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Reviews Categories | Receivers: General Coverage | Realistic SW-100 Help

Reviews Summary for Realistic SW-100
Realistic SW-100 Reviews: 6 Average rating: 4.2/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: Multiband Receiver: AM/FM/SW1/SW2/CB/WX/Police/Air
Product is in production.
More info: http://
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KB8GRO Rating: 4/5 Jul 29, 2019 18:29 Send this review to a friend
Multi-Band Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had this radio for over 20 years, I am Listening to it now, am and fm does a good job of reception, cb works well, shortwave works if you are patience with the tuning, of coarse, no tv sound now, public service band, 2 meters, police and fire works well, I wish it had a squelch control, our area has went over to digital on police, but smaller communities are still analog, air works very well, I live 4 miles from an airport, and NOAA comes in very well. this radio is raw in its operation, it is big, nice speaker, looks good, multi-band radios are a blast from the past, mine was a demo unit, last the store had that was labeled Realistic, got mine in 1997, mine has a manufactured date of May 1993.
NJ2WA Rating: 3/5 Nov 19, 2015 18:18 Send this review to a friend
Looks fantastic on the shelf  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This is a radio I would have drooled over when I went into a Radio Shack as a youngster. I picked one up recently for a very good price still in the box. It sure looks the part, like a nice high end field radio. It has pretty much all the features you'd want- A "gyro" style AM loop (free-turning with no ratcheting stops), AM/FM, shortwave, TV audio (useless now, of course) air, weather, even CB for all your good buddies out there. The case has a padded leather-like vinyl around it which actually looks really nice. The AC power cord is fixed to the unit and tucks inside the battery door, which is a really great feature I wish other similar radios had. It also has a unique PA mode with a 1/8" mic input so the kids in your life can scream into it if you want. AM/FM reception is pretty good, and the big speaker has a good sound even with the single tone control.

That's about where the good news ends. The controls are all feather-light with no feedback or feel to them, particularly the tuning control which due to the overly fast tuning speed, lack of feedback and excessive backlash make it hard to tune a station. Selectivity is terrible, it picks up multiple stations at the same time most of the time, which I notice is particularly bad on the weather band where I hear several stations simultaneously. Overall the thing feels cheap and is frustratingly terrible to operate. The "fine tuning" control knob seems to be a vari-cap with no stops, and it's position makes it easy to accidentally bump the coarse tuning knob. If you can actually tune a station, it seems to sound pretty decent, but even strong stations like WWV are hard to find. Overall, compared to even my most terrible shortwave receiver (Grundig S350) the SW-100 is almost useless as a shortwave receiver, and just adequate on the AM/FM bands.

If you need a movie prop or a radio to look good on a shelf or something for a kid to play with this is a great radio to own. Otherwise, if you actually want to use a radio as a radio, save your money and pick up any Realistic DX-series unit, which will leave this toy in the dust.
N0FPE Rating: 5/5 Mar 7, 2013 10:32 Send this review to a friend
works good  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had this radio since at least the mid 90s. Still works great. was my work radio for years and now plays its heart out in the garage when i am working on some other radio project. Worth every penny I paid for it those many years ago! I have gotten more than my moneies worth of use!! would I buy another one. You bet!
KC8FSO Rating: 4/5 Mar 6, 2013 19:31 Send this review to a friend
VERY SURPRISING PREFORMANCE !  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought a Realistic SW 100 used without the Antenna whch had been Broken off ! This radio picks up Stations other radios I have had that would NOT !1 AM-FM-Sw ! with out the whip antenna ! I paid $20 and it was well worth the $$ !! Fantastic RADIO !! Wonder what it will do with whip antenna replaced and/ od a WIRE ! LOVE IT !1
KG5BEX Rating: 5/5 Feb 27, 2009 15:11 Send this review to a friend
Pretty "Great"  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought this new back in '95. I agree with Sliderulex on all but its ability to pull in weak stations. I've copied the (to me) elusive Cuban numbers (Attencion) station with it. I have an approximately 90' wire I can hook into, so it pulls in all kindza stuff. I'm sort of an SSB junkie: this one don't have the feature, my other rigs do, so I get my fixes from them. The speaker size makes this radio sound very rich in my opinion, so it's great for all purpose listening. Yes, it tends to drift. Oh, well. I also have a small lapel microphone from Radio Shack so I can use the public address feature on it. All in all a cool radio with a pretty serious look to it. Pretty inexpensive on Ebay, too.
SLIDERULEX Rating: 4/5 Jul 16, 2005 11:09 Send this review to a friend
Old workhorse still!  Time owned: more than 12 months
For her age, she still pulls in the signals. I'm amazed at how well this old performer still brings down the house. I use it mainly for SW, and have picked up SW broadcasts my Grundig S350 picks up and when I use the SW-100 in my bedroom, it picks up stations without all the static included that is heard on my Grundig.

It also picks up aircraft band (112-130MHz) and I sometimes listen to them. It picks up CB, though I haven't used it much. It picks up TV stations, and I've heard them. It picks up local police stations, and I've heard them. It picks up the weather (NOAA) station, and I've heard them. It would probably pick up Martians if they were around!

Care and feeding:
She's big. This ain't no girly radio. You wouldn't want to try to stuff it in your briefcase, heck, forget trying even a suitcase! She's meant to be used in your room, or if you're so inclined, outdoors. She can take punishment, too. She eats batteries (4-D cells) unless you listen through headphones. Then she puts herself on a diet, so your batteries last a long time.

She ain't no Grundig Satellit 700, or Sony 2010. She can't pull in exotic weak stations. But if you want a big box that's tough and sassy who still can pick up a lot of SW, along with AM/FM/CB/TV/Police/Weather/Aircraft, then this big bertha is for you. She's versatile, tough, and cheap. She's all radio!

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