Can This Drake Chassis Be Salvaged ?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K5FRH, Feb 19, 2020.

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  1. K5FRH

    K5FRH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Please see attached photo. I am being offered this T4 for minimal price, but wondering about what it will take to salvage it. I have not actually seen the chassis, this is just a photo I was sent.

    As the photo reveals, the copper is heavily oxidized....

    I realize this photo is not definitive, but wondering what your opinion would be regarding restoration....has too much moisture gotten to the unit, or would it be worth the effort to bring it back to life.

    The front panel and black case are very rust or a minimal I oculd keep the cabinet, the knobs, and the front panel, tubes, etc.

    Your opinion please....Thank You.

    Rod, K5FRH

    Attached Files:

  2. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    More and better photos would certainly be a plus.

    ANYTHING can be salvaged - just depends on how much work, time, money and skill you wish to put into the project

    What model is it?

    WA1GXC and N2EY like this.
  3. NQ8J

    NQ8J Ham Member QRZ Page

    In my opinion, as long as there are no major components missing, it's probably worth the trouble to bring back to life, but you'll never be able to make that chassis look like a collectors piece.

    I'm in the process of reviving a TR-3 right now. Face plate and cabinet are beautiful, but the copper chassis has areas with very bad oxidation.
    K7TRF likes this.
  4. K5FRH

    K5FRH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks...that is what I was driving at....restoring the copper there anything that can bring life back to the copper ?
  5. NQ8J

    NQ8J Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not where there is rust - oxidation ate the copper plating in these spots. Completely stripping the chassis, removing the rust and having it re-plated would be the only way.
    WA9SVD and K4AGO like this.
  6. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page


    Right... that's a STEEL chassis, Copper PLATED, not solid copper!

    WN1MB likes this.
  7. K5FRH

    K5FRH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks. I can always clean up the chassis with alcohol, do the necessary electronic troubleshooting, and then have a great radio with great exterior cosmetics, just not a pretty chassis....(There is a moral here somewhere).
    N1VAU and NQ8J like this.
  8. WN1MB

    WN1MB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Short answer: yes.

    Longer answer: A quick Google search of the words "restoring Drake copper chassis" netted "About 1,110,000 results (0.60 seconds)". Take your pick.
    N1VAU and K4AGO like this.
  9. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The T-4 is a transmitter without a VFO (PTO), so it doesn't do anything by itself.

    Do you have an R-4, R-4A or R-4B?
    W3QH, K4AGO and AE7LP like this.
  10. K7TRF

    K7TRF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You should be able to clean it up quite a bit but as posted above anywhere the surface is deeply pitted or actually rusted there won't be much you can do.

    The good news is there's no real functional reason to as long as the chassis is structurally sound. Clean up the grime, try to remove what oxidation you can but as long as the rig is restored electronically it will function just fine. Drake chose to use copper plated chassis's and now Drake collectors go to great lengths to find pristine copper which may matter if you want to put the rig on display in a museum but really doesn't matter if you want to restore the rig electrically and use it on the air. Cosmetically I'd put more emphasis into cleaning up any front panel or outer case issues and just focus on removing the major grime from the copper chassis itself and functionally I'd focus on the electronics and PTO mechanical aspects rather than the copper plated chassis.
    WQ4G and WA1GXC like this.

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