Collins KWS-1 Test Procedure

I finally have a very good need for an oscilloscope – to test the KWS-1

The KWS-1 (and pretty much all Collins gear) is about as well designed as any product I have ever owned. They are extremely well documented, have a great following of very experienced and knowledgable engineers and technicians, and I am learning this gear is perhaps the best way to learn electronics down to the discrete component level.

When I worked on Arduino and Raspberry Pi circuits, my friend Mike, KJ4Z was right – a Logic analyzer was a better tool for that. This is because most digital boards emit digital signals. Of course, that’s not all circuits in the “maker” space – but pretty much all of the “driver” portions of Arduino and Raspberry Pi are digital. In fact, that is where my experience as a programmer and data architect actually helps more. In fact – what is especially cool in the digital world is how I can view boards that do stuff as “block diagram” blocks – or basically a chain of “black boxes”. Here is an even cooler thing – I am learning the Scala programming language, and because it is a Functional / Object Oriented language, one chapter shows how to simulate the logic in circuits with and – or gates, etc. Back in the day – you had to code in machine code or assembly (like I did at Kodak – Octal Assembler!), but today – even higher level languages map to digital hardware, blurring the gap between hardware and software.

But I am finding it so fascinating to go back in time with 100% analog circuits, and especially tube based circuits. This is because you can drill down into the essence of electronics and the physics much more – and in a really simple “lab like” way. I feel that just debugging my KWS-1 problem (as I did the SW-3) is like having an electronics education in a box.

The best thing is the response I’ve gotten from a few hams I have contacted to get a little online elmering – and wow – fellow Gold Dust Twins owners make you feel like you are on their team – they want you to succeed. A wonderful part of the Ham Radio Fraternity.

2 Comments on “Collins KWS-1 Test Procedure

  1. Next up, add one of these to your collection:

    I think it’s an amazing looking piece of kit and useful too.


    • I have a Central Electronics version of this. It has a 3″ CRT tube and has the adapter for the Gold Dust Twins


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