Professional rebuild worth the money?

Discussion in '"Boat Anchor" & Classic Equipment' started by K0ON, Oct 9, 2018.

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  1. K0ON

    K0ON XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I purchased another Drake recently. This one is a TR-4C in pretty good condition and will end up being used in my shack along with a TR-4 I purchased a few years ago and had professionally gone through by Ron. I admittedly don't have the knowledge to go through this unit (or the last one for that matter) and am man enough to fess up to it. No radio is worth widowing my wife. Eventually these will probably find a new home somewhere when I find something else that sparks my interest.

    My question is there is always a pain threshold and a point of no return. I like to know that things are in the up and up. For what I've got into the full service option, repairs, and purchase of the TR-4 my wife will almost have to bury me with it. It's definitely a loved piece of equipment and by no means am I attacking or degrading Ron's work. He did an excellent job and deserves all the praise.

    What's the breaking point?
  2. AG6QR

    AG6QR Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ham radio is supposed to be a hobby, and a hobby is supposed to be a way to spend your spare time and money. If your hobby spending is interfering with obligations to family and community, then you should cut back. But if it's only interfering with your spending on lottery tickets, fattening desserts, and your TV watching time, then you have my full approval, not that you need it.

    Rationally speaking, a more modern rig can probably give you better performance for the dollar spent. But hobbies aren't about rationality, or measurements made on a test bench; never forget that they're about fun, which is an emotional concept. There's plenty of fun to be had with a warm, glowing rig, especially one that brings back fond memories. If you like it, as long as it fits reasonably within your budget and doesn't cause you or your family serious problems, then go for it!
    KE5OFJ and KE4OH like this.
  3. KB4MNG

    KB4MNG Ham Member QRZ Page

    IMO, unless you have a nostalgic tie to a particular radio. Money wise it just can't be justified. Look at the IC 7300, it can be bought for under $1K. Thats a heck of a radio for a heck of a deal and I dont care for ICOM that much.

    I might would consider doing what you did if I could get back the first radio I started out with. But then it would still have a stringent limit.

    Then again, if it floats your boat and you have plenty of money, roll on.
  4. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Nostalgia is usually the reason that someone wants something restored.

    A while back, I had a client send me a Heath VTVM for a complete restoration (including painting, replacing all out of specification components, etc.). The bill came to around $150 for an item that he could have gotten another one for $20 or less. However, that particular VTVM was the very first kit that he had ever built and, as such, he wanted the unit completely restored.

    Other persons collect the items and want them to appear, and work, as close to brand new as possible. Again, personal choice.

    Glen, K9STH
    K1OIK likes this.
  5. G3YRO

    G3YRO Ham Member QRZ Page

    As far as I'm concerned, the joy of owning a Classic Rig is actually maintaining, repairing or even restoring it.

    And for me, the same goes for Classic Cars.

    If you have to pay someone else to do the work, then that seems to defeat the whole object - quite apart from the fact that the costs usually far outweigh the value of the thing concerned !

    Roger G3YRO
  6. N4MTB

    N4MTB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Money wise probably not. You can try and rationalize the purchase through amortizing the expense and other mind tricks, but owning one a pieces of hobby collectible (insert car, musical instrument, ham radio, boat etc) is an unmemorable emotional feeling of happiness and pride. As Glen said above, personal choice.
  7. KK6IYM

    KK6IYM Ham Member QRZ Page

    These are fairly simple radios to restore. There are a few capacitors that would need changing and then an alignment. Maybe you would need a tube or two. I would see if someone local can help you with this. The power supply is more work to restore than the radio. Drake radios were very well built, had excellent basic design, and seldom have problems like you see in other brands--(like Hallicrafters). Having someone work with you as you align the radio will really inform you in the radio's use--much more so than just reading the manual.


    K7MH, VK6APZ and N6UH like this.
  8. G3YRO

    G3YRO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Exactly !

    That's the beauty of most Valve equipment - certainly the rigs that have a proper metal chassis, rather than a PCB.

    Nearly all the components are just connected to the Valve Bases, so are pretty easy to replace (if necessary)

    Roger G3YRO
    N6UH likes this.
  9. N8YX

    N8YX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I generally repair and restore all my own stuff...with the exception of the FT-102. Mal, NC4L got the nod there. I bought one "in flight to him", had it fully gone over/updated then when it made its way back I sent a second '102 along for the same.

    In my world, time is money. I made or saved a lot more than the fees because I could focus on other projects....but if it's a rig I'm familiar with and know where to get specific parts - especially those made from Unobtanium - I'll do it myself.
  10. KA4KOE

    KA4KOE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have learned more practical hands-on in the last 6 years repairing my boatanchors and converting 1.5 broadcast transmitters to ham radio than all my previous years engaged in the elektickle field.

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