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Rockwell Collins
KWM-380
(Circa 1979 - 1983 - No longer in production)

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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.


WARNING - The October 1979 Owners Manual - INCLUDING the PDF that is floating around on the web has a major misprint. The rear power connector wiring is wrong and WILL cause damage to your transceiver. The correct owners manual is the second edition - dated January 1, 1981 and a PDF is available here (January 1 , 1981 - Owners Manual). Thanks to Chris (PA3TVI) for this information & warning to others.

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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