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 Post subject: Collins 32V-3 Should I or Shouldn't I
PostPosted: Jan Tue 23, 2018 10:26 pm 
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Joined: Jan Wed 20, 2016 7:43 pm
Posts: 112
Location: Yardley, PA 19067
Time for some sage advice.

Over the past year I've collected and updated a number of Collins receivers including the 75A-1, A-2, A-3 and A-4 in addition to a HQ-129X, SX-115, SX-117, and a NC-303. My current AM transmitter is a Johnson Ranger that works just fine. With that said, I was thinking it would be nice to have a Collins 32V-3 to go along with the Collins A-line as well as the ability to put out a bit more umph. However, I've been reading quite a bit about the care and feeding of the 32V family and have come to understand these transmitters can be somewhat challenging to maintain. Issues with the LV transformer, etc.

I would appreciate some advice from those of you owning or have owned a 32V-3 regarding your experiences maintaining these transmitters.

Thanks,

Harry WE1X


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 Post subject: Re: Collins 32V-3 Should I or Shouldn't I
PostPosted: Jan Tue 23, 2018 11:36 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 295
Location: Michigan, 49712 - SC, 29577
Extremely heavy and difficult to work on. I sold mine & bought a Viking II. Never looked back.


Terry
W8EJO


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 Post subject: Re: Collins 32V-3 Should I or Shouldn't I
PostPosted: Jan Tue 23, 2018 11:56 pm 
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Joined: Jun Sun 19, 2011 2:31 pm
Posts: 5171
I agree with Terry that the 32V series can be finicky and are not easy to work on given their construction style. The only advantages they have over a Johnson Viking 1 or 2 are a more stable VFO with the Collins name and looks. The Viking 1 and Viking 2 are low cost, easy to work on, and highly reliable. A 32V looks better paired with a 75A series receiver but if you put a Viking 1 or 2 next to your A line receiver it will spend more time with the receiver and less time on the bench.

I have a 32V1 paired with a 51J3 and with infrequent use it has still been on the bench for repairs 4 times in the last 10 years; that wouldn't be bad if it were a "daily driver" but it is a finicky beast but probably not as bad as the KWS-1 I am digging into now.

Rodger WQ9E


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 Post subject: Re: Collins 32V-3 Should I or Shouldn't I
PostPosted: Jan Wed 24, 2018 3:29 am 
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Joined: Jan Mon 28, 2013 9:35 pm
Posts: 929
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Have the same line up of receivers you do and decided a while
ago rather than buying more, start finding period correct transmitters
to go with them. Ended up with a number of Johnson transmitters
and really like them. If you want a bit more power, consider a
Valiant. Or a Thunderbolt amp to go with your Ranger. These
are a joy to restore and use. Even a Heath DX-100 would give
you more power.

Bought a 32V2 a while ago for the same reasons you are considering one.
Have yet to dig into it but have heard about the LV transformer problem
too. Sounds like a weak design, not a failure due to overloading. Plan
to add a seperate fuse for that transformer.
Steve W6SSP


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 Post subject: Re: Collins 32V-3 Should I or Shouldn't I
PostPosted: Jan Wed 24, 2018 5:35 am 
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Joined: Jul Tue 21, 2009 1:38 pm
Posts: 749
Location: SW WA state
Harry,

I have a 32V3... Over the years, I have had to replace the LV transformer once.
If it goes again, I'll get a Peter Dahl/Hammond unit.
The transmitter is still on the original 4D32.
I had an issue with the loading control going up in smoke, which was remedied by carefully replacing the zorched contacts with salvaged ones and a handful of very small (0 or 2) screws.
The modulation transformer sings, and causes feedback if you get the mike too close to it.
I can't remember what else I had to do to it, as I haven't used it in also 20 years.
The unit is coming out of retirement, as I now have a 75A1 (and 75A2A)(or I could use it with the R-388, R-390, or R-390A)...
It will be a fun backup/low power AM rig.
Yes, it is heavy... When I first got it, I had to carry it a quarter mile. I was a LOT younger then!
I can still lift it, but I don't carry it too far... Work smarter, not harder...
As long as you're aware of its idiosyncrasies, and not afraid to have to *ugh* maintain it, go for it!
The unit will look perfect next to your 75A1.... I do like the slide rule dials...

-Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Collins 32V-3 Should I or Shouldn't I
PostPosted: Jan Wed 24, 2018 2:08 pm 
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Joined: Jan Wed 20, 2016 7:43 pm
Posts: 112
Location: Yardley, PA 19067
Thanks for the replies and advice. While I'm still tempted I think I will hold off and look for something a bit more manageable.

Harry WE1X


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 Post subject: Re: Collins 32V-3 Should I or Shouldn't I
PostPosted: Jan Wed 24, 2018 9:19 pm 
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Joined: Jul Sun 15, 2007 9:34 pm
Posts: 205
Location: PA
Had a really nice 32V3 a number of years ago. The radio had both good and bad features.

Good:

Good quality audio without circuit changes; able to modulate over 100% positive with excellent audio, with just component value changes

Frequency stability superior to contemporary transmitters

All tubes are easily found and cheap, even the loktals and final

Aesthetic match for a 75A series receiver

Bad:

Pretty much what others had said

Had to replace LV transformer, despite reducing load by solid stating all power supplies and floating the 5V AC rectifier filament leads

Had problem with RF final loading circuit; lost a couple of the transmitting micas, not band switch...same antenna had loaded flawlessly with Heathkit DX100, Globe Champ 350, and Johnson Valiant. Radio required quite the dis-assembly to get to the zorched components

32V3 is much more compact than predecessors, and has lots of TVI shielding that is tedious to remove to work on rig. 32V1 and 32V2 were more accessible for repair

Guessing you saw the same ad I did, and the price is not outrageous for the item depicted. If I was looking for a decent one of these, I'd get it without hesitation, even though one of the photos shows a removed audio tube socket hole. Just too much potential trouble to deal with, having been down that road.

-O.B.


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