Radio Shack last offered tabletop receivers in the early 1980s. This is probably the least expensive tabletop receiver in the marketplace at the end of 1995.
The DX-394 has a scanner heritage. A rod antenna mounts through the top of the receiver, and the 160 memories are in 16 banks of 10 memories apiece. There is frequency searching, but no memory scanning.
The receiver is clearly oriented to the international broadcast listener. A METER button lets the user select a band from 120 through 11 metres. One of two clocks is displayed at all times. A tape recorder jack is on the rear apron.
Not surprisingly for the price, the DX-394 lacks features found on more expensive receivers: passband tuning, AM synchronous modes, tone control, bandwidth and AGC selections and computer control. From our perspective the most conspicuous omission is a connection to control a cassette tape recorder -- despite the inclusion of five timers -- but a work-around may be to use a tape recorder with VOX control.
The DX-394 is sensitive, perhaps too sensitive, given the filters. Under certain conditions we noted crosstalk between two adjacent, strong signals on a band. We wish the filters were more robust. Clearly this receiver is not designed to be used with large, high external antennas. In tests in strong signal locations in North America and Europe, the included rod antenna or a wire of probably no more than 10m in length should be more than sufficient for general listening.
Estimating the value of a rig can be challenging. We collect prices paid by real hams over the years to help you estimate the value of a used RadioShack / Realistic DX-394. Just bought or sold this model? Let us know what you traded it for and help other ham operators!
Based on historic data, today's second-hand price of the RadioShack / Realistic DX-394 is around:
These estimates are based on the following prices: