The D201 series of CB base stations followed the Titan series (Titan through Titan IV) and was the last vacuum tube CB base station designed by Tram. The were essentially three versions of the D201. The first version of the D201 is referred to by collectors as the "rat's nest", handwired or VOX model. The "rat's nest" is in reference to the point to point handwiring used in these radios. The handwired D201's were built in Winnisquam NH. Tram dropped the VOX control and replaced it with a variable noise limiter on the second version D201. This version and the subsequent D201A (40 channel version) were built in Mexico and incorporated printed circuit boards that were prone to heat related problems. The D201A was a warranty disaster as a result of the failure of the main channel selector switch after a very short period of time.
First Version D201
Second Version D201
This may have been a preproduction or engineering mock-up of the D201. The badge, speaker grille, both the main channel selector and VFO appear to be different. I believe that is an "on the air" light between the clarifier and the crystal/manual selector. I have never actually seen one of these.
Several years ago I was able to purchase the unmodified mint D201 pictured above from the original owner with the original box. This radio was purchased for $795 on July 29th, 1975 from E&S CB Sales in Winchester, IN and only used for a couple of years and then put away. The serial number is #12163 and it is a very early unit. The manual that came with the radio was a hand typed preliminary with no schematics. The yellow and white owner's instruction manual came out later. This radio does not have the factory installed noise blanker and indicates a very early production run, however Tram made the noise blanker standard in later production runs.
There were two reviews of the D201 by CB Magazine. The first was in July 1975
and then a follow-up in April 1976.
The 1st review and the 2nd review are available in PDF format.
Tram ran ads in CB Magazine and S9, however they did not run very many for the D201 early on. This is I believe one of the first ones that was run for the D201 in the May 1976 issue of CB Magazine.
Soon Tram began running full page ads for the D201, however some of the ads were not very accurate.
In both of these ads the radio has the badge of an early handwired D201, but notice that the knob just to the left of the main channel selector is not correct. On the handwired D201's a set of concentric knobs were used and the single knob in the ad above is labeled as the MIC GAIN/TTC. On the later printed circuit board D201's the dual controls were replaced by a single knob variable noise limiter as shown in the ads above.
I am always interested in any information about Tram, so please send it to me.
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