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Reviews For: Radio Shack HTX-212

Category: Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held)

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Review Summary For : Radio Shack HTX-212
Reviews: 27MSRP: 349.99
2 meter mobile tranceiver
Product is not in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
AA7BI Rating: 2018-10-13
Works Fine Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Found a dead one on the giveaway table at a hamfest last year. Cleaned the optical encoder, sprayed contact cleaner here and there, resoldered a cold connection and now she works like new.

Can operate safely up to about 16 volts where it has a rather hot output of 55 watts. Nothing fancy. Can only program manually, but hey, the price was right.

Sounds surprisingly good and has survived -46 real degrees and still worked. There are a lot of them out there getting newbies and old-timers alike on the air for cheap.
K1FPV Rating: 2015-12-04
Reliable Rig for the Right Price! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've had my HTX-212 now for 19 years and it has served me well! I don't understand folks here who review a low end rig and then complain and give it a low number because it doesn't have all the bells and whistles! If you want the bells and whistles, buy the higher end rig! This was purchased as a simple mobile rig. When I decided to change the radio, it sat on the shelf till my base rig went. Now, it has filled in as my base 2 meter FM radio.

What can I say besides it is basic yet reliable, simple to operate and has everything you need on 2 Meter FM.

In my estimation and 50+ years in this hobby, this radio is a solid 5 !
KJ4I Rating: 2015-10-28
Ok but not great Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I currently no longer own my HTX-212's but at one time I had a couple of these radios. I purchased them new back in the mid 90's. For what they are they do ok and you can't get much simpler with a radio although I never really liked them much beyond their simplicity. First of all the mics that came with these radios almost always went bad within a year or two usually needing the cord replaced. I had problems with the keypads going bad as well. The other biggie with these radios is intermod. There is no intermod rejection whatsoever in these radios. Out in the rural country you can suffice but even there just barely. Go into any decent size town or city and its continuous full scale reading on the S meter and nothing but intermod static. These radios are useless where lots of other RF is present. Even at home they are very prone to even the smallest amount of intermod. I would say that lack of rejection is the single biggest problem with these radios. The internal speaker tends to squeal if you turn the volume up around 50%. At least in the ones I had. Those coax pigtails on the back were also prone to issues. Radio Shack had a good idea with this radio but fell short in several areas. It is heavy with a solid feel but that can be deceiving. I suppose if you find one of these for a next to nothing price it's worth picking up but other than that I would skip this radio and find something better.
KD8WFU Rating: 2015-04-04
Dave KD8WFU Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Nice radio for its time only problem i see is the mike cord after time they fra by the radio the plastic seems to be to hard but easy to program and user friendly...keeps up with the big boys
W9RDL Rating: 2014-04-04
They should make them this Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Found a Radio Shack HTX212 here on eham for about $70. Unit showed up in original box in mint condition. I mounted it my 2011 International Prostar mated with a Tram 1180 antenna mounted on the mirror bracket. Instantly got supreme transmission reports.

I really like the ease of programming and lack of menus.
I have a Yaesu FT8800R in my pick-up that I love but I can operate the RD without running off the road or reading the manual.

My two cents. 7+3's
KB3IVK Rating: 2014-03-26
Great radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This radio was given to me as a gift when I first earned my license in 2002. It has been used mobile nearly non stop for 20 years, as the previous owner bought it in 1994. It still works perfectly. Although it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of a newer rig, it is very simple to operate and is obviously built like a brick. It is prone to interference in suburban and urban areas, thus the reason for the rating of 4, but in the rural area where I live, it works perfectly. Not sure who built this unit for Radio Shack, but my hats off to whoever did build it. They made one tough and great sounding radio. I will be looking for a second one to buy to have just in case this one finally quits working. Overall a great 2M mobile rig with great audio and a toughness not seen in the more modern rigs, IMO.
VO1XH Rating: 2011-02-10
Reliable and rugged Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Purchased my HTX-212 from one of the local hams who was upgrading to an Icom D-star radio.I just wanted a spare 2m mobile for my second vehicle,nothing fancy so I bought it for $50.00.
I was pleased with its performance,good audio and great intermod rejection.
The rig came with the CTCSS tone module from the factory,not an extra accessory as the other manufacturers offered even for radios costing way more,so that was a big plus. There is more than enough mike cable really too long,would have liked to see an illuminated DTMF pad for use in the night. I was a little disappointed that the memory wont store any other frequencies that are outside the 2m band,a bit of a minor inconvenience as I like to monitor the local fire and ambulance departments,the cops have digital encryption so yuu cannot listen to them,I searched the internet for modifications to expand the memory but there are none which was done by Radio Shack so that the radio would not transmit out side the 2m band.Would have liked to see the wide band receiver cover aircraft AM,but my Kenwood TM261A does that well.
Overall,for the price,I got my money's worth and more.This was Radio Shacks first 2m mobile rig back around 1994 and there were a lot of these sold as the price around the $350.00 mark was reasonable,a good little radio and very reliable and rugged.73, Don, VO1XH
KF5ECR Rating: 2010-09-19
Great Rig! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I bought this rig off QRZ when I first got my ticket. I think I paid like $40, shipped. What a deal that was. the radio worked great and I always got good reports on it's audio. Unlike some others who have posted about how the radios was prone to inter mod, mine was rock solid..... Even better at rejection than my Icom IC-2100H. Great radio at a great price..... I recommend it to anyone.
WS3Y Rating: 2010-07-02
A WARHORSE of a radio! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought an HTX-212 just after I got my Tech in '94. I haven't been on 2m in my new qth due to topo problems (hills, hills trees and more trees) for about 2 years. Got a new tri-band antenna for 144/440/52 and I needed a 2m to test the antenna.
I go to my "old radio" box (Icom, Alinco, Yaesu and test them all -- they've all been on numerous vacations, in carry-ons, on dash boards, under seats, and stored -- you get the picture), and which one worked perfectly, first time on?
The Radio Shack HTX-212!!! It is a warhorse of a radio. I don't know who built this radio for RS (Kenwood perhaps?), but it continues to work without a complaint (a little mic cord wear).
And it is very easy to use! NO complex programming!
I'd buy another in a heart-beat.
Radio Shack may have forgotten what made them great, but the HTX-212 hasn't -- it is an old, dependable, unfailing friend, unlike "Radio Shock" (or is it "Radio Schlock"?). If ya' get a chance buy one in good shape, don't hesitate. It is a good back-up rig and a not half-bad primary one. It may not have all the bells and whistles, but it is a good, solid, old fashioned 2m radio.
73 to all,

Earlier 3-star review posted by WS3Y on 2002-05-08

The HTX-212 is a 31 memory channel, 136 -- 174 MHz receive and standard 2 meter transmit, 45 Watt high power, 10 Watt low power, mobile that is adequate, but has one or two serious flaws.

First, insufficient memory channels. I live in the Dayton-Cincinnati Ohio area and you can't cover even half of the repeater sites, let alone commonly used simplex freq.s.

Secondly, who ever designed the antenna-pig-tail to-the-circuit-board attachment method, without strain relief, was either inexperienced or smokin' somethin' funny! Two small solder connections are all that hold the pig-tail to the circuit board!! Any pull-pressure on the pig tail will shorten the useful life of this radio very quickly (two solder repairs in the last two years). You can partially eliminate this problem by placing some type of spacing material between the cast housing and the surface of the pig-tail cable -- this reduces the movement of the pig-tail in the housing and reduces the strain on the circuit board. What RS really should have had is a cable clamp attached to the chassis. You might try plastic tubing or some material shoved between the cable and the radio chassis.

The microphone PTT switch is also a little on the weak side and required some internal modification, but otherwise this radio is a dependable performer with average receive and intermod.
The speaker is sufficient and programming relatively easy (compared to my FT-100 and IC-706!)
All in all, after the pig-tail and PTT switch repairs, the radio has proven a reliable performer. (I would like to find a mod to that would permit aircraft receive).

I have had this radio for over four years.
Would I buy another? Yup, but I wouldn't pay over $75 for it!
VE3FST Rating: 2010-01-10
I'd buy another one again ! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought one of these new in 1994 , I had the normal mic cable shredding problem , but for the price its pretty good . I heard a friend of mine on one and he sounded like he was standing beside me . I went and purchased one the following week . I'll have it here in my ham shack for a very long time . I use to run it with a 26B2 antenna setup at 53' and it had awesome reports.