Panasonic RX-5150 and Sears 2192: 1982-83 Boombox Score

Boomboxes: 1982 Sears model 2192 and Panasonic RX-5150

Scored a couple of Boomboxes at auction the other night. Both for under $30, which is definitely a score in my book.

The first is a Sears model 2192 from 1982. It’s in the roughest shape of the two. The tape doesn’t spin at all, there were actually 10yo batteries inside that had corroded and rusted inside… along with dirt and dried something where it shouldn’t be. One knob was split, and the shaft slightly bent, so we’ll need to handle that.

The second is a Panasonic RX-5150, and it’s in more or less great shape. A split knob, a broken lever, and a few scuffs here and there. The tape drive does spin in this one. However its missing the tape counter reset button.

The Panasonic also features an “Ambience” mode, which I’m pretty sure is the equivalent of a “wide stereo” feature prominent throughout the 70’s and 80’s.

I didn’t have any tapes here in the new location (yet) so I couldn’t test that. I wouldn’t test it yet anyways because the heads in both units are just gross.

Both have something called “TPS” or “Tape Program Sensing.”

In the 1980s, Tape Program Sensing (TPS) was a feature found in some boomboxes and cassette players. It was designed to automatically detect the type of tape being inserted and adjust the playback settings accordingly. This feature allowed the device to optimize sound quality and playback performance based on the specific characteristics of the tape, such as tape bias, equalization, and noise reduction settings. TPS helped users achieve the best possible audio experience by ensuring the proper playback settings were applied for different types of tapes, such as normal, chrome, or metal.

The radios in each work great. I still have to figure out how they come apart(!) but I was able to find a service manual for the Panasonic. For interest sake I’ll just put it right here:

Check out the images from the 1982 Sears Fall & Winter Catalog I found at This bad boy retailed for a whopping $170 in 1982. Which in today’s money comes to about $530 (as of June ’23). It also has an interesting feature that I need to find out exactly what its for: That being a selectable oscillator (assuming for the radio.)

I’ve already recorded my unboxing and attempting(!) to get these opened. I’ll get that up real soon.

When I’m finished (assuming they’re fixable) the Panasonic will definitely be up for sale here, and on Antique Radio Shop. The Sears I haven’t decided yet. I might add it to the collection.

Let me know if you like this sort of thing, or not, or whatever.



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