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7/8/2020 3:01:36 PM
Posted: 8/30/2015 2:05:16 PM EDT
Bought a 1971 Drake TR4 "by accident" on ebay about a year and a half ago. After a bit of searching I came up with a power supply. In breathless anticipation, I powered it up carefully and... nothing. Pulled the tubes one by one and finally found one with a broken pin.  A replacement was installed, but still no joy.

The radio moved to the closet, only to be drug back out a few months ago. I've been fussing around cleaning band switches, applying DeOxit to the tube pins and doing the few troubleshooting steps I'm capable of, when I noticed in the manual that there is a small lamp in the antenna receive path that is used as a fuse. As the lamp wasn't glowing, I thought to pull it to check continuity. Well, the lamp was good, and as I learned later, it isn't supposed to be illuminated, but the radio perked up and found its "ears" when I reinstalled the lamp. Yahoo! Houston, we have signal!

Not a lot on the bands these days, but the Drake will now hear pretty much everything my FT-897 will hear. Next step is to see if I can make it transmit. What fun to tinker with this old tube gear!

Cheers...   Jim

Link Posted: 8/30/2015 3:22:55 PM EDT
Nice! Very clean, too. A friend had one, good CW radio.
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 3:47:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/30/2015 3:57:47 PM EDT by Gyprat]
Very nice! There is something about tubes that no solid state circuitry can deliver. My first home brew HF transceiver was all tubes. No DSP but I installed a 501kHz mechanical IF filter. No firmware to upgrade. It's receiver sounded great. The radio was easy to troubleshoot and repair unlike many modern rigs. I worked 200+ countries on that thing.

Link Posted: 8/30/2015 4:43:41 PM EDT
Pretty! What's in the final? 829B?
Link Posted: 8/30/2015 5:27:30 PM EDT
I'm at work, but I believe they are 6JB6 "sweep" tubes. It has a vintage set of matching Sylvania tubes. Will know more about their condition when I get it transmitting and can look at output.

I scored an RV4 remote VFO on eBay today for a good price (barring surprises). I don't know that I need that function right at the moment, but it will give me a speaker and a safe place to house the AC3 power supply.

I will admit to turning off the lights last night, and enjoying the blue light from the front panel and the soft orange glow from the tubes. It makes me remember my "uncle" Dave's station. I didn't ever spend much time there, but he surely planted a seed when he fired up his equipment  for me back in the mid-1960's.

Now, if I can get my D104 wired up and working, I'll be in business!

Link Posted: 8/30/2015 7:52:33 PM EDT
Yes they are 6jb6 sweep tubes.  I have a tr4c and a t4b and r4b.  And yes I have done the same thing hunting down problems.  Took me 6 months of on again off again to realize if I wiggled one tube the hissing noise on USB would go away....
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