Collins 32S-3

Collins 32S-3 HF Transceiver

Collins 32S-3 HF Transceiver

I felt myself very lucky to be given the Collins 30L-1 HF Linear Amplifier, I was happy with that and as we are talking about Collins equipment here in the UK (ok, the Isle of Man, and yes I know the Isle of Man is officially not a part of the UK, but hay, its near enough) is not rare, but it is also not too common, especially being this clean, now with this gear my S-Line is nearly complete.

Collins 32S-3 HF Transceiver
A Radio in a Vacuum Bag!
Collins 32S-3 HF Transceiver
Out of the bag we have a very clean radio.

I really wish that all old equipment that was manufactured in and around 1965 looked this good, and while I am hoping I will also hope that there is no or very little restoration required, with the equipment looking this good I will be taking things very slowly, I have a good variac and if needed I have a few filtered 120v Insulated Power Supplies, everything on this page is going to be stripped down first so that I can check everything that needs checking.

Collins 32S-3 HF Transceiver
The rear of the Collins 32S-3 HF Transceiver

The rear panel is on first inspection very clean, but annoyingly there is a small issue, someone has lightly scratched some letters into this panel, at first look I do not see what they refer to. VOC85327, thankfully it is on the back but if I do get annoyed with it I will have to sand, fill and respray the rear panel, I do not mind rewiring or replacing components ot tubes when required, what I really do not like doing (at the moment) is respraying anything, matching colours can get a tad frustrating, I have the ability to match a colours by scanning the panel and the applying this toa database, but this only gets it to about 98% of the way, getting from this point to 100% is a skill that I have not used in a long while, I used to do quite a bit of spraying but back then I also had a large catalogue of paint to mix to every shade you can imagine, sadly the large catalogue of paint I am now missing.

Collins 32S-3 HF Transceiver
The connections on the left hand side of the rear panel.
Collins 32S-3 HF Transceiver
The connections on the right hand side of the rear panel.

Anyway, back to the inspection, looking at the rear of the transceiver we have all the connections that the transceiver needs and there is not a sign of wear and tear, it looks as though this radio has never been used.

Collins 32S-3 HF Transceiver
The Underside of the Collins 32S-3 HF Transceiver

Even the underside of this transceiver does not show any signs of wear, even the screw at the rear of the unit looks to be original and not showing any signs of being used.

Collins 32S-3 HF Transceiver
The Screw looks to be original.

Now I should check out the inside and especially the RF Deck, although at this stage I am just doing a visual look over, but I am trying to just check out the transceiver before I do anything stupid like start applying power.

And the inside of this box is just as pretty, not a sign of dust or anything untoward, I will need to check out the crystals as there seems to be a few missing but this might be normal, a good read of the manual should be able to help me out with this, I just hope that the underside is as good as this.

Collins 32S-3 HF Transceiver
The Inside of the Collins 32S-3 HF Transceiver

The RF Deck is hidden away under the shielding which is not just to save the operator from putting his fingers anywhere that they shouldn’t when this transceiver is live.

Collins 32S-3 HF Transceiver
The RF Deck is Hidden Below.

Even the screws that hold the shield in place are not even tight, they are just tight enough to hold it in place and not allow it to be loose, it just feels like it would be from the factory, usually when these units change hands they will often be over tightened and then you will normally see that the screws show signs of wear, these do not know that a screwdriver has ever touched them.

Collins 32S-3 HF Transceiver

After loosening off each screw a few turns I can simply. Slide the protective plate out so that I can give the RF Deck a good look over, and this at this stage it is looking sweet.

This is all for now, I will start by checking out the Power Supply first and making sure that it is alright. I am so grateful to be allowed to take over the care of equipment like this, but it leaves me with a bigger headache in that one day soon it will need to be left to someone that will also care for it as I would, in the meantime I intend to use this gear as it was basically made to be used and I am going to bloody enjoying it – soon.


Collins 32S-3 S-Line Transmitter - Instruction Manual - 7th Edition - 1969-05

Collins 32S-3 S-Line Transmitter - Service Bulletin 1 - 1967-08

Collins 32S-3 S-Line Transmitter - Service Bulletin 1 - 1967-10

Collins 32S-3 S-Line Transmitter - Service Bulletin 2 - 1967-09

Collins 32S-3 S-Line Transmitter - Service Bulletin 7 - 1972-06

Collins 32S-3 S-Line Transmitter - Installing an Inrad SSB Filter

Collins 32S-3 S-Line Transmitter - Service Voltages as Measured by N7OTQ and K7RMT

Collins 32S-3 S-Line Transmitter - Chirp Problem in CW mode Article in The Signal by Rudiger Unbehaun (DJ4QE)

Collins 32S-3 S-Line Transmitter - C20 Modification by Don Jackson (W5QN) - Rev 4

Last Updated : 27th March 2024

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