two NOS (new old stock) Eimac 4CX250b’s – they are like a mini version of the linear amplifier 4CX1500b or other such tubes. The 4CX250b’s are easy to find and I purchased 2 for what is 1/4 the price of one 4CX1500b – which are almost impossible to find these days. The 4CX250b’s are plentiful – even NOS Eimac tubes – the best
I purchased the tubes from Dave, WI6R – of Radiosports fame. I met Dave a few years back at Pacificon, and when he was our gracious sponsor of the VK0EK DXpedition. Dave has all kinds of vintage radio gear – and is extremely helpful. I have been meeting with another friend – Tom Cusack – who approached me after I gave a presentation at an Alameda ham club meeting a few years back – and I will help Tom put up his SteppIR vertical. Tom is an avid Collins collector, and is very excited that I am now entering this new “world”. Finally, I have talked to Howard Mills, W3HM, and of course Bruce – AH0U – who sold me a pristine refurbished Collins 75A-4 receiver, and I have found all of these guys to be very friendly, social and fun to chat with.
The enthusiasm among vintage gear people is palpable.
I have lots of friends in the DX sub genre in Ham Radio – but sometimes DXers and DXpeditioners can get competitive to a point where there is some “friction”.
Its very refreshing to now move into a sub genre where it (so far) seems like everyone is excited for everyone else restoring or just using the old gear. It seems like the “zen” of the group is to encourage people to do their own work as much as we can – because that is part of the fun – and then join some on the air nets and talk about their gear. I do remember the QRPers to also be like this – its almost 100% encouragement – and that elmers still exist in these sub genres.
I’ll still be active in the DX groups – but it could not have happened at a better time to totally by accident get into this vintage game.