How do I tune a shortwave receiver?
October 23, 2004 5:26 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone here know how to tune a shortwave receiver that has bandspread and main tuning dials?

(forgot to say 'more inside')

It's an old Realistic DX-160 from the early 1970s.

I just draped 50' of wire outside my eighth-floor window and am eager to start DXing.
posted by alumshubby to Technology (4 answers total)
Although not familiar with the DX-160, I believe you tune the bandspread to a specific shortwave band (80 meters, 25 meters, etc) and then use the main tuning dial to choose frequencies within that range. You can find a list of shortwave bands and their respective frequencies here.

More info on shortwave bands here.

Hope that helps, good luck and happy DXing...
posted by birdsong at 6:49 PM on October 23, 2004

actually, thats almost correct. the bandspread control on that rig changes the "coarsness" of tuning, it allows you to tune through a band more slowly, i.e.. you cover a smaller amount of the band with the same number of turns of the tuning knob. sort of like a fine tuner. experiment and you'll see how it works.
posted by quonsar at 8:38 PM on October 23, 2004

Congratulations on your purchase of the Radio Shack DX 160. It is the same reciever that gave me countless hours of distraction during my childhood, until I saved up enough for a model with the then-new digital tuning (the Sony ICF 2001). While the bandspread dial on your 160 allows you to slowly wade through crowded broadcast bands, you may find analog tuning of shortwave signals to be frustratingly imprecise. The 160 is quite selective - it seperates signals well - but it's tricky to tune in a precise frequency, or figure out what frequency your radio is tuned to.

Have fun. Make a good antenna, collect lots of QSLs. Manual for your 160 here.
posted by psychoticreaction at 11:28 PM on October 24, 2004

Response by poster: It took hours, and I felt like a safecracker trying, but I finally tuned in something intelligible. Not sure what station it is, but somebody's talking abt NFL football. :o)
posted by alumshubby at 11:22 AM on October 25, 2004

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