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Author Topic: Drake T-4 transmitter details  (Read 9351 times)
KC8SBV
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Posts: 50




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« on: August 23, 2001, 04:54:17 PM »

What are the differences in the Drake T-4X and T-4XC as found in
www.radiofinder.com/forsale/transmitters.html ?  Are his prices reasonable?

Thanks,

Ed
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 21837




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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2001, 11:46:51 AM »

The T4X is old, circa mid-to-late 1960's.  It was an all-tube design that ran about 100-150W PEP output power using sweep tube final amplifier tubes.  It sold for far less than the "seller" you referenced is asking for it, now!  I owned the T4X/R4 Drake "twins" combination back in the late 1960's and they were fine gear at the time, but extremely outdated today and I wouldn't really pay anything for them, surely not $400 for just the transmitter.  I've seen T4X's at the TRW Swap Meet (Redondo Beach, CA -- a monthly event running for the past 25+ years) in gorgeous condition sell for $150.

The T4XC is still old, but newer.  It was part of the Drake "C-line" that were hybrid equipment, partially solid-state, partially vacuum tube technology.  Because the T4XC has a solid-state PTO (variable frequency oscillator), it warms up faster and is a bit more stable.  The T4XC also has better frequency resolution on the tuning dial.  Again, these were highly respected equipment back in the early 1970's when they were new, but are just so outdated today (in terms of everything, including performance) that, other than to build a "nostalgia" station, I wouldn't think they have any real value.  I've seen the T4XC/R4C pair (C line "twins," including the transmitter and receiver) sell for $350 at the Swap Meet, in apparently brand-new condition and working perfectly.

If I were building a "nostalgia" station, the Drake twins might be a likely part of it; although, personally, I'd go for AM gear, instead, because it's older and more nostalgic, much more rare, and might be fun to operate.  The Drake gear is SSB-CW, and although it has limited operation on AM, it's not "AM gear" by any means.  It's also not old enough to be "collectible," I wouldn't think -- there's too much of it around, including thousands of them still on the air.

73 de Steve WB2WIK/6
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KC8SBV
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Posts: 50




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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2001, 01:16:12 PM »

Steve, you seem to be everywhere!  Start your own board!

Thanks for the great info.  I am on the lookout for a good deal on a rig.  I think the swaps are the place to go.  Not much action around here, though.

Ed
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 21837




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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2001, 01:33:52 PM »

Just looked you up, Ed.  Congrats on the new call, etc.

Having read your little bio on e-ham, I'd recommend, if you have a license that allows for HF-CW operation (as I assume you do!), keep the HQ-129-X as a piece of "nostalgia" equipment that is actually increasing in value every year and, by the time you retire, will be worth quite a lot -- but don't expect to really use it on the air, to make contacts.  It's a VERY old receiver that lacks many of the qualities of a worthwhile receiver, today.  I've used 129-X's and was definitely unimpressed, although they're so old they really do pre-date me (and I'm 50, and have been licensed 36 years) and were old when I was a kid.

Ditch the T4X idea, and pick up a usable HF transceiver.  They are abundant for < $1000 brand new (IC-718, FT-840, etc) as starter rigs, and also abundant for < $1000 used for "wonderful," full-featured rigs.  But stick with stuff that's a lot newer than the T4X.  If you have a lot of family obligations and limited time to operate, you want to make the most from your operations and not spend half your time fixing up old stuff that will fail every other week.

Just my opinion!  (I've run ham classes in schools for 20+ years and helped a few hundred become licensed.  And I watch to see what they do, and how they do it, and who is most pleased as a result.)

Congrats again, hope to hear you on the air!

73 Steve WB2WIK/6
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KC8SBV
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Posts: 50




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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2001, 02:43:23 PM »

Wow, thanks for looking up the bio and reading into my situation.  I was wondering about the Hammarlund being any good at anything other than big time QRO signal reception.  There seems to so much noise, and no filters at all.  My love of mental challenges has brought me thus far, not my wallet.  So, the decision on which rig to by is a big one.  Good advise.  Thanks.

Ed
KC8SBV
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G4GZG
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Posts: 3




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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2001, 11:39:01 AM »

I'm a bit of a Drake fanatic and have a T4XB / R4B station which I ran for 10+ years until Jan 2001, worked over 200 DXCC entities  and disagree that  they are unusable from a RF point of view ,but see some merit in the argument if you're after the bells and whistles rather than good solid RF engineering. The Tube finals might deter some as well, but I grew up with them....

The Drake 4 series ran along these lines-

T4 - -early 60's

T4X - mid 60's

T4XB - later 60's early 70's

T4XC  70's to early 80's

My T4XB has a solid state PTO and is as stable as any other Tx using the same sort of freq.generation  ( typically 100 hz after 10 min w/up) and this is after 30 years service. In 10 years, I've replaced  1 tube, and the ant relay, but other than that it works fine.

Not sure about the fancy prices being asked for them though !!

73

Larry G4GZG
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N7JAU
Member

Posts: 90




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« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2001, 09:00:53 PM »

You all forgot one very important comparison note.  The T4XC has one difference which sets it apart from all the rest of the T4X series, at least when used with the R4C receiver.  That is, there are TWO sync cables to lock the two in tranceive, and this difference makes the C line just that much more attractive.

Up here in Idaho, where, by the way, Steve, we kicked out the Aryans, a few of us DO know the difference.
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