Thank you Glen and Paul. This puts it in persepective for me.
I was aware of the early 32S3 form of CW generation and am currently solving that same issue in my Hallicrafters FPM-300 MK II.
About the 200 kc PTO tuning in the S-Line.....
A lot of the heartburn I get from that are the obsolete band boundaries that no longer exist. Like 3800, 7200, 14200, etc. In olden times, those were the phone band boundaries and the op had little need to cross them. Nowadays, it's a royal PITA for S-Line operators. OTOH, it seems that crystals that straddle those boundaries would almost eliminate the hassle. Say, making tuning ranges of 3700-3900, 7100-7300, etc.
And then there's the point (maybe not all the significant) that a 200 kc PTO is a lot easier and cheaper to make than a 500 KC PTO. And, maybe results in better tracking?
Collins certainly knew how to design a god pto, the 1MHz pto of the A line and R390 radios can be very good, but I would imagine the cost of an R390 pto would be more than a whole S line receiver! 200kHz probably was a reasonable compromise for the S line design. I like the idea of the 301/401, if for nothing else than I could probably strip and rebuild them completely. I think the transmitters are all much the same, not much to choose between them but for those like the S1 series with the non-CW, CW.
The Drake R4C has pass band tuning and a notch filter and though the S3 has a variable bfo I think the pbt on the Drake is the better option, not sure what the Heathkit has. I found the Drake notch filter pretty effective but the one on my S3 seems very wide. Recalling the Kenwood and the Yaesu I think they lacked any form of notch or pbt.
There were no CW problems with any of the Collins 32S-3 or 32S-3A transmitters. The problems are with the 32S-1 and 32S-2. There is a big difference between the 32S-1 and 32S-2 versus the 32S-3 and 32S-3A.
The only thing that may even cause a problem with the CW operation of the 32S-3 and 32S-3A is that on some, definitely not all, of those transmitters if the CW CAL control is turned beyond around 12:00 o'clock, the transmitter may develop clicks. The "fix" for this is that when, for some reason, the level has to be "turned up" when spotting, to turn the control back below 12:00 o'clock before transmitting. I have absolutely no idea as to why some transmitters have this and some don't.
The only Collins to get ham SSB/CW AGC correct was the 3B and C and I modified my Drake 4C's to its circuit.
I detested the 200 KHz back then and now with the way the phone bands have changed its even worse.
Many former military users tell me the Eldico is very poor quality but Ive not used any. Id do a hands on first.
There isnt any Heath SB receiver worthy of more than casual HF operation due to the broadband first IF that lets everything thru and clobbers the underwhelming crystal filters resulting in a mess in a contest, pileup or otherwise crowded band. A good antenna system makes it worse.
My choice for a good part of the 70's to mid 80's were a pair of Drake C Lines for serious contesting and DXing. As built the receiver was only fair but Sherwood and others came out with excellent mods. I won the USA in a few DX and WPX contests with them until the SS transceiver flexibility forced me into a TS-930 and later 940's. The sweep tube finals need a fan as they arent cheap any longer, especially for correctly matched pairs. Id go thru a set in a weekend until using fans.
For less stringent use the Drake B Line is a more economical choice. And the TS-830 plus remote VFO is a very hard to beat combination as seen by their escalating prices. I use 3 of them as exciters for VHF/UHF/microwave transverters.
Many say the Hallicrafters Twins HT-46/SX-146 are decent but Ive no experience there.
My own vintage SSB/CW pairing is primarily a HT-32B/SX-115 and a CE-100V/75A4 with a NCL-2000 following both. A GSB-100/NC-300 has recently been completed but has had limited use so far.
Being the former owner of an SB-301 I have to agree regarding the wideband first IF. (8.395-8.895MHZ). Before it was decommissioned the Navy Transmitting Facility here in SanDiego ran in the 8HMZ band it was a significant annoyance. Another annoyance the Heathkits exhibited were harmonics of the LMO that could be heard on fifteen meters.
Originally Posted by KM1H
I noticed the same problem in another receiver I just recently picked up, more on that in the future.
I agree that the 200 kHz tuning range of the S-Line can be a real pain in the posterior. That is why I have a crystal for 7100 kHz to 7300 kHz and one for 28.3 MHz to 28.5 MHz in my 75S-3A. Also, that is why I use my Heath SB-Line with my VHF transverters.
As for problems with my SB-301, I really don't notice any problems with the 1st i.f. However, there are no stations in this area operating in that frequency range.
The primary objection that I have with the Eldico R-104 and T-102 is that the tuning is no where near as smooth as the S-Line. Actual performance is really close to the 75S-2 receiver and the 32S-2 transmitter. However, both the 75S-2 (and 75S-1) and the 32S-2 (and the 32S-1) do not come close to the performance of the 75S-3- series and 32S-3- series. They are OK for SSB but not for CW. Having the 500 Hz mechanical filter with the alternate BFO crystal does help in the 75S-1 and 75S-2. However, it still doesn't get close to the 75S-3- series.
What sets the Drakes apart from other rigs of the same "class" is the passband tuning.....That alone is a tie-breaker in my book.
Originally Posted by K9STH
"The more you know, the less you don't know."
Having owned an R-4A and an SB-301 (at the same time) I would agree.
Originally Posted by KL7AJ