Collins 30L-1

For the better part of six months I was allowed the use of a Collins 30S-1. Bear with me, the 30L-1 experience is coming up shortly.

I was given the 30S-1 on the condition that I would sell it and send the proceeds to its owner.

I was favorably impressed with the 30S-1. Excellent amplifier of superior construction and materials. Quiet, powerful, fully capable of all touted expectations and specifications.

Shortly after the 30S-1 was sold, its previous owner bought a 30L-1. He paid top dollar for it and found that it did not work when the got it home. After replacing the tubes and fuses it still did not work. He asked me to take a look at the new amp to see what was causing it to fail.

After investigating I found the HV wire to the finals open. I repaired the broken lead and the amplifier worked as expected.

As I used the 30L-1 for about a week I began to appreciate it more than I appreciated the 30S-1. The 30L-1 is a marvel of efficiency and clever engineering, both electrical and mechanical. It is a desktop amplifier with self contained power supply fully capable of an honest 1KW input. It uses four 811a triodes and a solid state, doubler power supply. Its cooling fan is so quiet as to be almost spooky as it sits ready to pump some real fire to the wire when the transmit relay is keyed.

I only used it on 75 meters. On that band it delivered an honest 800 watts output when fully loaded into the dipole. Undoubtedly some of that power was feed through from the exciter but I doubt it was more than 90 watts or so.

The much smaller and lightweight 30L-1 produces nearly as much power as the larger and much heavier 30S-1. In my opinion, the 30L-1 is the better amplifier by far.