Welcome to the family – Drake TR-7A

I finally found one!  Now sitting on my shelf is a beautiful Drake TR-7A, serial number 12195, and I am in love.  Welcome to the family!

My new Drake TR-7A – already a beloved part of my shack.

When I was conducting research for my initial HF radio purchase, I had narrowed down to the Heathkit SB-104A rather quickly.  It is a beautiful radio itself.  However, as I was researching it I found that the principal designer for it, Mike Elliot, went on to work for R. L. Drake and to design their TR-7.  What I read was that the Drake TR-7 was what Mike Elliot had wanted the SB-104 to be.

SB-104A – is Mike Elliot’s prototype Drake TR-7A?

I couldn’t afford a Drake TR-7 at the time, nor were there any good options to buy a decent one anyway.  And, honestly, I was content to go with the Heathkit.  After all, one of my major purchase considerations was to get a radio I could tinker with.  In fact I wanted to get a radio that was basically going to force me to tinker and learn (without going so far as to buy myself a problem).   The SB-104A that I purchased was affordable, was (and is) itself a fantastic radio, and has given me ample opportunity to tinker and upgrade it.  But I’ve always had in my head this thought: if I love my Heathkit, and the Drake TR-7 was what its designer had wanted that Heathkit to be, then what kind of radio is the TR-7?

I will be finding out!

A special thanks to Gary Follet, W0DVN (known also as “dukeshifi”) who sold me the radio.  An excellent person to do business with.

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