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Reviews For: Radio Shack HTX-202

Category: Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held

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Review Summary For : Radio Shack HTX-202
Reviews: 114MSRP: 199 c.1995
2 Meter Hand Held HT
Product is not in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
N4KR Rating: 2008-05-13
"SUPER AUDIO" Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Has anyone mentioned the fact that both the HTX-202 and the HTX-404 Both have True F.M. Modulation? This gives these little radios the very Best Audio on the air. WHY radio manufacturers dumped True F.M is a mystery to me. I would rather spend a little more money and have good sounding audio than the trash audio of todays handhelds, not to mention those big H.F rigs. Im keeping my old Radio Shack rigs. YES, they really do sound better, TRUE F.M.
K5UCQ Rating: 2008-05-13
Big but GOOD! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
A friend at work gave me one his son had had, but never used. I had to order a battery case from Batteries America. I have no charger, but just charge my Ni-MH batteries and it works for me! I use my DM-100 Superstar microphone that I also use w/my IC W32A. The "202" makes a great extra radio and I always have AA's around the house if the rechargeables are dead.

Mike Check
KE6GXD Rating: 2008-04-03
Crude but works 15 years later Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought one for me and one for the XYL about when my daughter was born. My daughter is in High School now. They still work.

Generally good receive and transmit.

Yeah, the set up mode is a pain. It's short on memories. The internal battery went once - but Batteries Plus fixed it for $14. It's heavy and big, but it works no matter how many times it has been bounced.

If the price was right, I'd buy them in a heartbeat.
KE5HOB Rating: 2008-04-02
Favorite HT! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
For what it is, this is an excellent rig. Yeah there are only 12 memories, monoband, and looks like it was made back in the day (wait, it WAS). If you can get over those factors, its a great buy.

Got mine from a club tailgate sale for $40 in 2006 and I love it! I have dropped it plenty of times and it keeps going. Haven't had any battery issues or anything with it. This is a great little handheld.

I give it a 5/5 because even though it may not do much, it does everything it is advertised as doing.
K4THN Rating: 2008-04-01
Final transistor update! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Had this unit for about 8 yrs. I will add some info for the 202 I have found thru the years.

1- If your unit says "Realistic" it is an older model that may have a problem with the final transistor heatsink grease being insufficient, and when using a rubber duck with an external power supply, it may scramble the CPU due to poor RF shielding around the CPU, causing you to reset the unit.

2-If your unit says "Radio Shack" it is a later model that has factory updates to eliminate the CPU-RF fiasco.

3-In either case, I would highly recommend you ck your unit for heatsink grease under the final...many units have had the final fail due to overheating due to very little grease.
KD8EZU Rating: 2008-01-28
A Classic worth having Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I paid $41.00 with shipping for mine off EBAY. Battery pack was dead so I ordered the 8-cell AA pack from Batteries America. In this pack you can either put rechargeables or Alkalines. The old 6 cell battery pack I use in the mobile to basically provide a weighted balance and have snipped the battery leads but retained the dead cells. Seeing how everyone says that you'll damage the unit by using it with a cigarette lighter AND a good battery pack,I decided to snip the leads and just use the pack to "anchor" my unit when it's in my Explorer's cupholder.

I also bought the Radio Shack Speaker/mic which is a bargain compared to the overpriced ones offered by ICOM, Yaesu, Kenwood , etc. Since it has an additonal earphone jack, I connect it to my car stereo thru the use of those cassette adapters that are old school but still sold. It's a cassette on one end and a has a miniplug on the other for Ipods, MP3 players and now the HTX-202.

Great loud audio even without this arrangement, but with it hooked up to the car stereo the audio is fabulous. Note: the RS speaker/mic lapel clip is fragile but if you smear a 1/8 inch layer of JD-Weld epoxy glue ( the white and black type ) over the entire clip it makes it mucho strong when dried. You can then spray it in flat black easily.

The rubber ducky antenna is just about useless for all but stations within a few miles, but if you can get a telescoping metal antenna , you get good range. For the mobile I use a simple 19 5/8 mag mount whip, which works fine. I would suggest tuning any antenna you have with a SWR meter.

I keep hearing that the belt clip is the heat sink and the rig will overheat. The belt clip is part of the metal back of the unit and it's just a further aid to dissipating heat. The ENTIRE metal back that the belt clip attaches to is the actual heat sink. If you take apart the unit you'll see that the final amplifier transistor uses a copper heat transfer thingie that touches firmly the metal backplate of the unit and transfers the heat from this transistor. So, in fact the belt clip is just a part of this heat sink and not the sole heat sink.

I had to replace the original ( 10 year + old ) memory battery after a month of use. You get the ERR1 displayed when you turn on the unit , indicating this. It's a 2032 battery that Radio Shack and others sell. To access it remove the belt clip and back of the unit along with the metal battery clip and spring assembly that's on the bottom of the unit ( with battery removed) and that's secured with four screws. Make damn sure you remember how the battery release assembly is set-up and into what slot( on the release button ) the battery release "spring" is
inserted into. Not doing this will make a simple re-assembly a nightmare. The actual battery replacement is easy just pay attention to the polarity and isolate the battery from any metal parts in the circuitry.

I get great audio reports and the unit is a real powerhouse with 13.v and 12 volts. It will also hit all repeaters in my area with just low power with the 12 volt battery pack. Oh BTW get the 8 cell battery pack over the 6 cell, you'll get more power and it will give you a weeks worth or juice unless your keying every second.

A great unit, worth at most , $60.00. Be ready to replace the memory battery and don't use it in the mobile with a live battery pack and car battery power simultaneously.

I'd buy another one any day. Its the best VHF rig RS ever made and is indeed a legend.
N8LTD Rating: 2008-01-19
Finally got my "brick" Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
When I was a ham in the '90s, I used to dislike these because they were not dual band. When I came back in the hobby last year, I felt the same way. Ended up buying a Kenwood tri band. About 3 months ago, a friend inherited a 202 and 404. Both are great radios. I decided I wanted a "brick"-the Kenwood is so tiny. Yesterday at a tailgate sale I found one. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but it gets the job done well. A bit low on memories-only 12. But it's simple to operate and tune in repeaters in VFO. It doesn't receive out of band, but also doesn't have intermod problems. Receive audio is loud. The display light is dim, but no big deal. Transmit audio is nice and loud also. Mine came with the 6 AA cell holder. I have 12 NiMh 2500mah AA's, and that's 2 sets of high capacity power. There's a ton of battery packs available for it from Batteries America. 7.2v, 8.4v, 10.8v, name it.

When I was buying it, someone said "Everyone's had one of those." Well, I never had one-until yesterday. After all these years, I finally get my brick. 73
KB2SEO Rating: 2007-03-16
BULLET PROOF Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Ok Guys,
Here's the skinny on mine:
I got my HTX-202 in 1995! Since that time, I had dropped it off the roof, and SUBMERGED her in SALTWATER...Twice! both times, the rig was ON! (took it fishing, did not expect to take it diving!) first time, was lifting a bass at the Point pleasant canal, PLOOP! Hooked it's lanyard with a lure raced it home, pulled the covers, cables, ANYTHING that can discconnect and washed it out with fresh water and Octagon soap-Elemr sez: well DUMMY, it WET ANYWAY! get the bad stuff off it)
Ran the hair dryer over it ,let it dry as much as possible (5days) and carefully brushed all the stuff that could corrode with wd-40. Let that sit for 3 days, Assembled, WORKING! Next time, ouge wave hit me off the Port bow (idiot in Big Searay), was up there casting to big blues. the rig got hit by the wave, and I fell from the pitch. the rig went up the scupper, 6 inches of stormy brine again! Same deal, same cleaning- second time? 1997! Here, it is, 2007. No problems. I use it mobile, Potable and loan it out with the alkaline pack.

IF you can own one, you got a friend for life!
MRMATT Rating: 2007-02-23
Great HT Time Owned: more than 12 months.
My frist radio. I got the radio after my bestfriend killed him self. I love the radio. I use my VX5R now. But the htx212 sites on my desk ready to be used. Its a back up radio. The batties gose bad ez. I have gone threw about 7. But i replaced the battary with one i made that workes great.
KD8BIW Rating: 2007-02-15
Great HT Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I recieved mt 202 just after I got my ticket in 2006 from one of my elmers. The battery pack was done for, so I rebuilt it using nickel metal hydride AA batteries I got at the local hardware store. Worked out to be over 2100 mah after completing repair! This thing will go for over 2 weeks on a charge using almost every day! The previous owner bought it new when they first came out and replaced the original belt clip with one he made. You have to undo your belt to get the thing off. I use it everyday as a base and I am extremely happy with this rig! 73s Steve