Just so we’re clear, I do not own the featured image on this page.
I am giving credit to whomever credit is due.
In the Summer of 2003, my interest in anything on radio electronics was flourishing. It was one of the best summers I had ever experienced because I was also just starting as a writer.
Being an unemployed sixteen-year-old at the time, I had to make every penny I had count.
Neither of my scanners could pick up the aircraft band and I was interested in hearing it.
I couldn’t hustle enough money for an actual scanner that was airband capable but I could eventually get a lower-end multiband radio.
So I began to scrape what money I could in hopes to either buy a Radio Shack 12-817 or a 12-756.
The 12-817 cost $29.99+tax and could be carried more easily but the 12-756 cost $39.99+tax and picked up more bands.
In mid to late July of 2003, I finally had enough money and ended up purchasing the 12-756, which this piece will be a review thereof. I think I paid less than the SRP because it was on clearance, therefore I even had enough money to purchase some Alkaline Enercells which back in the day were some wonderful batteries!
As I will be pointing out, this radio had a huge impact on my life.
Initially, I used it to listen to air traffic, but, months later, I find out that the AM receiver in it was pretty superb.
In October of 2003, while I was attempting to AM DX with this radio, I wound up catching WTIX on 690 kHz out of New Orleans. On that station was a show hosted by former Libertarian Presidential Candidate Harry Browne. The show had my undivided attention. So much so, that I gave up AM DXing for the evening. Though I wasn’t old enough to vote (or drink or own a gun), hearing his show for just a few minutes made me an instant convert to Libertarianism. I won’t lie, it was my love of alcohol and guns that caused me to espouse Libertarianism so quickly. I still hold on to some Libertarian principles but am now a fierce Moderate and have been since about 2019.
I would listen to Harry Browne’s show every Saturday Night. I soon would listen to other shows on that station.
I would frequently carry my Radio Shack 12-756 in my school bag and listen during class if nothing was required.
In the early morning hours of February 15, 2004, I was up early and attempting to do some AM DXing. I pulled in KTRS on 550 kHz. I pulled in several other stations that morning.
Later in 2004, I began listening to David J. Smith’s Newswatch Magazine which was carried on WWL and KAAY. I won’t lie, listening to this show contributed to me having a mental breakdown in June of 2004, but also prepared for an encounter and subsequent surrender to Jesus Christ and His Gospel in July of 2004. It was mostly listened to with my Radio Shack 12-756! I guess what captivated me about this radio program was even though David J. Smith was a Christian minister, he was against the Bush Administration, as was I. It also seemed that he was against the Iraq War, as was I. And his content was overall interesting. I was in catholic school, but during my religion class, the teacher, Coach Calvin “Buck” Buxton, God rest his soul, would allow me to read the Bible in his class, which further was preparing me for my encounter and subsequent surrender to Christ.
While I was hospitalized in June of 2004, this radio was a frequent companion, though the telescoping antenna had to be removed. I would listen to WBYU on 1450 kHz out of nearby New Orleans which was carrying Radio Disney. That radio helped me during one of my most trying times. Unfortunately, we could only listen at certain times. I was the only patient with a radio, almost everyone else had portable CD players.
I continued AM DXing and in February of 2005, on this radio, I received KFGO out of Fargo, North Dakota, the furthest known AM DX reception I have ever accomplished. And it was on my Radio Shack 12-756! I am currently trying to have better AM DX results with my GE Superadio, but I want to write a detailed piece on AM DXing in general and explain why it has gotten harder in recent years.
On nights and weekends, I was glued to this radio, especially listening to WSMB on 1350 kHz out of New Orleans.
On July 18, 2005, I became a licensed amateur radio operator and didn’t AM DX as much.
Then a little over a month later a wicked woman named Katrina destroyed many things, including radio broadcasting in New Orleans. I do want to write a piece on how wonderful radio in New Orleans was before Katrina.
On May 20, 2006, I graduated high school and at one point was working and going to trade school so I didn’t have much time for AM DXing.
On January 7, 2007, I met the girl who would become my wife and later ex-wife and didn’t have time for AM DXing.
In the Summer of 2008, I donated my Radio Shack 12-756 to a thrift store because other hobbies had occupied my efforts.
I could now kick myself for doing so considering the impact it had on me. Hindsight is always 20/20.
Here are some detailed specifications of this radio that I remember and also pulled out of The Radio Shack Catalog:
There are seven bands on this radio.
AM: 530-1700 kHz
FM: 88-108 MHz
TV Audio VHF Low: Channels 2-6 (now obsolete)
TV Audio VHF High: Channels 7-13 (now obsolete)
VHF Air: 108-136 MHz
VHF High: 145-175 MHz
WX: 162.4-162.55 MHz
The tuning accuracy and selectivity left something to be desired on most bands (FM and TV seemed accurate) but made up for it with sensitivity!
The power source was either a 6 Volt AC/DC adaptor or 4 AA batteries, which seemed to have a pretty generous runtime.
The audio quality was decent for a sub $50 radio but would get heavily distorted when the batteries were dying.
My one complaint about this radio is the color and the plastic cabinet seems a little flimsy, especially when constantly on the go.
I know I now have better radios for every band this device covered, but if God wills it I would like a duplicate simply because of the sentimental value. Or at least I would purchase the predecessor model, the 12-456, but again only if God wills it.
I guess, this, therefore, concludes my review of the Radio Shack 12-756 Multiband Receiver.
I know I am very biased towards this product, but because of the poor tuning accuracy on bands that count, the goofy color choice, and the flimsy plastic cabinet I will only give it a 4.25 out of 5 stars and that is being generous.
I hope that you the reader have been informed, entertained, and enlightened. May God richly bless you!