It's always a pleasure to hear a real radio pro analyze the problem!

Good DX....Mike....W4DL

On 7/11/2016 12:00 PM, wrote:
Send Drakelist mailing list submissions to

To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to

You can reach the person managing the list at

When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
than "Re: Contents of Drakelist digest..."

Today's Topics:

    1. Re: Drakelist Digest, Vol 57, Issue 4-A few thoughts on R-4C
       tubes and tube testing (Hugh Bahar)


Message: 1
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2016 13:41:50 +0000
From: Hugh Bahar <>
To: "" <>
Subject: Re: [Drakelist] Drakelist Digest, Vol 57, Issue 4-A few
        thoughts on R-4C tubes and tube testing
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Hi All,

I sent my R-4C (S/N 26903, May 1977) to Rob Sherwood for alignment and 
installation of the 5 basic modifications on his website (filter cap kit, 
AMP-4, MIX-4, PD-4, R-4C power supply board).  Rob found that my R-4C had 
issues with the OEM stock first mixer and last IF tubes.  Attached are parts of 
the conversation, which has a few morsels of wisdom in it regarding the R-4C 
specifically, and receiver testing in general.


WA2LXB: Regarding the first mixer tube and the last IF tube, those are the kind 
of failures that I would not be able to diagnose at my shack due to lack of 
experience and lack of test gear.  For my education, would you mind briefly 
explaining how you diagnosed the two failed tubes?  I would assume that it was 
a several step process, starting with the most generic observations and then 
proceeding to instrumented testing...again starting generically and then moving 
to the details.

Rob's REPLY:  Your radio was pretty basic from that standpoint.  There are 
certain levels in dBm or microvolts that should make the S meter read certain 
values.  If the preselector peak is appropriately audible, but the S meter 
reading is low, then total gain is suspect.  In your case when I wiggled the 
first mixer tube, it made a lot of noise.  Replacing the tube brought the gain 
up to nominal.  The other issue was random crackling in the speaker, and at 
times moving the S meter off of S1.  Since the MIX-4 (Sherwood mod) had 
eliminated the tube before the last IF tube, I decided to replace the 6BA6.  
This got rid of the random crackling.   One can rarely detect a problem with an 
antenna connected since band noise is way above receiver noise.

I never use a tube tester (for the R-4C), as with all Drake products, the 
tester is worthless.  Drake uses very high grid resistor values, and any kind 
of grid leakage will seriously affect performance. Substitution is always 
needed, and hand selection, too.  NOS tubes are one's best bet, and for the 
6BA6 and 6BE6 I use the mil version 5749 and 5750.

To test any radio requires as a minimum a 100 MHz scope and a decent signal 
generator.  Of course any DVM is going to be adequate for most service issues.  I 
don't use C & R boxes, but I do have the best spectrum analyzers and signal 
generators beyond what would be generally needed for service.  All are HP and 
Tektronix.  Testing 100 dB radios really pushes the state-of-the-art.  When there 
are less obvious issues with the C-Line, I use a spectrum analyzer and an FET probe 
to follow the signal from antenna input clear to the input to the product detector. 
 Sometimes that is the only way to troubleshoot.

Message: 1
Date: Sat, 9 Jul 2016 15:10:13 -0400
From: "Mark" <>
To: <>
Subject: Re: [Drakelist] Drakelist Digest, Vol 57, Issue 3
Hi Dan,

I reached the conclusion based on two factors.   The serial number of this
R-4C is 28188, which according to Ron's website ( put its
date of manufacture in November of 1977.   The GE tubes,  all the same, are
OEM marked, with the date code 7743, made the 43rd week of 1977.   All the
other tubes are Sylvania, but not these mixers!

73 de NO8J
-----Original Message-----
From: Drakelist [] On Behalf Of
Sent: Saturday, July 09, 2016 12:00 PM
Subject: Drakelist Digest, Vol 57, Issue 3

Today's Topics:

    1. 6EJ7 Mixers - Meshed Plates - Metal PTO Gears (Mark)
    2. Re: 6EJ7 Mixers - Meshed Plates - Metal PTO Gears (Dan Martin)


Message: 1
Date: Sat, 9 Jul 2016 08:49:42 -0400
From: "Mark" <>
To: <>
Subject: [Drakelist] 6EJ7 Mixers - Meshed Plates - Metal PTO Gears

I picked up an R-4C in the flea market this year at Dayton.  It was a later
one, made sometime in 1977.   I noticed that the mixer tubes, 6EJ7's are
original and GE with date codes 1977 and were made in Great Britain.  The
plates on these 6ej7's are mesh, not solid.    I've always thought that
Drake used Sylvania tubes and that their 6EJ7's are quieter than most - less
crackling noise.   Did Drake try these mesh plate tubes  to address the
noise issue and are they any better?

Finally, the PTO has metal gears on it, not molded nylon.    Was that a
design change?

73 NO8J

Message: 2
Date: Sat, 9 Jul 2016 11:21:50 -0400
From: Dan Martin <>
To: Mark <>
Subject: Re: [Drakelist] 6EJ7 Mixers - Meshed Plates - Metal PTO Gears
Message-ID: <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

Like you, I've always associated Sylvania with factory Drakes. Sure could have been 
exceptions, I guess. Curious how you know your GE mixers to be "original"?

I understand metal gears were used in the later/last runs of 4-Line gear. My 
23XXX and 25XXX 4C and 4XC, though well into the production life of the 4-Line, 
still have nylon gears.

This link explains some of the changes and differences in the 4C over its 
lifetime and may prove interesting.


Sent from my iPhone


Subject: Digest Footer

Drakelist mailing list


End of Drakelist Digest, Vol 57, Issue 5

Drakelist mailing list

Reply via email to