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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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AC8JU Rating: 4/5 Dec 25, 2017 17:16 Send this review to a friend
keeper.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought mine in late 2016 when ARRL started talking about the August 2017 eclipse. Intended to set it up at the home of one of my grandkids in hope of getting him interested. No joy.
Then a funny thing happened. I put it to work in my own shack and within a few days it became my most used piece of gear.
It's not because it's better than my IC-R75 or any of the half dozen tranceivers in use here. Heck, even the IC-R10 handheld can kick it's bottom. It has two great things going for it; super low power consumption and that beautiful old sliderule dial with true bandspread.
First, the power item. The dial lights draw more than the actual receiver does. It looks like a boat anchor but draws less than the above mentioned handheld. Go figure. I leave it on most all the time and the light bill never notices. Sorta like a night light. Plus, it's expendable! Sooner or later I'll burn it up and It won't matter much. I'll just get another.
My love of sliderule dials is nothing but a preference left over from the good old days. My first real radio was a Gonset GR-211A, circa 1962. Then a series of Hallicrafters SX's Traded off the last of these for a TenTec Omni and missed it right away, even though it sucked up electricity like a welder. (back to that again.)
I just like the old way better. Sure, you never know where you are for sure unless you spot it with a transmitter ( or an antenna analyser) but you always have a feel for it that just isn't there with a digital readout. Even a panadapter waterfall lacks that sort of situational awareness for me. By the way, I'm 70.
K7LZR Rating: 4/5 Aug 12, 2014 17:11 Send this review to a friend
Not bad, really.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have the DX-150A version. In the past, I've had a few others in this series - the DX-150B, and a DX-160. Haven't used one since about 1992 until now.

The DX-150A which I have now seems to me to be much more stable than the others. After its been turned on for about 15-20 minutes, I can tune in SSB communications and listen for a long time without need to adjust the BFO. I'm using the internal speaker and audio is full, loud, and clear.

This receiver is quiet - i.e. the noise floor seems pretty low and signals appear well above the noise.

These receivers were dream radios for many in their time, and they are still useful today. In this age of digital LCD everything, its nice to operate an analog radio with a genuine slide rule style of frequency readout and a real analog S meter.

So if you want a nice, retro, and usable receiver then the DX-150A is a good choice.

Mechanical stability is ok but not too great - I can bump the radio and cause it to jump frequency quite a bit.
W0TRJ Rating: 5/5 Oct 28, 2012 10:45 Send this review to a friend
DX 150 first version  Time owned: more than 12 months
I know of 3 versions of this radio, the DX-150
DX-150A and DX 150B.
I have the first version DX-150 Ser#7256
All 3 versions have different circuit designs .
I modified the the AVC circuit on the one I own with a 220uF cap replacement in the AVC circuit to make the S-meter slow down delay action for SSB signals.
All the DX-150 series radios I know of have the same problem with no slow S-metering delay action
the mod does work to slow down S-meter AVC delay.
Also installed a 1 1/2 volt grain of wheat bulb in series from the circuit board to the antenna connector for front end protection.

I rated the old late 1960's DX-150 receiver 5/5
Heavy duty metal cabinet-receives great on all bands with a good external antenna and eazy to repair if needed.
WU0R Rating: 4/5 Jan 27, 2012 09:25 Send this review to a friend
Memories and Nostalgia  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have a couple of these, the 150A (with the internal speaker) and the 150 (with the external speaker). They work okay but you have to have a good outside antenna and a good ground. Another thing you have to watch for is the antenna terminal. I recommend putting an arc discharge cartridge in line otherwise a spike will likely take out the first RF Amp (transistor), not well protected.

Reception is on par with what you would expect with any $100 receiver. The tuning is a bit course so tune your bandspread very slowly.

Liberal use of the RF Gain will allow for a more pleasant experince on the SWL bands and the amateur bands.

I recommend about the 2PM position for RF Gain and use your AF Gain appropriately.

Basic radio, but kinda fun.
AB1JX Rating: 5/5 May 8, 2011 23:16 Send this review to a friend
Myt favorite analog DX-*  Time owned: more than 12 months
Yeah, but those rubber mounts on the tuning cap go bad, then what? My latest one had 3 of them broken, so I replaced them with rigid spacers and it's microphonic, most noticeably on band D.

I bought one new in high school about 1970, paid $120 and I was working for about $3 an hour then. Had it for about 30 years then lost it in a move, so I'm trying ones from eBay. The 150A is my favorite of the 150/160s.

The only thing I didn't like was that the dial lights were too bright beside my bed at night. If you read between the lines in the service manual, the dial lights draw more power than the radio and they're a source of drift in the DX-160.

If anyone's interested, there's a realisticdx group on Yahoo with some manuals, schematics, mods, stories...

Alan, AB1JX
KO0KY Rating: 5/5 Aug 12, 2009 20:24 Send this review to a friend
I loved and still love this rig  Time owned: more than 12 months
I gave this radio a 5 because, I guess, pure nostalgia. This was my first SW radio in the early 70's when I was a teenager, and I bonded strongly with it. True, it is not in the same league as the Hammarlunds and Hallicrafters of its day, but it didn't cost what a decent phone patch did either. I spent many enjoyable hours with the rig, until 1981 when I got my first ham ticket. I graduated to a TS130 and I sold the 150. The rig got fried by lightning at the new owners house within two months, never to work again. I came across a used one in Maysville, KY in 2001, so I bought it (for $50) and have enjoyed it ever since. I relive my youthful days listening to Radio 'Habana' Cuba and all the others. Back then I listened to a lot of CBers, way back when it wasn't an obscenity laced cesspool, ship-to-shore telephone operators, and airliners. All the time dreaming of my Extra Class license. Ah, the memories. This radio was my break into SW and I will always love it.
W8AAZ Rating: 3/5 Apr 11, 2009 18:34 Send this review to a friend
Was sexier when you were 12 years old!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I used to drool over the 150-160 series in the Rat Shack store, setting up high on it's shelf behind the counter. The store had antennas on the roof for SW and CB at the least. They would let you play with it a little bit. I was all gaga to get one but being a poor kid, had to settle for the lamer DX-120. Ahead decades, I never bought one but someone finally gave me one a few years ago. Actually seems pretty selective and sounds good until you get somewhere in the highest band, and it goes flat dead, like my 120 did. I don't mean fades out, I mean hits a brick wall of silence. My friend claimed he did a full alignment on it. I think the front end needs neutralised or something just wrong with the design. But if you can get a nice clean one it performs as well as the tube gen. coverage sets of the 50s and 60s minus the drift, heat, and has sharper selectivity I think. I don't think they are worth what ebay gets but if someone gives you one, it can be useful and fun to play with. Unless you are totally spoiled by digital tuning versus "guess" tuning. There is no calibrator in this thing. If you get a rusty thrashed trashed one, don't expect to judge it fairly.
AF6IT Rating: 3/5 Jun 27, 2008 13:13 Send this review to a friend
Decent for a cheap receiver  Time owned: more than 12 months
The DX-150A provided many hours of enjoyment listening to SW broadcasts and ham traffic as a kid. Probably helped build my level of interest to the point of eventually becoming a licensed ham.

The one frustration I always had with that rig from the moment it was new was that it usually would pick up multiple stations simultaneously with absolutely no way to adjust the selectivity. Whoever praised its selectivity must have attached a ground rod to the antenna terminal! Its passband was wider than a barn door!

But it did certainly get the basic job done, and much better than the cheap portables available at the time. I was slightly disappointed when my brother dumped it when it quit working, but I would certainly not go out of my way to find another. My old Hallicrafters SX-28 was a hundred times the receiver, so no going backwards here. If I want primitive I will just build more QRP stuff. It was fun while it lasted...
KB3QMT Rating: 4/5 Jun 27, 2008 10:58 Send this review to a friend
Not Bad.  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought one of these used in 1981 and used it until the switches corroded beyond use in 2003. While I was disappointed that it died, 20+ years use from a used radio is still decent service.

It was an attractive radio. It did drift a little bit, and I doubt it would have been good for much more than international news broadcasts (my only interest at the time).

It did everything I wanted it to do at the time, thus I was very satisfied with this receiver.
N8GTX Rating: 3/5 Oct 12, 2006 21:06 Send this review to a friend
average  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Would make a good first time communication receiver for those with little funds. There are better radios from this era so spend a little more. Output audio is poor in my book. Very flat. Audio quality reminds me of a cheap low end 1930s radio. Sorry if I insulted any 30s era tube sets. Super easy radio to align or repair.
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