Wednesday, August 28, 2019



As of late I've been clearing out older radios from the "Ye-Old" closet (you just missed my TRC-459) when I ran across one of my "Crown Jewels", the Realistic TRC-23 "Navaho" AM CB base station. 

While I actually owned the "B" version, the 23 "C" for all intents and purposes, looks just like it. If there was ever an "A" model it was never advertised, and the 23 "C" was the last of that model, being replaced by the TRC-30. I bought the one pictured due to it's condition. (can't tell the difference between the Navaho 23 series and 30? check out the comparison below)

Radio Shack's TRC-23 series was a no-frills/am-only 23 channel base radio that was completely solid-state. It debuted at a time when the tube type CB radio base stations from Lafayette Radio Electronics dominated the urban market. Compared to their mobile radios, and later model base stations, this was probably the least attractive radio ever to don the Realistic brand name.

Not only was it cosmetically bland, the features were bare bones. While I owned this radio my entire being was focused on one thing, and one thing only - to remedy the high-pitched "tin can" transmit audio. 

I never could.

Home-made FET audio amplifier kits taken from S9, CB Radio, and Popular Electronics magazines either were toasted by my soldering skills or just failed to do much more than make me sound like I was talking in a louder tin can (I learned a lot about how NOT to handle MOSFET's).

The 23B came out around 1971, followed by the 23-C several years later. 

Both the B and C models are easy to spot because the controls knobs are on the right side of the front panel whereas the TRC-30 series moved the knobs to the left side.


I've received some e-mail over the years that were testimonials on how good their audio was using the TRC-23B, but when a timeline was worked out it was clear that the owners has used a 30A instead. 

As the Navaho name became more popular, a step up from either of these radios was found in the "Navaho Pro" models, and continued even further with the wildly popular TRC-57 and 457 am/ssb base stations.

BTW, an excellent website that features just about every Radio Shack catalog for your perusal can be found HERE. 

Well, enough blather on this low end rig of the past. From time-to-time it's always nice to take a look at how things were, so many decades ago...




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