R. L. Drake Company, Miamisburg, OH
RR - 1 / DEBEG 7220
überarbeitet am 19.10.2010
After 1971, Drake sold a receiver based on it's SPR-4 set and aimed for
use in the maritime communications market: the Drake RR-1 receiver.
In the early seventies, Drake's first solid state communications receiver
SPR-4 with crystal controlled coverage of the international shortwave broadcast
bands has been a dream of many shortwave listeners.
My RR-1 receiver, I got this one from DL1SDQ, has been sold by the German maritime communications equipment company DEBEG under the DEBEG 7220 designation with german language lettering on it's front panel. The dimensions of the grey metal tabletop cabinet are 51 x 21 x 30 cm. In the left half of the front panel, You find all the controls as found on a regular SPR-4, in the right half, You find an internal monitor speaker and a few controls typically used for onboard operation on vessels.
In the top section of the left half of the RR-1's front panel, You find the
signal strength meter calibrated in S units, the band segment switch and the main
tuning dial, all backlit in Drakes' typical bright blue colour.
In the right part of the front panel, You find a few controls only available
for this maritime communications variant and not found in the regular SPR-4:
There is a row of switches to activate the internal monitor speaker,
an additional 20 dB attenuator, the selector for mains / AC and ship battery / DC
operation and for automatic or manual gain control.
At the rear of the set, You find only an antenna connector and a muting connector, this will mute the receiver to protect the receiver front end from strong signals when a nearby onboard ship transmitter is in action.
The operation of the RR-1 is a bit typical for earlier Drake sets and not all
straightforward. You switch the set on using the AF gain / volume ccontrol.
Set the MODE switch to A2/A3 for regular AM reception. Now turn the Band Segment
switch to select the appropriate 500 kHz segment, e.g. the 12 MHz segment.
The number and the letter appearing in the window will indicate the recommended
settings for the BAND RANGE switch (in this example the F) and the preselector,
to continue with this example in the middle between the 6 and 7 marks.
Shortwave performance is similar to the one found in Drake's SPR-4 receiver, You will find a good dynamic range and rejection of unwanted signals, but You will have to accept to select Band Range and adjust the preselector manually after changing frequencies every time. With these disadvantages and the selective coverage of maritime bands that are not longer used for these kind of communication, the RR-1 is regarded as a collector's item more then a contemporary DXing machine.
© Martin Bösch