SSB Room

This room covers a span of almost 30 years of design innovation at Collins Radio, the leader in the development of SSB communication. This innovation was driven, not only by Art Collins’ innate need to innovate and lead, but by a demand for more reliable communication for SAC bombers during the early years of the cold war. This is a separate but intriguing story which will eventually be available here.

The room starts off as you enter with a desk displaying the innovative first amateur radio transceiver, the KWM-1, which was developed by Gene Senti. This desk (OP 7) operating position includes not only a complete operating production KWM-1 including the rare 312B-2 station control, but also includes one of Gene Senti’s first engineering prototypes complete with prototype power supply. There is also a committed 30L-1 to up the anti a bit.

As you enter the room further, there is the KWS-1 desk (the first commercial SSB equipment produced by Collins and used in the SAC testing) which has operational KWS-1 and a KWS-1K (story to follow) transmitters and dual 75A-4 receivers completing OP 6.

In the corner beyond the KWS-1 desk, is the S-Line display which includes 3 operating position. These are the Main S-Line position with 75S-1/32S-1, 75S-3/3A/32S-3, and 75S-3B/C/32S-3A selectable (driving 30L-1 as OP 1), the 75S-2/32S-2 driving 204F-1 2.5 kW amplifier (at legal limit – OP 2), and the KWM-2A/30S-1 (OP 3) position. On the far side of the room (fed thru a system of in-wall plenums) is the HF-80 and 204H-1 and 204F-1 amplifier position. More on that later. This display includes some rarities such as the 399C-1 PTO and the very rare (Thanks Pete – K5PZ) square early grey 302C-3 S-Line wattmeter.

On that far wall is also a system of shelves displaying the evolution of the amateur (and related commercial) transceiver at Collins Radio. This display contains (OP 5) a KWM-1 (Static for now), a KWM-2, a KWM-380, related HF-282 20 channel commercial HF transceiver and a unique 718U-12C/618U4 airborne HF Comm which is dedicated to driving the 204H-1. The other transceivers all have the option of driving a local 30L-1. These shelves also contain a related and very important (big market for Collins) display of NIB avionics equipment in a static display. There is also a display of all the S-Line accessories.

Finally, taking us up to the late 70s and very early 80s design work at Collins, there is a somewhat rare TSC-60/HF-8023 HF 2-30 mHz 1 kW 4 channel ISB solid state system imbedded in the wall with maintenance access in the maintenance bay of the adjacent AM transmitter area.

This is, indeed, a fun room.  Come visit some time.


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