Drake 4C-Line

The best rigs are those that GLOW in the dark!

The main rig at W7KF is an ancient Drake 4-Line with an equally ancient Amp Supply afterburner.

This is my second Drake 4-Line. The first was an R-4B and T-4XB that I picked up used in the late 1970s. It was a good rig and I really enjoyed it.

But, once upon a time, as I was being sent off to Desert Storm, my dad's ancient SB-101 had finally given up on him. Since I was going to be out of the country for some time I loaned him my Drake gear. Somewhere along the line, the Drake AC-4 power supply failed him and he, resourcefullly, wired up the power supply from his old Heathkit rig. Which, as it turns out was not such a good idea. The higher voltages coming out of that power supply were too much for the T-4XB and eventually he cooked the finals.

Next, he decided to move back to Montana and in the process of clearing out stuff for the big move he threw the T-4XB in the trash. Of course, all of this was completely unknown to me.

Shortly thereafter, I came home and he called me up to tell me that I should come by and pick up some of my stuff since he was moving in a day or so. Naturally, I was excited to retrieve the Drake gear. Alas, when I arrived I saw only the R-4B. When I inquired as to the T-4XB he informed me that he'd thown it out.

I must have blinked because he then informed me that "Hey, it didn't work anymore" and explained that he had bought a new Kenwood 440.

It's fortunate that he was my dad, the greatest ham in the world and that I loved him. Otherwise I would surely have strangled him on that very spot! GAAAAAAAAHHH!!! Anyway, I just smiled and congratulated him on his new rig.

Later I traded off the R-4B - it was too distressing to be reminded of the fate of it's twin brother the poor T-4XB.

And, then, much later I stumbled on my current Drake gear. The story the seller told me was that it had belonged to his wife's father. He had bought it new in the early 1970s and somewhere in the late 70's had sent it in to R.L. Drake to have it gone through. While the rig was at Drake the gentleman became a silent key. The rig was subsequently returned to the XYL who, without even opening the boxes, stored it in a closet. Eventually, after 20 years or so, the XYL died and the house and all possessions were inherited by the gentleman's daughter who happened to married to a ham. Who sold the Drake gear to me.

Through him, I passed the word along to the daughter that her dad had managed to correct a mistake that my dad had made many years ago. And that the Drake gear had gone to a good home..

Here's what it looks like in my shack:

The Shack at W7KF

Drake R-4C

Drake T-4XC

Drake MN-2000

Drake MS-4

I ended up filling the three crystal filter accessory slots with 8-pole 250 Hz, 500 Hz and 1.8 kHz filters from International Crystals and rebuilding the AC-4 with an AC4R rebuild kit from The Heathkit Shop.

And, one of these days I might ship the R-4C off to be Sherwoodized.

This is my "daily driver" and definitely NOT for sale. Nope. Never...