58th Annual Zero Beaters A.R.C. Hamfest
On the Air - July/August 2020

Radio Shack HTX-202

IMG_2701When the Radio Shack HTX-202 first appeared in the RS catalog in the early 90s I knew I had to own one. I also knew I would have to finally get my ham ticket. 

I pestered the poor guy at the Carlyle Avenue, ‘Shack for months and finally bought the first one to hit the store.

It was my constant companion for several years. I loaned it to a new ham and never saw it again.

Never really gave it much thought, but here, 30 years later, I ran across an eBay listing for a near mint HTX-202. I used all my “bid-fu” to snag it for $76.00. Along with the radio was the original antenna, wrist strap, belt clip, a speaker mic,  and some photocopied documentation.

The seller did not have the Ni-Cad battery pack or wall charger, but sent along three AA battery holders.

I put batteries in the holder, turned on the radio - it came alive. In honor of the old PRIME/KN9G days I immediately programmed in 145.110. 

I forgot what a chore the original manual programing was. Jeez, we’re so spoiled by Chirp and RT Systems now… 

The radio has 16 memories, 1 Home channel and 3 priority memories. Power is selectable from 1 watt to 6 watts. The manual boasts the radio has "True" FM modulation.

The belt clip is a big piece of bent steel. Although not mentioned in the manual, it serves as the heat sink for the final transistors. Most of the radios I’ve seen online do not have the clip. 

Along with the manual was a document with technical information saved from a thread on CompuServe from 1995. That brings up even more memories.

The HTX-202 was built for Radio Shack by Maxon. It was based on a the Icom 02AT. So accessories and batteries for the Icom will work just fine on the ‘202.

It was designed by Radio Shack to be locked on the ham frequencies only. It cannot be modified to transmit on any other frequency.

After the introduction of the HTX-202, Radio Shack released the 70 CM version, the HTX-404. 

Now that I’m feeling nostalgic, guess I need an HTX-100, 10 Meter rig, and a copy of Now You’re Talking.