SKCC 5123T----- FISTS 14979----- Flying Pigs 2331----- NAQCC 3610-----QRP ARCI 14176-----Polar Bear 257

Sunday, February 11, 2018

My Vintage Drake Station for the Novice Rig Roundup

Back in the late 60s, my amateur radio novice station used a Drake 2-C receiver. The transmitter was a loaned Hallicrafters HT-6. After upgrading to general class, I added the Drake T-4XB transmitter. So I had a mix of the Drake 2-line and the Drake 4-line

Phil N4STC enjoys working on older gear
It is a long story, but I foolishly let my original Drake 2-C and Drake T-4XB go. Of late, I was able to find another Drake 2-C on eBay and later the Drake 2-NT. This would be the ideal Novice station of the day. As required by the FCC the transmitter is crystal controlled and DC input power can be set to 75 watts.

The Hayseed Hamfest capacitor can replacement on the Drake 2-NT
It seemed a good idea to replace the electrolytic capacitors as that is usually what goes bad in vintage rigs. I got recap kits for the 2-C and 2-NT from Hayseed Hamfest. I let Phil N4STC replace the caps as he really knows what he is doing. The 2-NT transmitter came to life immediately after the recap. The 2-C receiver lit up but there was no hiss. Phil tapped a tube and it came to life. The tube was loose in the socket.

Note on the video, I can increase the relay delay on the 2-NT to cut down the relay clicking.

The pair works like a transceiver together. The 2-NT has the TR relay. The 2-NT also has mute and sidetone lines to the 2-C. You can use spot feature to find your transmitted signal on the receiver. I bought some crystals from AF4K. Note, crystal operating is a different game today. You will be unlikely to raise anyone calling CQ off your frequency. They don't tune around for a reply to a CQ like we did in the Novice days.

N4KGL testing the Drake 2 Line
So we ended up the session with a contact with Harry WA1GXC in Rhode Island on 20 CW. He just happens to be a Drake collector, the Drake 4 line in particular.a big thanks to Phil N4STC. He made my day! It happens to be my Birthday today so a great present this was. I now look forward to Novice Rig Roundup March 3rd to March 11th.