eHam.net - Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net


Reviews Categories | Transceivers: HF Amateur (inc. HF+6M+VHF models) | 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: 27 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $600
Description: Tube Type HF Trasceiver
Product is not in production.
More info: http://www.rldrake.com/
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

Subscribe!
My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Drake TR 4 and other radios in this line.

<— Page 2 of 3 —>

AC5XP Rating: 5/5 Jun 4, 2008 11:32 Send this review to a friend
Absolutely fantastic  Time owned: more than 12 months
"Rich ops buy Collins smart ops buy Drake" - but real ops collect both. Yes, I own both. Some years ago I got a hold on a mint TR-4 and would not trade it for anything any more. This radio is truly fantastic in both performance as well as construction. Actually, I like it more than the KWM-2A, the latter by itself already a very good radio. However, all things being equal, I think Drake did a better job than Collins in bringing a radio to the market that was a more justified value for the money, while actually having a better performing receiver. The Collins only wins for its general-coverage concept and the 6146 tubes instead of the sweep tubes.
If you see a Drake TR-4(x) offered for sale in good condition, buy it. Drake is still undervalued in the collectors community, that could change though. But I won't sell you mine!
73s, Loek "Luke d'Hont, AC5XP
 
W8ZNX Rating: 5/5 Apr 29, 2008 11:16 Send this review to a friend
rich ops buy Collins smart ops buy Drake  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Hello Radio

finaly have a TR-4CWrit
first i rebuilt the power supply
then put a few hours in to the xceiver

simply love this radio
runs rings around other tube hf xceivers

in over 40 years ive owned a ton
of 60s/70s tube type ssb xceivers

from KWM-2 to Hallicrafters SR-150s
from Swan 500 to National NCX-5
and Heathkit HW- rigs

sure its not as pretty as a KWM-2A
but it sure runs rings around one

you can not call a rig great
unless it works well on fone and cw

most SSB xceivers are simply horrid on cw
the KWM-2 is unuseable on cw

the TR-4CWrit is a joy to use on cw

sure its not a modern
" state of the art rig "

modern radios have no magic
no soul, no mystery,

if you have any trouble shooting skils
you can fix it

if you can't fix it
there are people that have spent a lifetime
fixing Drake gear
that can fix it for you

many years ago
when i was a young squirt op
a old timer took me aside
and told me

" rich ops buy Collins, smart ops buy Drake "

he was right

yours truly
Mac
 
K6YE Rating: 5/5 Jan 17, 2008 07:27 Send this review to a friend
GREAT RADIO  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought a TR4C/RV4C/MS4/AC4 in 1985 at the TRW swapfest in Torrance, California. At the time my primary radio was a Kenwood TS-430S and I wanted a backup. The Drake put out twice as much on CW and had great punch on SSB. Bottom line is I did not need an amplifier to work them (remember most radios at the time were 100 watts nominal output).

Time passed and the Drake was in boxes after some house moves. I have gotten rid of most of my surplus gear but the Drake is still here. I am looking for a variac to bring things up and put this baby back on the air.

The great thing about the TR4C is that one can work on it (my old eyes and arthiritis can sometimes be a hinderance with solid state and smt).

If you can find one at a good price, buy the bad boy. You will not be sorry.

Semper Fi,

Tommy - K6YE
DX IS
 
K4SPS Rating: 5/5 Jan 3, 2008 20:38 Send this review to a friend
Long live tube radios!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought my TR4C and AC-4 power supply off of E-bay from another ham for a reasonable $325. It is a high serial number (41XXX) and is in beautiful shape and performs like the day it was made in 1976. Don't know the age of the PA tubes, but they put out +180 watts with ease into my antenna tuner's meter. For all practical purposes, I don't have to run my linear for this Drake transceiver to be heard on the 75 meter nets. It has proven much more stable than my later manufactured Drake TR7. The true joy of this old tube radio is the audio. It is superb! It is warm and melodic, unlike my modern digital rigs. I have added a Timewave 9+ DSP filter and a Sony stereo speaker and the sound approaches true high fidelity SSB. Maybe what I like most is the dial indicator for the band's frequency. Like old watches with hands, it is easier to read the frequencies and scan the bands to instantly know where you are. Great old tube radio; it has been a lot of fun and I highly recommended one! 73's for 2008, K4SPS P.S. All the replacement tubes are readily available at reasonable cost off of Ebay. These magnificent Drakes will be oscillating Enoch's "ether" for the next hundred years and probably more.
 
KC9KTI Rating: 4/5 Oct 7, 2007 03:51 Send this review to a friend
TR-4C Great Rig!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought the TR-4C off of Ebay a few months back, the receiver is great and overall I like it and wouldn't hesitate to buy another one!
 
N6BIZ Rating: 5/5 Aug 12, 2007 03:14 Send this review to a friend
smooth  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
i bought this on e bay, seller was right; nearly perfect. very small amount of drift during warmup. NONE after warmup. funny thing, the receiver is as good as my pro2 the rx is quiet and for a 2.1 kc bandwith on ssb, well im astonished at the full range of audio and its clarity. on xmit i get excellent audio reports with a d104 mic .been a ham for 41 years always wanted one AND i want another one hi hi 73
 
N6NKN Rating: 5/5 Mar 28, 2007 18:58 Send this review to a friend
Who Needs Bells And Whistles?  Time owned: more than 12 months
Having the TR-4C, the matching power supply / speaker, and the MN-4 matching network (tuner),I have a super vintage SSB station. It has no bells and whistles, and doesn't need any. The receive audio is excellent, the signals jump out of the noise floor even on 75m. Transmitted audio has been described as "vintage sidband", and with 250 watts PEP on tap, it can hold its own with most of the "modern" rigs. The styling is outstanding as with all Drake equipment. With a spare set of tubes, the radio will probably outlast its owner.
I use it every day, and it never fails to impress.

"REAL RADIOS GLOW IN THE DARK"
 
KG6AF Rating: 5/5 Dec 5, 2006 20:57 Send this review to a friend
Sweet!  Time owned: more than 12 months
What a great old rig this thing was! I bought one when I was in high school, after having put up with a mediocre Novice setup and an even worse entry-level HF transceiver (the abominable EICO 753). The TR-4 was a revelation to me: although I was operating in a poor location with a so-so antenna, it was as if the world opened up. The receiver was plenty sensitive, the transmitter had lots of oomph, and after setting up a small fan next to the side of the cabinet to keep the finals cool, I was set.

Some years later I traded in the TR-4 for some two-meter gear, and always regretted it. Although I've since purchased the Icom IC-735, which I've been very happy with, there was something ineffable about the TR-4 that more modern rigs seem to lack. Anyway, if you've got one of these things, consider yourself lucky.
 
KE1MB Rating: 4/5 Feb 6, 2005 06:08 Send this review to a friend
Lots of Fun  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
A friend simply gave me a nice looking TR4 and AC-3 powersupply. He had no idea what it was and thought I might like it. The radio looks good and is a real treat to use in a dimly lit room. The receive audio is clear but narrow in the passband. The filters are good. It does use some weird tubes so shop and stock up. Sitting next to my Kenwood TS930s or Collins 390A? It's neither, but it could hear some pretty weak signals compared to either of those rigs. Bottom line, it's a real fun radio to use.
 
N8YME Rating: 4/5 Nov 3, 2003 10:34 Send this review to a friend
A great old rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased a used TR-4 long ago. It's a pretty good tube type rig. The finals put out over 200w of power. The only repairs I had to perform to this radio was retrofitting the Transmit/recieve relay with a modern type. Drake sold me a kit to do so. I used a more modern 80's kenwood on field day and I was less than impressed about it's audio quality. The TR-4 does have a pretty rich audio. Since I only have a tech+ ticket and was active when the sunspot cycle was highly inactive I didn't have much of a chance to transmit SSB. When I did I got many compliments about the quality of the signal. No speech processing/compression in this radio.

There are some disadvantages to this radio. First there are no WARC bands and no ability to add them. Drake squeezed as many bands as they could out using the fewest crystals. Hence the 20 meter band is backwards because it shares an oscillator crystal with a different band. The crystal filters are optomized for SSB operation. The band pass is to narrow for AM reception which is quite miserable. The filters are too wide for CW, but I grown used to it. A strong nearby CW signal will blow away a weak one. The offset for CW is 2khz from the VFO freq which is a bit too high for some people's tastes and causes confusion with other operators. The finals are sweep tubes which presents a problem with replacements. The mic jack is an odd switchcraft type. Using an conventional 1/4" phono jack requires modification to the unit. This is not a good radio for RTTY or data. The passband of the crystal filter is centered at 2khz, not 1 khz.

Sadly since I live in an apartment I can't use the radio anymore. The filter caps in the power supply are bad and need replacement. It's been mothballed for many years and simply powering it up without a variac can spell disaster.
 
<— Page 2 of 3 —>


If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.