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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Drake R7 Help

Reviews Summary for Drake R7
Drake R7 Reviews: 9 Average rating: 4.9/5 MSRP: $1,295.00 to $1,549.00
Description: General Coverage and Ham Bands
Product is not in production.
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KD8IIC Rating: 5/5 Feb 24, 2018 17:17 Send this review to a friend
It's The Best For Weak CW  Time owned: more than 12 months
Still my #1 RX for weak CW signal intercept.
Kenwood TS830s and Ic R70 tied for 2nd place.
Motorola R390 and EAC R390a 3rd and 4th.
Fitted with 500 and 300Hz filters and a CALF.
The CALF limiter invaluable during lightning QRN.
Makes static crashes go puff puff so I can work
QRP ops during summer nights 40 es 80m.
Grab one if one can still be found. Great RX!
Mine has never once had a drift problem BTW.
WA7MAD Rating: 4/5 Apr 22, 2012 22:13 Send this review to a friend
5 but for drift and heat  Time owned: more than 12 months
I owned an R7 for several years using it QSK with a Heath xmtr and also for SWL'ing and aerobeacon DXing. It could pull anything out of the ether and with the 300Hz filter even the low power beacons on LW could be pulled out of the noise of my urban location. Synchronous detection of AM BC eliminated distortion due to selective fading and heterodyne squeal could be killed by simply moving to silence on the sideband away from the offending QRM with synch det enabled.

BTW - the Sony ICF2010 had sync. detection and it worked equally well, though that radio was in a different price class than the R7 and aimed at a different audience.

I don't give the R7 a 5 rating because the terrible drift of the PTO was something that should never be found in a rig of this price. On mine it would never settle down regardless of the time the rig was on. In frustration I bought Drake's external VFO which was completely frequency synthesized, not a PTO. Also, the R7 would get very hot due to the design of the power supply. Without a fan, just a large heat sink, I was concerned with component cooking, but this didn't present a problem in the years I owned it.

For getting the signal out of the mud, the R7 was the best receiver I've ever used and a real joy for fighting QRN and QRM. If my life depended on a radio, I'd want it to be this one.
K5YY Rating: 5/5 Oct 21, 2010 16:01 Send this review to a friend
R7A, possibly last one  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased this from a friend who had it in the box, unopened since 1998, after being "tweaked" by Drake for voltages, one foot tip replaced and checking alignment, etc. Then it sat 12 years and I was the first to open the box from Drake. What a near mint radio this is and the lastest serial number I have seen and the available records show none higher than this # 3641. The last 4 on record are all < 3300. The radio performs flawlessly, very minimal drift and frequency is off only 1/3 kc from 000 to 500 on the VFO! The "A"model has the optional 500 cycle filter and NB7A noise blanker installed and is optimized for 9KC AM instead of the standard 4KC. I have compared this receiver to my Icom 781 and Icom 756 PROIII and to a JRC 545D and Icom R9000 on listening to several DX stations and find it hears better than two of them (not telling which) and is equal to the other two. This includes PBT and notch filter adjustments as needed. This is a keeper for me but would like to know if any other R7As are out there with similar serial number near the end. I also have an R7 with all filters and the NB7A and it too performs very well, similar to the R7A. Drake made quality products, and the radios are serviceable and contain readily available parts for most problems that might occur.
ERIEDXER Rating: 5/5 Oct 28, 2009 12:24 Send this review to a friend
Excellent classic SS receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my all time favorite SS receiver. You have to let it warm up for half an hour to keep it from drifting, but then it's ALIVE and stays put. The preselector isn't too bad to figure out. But you find a signal, any signal, and you will be able to tune it in and hear it very clear on the R7. If I just want to sit and listen in on hams on SSB, I go my R7. I have used this extensively for DXing for the past 10 years and have never had to replace a single component in it. Used prices on these are getting a little high, but it's still one of the best receivers out there IMHO.
KQ4O Rating: 5/5 Sep 6, 2007 21:02 Send this review to a friend
Still the Standard!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I foolishly sold my R7 (with the NB installed) when I moved to a tight property and thought I couldn't put up a decent antenna worthy of this fine receiver. It's been a while so I can't go over all the positives, except to say that there are many of them.I've owned a few high end receivers (R-5000, R390A, AR3030) unfortunately no ICOM or JRC to compare it to, but it was the best I ever had by far.
The biggest advantage to it was the ability to use the PBT in conjunction with a Sherwood SE-3 without having to resynch the SE-3. In other words, get an outboard synch detector for it (SE-3), synch the station that you're listening to (whether powerhouse RCI or barely there SIBC) and if there's interference you just turn the knob for the Passband Tuning and shift away from the trouble, and still be locked in synch. Bob Sherwood told me that this was the only receiver that could do this.
The ONLY negative was the fact that it took maybe 15 minutes to truly stop drifting, which was only a problem using SSB or the SE-3 at the start of a listening session (got use to it).
Truly a classic!
N8YX Rating: 5/5 Jun 30, 2005 19:21 Send this review to a friend
A keeper!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently acquired one of these receivers for use with my TR7. The unit in question spent a large part of its existence in one of the FCC's monitoring facilities.

There were a few minor annoyances to straighten out: A persistent frequency "jump" of ~100hz was noted when receiving an on-the-air CW or calibrator signal. This was fixed by carefully removing the VCO, DR7 and VR boards, then cleaning the plugs and sockets. (DeOxit or similar works well for this purpose.) The bandswitch contacts - particularly, the HI/LO VCO contact segment - also got a good cleaning. Afterwards, the VR output levels were set using an accurate DVM.

Next, on to the PTO. It needed a bit of work to get the analog dials to track with the counter. The blue filter material in the bezel was replaced, along with its counterpart behind the S-meter.

Last, the IF/Filter board was removed and a few accessory filters were added: 8/6/.5/.3 KHz. (This combination works well with the TR7, whose filter complement is 6/2.3/1.8/.5 KHz.)

The R7 is now as stable as the RV7/TR7 combo. That is, it drifts ~200hz total from a cold start then stays put indefinitely. Sensitivity and selectivity are excellent, and the rig is a joy to use.

This one isn't leaving my shack.
WA2JJH Rating: 5/5 May 5, 2004 23:34 Send this review to a friend
A classic performer  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just got a R7A on Ebay. I paid $960. It is a cheaper and has more funtions than a RACAL I was going to buy.

This is not just the receiver section of a TR-7.
I had the R7A side by side with my TR-7.
I liked the TR-7's pre-amp-less high level conversion. The R7A deos the same.

I found the R7A even better than the TR-7. Signals that were not readable on the TR-7, were readable on the R7A.

A few pet peeves. Do not even bother using the rx pre-amp. In my case it amplifies the QRN and city industrail noise as much as the signal.

The mode selection is strange. Just AM and SSB.
One then uses the always on passband tuning for LSB, USB, CW and RTTY. It has a greater range than that of the TR-7.
The 7A has the excellent NB built in. It is very dramatic in effect.

They also put in a 500hz and 4KC AM filter.

THE R7A IS SUCH A GOOD AND RUGGED RX, There is a military variant of it, the R-77. They replace the PTO with percision variable frequency source.
The mil varient is bult into a 19" rack mountable case Other wise except these RX's are identical.
The mil varient is ultra rare.

The R7A is cumbersome to use, but it's low noise floor, clean design, and sensitivity are un surpassed.
The RX is speced to work down to 10kc ? I did confirm it receiving 44KHZ. I turned off the NB and put a CD player near it.

I too wish Drake was back into making ham equipment.

DAROBIN Rating: 5/5 Apr 16, 2003 13:09 Send this review to a friend
One of the classics!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Many years ago, in my first decade as a DX'er, Drake came out with the R7 and then the R7A. Those of us who aspired to the R7 were put off by the huge cost of the receiver at the time. Some also disliked the tuning system which required one to use UP/DOWN slewing buttons to jump around the bands. However, what nobody disputed was the incredible flexibility this receiver offered, as sell as its famous sensitivity and selectivity options.

As most users of Ebay know, prices for the R7 but especially the R7A, have skyrocketed over the years, a reflection of the quality of the receiver and its value to amateur operators as sell as hard core SWL/DX'ers. A R7 in excellent condition can bring in the range of 600-700, while R7As in excellent to perfect condition (exceedingly rare) can bring $1000+, even as high as $1200.

What distinguishes the R7 series from other receivers is its incredible electronic passband tuning, which was exclusive to Drake. It enables one to tune across the center frequency to LSB and USB, and when combined with the R7s wonderful 5 selectivity options and its very effective notch, created a truly great DX machine. Add to this, the RIT control, which unlike other receivers actually varies the LED readout, and you have a real classic.

Stability issues with the R7 are just part of the deal you sign on to when you buy the receiver. Those who want to go all the way can find the RV-75 Synthesized VFO unit which provides greater stability, but these go for almost as much as the receiver itself in auctions.

The R7 justifiably enjoys a stellar reputation with many in the DX community. I obtained mine from the estate of a deceased Amateur operator who had apparently purchased it, then used only a little, it was stored in a closet for years.

One of the problems with the receiver, I should mention, has to do with something as simple as replacing the dial lamps -- the main dial lamp bulb
requires considerable dis-assembly of the receiver. Some owners of the R7 have modified the radio with a toggle ON/OFF to be able to extend the bulb life.
G4VGO Rating: 5/5 Jun 9, 2000 11:07 Send this review to a friend
Great Receiver, Great Value  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I have two receivers at my station. Both are Drake and both are 5/5+! The Drake R7 with the Sherwood 200 Hz CW filter and the InRad 400 Hz filter is the second best receiver I have ever used. It has great dynamic range, superb selectivity, it is sensitive, and if you leave it on all of the time it is stable (the only problem the 7 line seemed to have, 100 Hz drift from cold start).

In contests on 160m in Europe, it does a tremendous job on CW. Strong local signals just can not clobber it. In the 200 Hz position it is one of the two finest CW receivers I have operated in my more than 30 years as an amatuer. The AGC is smooth and effective. The passband tuning is like velvet. The built-in pre-amp does not cause intermod problems on the lower bands like many other receivers and transceivers.

The first best receiver I have is the Sherwood modified Drake R4C with 250 and 125 Hz filters.

A very close second is the R7. From an ease of operation and value for money standpoint , five out of five and more.

I use my FT-1000MP for a transmitter only now, with the Drakes doing the receive duty on 160m.

Too bad Drake isn't still in the amatuer business.

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