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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Radio Shack HTX-202 Help

Reviews Summary for Radio Shack HTX-202
Radio Shack HTX-202 Reviews: 117 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $199 c.1995
Description: 2 Meter Hand Held HT
Product is not in production.
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KG6BRG Rating: 4/5 Feb 3, 2017 07:15 Send this review to a friend
Solid transceiver   Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I was given one of these, box, manual, battery pack, aa case, ac and dc charging cords, and the belt clip and even the attachment screws even were included . It had a dead memory battery, so i installed a 2032 battery holder and a new 2032 lithium 3 volt cell. Works great now. It's much bigger and bulky than the current radios, but it's kind of satisfing to hold, nowadays, in the time of "smaller is better ". I like the flexibility it offers for powering it up. Even the nicad pack is coming back to life. To sum it up, if you are like me and do mostly simplex with an occasional repeater, and don't need the latest features, this will suffice easily without breaking the budget. Cheers.
AI4WC Rating: 5/5 Sep 4, 2016 12:07 Send this review to a friend
Still Number One!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Hurricane Hermine visited me this weekend. I dusted off my 25 year-old HTX-202 and kept close watch over the "doings" and the local ARES net. This radio is the best: simple and reliable. I have a Yaesu FT-60 also, but my trusty "brick" is my first choice. It's the "Timex watch" of radios, and I'll not part with it. It is R E L I A B L E!!!
Years ago, I had it hooked up to packet and I contacted the MIR Space Station with it, and I have a QSL card to prove it. These radios are still available for a modest price. Better grab one!
KD4KZA Rating: 5/5 Nov 28, 2014 18:49 Send this review to a friend
Back to Life...  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got a No Code Tech in Feb 1992 at the urging of my buddies after I moved to another state. The idea was to stay connect via packet. First thing that I did was to buy my first 202 in March 1992 (still have the receipt, $319 with the 5yr plan) I did setup a packet station and had good results.

However, I discovered that the local repeaters were full of life and some of the guys that took the exam became frequent contacts. On Sundays I'd put out an open called to all who were up for a towboat ride to move a few barges in the river, (I was the Captain). I always had my radio in the wheelhouse and when things happened that I had take a trip I would used the 202 to autopatch my wife with the news. To say that I used this radio a lot would be a major understatement.

After a while I went back to driving 18 wheelers and the 202 was hung on the dash with a speaker mic and the mag mount RS whip on the roof. In NJ I stopped and bought a Ramsey PA10 amp. Found that there where a lot of truckers on 2m and repeaters along the interstates. Again I used the 202 to call my wife when I topped the pass 60 miles from home.

The original 202 died in 1996 and RS gave me a new one thanks to the 5yr plan. I put another plan on the new radio. Stopped trucking and got into APRS. Decided that I needed another radio so bought a used 202 off E-bay in 2001. This radio spent most it's time under the seat of my pickup running APRS through the amp. When the memory battery died it all went into a box along with the other radios.

I recently read this review and decided to dig out these radios. The newer radio err1 but the E-bay unit was ok (forgot that I replaced that battery a couple of years ago). So I replaced the battery in the newer unit. I got to try welding solder tabs to the 2032, had a couple of dead ones to practice on and the fresh cell was perfect(used a homemade microwave oven spot welder).

None of the battery packs were good and disassembly showed a real mess inside. Lots of green including the small pc board. Guess that I waited too long, but have 3 of the other packs.

These radios have never let me down even though I've abused them every way possible. Years of slamming around in the trucks is about the harshest environment I can think of, 200 miles can turn a bottle of asprin to dust. It was nice to have real conversations on 2m and not the trash on cb.

One more thing, I had power problems when first using the lighter plug for power, it was over 13.6v. A friend suggested that I put 2 diodes in series on the positive lead. That sloved the problem by dropping the voltage to an acceptable level.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!
KB7ZNV Rating: 5/5 Nov 21, 2014 10:36 Send this review to a friend
Still kickin after almost 22 years.  Time owned: more than 12 months
This is my second review of this fantastic Transceiver. The last one was in 2009.
I bought this transceiver in 1993 a few weeks before I took the test to get my Ham ticket.
I still turn this Transceiver on a couple times a week and it still works flawlessly. I have since replaced my original realistic hand held cheapo mic with a nice quality Yaesu MH-12a2b hand held mic and it works great. It's a much better mic than the RS mic and it can be bought on EBAY at a reasonable cost. I bought two (old stock but) brand new mics at the same time and they work flawlessly. (The second one is for use with my HTX 404). They plug right in and yer off and talking with a super quality mic.
I use this transceiver as my home base station attached to a cushcraft 13B2 13 element beam (Which can still be purchased and they can be stacked) that I also purchased in 1994 and the set up works as well today as it did the day I put them together.
If you can find a good one on the market for a few bucks I would suggest you buy it and pay no attention to it's age or it's lack of fancy lights and other features that you can probably live without. Radio shack did something right when they started selling the HTX-202. That was before they got stupid and took em off their shelves.
DAVEW5LP Rating: 5/5 Nov 19, 2014 10:13 Send this review to a friend
Still great after 20 yrs.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Its big, its bulky, has few memory slots and very basic features but its still the best vhf ht ive ever owned. Rock solid and still operational. It was my first home station. It has been used portable, mobile and at home many years. Its been on repeater simplex and packet and never failed. If you can still find one, reguardless of rechargeable battery condition, get it. RS and others still sell the battery.
K9RJ Rating: 5/5 Sep 8, 2014 20:53 Send this review to a friend
Great HT  Time owned: more than 12 months
It's big, heavy, only a few memories but it is reliable, easy to program and has better audio than most modern HTs. Paid about $50 for it about 20 years ago.
N7RSF Rating: 5/5 Sep 8, 2014 09:36 Send this review to a friend
Always a winner  Time owned: more than 12 months
First Ham Radio HT I ever bought in 1993. I found one dated 10A3 at a Hamfest last weekend and picked it up for $40. Put in the batteries and it worked perfectly. This radio was a first time radio for MANY new hams back in the day. The guy I got it from had one labeled by the real manufacturer "Maxon." If I see him again at this weekends tailgate, I am buying the Maxon!!
KD5FLN Rating: 5/5 Jan 21, 2014 18:20 Send this review to a friend
My First radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
Its a shame that Radio shack pulled away from the Amatuer radio market because they really helped point me in the right direction. I bought my study books from them and when I got my ticket back in summer of 1998 I was already familar with Radio Shacks products and immediately bought a HTX202 and every accessory they had for it. Its a robust, very well built radio and I had no problems learning how to program my first repeater into it and get my first contact. Nice loud audio and great TX reports as well. I used it as my base, my mobile & my HT, its a great do it all radio! I took it with me everywhere. Not as small & light as todays HT's however on high pwr it can put out 6 watts when needed amd it can take a beating & keep on ticking. These radios are everywhere on ebay, buy one!
VE3TMT Rating: 5/5 Jan 9, 2014 03:49 Send this review to a friend
Oldie but a goodie!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had one given to me last week for free. It had the ERR1 message. A reset fixed that, but it kept coming back. I ordered some battery holders from DigiKey, popped a new battery in and unit is working great. The battery pack doesn't have a charge jack and I don't think it comes apart. Will probably buy a new pack when it dies. I can tell you this, I can sit in my basement shack, key both the local repeaters and the Watertown, NY repeater which is about 30 miles south of me. Receive audio is loud and clear. With the Baofeng UV-5R I previously had, I would be lucky to hit them standing in the driveway. It has since died, but it didn't cost me much so I am not worried. This 202 will make a great portable radio for local events.
N1DVJ Rating: 5/5 Apr 4, 2013 05:54 Send this review to a friend
Good basic HT  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have a couple of these units, and they really deserve 5/5 ratings. They are tough basic radios, going on 20 years of service with some people. I still use mine. With a few caveats, you can keep them going for years.

Older HTX-202 units are marked Realistic and have date code stickers on the battery plate from 1992 or so (1A2 for example). Newer HTX-202 units are marked Radio Shack and have date code stickers from 1994 or so (i.e marked 11A4). There are two main differences. One is how the 12v is routed from the top jack to the battery pack (I'd have to go find schematics to check on the difference though). The other is the older units reset to 144.200 while the newer units reset to 146.000 Other than that, I don't believe there are any functional differences.

The internal lithium battery will go dead in 5-7 years. Most users just 'wire in' a new battery. Buy a CR2032 at Wal-Mart to solder in and wrap it with tape. You can also use a CR2023, since it will be thinner.

Another Caveat. The screws are soft and easily destroyed. ALWAYS use a good screwdriver to take the 4 corner screws out of the back case. Don't use the cheap salvage store $5 jewlers screwdriver sets or you can easily strip out the head of the screw. Be patient and be careful taking out the screws. Also, when you take off the battery plate, be careful not to loose the plastic tab that releases the battery pack. Finally, when you put the unit back together, make sure the threads on the long screws are clean of debris. And ALWAYS turn the 4 long screws CCW (to the left) while pressing lightly on the screw. When you feel it 'pop', then start turning the screw clockwise and the screw will chase down the previous thread that was cut in the plastic instead of trying to make new threads. Makes it a LOT easier to put the screw back in and also makes the threads and the screws last a lot longer. The screws are so soft and easily destroyed that RS used to have a 'screw kit' for the HTs but that's long gone from any parts store. Just be careful with the screws. (Using the thread chase method is always a good idea when you put ANY screw into plastic!)

As mentioned, ALWAYS use the belt clip, it is a required part of the heat sink! If you use the radio in a car with 12v, it's also a good idea to make sure there is airflow around the belt clip and back of the radio. And it's almost always necessary to use an external antenna when running higher power off of 12v.
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