Drake TR-7 and Icom 7300 Changed Amateur Radio

K0PIR

I'm an Amateur Radio enthusiast. I love the hobby and experimenting with radios, antennas and software. On my YouTube channel I upload videos on the Icom 7300 and Icom 7610 along with Ham radio software programs. I hope to inspire people to try new things in Amateur Radio.

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W0FK
3 years ago

Your TR7 looks very nice. What filters are in it, and does it have the noise blanket? TR7A’s have all filters and the NB standard.

Guest
Brad
3 years ago

That TR-7 is beautiful.

How I remember the days when I was young and buying a TR-7 was a dream never realized. The first rig I saw was a Hammarland 170. Once I saw the 170, I was hooked. It was another 14 years before I could afford to buy and build a Heathkit and got on the air. I am currently reconditioning a Hammarland 170 for nostalgia purposes.

I think the largest impact the IC-7300 is that it killed the used market making it even more affordable to buy used rigs helping young and new hams.

Guest
Ray N6HE
3 years ago

I listened once to a friend’s new TR7 (in 1979?) – always said he cost me $1100 because the (loaded and with the RV-7) radio was a dream. Used it for 30 years. Still have it on the shelf. Ultimately got an Omni VII – still one of the most operator-friendly radios made.

Bought one of the first 7300’s, too, for my “110-volt travel radio.” After playing with it to learn it, I never turned on the Omni VII again, and that’s saying a lot. Too much fun with the spectrum scope/waterfall. That hooked me on the SDR concept. Now have the (the ultimate SDR) Flex 6600 (only 1 knob!) as my home rig and still take the 7300 on trips.

Ray N6HE

Guest
Lou, W0FK
3 years ago

Looks very nice Rich. What accessories were in it, such as optional filters and a noise blanker?

Guest
Terry, W4ZQ
3 years ago

Hi Rich,
I saw the TR7 when it was first introduced at Dayton and knew that was what I had to have. I ordered the TR7, PS7, RV7, AUX7, and full filters on May 5, 1978 for $1,438 and received S/N 614, 3 months later. The TR7 was a great platform to modify and repair.

In June 2016, I purchased the Icom 7300 and the TR7 was relegated to the shelf. The 7300 was such an amazing radio and easy to configure and use. I built this radio into my second generation Go-Box (as seen on my QRZ page) and use it regularly as my main station, on SSB, digital modes, and 6M FM.

Both the TR7 and the 7300 were game changers for amateur radio.
Thanks Rich for recognizing both of these fine radios.
73

Guest
Steve Gibson
3 years ago

Wow! Small world. Drake wast a few blocks from my QTH. I have one I bought it in 1982 from the factory on Richard St. I picked it up from Bill Frost, WD8DFP. Mike Elliott, W8KRR, was in the MARA club so we had direct contact with the engineer of this great rig. Between Mike and Bill, you could learn anything you needed to know about the rig. We were spoiled to have Drake here in town. I used mine from 1982 until last year. My QRZ pic still shows it (I need to update the pic). I finally bought an Icom 7300 last year and put the TR7 in the closet. Both rigs are game changers and that is why I bought the 7300. It is an awesome radio. 73, Steve N8DNG

Guest
BIll KA8VIT
3 years ago

I have a Drake TR7A for sale.
July 1, 2019

Drake TR-7A
Drake PS7 Power Supply
Amp Supply Company AT1200 Antenna Tuner

For pictures see:
http://ka8vit.com/drake

73 – Bill KA8VIT

Guest
Roger Thenot
3 years ago

Purchased a TR-7 (serial number 830) and PS-7 power supply in 1978 from the first HRO store in Burlingame, CA (built on an old train stop platform). Sold to me by the owner W6RJ, Bob Ferrreo who later built the HRO dynasty. A wonderful transceiver which I used primarily on CW to work many countries and Hams. I’m looking at it right now sitting on a shelf in the shack.

I recently purchased a IC-7300 and am still learning how to use this great radio. First QSO was with special station VK19AUS on CW in Australia. An excellent radio.

73’s Roger (K6VIA)

Guest
Frank Perdew
3 years ago

I don’t consider the IC-7300 an entry level rig. Because performance is high level.
Maybe because of price.

Entry level: Yaesu FT-450D, Icom IC-718, ext.

Frank WA3RSL

Guest
Michael Marcus
1 year ago

Worked for Joe Borsch’s Portland Radio Supply in the 70s. Sold quite a few TR-7s and R-7s, the TR-7 was out of my price range. Purchased a set of fully loaded TR-7 and R-7 in 1996. R-7 went out first, followed by the TR-7. Just finished fully restoring the both. BOTH the TR-7 AND the R-7 had issues with the VCO PCA. Started recapping the TR-7, but the 40+ year old Electrolytics I replaced had a better ESR than the Brand New Electrolytics I was using for replacement! That was quality. KG7M

Guest
Michael Marcus
1 year ago
Reply to  K0PIR

Rich,
I learned on a Straight Key and passed my Extra at 20 WPM at the Local FCC Office in Portland (1981). Been running mostly FT8 with my IC-706, but as soon as I repaired the TR-7, I immediately plugged my Straight Key into it. Even before the Mic! I have the 300Hz and 500Hz Filters in the R-7, and 500Hz in the TR-7 for CW. Will transceive with the pair and plan on working CW w/Straight Key. Hpe to BCNU on CW. Vy 73, Mike KG7M

Guest
Peter Schmelitschek
1 year ago

Greetings from VK,
I purchased a TR7 (S/N 9276) from a SK estate.

I wish to use my Heil Pro7 headset with the TR7, and see that the AD-1-D adapter cable is supposed to take care of the plug/plug connectivity for this combination.

What concerns me is whether the ‘Low Z’ dynamic insert in the Heil will have sufficient drive to satisfy the ‘Hi Z’ input quoted for the TR7.

I have seen (http://www.wb4hfn.com/DRAKE/DrakeArticles/InsideTheTR7) that pin1 is for ‘Low Level Audio’, while pin 4 is for ‘High Level Audio’.

Do you think it’s safe to assume that the AD-1-D uses pin 1?

I have to decide whether to import the cable from DX Engineering to VK, or lash one up myself (I have a spare 4 pin plug).

Anyhow I thought you may have come across this kind of issue before.

73
Peter VK2ZRO

Callsign
VK2ZRO
Guest
Eric
1 year ago

My strongest TR-7 recollection was a field day many years ago. One our friends provided the farm field and a TR-7 for operations. Occasionally the receiver would go half deaf. I remember being horrified when the owner, ( Greg W8XY) would take the cover off and smack the crystal filter with a screw driver. His comment at the time was something like, ‘you don’t respect something you helped engineer’. The rig in question was a prototype or engineering unit. Greg worked at Drake for several years and was on the TR-7 design team. BTW your TR-7 looks like it was in plastic for 35 of those 40 years. 73

Callsign
WD8KNL
Guest
Kjell
1 year ago

Your TR7 looks very nice. I am also using 2.85 kHz ssb filter. I have some pictures on sm5dda.wordpress.com/
73 Kjell

Callsign
SM5DDA
Guest
Peter
10 months ago

Oh for sure!! I own both. Drake was an amazing company that produced amazing equipment. I am somewhat of a Drake “collector” you could say as I also own a “B” line and “C” line and TR4CW/rit. Drake blazed the trail for all others with the TR7. Nothing would ever be the same again. It is known that many of the developers/engineers etc. at Drake wanted the TR7 to be a “hybrid” like others that were out at the time but a few forward thinkers knew that the future wouldn’t include tube design with new transceivers and so the TR7 as we know it. For me it has the BEST receive audio of anything that came after and as far as I’m concerned is easier to listen to than the tube radios that preceded it even though I am a true lover of tube “anything”! It is truly amazing and so I don’t understand why that kind of audio can’t be found in todays rigs. SDR is amazing in my 7300 but pretty much all SDR radios cause ear fatigue after awhile. The TR7 does not. When the new radios can pull out the weak signals using SDR like the 7300 and sound like a TR7 I’ll buy it. Until now in my opinion we haven’t achieved it, but again that’s my opinion. I have heard the new Elecraft K4 and it’s pretty good but not there yet.

Callsign
VE9KX
Guest
Scott Oakland
3 months ago

Nice article. I have a Drake TR7A with matching R7A Receiver (both mint and gone through by WB4HFN) I’d be tempted to let go if you or someone are interested. They are indeed great radios. I also have a third-party connecting cable that connects the TX to RX as the original cable does.

Callsign
W1AL
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