My Collins Gold Dust Twins Found Me

The Collins Gold Dust Twins warm up the shack

I wasn’t looking for the Collins Gold Dust Twins – I wanted a National SW-3 regenerative receiver – that’s it.

Collins KWS-1 Transmitter and Power Supply – very rare

Only 1500 of the KWS-1 transmitters were made, and the US Army or Air Force destroyed half of them.

The Collins 75A4 Receiver is a classic, but not as rare as the matching KWS-1 transmitter

While searching for the National SW-3 (which I finally did find a great restored model with extra coils), first the Collins 75A4 receiver “fell into my lap” followed several months later by a KWS-1 which needed some work. We are coming up on me having these for a year now.

A month or so ago, just for laughs, I posted a For Sale ad on and my local DX Chat group channel, and I did get one offer for the Receiver. At that point I realized that owning the Gold Dust Twins was mostly a “Can I get this 1950’s station up and running?” challenge, once I did get them working, I have listened to the receiver quite a bit – but haven’t used the transmitter for all but 3 QSO’s.

Since I don’t need to sell them to buy something else (I looked at the Elecraft K4 but have gone 100% solar charged – battery QRP with a KX-3 since), and so I am not in the market for any more ham radio gear. If and when the “KX-4” comes out – or something new and unexpected (doubtfully the ICOM IC-705 with NO ATU). I really love the KX-3 especially because of the Win4K3 Suite software – and it reminds me that a built in scope on a rig is just extra cost and too small a screen to usually be of any use.

I’m relaxed again regarding the Gold Dust Twins – and am happy that they are in the shack – even though the rig that gets the most use is the KX-3 followed by the IC-7300. I’ve gone simple with my Ham gear, but still enjoy it even as “casually” as I have become.

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