JuSt  PlAiN  
uN  RaDiOs  

Realistic DX-302
These things look like a real communications receiver. I have three of them. I couldn't
help myself. I bought one, modified it a bit, bought another, and did more mods, the got
another and kept it stock. These are fun, interesting radios. Good, but not excellent in
anything they do, but they do work well, and they do what they are supposed to do. The RF
section has an effective preselector. I suspect this was designed as part of a survival
measure to help protect from broadband overload, but it does work nicely. The radio has
a couple of things going for it: The Wadley loop concept is kind of cool in operation. It is
super easy to align, service, and modify. It is my favorite for tinkering and trying out new
ideas. There's a lot of info available on the Internet to modify these things into nice
performers ... and it looks cool. Nonetheless, this is a FUN radio to operate. Try to avoid
the DX-300 which uses audio, not the IFs for selectivity selection.

Allied/Knight R-100
A nice, not-so-little superhet that looks and acts as good as any of this vintage pals. For
single conversion - no complaints. The Q-multiplier really works and makes broadcast DX
a lot of fun. It hears well and its selectivity can be whatever you want it to be.

Hammerlund HQ-100A
Ditto above, but made a lot more professionally. Very strong and solid. Again, as above,
the Q-multiplier is a gem ... even for CW. The 100A is quite stable, and when aligned
properly, it's a hot performer. This, and the Knight, are permanent keepers for me.

Heathkit GR-54
I built this tube radio almost 40 years ago. Nothing special, just a good, solid
single-conversion tube radio. All totaled, I have probably spent more happy hours tuning
HF DX broadcast on this wonderful radio than any other in my stable - many, many hours
being entertained by Radio Moscow's propaganda ... those funny little Commies. The
Heath mechanical design makes alignment a snap. It's an involved operation, but very
straight forward. And when you are done, you have the confidence that this little sucker is
as sharp as it can possibly be!

Realistic DX-160 (150/150A family)
Ditto above, but solid state. Inside, it looks like the GR-54's toprography - sort of.
Professionally designed, this is what an inexpensive general coverage table top should
look and feel like. It's iconic for the period and genre, a la, Hallicrafters slide rule-type dial
and the single line of controls ... real purdy.

Lafayette/Kenwood (Trio) HE-30/KT-320
This tube radio is another sleeper. Some folks say it's overrated ... dunno why. I think it's
underated ... and often overlooked at swap meets, etc. I love mine. It has Kenwood insides
and tunes to beat the band. Very business like, not flashy like the DX-160, but noticably
better in overall performance.

Sangean ATS-803A (Realistic 440)
What can I say? I've had three, or was it four, of these portables. I've done full alignments
and the published mods. Made my own external speaker jack and more utility external
antenna connections. It's a go-anywhere - do it all radio. At the beach, in the woods, or in
my hammock - it's usually the 803A by my side. For my money, it's one of Sangean's best

General Electric SR-III
Check out my mods Here
Oh boy ... where to start? It's an inexpensive portable for AM and FM broadcast only - no
shortwave. It is, by a big measure, the hottest AM b'cast radio come down the trail since
... well, ever.
Out of the box is a crap shoot. Chances are that you'll never find your station unless you
know the sound of your favorite announcer's voice. Once aligned, it'll be easier to love. It
has big sound, thanks to the 2-way speaker system. It uses a small paper cone driver for
the tweeter. Much spikier than a soft dome tweeter would be, and an under damped, high
compliance driver for the woofer, which provides exaggerated output in the 150 Hz area
for faux-bass. Still, it isn't too bad, nay, it's respectable, for a carry-around portable. Go to
SR-III Hot Rod Project - fun and performance - what more could a boy ask for!

C Crane Superadio
We'll get to this one once my depression over their chronic digital display problems goes
away. UPDATE 2008: Okay, so I finally took the whole thing apart - rainy Sunday - and
soldered the display ribbon cables to the display (they were originally glued!) Now it's
back to being human again. Good for AM DXing, convenient and fun...actually a fairly quiet,
sensitive receiver for the price.