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Friday, November 18, 2022

The 2Q -- A Homebrew Solid-State Drake 2-B from 1967

This is really an amazing project.  Way back in 1967 (that's 55 years ago) John Aggers W5ETT of Ponca City, Oklahoma decided to homebrew a solid state version of our beloved Drake 2-B receiver.  Triple conversion.  No crystal filters.  Twenty two discrete transistors and no ICs. Tuned circuits at 50 kHz to provide most of the selectivity.  And he did it.  Just look at the picture above.  It even LOOKS like a Drake 2-B.  

I sent this to our friend Dale Parfitt, W4OP who more recently built a receiver like this.  He too was amazed by this project.  

The article by John Aggers is very clear and provides a lot of good information on how he designed and built this receiver using the technology of 1967 and junk box parts.  I was struck by the lack of diode ring mixers. And I was somewhat taken aback by his use of plug-in socketed transistors.  The AF amplifier is our still-familiar transformer-less push-pull complementary pair design. John did a wonderful job on the mechanical tuning and slide rule mechanism. 

Three cheers for John Aggers W5ETT.  This article is a reminder of the great benefit to the hobby of writing up a project and putting out there in the world.  Here we are, more than half a century later, reading John's article and learning from it.  FB OM.   


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  1. Love it…thanks for sharing, Bill!

  2. Replies
    1. Great to hear from you Michael! Winter is coming. Back to the Hobbit Hole OM. Time to melt some solder. 73 Bill

  3. I truly enjoy looking through old Ham magazines like 73, Ham Radio and others.
    This is a project that I've missed!

    I keep a lookup index for both of these magazines ('73' and 'Ham Radio') just for the fun of seeing what was going on 50 years ago.

  4. Paul N. Nix; WB5AGFMay 4, 2023 at 12:09 AM

    I ran across this article while researching the Drake 2-B Receiver's audio output design. I went-and-found the Find-A-Grave Memorial for John and have added some comments on his having been a ham as well as mentioning the receiver that he designed-and-built. (signed) Paul N. Nix, WB5AGF


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