The Browning-Drake Receiver

This is my three tube version of the famous Browning-Drake regenerative receiver

Although this version was designed to operate with # 30's, I have 201's installed in the pictures.  I did this because I don't have enough 30's in a globe shape and these look better in the pictures.  The early versions of this set used 201's, but you needed an extra "C" battery for the audio bias.  With the 30's, you don't need the extra supply.  201's work in this circuit, but with distorted audio.  To add the bias supply, simply disconnect the ground from the secondary of the audio transformer and connect about -4 volts from there to ground.

This set performs very well with good sensitivity and better than average selectivity.  The Browning-Drake owes it's improved selectivity to the special detector coil which has a loose coupled primary.

Both coil and capacitor assemblies are the original as sold by National.  Back then, you could buy just the L/C set or a whole kit to build your own set.  I purchased these about ten years ago from Gary Schneider at
Play Things of Past.

Although the schematic shows a variable capacitor in series with the antenna, I substituted a 15 pf. fixed capacitor on my set.  I couldn't see any improvements by using the variable capacitor.

Top view showing the beautiful National coils and variable capacitors.  The dial/knobs came with the assemblies.  Here you can see the # 14 square buss wire I used throughout.  The base is again, solid Mahogany and the front panel is an epoxy and linen composite.

Left side view with another look at the National coil assemblies.

Back view showing the rear panel with the power, antenna and ground connections.  You can also see the antenna switch and variable coupling capacitor.  I used another nice All-American transformer for the audio coupling.

This is my favorite vintage homebrew project.  The only thing I would change is to include another stage of audio amplification.

**New** Click here to see another wonderful Browning-Drake breadboard set that was constructed by William Nielsen

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© 2006 ~ 2009  Michael R. Starcher ~ All Rights Reserved