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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Realistic DX-150A Help

Reviews Summary for Realistic DX-150A
Realistic DX-150A Reviews: 16 Average rating: 4.2/5 MSRP: $119
Description: Shortwave receiver, predecessor to the DX-160
Product is in production.
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KC1MK Rating: 4/5 Sep 1, 2006 11:48 Send this review to a friend
Decent performer for era, ultimate nostalgia for me  Time owned: more than 12 months
My parents gave me a new DX-150A for Christmas when I was a kid and first got interested in radio. I had a blast with it and spent many enjoyable hours with it. Unfortunately, when I moved out of my parents' home, I left it behind, and it got sold. I always wanted to find another nice DX-150A for nostalgia's sake if nothing else.
I finally got around to looking for one on eBay about a year ago. I quickly spotted what seemed to be one in very good condition. As I looked at the pictures the seller had posted, I saw the serial number and my heart skipped a beat. 20236. I was almost certain that was my original DX-150A itself! I checked my old logbook when I got home, and sure enough, it was the very DX-150A my parents had given me over 35 years earlier! I quickly got it at the Buy Now price of $50. When I received it, it was in excellent condition, just as I remembered it. It worked well, though I did align it to get the best possible performance from it.
It's the epitome of an inexpensive general coverage shortwave receiver of the early 1970s. As such, it's no match for more modern radios, but it works suprisingly well and is a pleasure to use. I use a small outside loop (about 50 feet total) and an Ameco preamplifer (if needed--usually not necessary except on higher frequencies, where it helps sensitivity and image rejection), and I listen to it frequently.
Sometimes I put on the headphones, turn off the lights, and go back in time. It has a certain sound through headphones that I recall so well, and the dial lighting looks so familiar. It's the closest thing I'll probably ever have to a time machine!
K2VI Rating: 5/5 Apr 28, 2006 13:20 Send this review to a friend
great analog reciever  Time owned: more than 12 months
For a single conversion analog reciever they dont get any better than this radio.I own 4 150a's 2 150b's and two 160's.the 150a outpreforms all analog recievers built in the 1970's.Ive had most of them and sold them all.the reciever on the 150a is super quiet until you tune into a station then it pops in loud even if the signal is weak you can easily hear them.with a good long wire 100 feet or so outdoors the ability to recieve is close to the modern day recievers,you can find them on ebay for 40.00.Do not bid over 45.00,you will be getting ripped off and with patience and perseverence you will find a clean 150a for 40.00.that is what i paid for all my A's.good luck and good dx.

VE4HAM Rating: 4/5 Oct 1, 2004 19:50 Send this review to a friend
Still Has Class  Time owned: more than 12 months
Owned one since new, and at the time most all were analog readouts. If one never lived through this era, with all the exhorbant almost unserviceable or extremely expensive repair and dilemnas the new sets are today, of course they'd throw some bad marks against it. But, you know, this set is still in use here for great casual use, and even used it as a receiver for morse code in the early days using a small tube transmitter. The 150A stability, in good shape, is far better than that 160 that was that drifted far and wide. Using a multiband dipole for the shortwave bands, then a shortwave listener then, 200 countries were logged and confirmed. It's as sensitive as one can get up to 12 mhz, but with a good antenna, it's not so bad up above. I made a one tranistor FET rf preamp for it later, although they could be had for a few bucks many places ...even ebay, and the set came alive right to 30 mhz even without a large antenna. How did people listen and communicate before the digital world.....makes me wonder how people think. It's still a nice classic set for the most part on the most used and effective bands shortwave has to offer. As for tuning, if it's been kept's fine enough, and if a station says go to 5.765'd get in the ballpark easy enough. And, it's got the cosmetic appeal lacking so much today all lit up like it is, and us SWL'ers back then called the whole scene, the lamps, the lit dials and tuning plate and the lit S-meter jumping to and fro the "fireplace of listening." Sure a lot worse out there, by far , sure was a myriad worse than this classy set
KU3E Rating: 5/5 Jan 22, 2004 23:30 Send this review to a friend
It is what it is  Time owned: more than 12 months
To the DX-150A owner who complained about this radio, it is not a Collins. It is a basic single-conversion 4-band superhet, and fun to use for what it is. Backlash indicates a need for dial restringing. When in good shape there is almost none in the 150A.
WA6AWZ Rating: 4/5 Sep 11, 2003 17:06 Send this review to a friend
Great start  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Even though I have an original DX-150 (no letters appended), I think it's a lot of fun. I gave it a 4 for performing well for what it is. Anything with slide rule tuning is not going to be too serious as a receiver, but I think this radio is a superb first radio as they can be had for cheap (mine was $25) and they are pretty well built. I lusted for one of these in the late 60's, and I was surprised to find out how much I like it - even for something 34 years old. I love to just tune around and enjoy being in the wayback machine.
KU3E Rating: 5/5 Sep 9, 2002 00:49 Send this review to a friend
Best version of the DX-150/160 series  Time owned: more than 12 months
The DX-150 "A" version is an excellent general coverage receiver for casual use. The original DX-150 employed a biploar transistor front end and suffered from cross-modulation and other ills. The 150A introduced a FET front end, and when properly aligned has good frequency readout accuracy and excellent sensitivity and selectivity.

The DX-150A has a conventional OTL transistor audio amp that has plenty of gain and is noise-free. The DX-150B and DX-160 use an NEC UPC20C (equiv. NTE1075A) audio amp IC that in a half dozen radios I've seen has a large amount of hiss. It can be annoying to listen to weak signals under those conditions on a DX-150B or 160.

As an aside, I have improved a very hissy DX-160 by experimentally increasing the value of the resistor R54. R54 resides between stages of the audio IC between pins 4 and 5. The hiss was decreased but with some loss of gain.

The 150A also has nice, solid metal knobs that were replaced with cheap plastic knobs on the 160. This makes a better "feel" on the 150A.

I prefer the version of the DX-150A that has ventilation slots on the top of the cabinet. The main tuning capacitor in three examples of this version is shock-mounted on rubber standoffs, as opposed to being directly bolted to the chassis in the other versions (and in the 150 and 150B/160).

These radios do seem to go out of alignment over the years. Symptoms are incorrect frequency calibration and loss of sensistivity on one end of a band. Alignment is easy, just remember to adjust the trimmer capacitors at the high end of the bands and the coils at the low end (tuning cap plates fully meshed). The DX150A service manual is unclear on this point.

These can be had on Ebay (as of mid 2002) for $30-$75.

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