Realistic DX-160

Manufactured by Realistic DX / Tandy Corporation, Fort Worth, FL

Radio Shack DX-160

Technical data

Power supply


  • 368 x 165 x 235 mm, weight 5.3 kg


  • Matching speaker

Radio Shack DX-160


In around 1975, Tandy released the DX-160, which was one of the last general coverage receivers from RadioShack equipped with a linear dial with its modest reading accuracy.

The desktop set can be operated with 12 V DC or from 115 / 230 V AC mains, the matching speaker (the one shown in the picture actually belongs to the predecessor DX-150) had to be purchased separately.

The set has a horizontal frequency dial and to the left of it a band spread dial; if the main tuning is set to one of the corresponding markings, the frequencies of the amateur radio bands can be read directly on the band spread dial. To the right of the main dial is the backlit S-meter. Further down are several rotary controls in a row: on the very left and right positions are the somewhat larger knobs for tuning the band spread and the main tuning. Between them are the rotary controls for the BFO, the rotary knob „AF GAIN“ serves as a volume control and is combined with the main power switch. This is followed by an antenna trimmer, the band selector and the RF GAIN control for RF amplification.

The four slide switches embedded in the trim activate the noise limiter, the BFO for CW/SSB reception, select the AGC speed and reception / standby operation in case the receiver is to be used in conjunction with a transmitter.

On the back of the unit are the screw terminals for antenna and earth connection, the mains cable is directly attached, next to it the fuse cap. Next to the 12V DC input is a short-circuit plug; this connection can be used to mute the reciver in conjunction with a transmitter.

The operation is completely straightforward: connect a random length of wire as antenna (terminal A1), turn the AF gain up until a hiss is audible, the RF gain should be at the right stop, the AVC on Fast, the ANL on „off“.

With the band switch, you can now select one of the bands A (long wave, 0.15 - 0.4 MHz or 150 - 400 kHz), B (medium wave, 535 kHz - 1.6 MHz), C (maritime communications band 1.6 - 4.5 MHz) or one of the shortwave bands D (4.5 - 13 MHz) or E (13-30 MHz). For tuning in a station on a known frequency, the station must now be located in the corresponding shortwave band, which is a great challenge, especially on the higher bands due to the poor reading accuracy of the sets analogue dial. With careful detuning of the band spread dial, the signal can be tuned to maximum, and if necessary, the signal can be tweaked with the antenna trimmer by matching the wire antenna.

With the main tuning set to the red marks, you can hunt for waves in the amateur radio bands by using only the band spread dial to tune. With the BFO switched on, CW and single sideband transmissions coming from radio amateurs are also audible.

Radio Shack DX-160 The DX-160 is a „low budget“ all-band receiver corresponding to the state of the seventies without any outstanding extras. The poor dial reading accuracy quickly limits its practical use, apart from occasionally tuning around in the shortwave bands, you soon come to the point to look for a receiver with a more accurate frequency display, which, in form of a digital display standard in modern PLL synthesis receivers, is no longer a question of price.

Technical principle

Single conversion superhet with analogue tuning and band spreading.


The set is solid state.

Technical documentation


Further information

en/dx-160.txt · Zuletzt geändert: 2022/12/25 16:34 von mb