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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
KD5RPU Rating: 2003-01-27
Rock Solid Radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
When I got my license my wife bought me a pair of these. I damaged one by trying to transmit on a crappy Radio Shack antenna. I opened the cover on the coil to discover it was burnt through, I wonder what that did to the radio. The other is with me constantly and has never failed me. I only wish RS would continue to offer these.
KC5NOD Rating: 2002-12-16
My first love! (Don't tell my wife) Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I purchased two(2) HTX-202s in 1994, one for me and one for my XYL-KC5YYP, so we could listen and learn a little ham protocol and lingo before we got brave enough to take the novice/tech. exams. I instantly fell in love with it because it was dummy-friendly and I learned how to program it in less than an hour! It works repeaters really well;has great audio volume when needed;and 7 watts mobile and 2.5watts with Nicad pak- of power that was needed when working simplex at special events. If they hadn't been discontinued(dumb move), I'd still be buying them left and right as needed. Radio Shack needs to bring them back and get those dinky little milliwatt suckers out of there. And NO I will not buy them on Ebay!no-no. I want them thru a Rad Skak dealer. Bad move Rad Shak! Thats my story and I'm stickin' to it.(Hi)
KF4MQA Rating: 2002-12-16
Best HT for the money!! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I purchased my HTX-202 off of eBay and the battery wouldn't hold a charge, but at a local HamFest I purchased an extra-capacity NiMH for it and it has performed better than I expected. It's easy to program, easy to use, the internal speaker has terrific audio, and on high power I can bring up our local repeater from 25 miles easily. I'm constantly on the lookout for another 202 and a matching 404 but the people I run into with them wouldn't dream of parting with theirs and I can't say I blame them. It's a shame that Radio Shack discontinued them because they seem to be the toughest HT I've run across.

KC5ZMK Rating: 2002-11-04
Jack of All Trades Master of None Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This radio doesn't do everything great, but it does do all things good. I purchased this radio even before I had my license so that I could get used to it operations. After a quick review of the manual I was up and running. This radio has been one of the most reliable and trustworthy radios that I have ever owned.
During a natural disaster in North Mississippi, the local sheriff requested that two of our RACES members stand-by with him with their HTX-202's avaliable. All communications were wiped out other than HAM radio to radio relays. Prior to this event, the county saw no use for RACES, afterwards RACES has been an official tool of use during disasters. The capability of rechargable and alkaline battery power was a must during this situation. The HTX-202 was more than capable to meet this request. Also many of our members used the HTX-202 as the radio of choice for their "HAMMO BOXES".
This was the first radio I ever purchased as a HAM and it will stay with me long after my own personal batteries have run out!!
KE6UKE Rating: 2002-09-24
Outstanding! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I am on my second HTX-202, but only because I sold the first one. I bought my first 202 as my first rig, and it served me well for several years. When I later purchased an FT-530, I decided I didn't need the 202 anymore. But as time went on I found myself longing for my old radio back. I love the ease of use, and the audio quality on recieve is OUTSTANDING! Sure it doesn't recieve out of band, but that's why you have a scanner right?! Anyway, I missed it so much, I bought a used one from a friend as a backup radio, and I am still as happy with this radio as I was the first time. I have seen the problems others have described, but only on radios that others have attempted to modify in some way. Mine has performed FLAWLESSLY. Needless to say, the 202 is NOT on my list of radios to get rid of!
K2XH Rating: 2002-08-06
good rig no bells Time Owned: more than 12 months.
i used this radio mobile with a 5/8 mag mount,power cord and seaker mic. It worked very well good rx audio and good tx audio. No problems at all. I seem to like radios that have fewer bells and wistles and this baby fit the bill. I latter added an amp but thats another review.
W9ZIM Rating: 2002-04-26
Solid rig - light on features Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Like many hams, this was my first rig. At the time (about 8 years ago) it was the best radio for the price. I got it for about $150 and enjoyed it. It's very simple to operate but lacks many features that are standard now days.

Basically, you get transmit and receive on 2 meters only (no extended receive), CTCSS encode and decode, 10 memory channels, direct frequency entry, and 1 watt out with the stock battery along with simple menu settings like auto power off and a transmit time out timer.

Given the lack of bells and whistles, the radio is extremely easy to operate meaning you won't get stuck thumbing through a manual because you forgot how to operate it. On the other hand, you may feel a bit restricted because this radio can't do much more than transmit and receive on 2 meter. However, the audio is LOUD! You won't need an external speaker with this puppy. It has enough audio drive to be considered room filling and plenty of oomph to be heard inside a noisy vehicle.

If you find this at a bargain price at a hamfest then you may want to consider it as a second rig or perhaps one for a new ham, but I wouldn't pay more than $50 for it considering that there are much more capable rigs in the 202's former price class.

Earlier 4-star review posted by W9ZIM on 2001-02-14

For the price, this radio is hard to beat. These things are built solid as a rock and have the basics. No fancy frills: 10 memories, no alpha-numeric display, CTCSS encode/decode, wide range of power options. You can run the radio off the rechargable NICAD, a AA battery pack, or an auxillary AC power supply. Audio output is superb. However, the radio is pretty hefty for a "Handi-Talkie". Don't spend too much on it, but it is a good radio.
KA9QWC Rating: 2002-04-07
Big Bang for the Buck Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I own 3 HTX-202 and 1 HTX-404 handhelds. In my opinion it would be difficult to obtain a comparable bargain on a used HT. Yes I have experienced a few problems over the years but each time the dealer made it right under warranty. Additionally on out of warranty repairs I like the option of dropping this HT off at my nearest RS store if it does need repairs.

I like the strong audio quality, good output power when needed and reasonable simplicity of operation.

My 202's have taken heavy abuse over the years and just like the famed Timex slogan, they keep on tickin! I ran one of mine on packet for several years and just pulled it off this month so my grandson could use the HT.

Again I realize there are a few shortcomings pointed out in other posts on this topic. My problems however have been few and far between.
This HT is generally a good bargain at todays price at auctions or private sales.

I own other brands of HT's and they have a lot of nice features and options, but they are not rugged as my old bricks.

Don / KA9QWC
N0AH Rating: 2002-03-31
Best Emergency Handheld Time Owned: more than 12 months.
In May of 1999, while serving for 3 weeks to help coordinate emergency field communications after the Oklahoma City tornado in the Bridge Creek area, it was the only hand held radio that didn't confuse others who needed to swap radios for various assignments- Clip on hand held mic speaker and easy to find AA batteries made this a great all purpose field radio- Leaving others with newer handhelds with their heads buried in manuals trying to figure out menu's- Every serious RACES coordinator should have at least a pair of these-

73 Paul N0AH
W1NRA Rating: 2002-03-31
Think this is a great radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have to say the HTX 202 and HTX 404 are great radios for the buck. I have had three 202's and I have one of the 404's. I sold one of the 202's but have used one of them in my truck for two years mobile with a lighter plug cable and a 5/8 magmount which is also a Radio Shack and it works great. I have several mobiles for the truck but haven't decided to put one in there yet. I had one on packet for about 3 years and finally took it off because interest in packet here just died.
By the way I run them on high power all the time and NEVER have a heat problem. Remember that the belt clip IS THE HEAT SINK. With the belt clip on the radio it shouldn't heat up no matter now long you talk. Use the speaker mike and enjoy.
You can keep it from falling off the table or where ever you use it by hanging the belt clip on one of the cheap metal bookends from walmarts or wherever. they are about 3 bucks for a set and you can bend one of them back so you can see the dial from where you are sitting too. Works great also for a scanner works the same.
Jerry / W1NRA