Robert Lloyd Drake founded the R.L.Drake Company in 1943, which initially manufactured amateur radio accessories. After moving to Miamisburg OH, the 1-A was introduced in 1957 as the first shortwave receiver covering the amateur radio bands with very compact dimensions. Around 1960 - 1966, further receivers followed, like the 2-A (-C), which also covered the amateur radio bands only. In 1964, the first receiver of the successful R-4 series was introduced, the double conversion set allowed a dial accuracy of less than 1 kHz on the amateur radio bands and on the available broadcast bands (crystals were needed), only with the optional frequency synthesiser FS-4, continuous tuning in the whole shortwave spectrum was possible. In 1978, the R-7 / 7A followed, covering the entire shortwave spectrum from 10 kHz to 30 MHz, and variants of these sets were also produced for maritime use.
In April 1991, Drake returned to the shortwave receiver market with the announcement of the R-8, the set earned both praise and criticism at the same time, mainly because of its operation scheme. However, not all models found their way to Europe. The SW line included simple tabletop models in the low-end range: the SW-1 can only receive AM signals, but like its larger siblings, it has a keypad for direct frequency entry, the SW-2 is capable of SSB reception, has more memories and can be operated via a remote control. The SW-8 can even be operated portably and has many features of a true station receiver. The older receivers 1-A to R-4C, which rely on valve technology, can be found as oldie - receivers in the Boatanchors section.
|R-7||1978||Triple conversion||10 kHz - 30 MHz||AM, USB, LSB, CW|
|R-7A||1978||Triple conversion||10 kHz - 30 MHz||AM, USB, LSB, CW|
|R-8||1991||Double conversion||100 kHz - 30 MHz||AM, AM sync, USB, LSB, CW, FM; sync detector, PBT, notch|
|R-8A||1995||Double conversion||100 kHz - 30 MHz||AM, AM sync, USB, LSB, CW, FM; direct access to all filters and modes, 440 memories|
|R-8B||1997||Double conversion||10 kHz - 30 MHz||AM, AM sync, USB, LSB, CW, FM; sync detector with independently selectable sidebands, 1000 memories|
|SW-1||1996||Double conversion||100 kHz - 30 MHz||simple tabletop receiver with 32 memories, AM only, 1 kHz tuning steps|
|SW-2||1997||Double conversion||100 kHz - 30 MHz||Tabletop receiver with 100 memories, AM, USB/LSB, optional remote control, 50Hz - tuning steps|
|SW-8||1994||Double conversion||100 kHz - 30 MHz, VHF AIR Band||portable tabletop receiver, AM, AM sync., USB/LSB|