An amazing HF transceiver in it's time! Remember, the KWM-380 is now over 30 years old - it was introduced in the Fall of 1979. Built like a tank (tips the scale at 50 pounds) this is a heavyweight "classic". The PLL synthesized VFO is it's biggest asset. Very accurate (reads down to 10 Hz.) and more importantly - no drift. There was nothing like it available when it first hit the market. Just to put the technology at the time into perspective, Collins was still selling the KWM-2, Icom was pushing their NEW IC-701, Kenwood's big seller was the TS-520S, Yaesu had the FT-101E and Drake's "C" line was their big seller. Drake also made the TR-7 available in late 1978 (but the synthesized VFO was yet to be released). The personal computer industry was just starting with the popular TRS-80 being the BIG hit!!
Also, unlike earlier Collins receivers the AGC works perfectly on SSB signals - at any signal level. This transceiver was only in production for four years (1979 - 1983).
I am still experimenting with this fascinating rig and will continue to add more useful KWM-380 data.
There are many fantastic sites already covering this transceiver - if you found this page with a search engine you can save some time by visiting these excellent sites too:
- The C.C.A. (Collins Collectors Association) KWM-380 coverage.
- Excellent Collins Museum site by WA3KEY (KWM-380).
- WB4HFN's site - Collins KWM-380 sales brochure.
- W5AM's site KWM-380 specs and KWM-380 accessories.
I am a Collins Radio fan and a member of the C.C.A. - HOWEVER - my main rationalization for picking one these units up was to match my Hammond HL-2000A linear amplifier! A great combination.
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