Friday, March 14, 2008

Drake 2-B

The Drake 2-B was the first 'good' receiver I had early on as a ham. Mine was purchased in about 1965 or so from Harrison Radio in Manhattan. I talked my dad into buying one because it seemed to have the nicest sound of any of the radios for SSB/CW except maybe the Collins and these were more expensive. Hearing Bill Meara talking about how good they were I decided to pick one off of eBay and relive some of the 60's again.
Got the 2-B and have it on the desk. It has some 'issues' but looks pretty good. Don't think it ever had a lot of use really. It's humming like crazy but I heard some signals on 40 and 80, the 20 M band is dead maybe the Xtal. The 100kc calibrator Xtal socket was loose and the xtal was rattling around inside radio but is now working.
I did some web reading on methods of 'reforming' the filter caps and it has gotten somewhat better but I am sure they will need to be replaced.
The Frequency 'main tuning' knob seemed frozen but the grease had hardened and now is fine. I also got the 2-BQ with it and have not tried it but it looks good.
Copper is excellent on the bottom and good to very good on the top.
There was some sheet metal damage to the upper left corner of the radio but not on the case.
The screws looks like they had not been touched (that hold the radio in the case) but it must have been out and fallen off the table at one point.
I think the 1st order will be to get the power supply filter caps replaced.
Am now getting about 2.9 V of AC on the terminals of the filter caps. When I 1st fired it up it was over 10V AC so the caps have 'come back' some but I don't think they will get a lot better.
I started it with 15 V then moved it up to 100V and now am letting it sit with 190V and all the tubes pulled except the rectifier.
Will run it a for a day or so and see if the AC continues to go down.
My current thinking is to buy new radial electrolytics and mount them under the original, taking the original totally out of the circuit. The can says 2 X 100 uf and 2 X 10 uf @ 250WV.
Sept 20 '08
Posted Pix of the Cap purchased from It fit perfectly and the 2.9 V of AC is now down to .01 on three of them and .8 on one terminal. N0JMY also includes a .1 electrylitic for the screen bypass of the audio amp tube. The price for this was reasonable and it keeps more of the originality of the old radio . I replaced the cap first with a 40W Weller SP40 iron. The Weller WLC 100 unit did not have enough mass to get the tab unsoldered from the chassis. Am listening to the radio on 40 M SSB and it sounds great! Next will try the 2BQ and will search for a new 20M crystal as it seems dead on that band.

Crystal update the 20M crystal was replaced with one of the  18 MHz crystals from building the Willamette20 I used a Digi Key part # X144-ND which is a HC-49 case designed for 20 pf of cap. The price is 40 cents, buy a couple and you can build a nice VFO for the Willamette 20 as well!  I soldered the leads to the base of the old crystal and plugged it back in.  It has been working fine on 20M ever since.  No realignment was needed other than using the normal xtal calibrator.  Many crystals are available in the SMD small cans and could probably be made to work for the low end of 10M but I have not tried this yet.  

1 comment:

Paul Gerhardt said...

I just received this eMail from Tom

Valued Hayseed Hamfest Customer:

A small glitch in our 2-A/2-B capacitor was just brought to our
attention and we wanted to let you know about it right away.

Basically, the problem is this: Some 2A-2B can capacitors have left
the factory with the square and the triangle terminal symbols on the
bottom wafer transposed, though the actual terminals themselves remain
in their correct positions relative to the rest of the chassis.

What this all means at the end of the day is this: When removing and
replacing the can-cap, the wire which was soldered to the
six-o'clock terminal (triangle) on the o.e.m. cap should be resoldered
to the six-o'clock terminal of the new cap, even though it is marked
with a square.

Similarly, the wire which was soldered to the nine-o'clock
terminal (square) on the o.e.m. cap should be resoldered to the
nine-o'clock terminal of the new cap, even though it is marked with a

The 2200 ohm resistor remains soldered between the two terminals.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. Please
contact us if any problems have occurred with your unit. We are
presently making this correction on future units.

Thank you,
NØJMY's Hayseed Hamfest . .