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Reviews Categories | Receivers: Vintage amateur | Drake 2B Receiver Help

Reviews Summary for Drake 2B Receiver
Drake 2B Receiver Reviews: 34 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $$279
Description: The DRAKE 2-B is an extremely versatile communication receiver designed to bring you top performance in reception of all modes of amateur transmission in a compact package. It is a triple conversion super heterodyne receiver employing crystal controlled high frequency oscillators, a highly stable variable oscillator tuning the same range on all bands, and for selectivity a steep-sided L-C filter at the 50 Kc I.F.
Product is not in production.
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K7LN Rating: 3/5 Oct 13, 2010 17:04 Send this review to a friend
Over engineered  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
For several years, I wanted one of the Drake 2 series radios. A few times, I missed a good deal by waiting too long and having second thoughts. Finally, I picked up a 2B.

The heading on eHam says: "extremely versatile communication receiver designed to bring you top performance in reception of all modes of amateur transmission in a compact package." Well, I think Drake tried to make it too versatile. It's almost as if they were trying to make it a commercial model with all possible interconnections and band coverages.

I also feel that it was over engineered by the manor in which they built the RF and IF sections. Dual purpose coils mounted on a cheap looking bracket. With all the crystals it could use for coverage, why did they use a free running 455Kc mixer oscillator rather than a stable crystal? Plug in 100Kc calibrator, it should have been built-in for the price they wanted back then.

I have a few other rants, but I'll simply say that it seemed over engineered and built on a budget. Alignment can be rather critical. I did't feel that it was overly easy to use at first. However, it was a nice compact receiver that makes it very appealing, but I'm still sour on such a "classic" from the past.
KM4D Rating: 5/5 Aug 14, 2010 17:16 Send this review to a friend
Wonderful Receiver after Owning for 43 Years  Time owned: more than 12 months
Purchased in 1967 from Bob Wilson W3GHD - Engineer for Raytheon at that time and a top honor roll guy back in the 60's for $85.00 with the 2BQ. I was 14 years old then. Bob told me this was a great receiver. He was going to upgrade to a Collins 75S-3B and needed the cash to do so. Two weeks later he told me he wished he had it back... Anyway, SN 9207 has been with me since then and as Bob stated has been a great receiver. It has worked next to all kinds of transmitters/transceivers (as a second receiver)over the years, worked lots of DX on both CW and phone. Together we have worn out a few sets of tubes and a few capacitors and it just keeps on working as it has did when I first got it. A little polish and cleaning once a year has preserved it well. As far as performance goes, it is a real tough radio to beat. The selectivity on all modes with the 2BQ is excellent. I have compared it to SX-115's 75A-4's of the day and many others and I keep coming back to the mellow full sound and excellent selectivity of the 2B/2BQ on both CW and phone. In 1999 I added a Timewave DSP 50++.. The Timewave made it even sound better. Later added a ESP Digital frequency readout.. There is no doubt that I got my moneys worth with the many hours spent in front of the wonderful slide rule dial but even compared to the modern day radio's it is a joy to listen to and has the added bonus of glowing in the dark. If you can find one in good shape or can do some basics - soldering changing tubes etc...the 2B/2BQ is a easy radio to work on. I would highly recommend.
AD4U Rating: 5/5 Jun 17, 2010 12:11 Send this review to a friend
Great Receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have two Drake 2B's (and a 2C), both with 2BQ speakers. After over 40 years of hamming I got bored and tired of all the new $10,000 rigs.

I have used my 2B's with my Drake 2NT (50 watts) with just one crystal for 7.022 MHz. I have worked 287 countries in the past several winters, all on 7.022. My antenna is a simple half wave dipole up about 50 feet.

This has put the fun back into ham radio for me.
KE0MT Rating: 5/5 Jun 5, 2009 12:06 Send this review to a friend
FB Rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
A great Radio!
I use with a Johnson Navigator and TR switch. The Drake 2B/Q multiplier just works so well in QSK it handles the break-in just great.
I use 3-4 times a week on NTS Nets PAN TWN MSN.
I have the Henry Radio Mech Filter but don't think I'm going to install it. The rig just doesn't need any improvement in selectivity.
The 2B IF and Q Mult handles anything that I've run into. Its FB just stock. No problems with the 2B...
2B or Not 2B?...I'd say yes 2B.
K9EUI Rating: 4/5 Dec 9, 2007 09:46 Send this review to a friend
Great receiver!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned two 2-B's over the years and they are superb receivers. I had an outboard switch box on one of them that had xtals to cover the entire HF range.

There are 2 disadvantages to the 2-B:
1) It would be nice to have a real noise blanker in it that worked for CW/SSB.
2) It would be nice if it covered 160 meters. There is a simple mod to change the "A" auxilliary band to cover 160 and I tried it but the sensitivity was way low, probably because of the Hi C to L ratio.

W6GF Rating: 5/5 Sep 26, 2007 20:50 Send this review to a friend
The standard for high performance in a simple package  Time owned: more than 12 months
I just had to write the review. I have a lot of ham gear. I have the latest and a lot of vintage equipment. In fact I have a dozen operating positions. But sitting just to my right at position #1 is a Drake 2B. If I can not hear it on the 2B, the signal is not there, and I turn everything off and read a book. I love my 2B.

George, W6GF
KE6YX Rating: 5/5 Sep 8, 2007 17:35 Send this review to a friend
This is a fantastic receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is a fantastic receiver.

I obtained mine used in the mid 70s from the estate of a silent key, along with a Johnson ranger, and a Halicrafters HT32B. The drake and the ranger were my novice rigs, and served me well.

Everything else is long gone, but I still operate the Drake 2B. It is now integrated to a Drake 2-NT Transmitter, and I am using a Johnson 122 VFO. I also have the Drake speaker, Q multiplier, and crystal calibrator.

I did a small mod to the Drake 2B, I added an RCA plug to the back of the chassis leading to the audio stage. This now allows perfect TR switching between the Receiver, and Transmitter using the 2-NTís side tone. Whenever I key the transmitter, it mutes the RF section, feeds an adjustable side tone to the 2B's audio section, and switches the antenna. This is all internal and automatic. The side tone level is adjusted with a knob on the front panel of the Drake 2-NT as is the break-in delay.

I recently replaced all the caps, including installing the power supply filter kit mentioned in other reviews. It was easy to do, and now I know that this receiver will out last me.

I believe that anyone who owns a Drake 2B, and operates CW, should make a real effort to find a 2NT transmitter to pair with it. I will keep this set up forever!
WX4O Rating: 5/5 May 3, 2007 20:17 Send this review to a friend
Fond Memories  Time owned: more than 12 months
Had one as part of my novice station, along with a Heath DX-60 around 1969. Love that receiver!

Looking for a good one.

NN7AA Rating: 5/5 May 3, 2007 19:57 Send this review to a friend
Solid Performer  Time owned: more than 12 months
While I was in High School in 1965 and 1966 operating as WA7AQD, I had a used Drake 2B and a used Johnson Navigator for less total cost than the price of a new 2B alone. I used a separate antenna for the receiver and transmitter with no T/R switch or RX blanking during transmit. It was true full break-in, and less expensive than using an antenna relay! The 2B was the first truly high performance receiver I had. It was far superior to the SX-111 that preceded it. The 2B was stable and selective. I remember the excellent reciver performance. I also remember operating above 20 w.p.m. with a straight key! The 2B was an excellent value.
K0JW Rating: 5/5 May 3, 2007 18:29 Send this review to a friend
Super performer!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I finally got my hands on a 2B and 2BQ and everything I have read about them is true, what a great receiver and with the 2BQ you won't find a better CW setup. Using this with my Navigator makes for lots of fun on the bands, and you don't need lots of space to enjoy this rig. If you can find a decent one I would recommend buying it and you won't be disappointed.
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