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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur HF+6M+VHF+UHF models - not QRP <5W | Drake TR 4 and other radios in this line Help

Reviews Summary for Drake TR 4 and other radios in this line
Drake TR 4 and other radios in this line Reviews: 33 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $600
Description: Tube Type HF Trasceiver
Product is not in production.
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You can write your own review of the Drake TR 4 and other radios in this line.

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DO5DGH Rating: 5/5 Dec 22, 2017 02:58 Send this review to a friend
Catch it if you can  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I myself a happy owner of a Drake TR-4C from 1973. If we are honest then the Collins, Drakes, Heathskits etc. are inferior in almost every respect to today's very good rigs. In addition to the then usual electro-mechanical design, there are two features that are particularly noticeable in my Drake TR-4C: Very good AGC behavior and a very good ALC control, which allows more than 230 watts pep on SSB with my TR-4C. Georg | DO5DGH
WU3D Rating: 5/5 Apr 9, 2017 16:43 Send this review to a friend
Awesome Rig  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Bought my TR-4C and then sent it off to WB4HFN for a refurb. Came back in new condition. I added the blue LED lamps and it really sets it off. Love the audio and this radio with a D-104 and the Astatic G stand is great. I get reports of audio with punch ! Remember tp operate a cooling fan on the Drake. It will keep your tubes cool! So if you see a Drake TR-4c for sale don't hesitate to get it. You won't be disappointed !!
AF5U Rating: 5/5 Feb 6, 2017 13:47 Send this review to a friend
Memories are Made of These  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This one glows in the dark. It also receives better than a much newer IC-746. Previously, I owned a TR-3 when I was going to college. I ran it mobile on the drive from Texas to Oklahoma almost every day. I am retired now and somewhere down the line I sold the TR-3. Since that time I have had plenty of HF rigs. Recently, at a local QRP meeting a fellow QRPer had this TR-4 for sale. He made me a deal that I could not refuse. I decided to send it off to Ron WB4HFN of Drake Refurbisher Fame because he had the experience and knowhow. He made this radio like new. Don't let me fool you - it was in excellent condition going in. When it return to me from his service, I knew when I turned it on what I had been missing. It was the audio!
ZS1ZC Rating: 4/5 Jul 19, 2016 12:12 Send this review to a friend
A Work of Classic Engineering  Time owned: more than 12 months
The TR-4C was my first Drake experience and will always have a place in my ham radio heart. Itís that beauty that appears from out of nowhere that you heard so much about but never met. Iíd heard for over thirty years about the engineering in the Drake range but never so much as touched one, so I took the plunge and made an offer on one when it came up on a local swopshop accompanied by an RV-4C external VFO/speaker. The technology is old, but beautifully implemented, I could not fault the opinions Iíd heard. If you're the kind of operator that appreciates "real radios" then you'll love this one.

I have other more modern rigs on the bench, but somehow every few weeks I just want to play with the TR-4C. It's solid and easy to use. There's no way this rig touches modern kit on performance, though, but it's good enough for low-demand use, even local contests. The real pleasure is in caring for what is really an icon in ham radio history. If you can get a TR-4CW or the RIT version, so much the better.

Every now and again I do an A/B test between this and my TS830S and there are times when I can't tell them apart in terms of resolving a weak signal, so the sensitivity is pretty good.

There were one or two problems, though, the audio transformer was dead and I didnít have a replacement, so a cellphone charger transformer has been standing in ever since Ė the audio isnít as bright as it should be, but Iíve got used to it by now. Then there were little funnies like loss in reception resulting from the front end fuse being too loose in its holder (never saw that one coming!). The real effort was in getting the tuning mechanism sorted out, aligned and new blue filter material behind the dials, but in the end we have a beautiful example of American transceiver engineering on the bench. What a pleasure to operate - and it's true, people do actually compliment "that Drake audio"! I thought it was a myth, but early on I got unsolicited reports that bear it out.

Like most of this era's equipment, it's easy to service. And it has some really good design (for the time) like the permeability-tuned VFO ("PTO"). At the same time the inverted 20m frequency scale is reminiscent of wartime ingenuity and adds a sort of nostalgia factor. When you use the TR-4C you'll experience a wide range of Drake engineering when you consider the design thinking that had to go into getting the mechanicals right in addition to the vacuum tube and semiconductor (PTO) technology of the time.

If you can understand people's love for cars from the fifties and sixties then you'll understand how so many feel about the TR4 series.
WX1MAN Rating: 5/5 Jan 13, 2016 06:51 Send this review to a friend
Excellent  Time owned: more than 12 months
My station consists of a TR4 CW with RIT, RV-4C VFO, MN-2000 Matching Network and L4-B Amp. People typically ask if I'm running outboard processing or other outboard devices. It's all stock. all Drake. Receive is phenominal and the 175 watts + out of the TR-4 CW is nice when I do not run the amp.
N0TES Rating: 5/5 Mar 23, 2015 05:11 Send this review to a friend
TR4-CW since 1979  Time owned: more than 12 months
The way rigs ought to be made. As a life long CW operator, I find my rig provides endless years of enjoyment. Not one issue since 1979 when I acquired this rig has been experienced. Fun thing about amateur radios are that airwaves haven't changed. I must say, this classic delivers quality performace every time!
IT9AHH Rating: 5/5 Nov 14, 2012 10:26 Send this review to a friend
tr4c, lots of real fun!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The tr4c is friendly,fun,powerful,smart,always ready
to be adjusted for best performance,and also young.
You must not be tampered with but must be kept original,often has to be clean inside and out,and must be aligned according to the owner's manual.Only
in this way you will always have a nice radio,always ready to go on air.Do not ever sell it.
AC4HR Rating: 5/5 Aug 8, 2012 04:36 Send this review to a friend
DRAKE TR4C Still a great transceiver.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have been a ham since 1961. Like many hams i have always tried to have a unit with the latest advances. But as I first grew up in ham radio I fell in love with 6 meters. How does that matter to Drake? A Drake R4B and 6 meter receiving converter were the heart of my station. Fast forward to 2010. I had a chance to buy a Drake TR4C. And am I ever glad that I did, I bought the unit and immediately sent it to one of the Drake Gurus in Ohio. Once I got it back, I got a restart into ham radio. I have not had this much fun in years. I love the old tube radios and to me the Drake radios were the best buy on the market. I use my TR4C every day. My 746PRO has been relegated to use on 6 and 2 meters, and backup duty on HF. If you have a chance to procure a Drake unit. Jump on it and relive ham history.
KC2VDM Rating: 5/5 Mar 12, 2012 19:07 Send this review to a friend
Great rig, even with today's standards.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months

I got this radio from a friend of mine who worked for the State Police. This was their backup rig. When I got it, all it needed was a cleanup, a little figiting with the relay, and a new MIC connector. After all that, it worked flawlessly. My first contact on this rig was Wisconsin. On a random wire. Barefoot. The second was a Ham in Texas.

Overall a great rig. If one is offered for sale, GET IT! It won't disappoint you. These are still going strong after about 35 years!
N4UE Rating: 5/5 Dec 27, 2010 15:57 Send this review to a friend
Can't beat a Drake!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I thought I had placed a review here for this fine radio, but I was mistaken.
I have been a ham for 50 years and have owned them all. I still have a large boatanchor receiver collection and about 20+ Icoms. However, when I picked up my first Drake 15 years ago, I was stunned by how well they functioned. I have had many TR-4(any) and TR-3s go through here, and I finally found a 'keeper' TR-4Cw. It is playing in the background right now listening to 40M CW. What a sweet sound through the RV-4C speaker. The remote VFO is a VERY handy accessory, IMHO.
I add a small muffin fan to all my tube-type radios and have NEVER had a failure of any type. I started the fan deal after putting my arm on my TR-6 after having it on all day. OUCH!! 19 tubes in the TR-6 makes some major heat. For their age, Drake used quality caps and other than replacing the electrolytics for preventive measures, they are ROCK solid.
I also have three R-4Bs and a R-4C (heavily moded), but the receiver in the TR-4 sounds sooo good.
Let's keep these national treasures working for another 40 years!!!

Happy New Year to ALL!!!!!!!

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