Robert L. Drake 1-A SSB Receiver
Welcome to my Robert L. Drake 1A SSB Receiver page. This radio was designed by Robert L. Drake in the later 1950's. Prior to the design of this radio, the typical ham receiver was very large, very heavy, and very complicated. With this radical design, Robert L. Drake challenged the norm and drove the radio market in a new direction. While this radio was truly revolutionary and acknowledged to be technically superior to most radios of the day, it was ridiculed for its strong resemblance to a rural mailbox. The radical departure from the norm is not unnoticed. The typical radio of that day weighed some 45 - 50 pounds and was 25 some inches wide. The Drake 1A weighed only 18 pounds and was 12 inches wide. It was clearly a great leap forward in design!

Actually there was some reason for its 'unique' shape. Knowing the typical ham already had a huge radio receiver on the table, it is purported that Drake designed the 1A to take up as little space as possible with the expectation the user will slide his big heavy receiver over about 12" and slip the 1A in-between the transmitter and receiver. Hence it is narrow and tall. Note that this was the only 'mailbox' shape design.

I personally use my Drake 1A with a Johnson Ranger II transmitter. The receiver is an excellent performer and a joy to use. Note that this receiver has the coveted 'Passband Tuning' feature which was only available on the very high end receivers like the Collins 75A4.

I've included some close up photo's of the front panel, rear panel, side, with and without cabinet. I hope the large format doesn't take too long to load. I am hoping to give you a super close up tour of this amazing radio.
Drake 1A with Cabinet
Drake 1A without Cabinet
More Drake 1A Photo's
Back to WA9WFA SW-3 and Classic Radio

Last Update: 01/24/04
Web Author: Scott Freeberg WA9WFA
Copyright 2004 by Scott Freeberg WA9WFA - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED