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Drake TR-7: Amazing rig I gotta say!!

Discussion in '"Boat Anchor" & Classic Equipment' started by W7UUU, Sep 6, 2017.

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  1. W7UUU

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

    I bought this TR-7 a few months ago, and it's been biding its time waiting for all the green boxes to move aside from the K1T event. It's a pretty complete setup - TR-7 transceiver, with all filters and Noise Blanker installed, MS7, PS7 RV7, MN75 (very cool tuner! Not deployed yet but will be soon), SP7 Speech Processor, and Astatic/Drake original mic. The SP-7 is overkill for my needs so will go back up for sale - it's pretty crazy processing and not my style.

    I acquired the setup one box at a time - not a single deal. Took some time. I just don't need the SP-7 so if you want one, let me know....

    But I have to say I'm truly impressed by this transceiver - constantly doing A>B comparisons with my IC-7300 and in many ways, the TR-7 wins, depending on how I have it set up.

    This rig will be a long-term addition to the W7UUU shack lineup - it's just cool beans. I've had CW and SSB QSOs tonight, for the first time with it on the air, and it's just a delight to use in every way.

    Last March, I visited the former Drake factory in Miamisburg, OH and also visited Robert Drake's grave... way cool to have that personal connection

    Please share any TR-7 stories... I'd love to hear other views/opinions/stories of the TR-7 lineup.

    Yes, it will be a Special Event - W8D starting January 13, 2018 - the 75th anniversary of the founding of the R. L. Drake company.... but I learned a lot from K1T so this event will be much different and a lot smaller :)

    For now, I'm really enjoying this amazing rig on the air - it's a delight to look at, to listen to, and to operate.

    Dave
    W7UUU DSC_0012.JPG
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
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  2. N6OIL

    N6OIL Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

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  3. WD4IGX

    WD4IGX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    A friend had a TR7 back when they were current. I liked it but couldn't afford one.

    I do have a soft spot for Drake after owning a very nice C line in the early 90s. Selling it was...uh, I can't bear to recall. One thing - well three things counting the T-4Xc, R-4c and speaker/PS, I should not have ever sold.
     
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  4. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    From what I've read, they're still an excellent rig. Relative to other rigs, I rarely see anything related to this rig come available (you might want to keep the SP-7). Steve @WB2WIK has a TR-7 and likes his a lot. :)
     
  5. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    My own Drake setup includes an ex-diplomatic TR-7A, an RV-75 and an ex-civilian SIGINT R-7A.

    The "bang-for-buck" ratio for this equipment is quite good, and the RF performance is on par with or above quite more
    expensive contemporary HF receivers and transmitters.

    A friend of mine at the University bought one of the first TR-7's to arrive in Europe in 1978, and after sorting out some initial
    build-quality issues, the rig "ran circles" around the Collins KWM-2 and 51S-1 that we compared it to on 40 meters, using
    the 2 element beam 40 m above street level that the Uni radio club boasted...

    73/
    Karl-Arne
    SM0AOM
     
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  6. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Remember, folks....the TR-7 design is from 40+ years ago, and it was Made In USA.
     
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  7. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    The R-4 is even older but, still rates very high: http://www.sherweng.com/table.html :)
     
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  8. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I bought my TR-7 new in '78 and have kept it. It's the only rig I ever purchased "new" that I never sold, later, because it's just too good.

    Other than it not being rock-stable from a cold start (it is nearly rock-stable after 15 minutes) like new rigs are, I've never had any kind of rig that does so many things so well. Dave, you'll find the transmitter PA is especially "unusual" for a solid-state rig in that it won't "fold back" in output power under mismatch conditions until the mismatch is pretty gross. It will transmit with "full power" into a 2:1 SWR, and only cut back slightly at 3:1. It still outputs about 50W into 4:1. Considering the PA heatsink is all "inside" the radio (only the fan is outside), that's impressive; but the heatsink is much larger surface area than the sinks on modern rigs.

    And of course every single control is on the front panel...no menus, nothing hidden, it's all right there and it doesn't need any more controls. And you can use its frequency counter as a "bench" counter, just flip a switch and plug in an external signal source. Mine is still accurate within its display resolution (100 Hz) after 39 years. In 39 years I've never had to take the cover off the PS-7 power supply, it just always works.
     
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  9. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have read (but that's all) that a considerable amount of that warm-up drift is due to heat from the dial lamp. It's a #53 incandescent, 14.4 volts 0.12 amp....1.7 watts of heat right next to the PTO!

    In 1977 Drake didn't have a choice - but, today, we have white LEDs that are much much more efficient. Since the whole thing is sand-state anyway....

    73 de Jim, N2EY
     
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  10. N8YX

    N8YX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I own three of the things. Seven R7s in various stages of restoration, including two from now-closed FCC monitoring stations (I have paperwork from the station chiefs with the purchase orders for the receivers and accessories.) Four RV-75s. 2x L7 and L75. Three TR-5s; the serial of one being "117". Its original owner (ex-Drake engineer) passed the rig on to me.

    Lots of peripherals. I need one more MN-2700 to have four complete QRO positions of pure Drake.

    None of the stuff is inline at the moment. I'm going to convert four of the TR7s and four of the R7s to a DDS VFO setup, at which time I'll tear my current station apart and replace the pieces with 7-line gear.

    The R7 earned a reputation as being a darn good SWBC rig on the 120 and 90M tropical bands back in its day.
     
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