The Drake Forum

Dayton Hamvention 2001

On May 19th, 2001, The Drake Forum commenced with opening comments from Sindre Torp (LA6OP) the forum moderator.   Pictured here Sindre welcomes everyone to the well attending standing room only session.  This session promises to be exceptional with our guest speakers and the Drake Panel of guys that built the equipment we treasure today.  Sindre is the foremost collector of Drake radios in the world.  Sindre, his wife and son traveled from Norway this year to attend the 2001 Dayton Hamvention.

Our first guest speaker was Bob Sherwood the founder and owner of Sherwood Engineering, seller of after-market filters and upgrade accessories for Drake Radios.  Bob is probably the top authority on H.F. receivers, he says even now the Drake R-4C is the best receiver available for serious contesters.  Bob's presentation was around the Drake R-4C performance and how it compares to today's receivers. 

Our next speaker was Riley Hollingworth, FCC Special Council for Enforcement.   Riley is well known for his no nonsense approach to policing the Amateur Radio Service.  His message was clear, enforcement is here and were actively doing our job.  Those that know Riley, know his desire to make the US Amateur Service the best in the world.   Riley also asked for amateurs to be patient when it comes to deliberant interference.  Sometimes what it seems to be, it not.  With the rapid changes in technology and development within the service, in some cases interference is not deliberant, its just not being aware.  He described a PSK-31 incident where an elderly ham would never dreamed of causing interference if he only knew what it was, and that they where there.  Riley's speeches are always entertaining and his love of the Amateur hobby is genuine.

Next on the agenda was John Loughmiller, KB9AT, author of "A Family Affair - The R.L. Drake Story".   John served as moderator for the engineering Q&A segment of the Drake Forum with the esteemed panel of former and current Drake employees.  Pictured on the left is John introducing the Drake Panel.  Pictured on the right are the 7 member Drake Panel (L-R) Milt Sullivan, chief engineer for Bob Drake responsible for all design from the 2A through the 4 Line radios.  Next is Jim Waits, he was the head of Quality Control through the 7 Line radios, next is Ernie Helton, lead technician in the Marine Division also designer of most of the test fixtures used in the manufacturing area.  Next is Steve Whitefield, a design engineer for the TR-5 and TR-7 transceivers and PS-7 Power Supply.  Next is Jim Martin, he was in charge of the 3 Line accessories and later worked in the Purchasing Department.  Next is Bill Frost, he is currently the company Service Manager, he also worked on the test line back in the 4 Line days, he is now the authority on all tube type Drake equipment.  On the far right is Mike Elliott who is the designer of the TR-5 and TR-7 transceivers, before working for Drake, Mike was the Chief Engineer for Heathkit.  Mike is also the person responsible for organizing the Drake reunion for the Hamvention.

On the left is Gary Polard, W8PU, with the microphone, asking a question to the Drake Panel.  

On the right is Bill Frost, Drake Company Service Manager, answering  questions from the audience.


The Forum Finale, on the right Sindre and John raffle off 5 copies of the CD-ROM manuals from HamManuals and two copies of John's book "A Family Affair - The R.L. Drake Story".  On the left Sindre announces the winner of the Drake TR-44 transceiver and power supply, and the winner is: Russell Wood, WA4DZL, from Havana Florida.

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Created By: Ronald Baker / WB4HFN