This is Radio Shack's Realistic TRC-30a, a basic featured 23 channel base station. This radio retailed for $159 in 1975, and was a good example of a "starter" base station. This model replaced the similarly featured TRC-23c, and featured a Volume, Squelch, Delta Tune, a decent sized S/R.F. meter, and an "ON-AIR/Modulation" indicator.  Overall performance was fair.  The receiver was somewhat sensitive, but was prone to suffer from adjacent channel bleed over and strong off-channel R.F. overload, which would desense the receiver when a strong signal was present on a different channel, which was a very common thing in the 1970's. The transmitter performed adequately, and sounded good on an amplified mic like a D104.  On the downside, the modulation had some "backswing", which was primarily due to the radio being equipped with an unregulated internal A.C. power supply (Did I say that this was a really low brow radio?). To rectify this, some of the locals would actually power their TRC-30's from external regulated supplies for better performance.

Despite some definite performance shortcomings, this radio was immensely popular in our local area in the mid 70's. This was due largely to the fact that places like Radio Shack and Lafayette Radio were one of the few stores where you could walk in and buy CB radios right off the street, and these brands ended up becoming very popular, especially with newbies.  Consequently there were quite a few TRC-30a's in our local area, whose owners included; Money Man, Blue Cougar, Rubberband, Navajo, Black Maverick, and many more.

I am now the proud owner of 3 TRC-30's, which were given to me to use for parts. Two of them actually work (and one is hooked up in my garage). The real irony is that this radio is now considered by some to be a "classic" (In the same warped way that a 1970's Ford Maverick could be considered one), and I have added it to my growing collection.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd rate this radio as a 3. It really wasn't all that great of a performer, but on the other hand, it was relatively cheap, fairly reliable, and wasn't hard to work on when it did have problems.

 

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