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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | Radio Shack HTX-252 Help

Reviews Summary for Radio Shack HTX-252
Radio Shack HTX-252 Reviews: 116 Average rating: 3.2/5 MSRP: $179.95 plus tax
Description: 2 meter FM moble tranceiver, mini size. 10 memories, 10/25 watts, DTMF mic, 144-148 tx, 136-174 rx
Product is not in production.
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N4REV Rating: 4/5 Sep 30, 2009 12:53 Send this review to a friend
5 Year Review  Time owned: more than 12 months
Still going after 5 years.

Pros: Tiny!
Doesn't get near as warm as my FT-5100
Can be had super-cheap (very) used.
Cons: Low TX Audio! (see narrative)
MUST use Mic for programming functions
TINY speaker yields insufficient RX Audio.
BULBS difficult to replace. (see narr.)

I've had this little dude since 2004. It is still running as or better than new. Only fear now is that the mic is going to break, rendering the rig useless. A great rig to put in your go kit and use portable with a small battery, due to its diminuitive size. The small backlight bulbs tend to die often. And, as is the case with many rigs of this vintage, the bulbs ARE NOT LED (meaning don't last)and are relatively difficult to replace. I ended up wiring up 3 LEDs that have lasted for years. I repair radios as a hobby, and TX audio is low on every one of these I encounter. RV2 is the pot for same. Remove the lid, and point the knobs on the face of the radio away from you, heatsink pointing at your belly. Locate RV2. From the factory, it will be "pointing' at the 5 o'clock or 5:30 position. Turn RV2 clockwise until it points to approximately 7 o'clock. (This, of course, assuming you do not service/monitoring equip.) Voila! Audio problem solved. Also find a decent external speaker, because the 1-1/4" number built in the unit just doesn't do a good job.
KB9WWL Rating: 3/5 May 26, 2009 11:26 Send this review to a friend
A few years later...  Time owned: more than 12 months
I bought this radio in 2000 just after getting my ticket. Since then it's been used for local repeater work and a bit of packet, and it's spent a fair amount of time just sitting in its box while I'm away at school.

I have a few issues with it. It developed a problem where the squelch knob did not work at all and the receive signal strength indicator stopped working; this was easily and quickly fixed by touching up the solder joints between the display board and the main board. The problem is that I've had to do this twice now. After taking it out of storage for a bit of "playing radio" a few days ago, the main frequency knob and its shaft fell out of the case... a drop of super glue fixed that.

I've heard nothing but good reports on transmit audio, and receive audio is OK. After figuring out its goofy PTT circuit, I got the radio to work with my TNC which works quite well.
KD4TWJ Rating: 3/5 Jan 21, 2008 07:58 Send this review to a friend
OK for basic repeater work, but not packet / digital  Time owned: more than 12 months
I purchased this radio on e-bay for about 60 dollars (US) with the intent of using it for mobile APRS. It seemed like it would be a good fit, both physically and in it's general level of technology (or lack of). I also wanted something that would be fairly efficient on battery power, if there is a need to use it in an Emcomm situation, and it does well in this respect.

However, I do not recommend using this radio for packet / digital modes, especially in a mobile configuration. It does work and I am using it that way, but I pulled some hair in the process of getting it there. The big issue is the floating ground on the Mic circuit. If your antenna ground plane and the radio chassis are isolated from common ground... no problem. Of course, generally that is not an optimal configuration!
Otherwise, you must be very careful about how you interface to a TNC, a tracker (TinyTrak, etc...), or even a sound card interface with isolation transformers.

Of course, plastic Radio Shack microphones are no problem.

I am shopping for another VHF mobile for some other digital projects. I will NOT purchase another HTX-252 for that purpose.
W2ZXN Rating: 4/5 Oct 5, 2007 14:03 Send this review to a friend
HTX-252 has been good 2 me  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have only owned this radio for about 60 days now, but before I purchased it, I had been borrowing for some time. I have enjoyed this radio, at first as a base and now as a permanent mobile in my car. It's very compact size is great for smaller cars or even large cars packed with too much else. It's 10/25W selectable output is more than enough for most mobile applications. The radio is easy to use and is perfect for new hams! It's only downfalls are it's inability to input a VFO frequency directly from the keypad and the fact that it's audio is quite tin-like. The VFO issue cannot be resolved but the audio can be easily fixed with an available MOD or by connecting an external speaker, which I have done anyway. 4 out of 5 STARS in my book. The RS HTX-252 is my little tank. 73
KB5EAX Rating: 4/5 Sep 24, 2007 17:00 Send this review to a friend
HTX-252 IS OK 3.5  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had this radio for several years it sat in the closet for 3 and when I pulled it out it worked fine.I am using it as a Base station until I get another radio. However it does have 2 issues 1 of which is the audio which I did not do the mod on it as I only use it occasionally. The other issue is for some reason the memory will not hold the PL tones. If switch channels the i have to manually have to re-enter the tone. Other than that I have had no problems this rig. The next radio I am considering is the Icom V-800 which will become my Base Station and the 252 will go mobile. I Rate it at 3.5
KD0BLS Rating: 4/5 Sep 2, 2007 13:10 Send this review to a friend
A usable radio.  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I re-acquired my 252 after having sold it once before to a fellow ham. This radio wins no prises in the technology department, but mine has proven decently reliable for use in the car and although having the squelch issue mentioned earlier, a simple thump on the case cures it for a few days until the next time. Audio and recieve on my unit are decent as well. What the heck, I payed only 30 bucks for it both times I bought it! I don't think I'll be selling it off again!
KD8BIW Rating: 3/5 Jul 30, 2007 08:34 Send this review to a friend
Okay, but not the best  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I got this radio from a fellow ham because he was tired of messing with it. It has the usual tx problem, had the usual audio problem, and of course the birdie on 146.805. I did the RV2 mod and that seemed to help, but the audio is stil sub-par indeed! I love the compact size and low power comsumption, as i'm using it as a back-up radio on a deep cycle battery at the shack. The receiver sensitivity seems fine, but could be a bit better. Overall, not a bad radio if you can put up with it's flaws...3/10 from me and i'm happy :)
KC0ZXB Rating: 3/5 Jul 27, 2007 11:00 Send this review to a friend
Good Starter Radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought mine from another ham out in South Dakota. Did the RV2 mod which helped some with adding more punch to the audio.

The good:
-Can listen to 130-174mhz
-Easy to operate
-Takes up limited space
-Doesn't draw over 6amp when on full tx.

The bad;
-Only 10w/25w, which isn't bad for most applications, but having the extra power could have been beneficial when needed.
-Audio is sub-par, but was remedied with an external speaker
-Wouldn't recommend for mobile use, hard to change freq while driving
-Only ten memories, RS could have added a few more.

If your looking to get one the air fast and cheap this is a great starter radio granted you get one without the "audio problems". If your more serious and have a little more money to spend I would get an IC-2200H, they have more power and memories all for $140.

VA3MKS Rating: 5/5 Mar 31, 2007 20:48 Send this review to a friend
Neat  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought mine for around 100$ on ebay.

The good;
-Can listen to 130-174mhz
-Internal speak is decent.
-The size! It's tiny! Great for installs with limited space.

The bad;
-Only 25w
-Audio a *little low*
-Hard to use in the car... I hate programming or changing freqencies. Most of the radio is controlled from the MIC.

No problems really.. It's not worth 150$ But it is worth 60-100$ easy. (assuming you get one in decent shape)
K4XZ Rating: 4/5 Aug 29, 2006 15:41 Send this review to a friend
For $60.00 a buy  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had this little rig for 3 years.Its been in 2 trucks,then as a base,and now it' my back up.About as big as 2 packs of cigarettes.No complaints here.Always worked no problems.For $60.00 I'd say it's bargin.

Joe K4XZ
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