TWO-WAY RADIOS AND ACCESSORIES FAQ

AMATEUR RADIOS BUSINESS BAND RADIOS TWO-WAY RADIO ACCESSORIES

AMATEUR RADIOS

General Questions

What should I do if my radio is tuning outside of the Ham band?
How do I get a schematic and/or pinouts for my radio?
How do I get information on the requirements for Ham Radio Licenses?

Product-specific Questions

190-1101: Is there any way to disable the key tone or "button beep" on this radio?
190-1102: What batteries does this require; how well does it work on batteries?
190-1102: When in scan mode and a signal is found, the scanner continues to scan even though the transmission is not finished. Is this normal?
190-1104: What is the standby current drain for this radio?
190-1106: What type of connector does it have? What do you recommend to connect this to an external antenna?
190-1106: What are the exact frequency ranges (from MHz to MHz) on this radio?
190-1120: I get an "E-2" error on my display.
190-1120: Why can't I get to a repeater?
190-1122: How many watts does the amp boost?
190-1122: Is there any attenuation or gain while the amp is turned on for 2-meter receive?
190-1126: How do I expand the radio for use with CAP/MARS?
190-1126: The only button working is power; how do I unlock the radio?
190-1126: How do I use the subaudible tones?
190-1127: When the transceiver is in the memory mode (using memory channels) and the power is turned off, it reverts to the VFO mode when turning it back on. Is this the way it is supposed to operate?
190-1127: I need the microphone pinouts for this radio.
190-1140: How do you reset the HTX-404?

BUSINESS BAND RADIOS

General Questions

Can the UHF/VHF Business Band Radios be expanded to receive MARS & CAPS frequencies?
What frequency is the MURS (Multi-Use Radio Service) on?

Product-specific Questions

190-0900: What battery does this require?
190-1202: The radio is set for green dot; how do I change the frequency to blue dot (or other)?
190-1206, 190-1210, 190-1217: What are the new MURS channels for our Business Band Radios?
190-1215 & 190-1216: What is the purpose of the 8 switches?
190-1216: What is the battery life?

TWO-WAY RADIO ACCESSORIES

Product-specific Questions

190-0210: What is the gain of this antenna in dB and what is the length in inches?
190-0310: Is this compatible with the 190-1102?
190-0312: Is this compatible with the HTX-202 and HTX-404 radios?
190-0312: Can you use this for FRS?
190-0312: What type of plug does this have?
190-0345: Can you use this with the 190-1126?

AMATEUR RADIOS

General Questions

Product: Amateur Radios
Question: What should I do if my radio is tuning outside of the Ham band?
Answer: RadioShack radios are designed to operate within the legal limits set by the FCC; operating outside of the licensed band is illegal. If this occurs, the radio should be taken in to your local RadioShack store for repair; they will send it to the nearest Service Center.
 
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Product: Amateur Radios
Question: How do I get a schematic and/or pinouts for my radio?
Answer: For schematics or pinout information, you would need to reference the Service Manual for the radio. Service manuals can be ordered by contacting either your local RadioShack store or by calling RadioShack.com at 800-241-8742.
 
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Product: Amateur Radios
Question: How do I get information on the requirements for Ham Radio Licenses?
Answer: For the most up-to-date information on Ham Radio Licenses, we recommend that you contact either the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) or the ARRL (American Radio Relay League) National Association for Amateur Radio.
 
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AMATEUR RADIOS

Product-specific Questions

Product: HTX-100 10-Meter SSB/CW Mobile Transceiver Cat. No.: 190-1101
Question: Is there any way to disable the key tone or "button beep" on this radio?
Answer: No.
 
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Product: HTX-200 Mini Handheld 2-Meter FM Amateur Transceiver Cat. No.: 190-1102
Question: What batteries does this require; how well does it work on batteries?
Answer: This radio will operate on two "AA" Ni-Cads. Using 2 "AA" RadioShack Enercells (Cat. No. 230-0872), we have tested this radio on and monitoring repeaters well over 20 hours with the batteries still in full operational status, with full RF Output, per published specs. Actual battery life is affected by a number of factors and will vary.
 
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Product: HTX-200 Mini Handheld 2-Meter FM Amateur Transceiver Cat. No.: 190-1102
Question: When in scan mode and a signal is found, the scanner continues to scan even though the transmission is not finished. Is this normal?
Answer: The scan delay feature delays the restart of scanning when a signal is found. The delay time is manually set by the user for a period of time between 1 and 30 seconds. After this delay time the scanner continues to scan whether or not the transmission is finished. To cancel the scanning process and continue listening to the transmission, press down on the scan button or quickly press and let go of the push-to-talk button. To resume scanning, press down on the scan button.   
 
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Product: HTX-400 70 centimeter FM Amateur Transceiver Cat. No.: 190-1104
Question: What is the standby current drain for this radio?
Answer: The stand-by current ratings are given below:

Squelched:

  • 75 mA, Nominal
  • 90 mA, Limit

Power Saving On

  • 22 mA, Nominal
  • 30 mA, Limit

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Product: HTX-245 2 Meter/70 centimeter FM Amateur Transceiver Cat. No.: 190-1106
Question: What type of connector does it have? What do you recommend to connect this to an external antenna?
Answer: This radio has a female BNC connector. We sell an adapter cable as catalog number 940-1183 which has a male BNC on the radio end, about 2-1/2 ft of mini-coax (RG-174 type) and a female BNC on the other end. This adapter allows you to get cleanly away from the radio; then, you can match up the BNC to an external antenna.
 
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Product: HTX-245 2 Meter/70 centimeter FM Amateur Transceiver Cat. No.: 190-1106
Question: What are the exact frequency ranges (from MHz to MHz) on this radio?
Answer: Here is the chart:
  Standard Expanded*
VHF RX 144 - 148 MHz 142.00 - 149.88 MHz
VHF TX 144 - 148 MHz 142.00 - 149.88 MHz
UHF RX 438 - 450 MHz 420.00 - 450.00 MHz
UHF TX 438 - 450 MHz 420.00 - 450.00 MHz

Weather Band: 162.400, 162.425, 162.450, 162.475, 162.500, 162.525, 162.550. These are the 7 NOAA broadcast frequencies used in the USA.

Expanded setting is to accommodate MARS/CAP frequencies; you must be careful not to transmit illegally out-of-band. To expand (or unexpand), hold down 2 and 3 and turn the radio on. Once it powers up, release 2 and 3 keys. This information is included in the Owner's Manual for all but the first product run. In the first production run, the information was packed separately from the manual in Addendum 190-1106 04A00.

 
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Product: HTX-202 2-Meter FM Handy Transceiver Cat. No.: 190-1120
Question: I get an E-2 error on my display.
Answer: This indicates that the Phase Loop Lock (PLL) has come unlocked. The radio should be taken in to your local RadioShack store for repair; they will send it to the nearest Service Center.
 
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Product: HTX-202 2-Meter FM Handy Transceiver Cat. No.: 190-1120
Question: Why can't I get to a repeater?
Answer: To operate with a repeater, you must transmit on the repeater's input frequency and receive on the repeater's output frequency. If you frequently use a repeater that does not have a 600 kHz offset, we recommend you program the repeater frequency into one of the transceiver's memories.

You can override the default offset for each memory.

To change the default offset, follow the steps in "Understanding the Configuration Menu." to display the oS menu item, and rotate TUNE to change the offset. The transceiver lets you set the offset to be in the range from 0 MHz to 4 MHz in steps as set by the frequency step option.

UNDERSTANDING THE CONFIGURATION MENU

Your transceiver has a configuration menu that lets you modify operation settings. Each of the following sections explain how and when to use each configuration menu and select options.

 
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Product: HTA-20 VHF Amplifier with RX Pre-Amplifier Cat. No.: 190-1122
Question: How many watts does the amp boost?
Answer: This boosts the signal from 0.5 - 5 Watts up to 30 Watts.
 
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Product: HTA-20 VHF Amplifier with RX Pre-Amplifier Cat. No.: 190-1122
Question: Is there any attenuation or gain while the amp is turned on for 2-meter receive?
Answer: The received signal goes through a narrow bandpass filter to reduce interference and then amplified to a pre amp line level and sent to the transceiver.
 
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Product: HTX-242 Mobile Transceiver Cat. No.: 190-1126
Question: How do I expand the radio for use with CAP/MARS?
Answer: Hold down F and DTMF and turn the radio on.
 
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Product: HTX-242 Mobile Transceiver Cat. No.: 190-1126
Question: How do I use the subaudible tones?
Answer: To use the subaudible tones, you will need to do the following:
  1. Press VFO.
  2. Hold F for at least 1 second. FUNC flashes.
  3. Press T-SQL. The HTX-242 displays rC and the currently set receive tone.
  4. Rotate TUNE, or press UP or DOWN on the microphone, to set a different receive tone. If you do not want a receive tone, select oFF.
  5. Press UP ARROW. The HTX-242 displays tC and the currently set transmit tone.
  6. Rotate TUNE, or press UP or DOWN on the microphone, to set a different transmit tone. If you do not want a transmit tone, select oFF.
  7. Press T-SQL or PTT to save the settings.

To activating Subaudible Tone Transmit and Squelch:

  1. Press T-SQL once. T appears. The HTX-242 includes the selected transmit tone with your transmissions.
  2. Press T-SQL again. T-SQL appears. The HTX-242 includes the selected transmit tone with your transmissions and requires the selected receive tone to open squelch.
  3. Press T-SQL a third time to turn off both subaudible tone transmit and squelch. Neither T nor T-SQL appears on the display.
 
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Product: HTX-242 Mobile Transceiver Cat. No.: 190-1126
Question: The only button working is power; how do I unlock the radio?
Answer: To unlock the controls, press F then LOCK again.
 
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Product: HTX-252 Mobile 2-Meter Transceiver Cat. No.: 190-1127
Question: When the transceiver is in the memory mode (using memory channels) and the power is turned off, it reverts to the VFO mode when turning it back on. Is this the way it is supposed to operate?
Answer: It is normal operation for this radio to default to VFO operation when turned on; there is no way to set it to default to memory operation or to the last format used.
 
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Product: HTX-252 Mobile 2-Meter Transceiver Cat. No.: 190-1127
Question: What are the microphone pinouts for this radio?
Answer: The information below is offered as a courtesy; however, for schematics or any additional information of this type on this radio, you would need to reference the Service Manual for the HTX-252, which is available as part number RSU 12276358. Because this item is only available by special order, you will need to contact either your local RadioShack store or RadioShack.com at 800-241-8742 to place an order.

The Microphone Plug for the HTX-252 (Cat. No. 190-1127) is a round plug with pins 1-7 arranged around the edge in a semi-circle, with pin 8 in the middle. With the empty space below pin 8 on the bottom, the pins are numbered clockwise from the bottom left, 1 through 7.

The pinouts are as follows:

Pin Function Plug Pinouts
1 Microphone Audio / PTT HTX-252 Pinout
2 Scan / Pri
3 Down / Up
4 5 Volts
5 Lock / Shift
6 Call / Step
7 GND
8 F / MHz
 
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Product: HTX-404 Handheld Transceiver Cat. No.: 190-1140
Question: How do you reset the HTX-404?
Answer: When you first use the HTX-404, if the display shows ER1, or if you ever want to reset the HTX-404's options to the factory defaults and clear all memories, follow these steps.

WARNING: This procedure clears all stored information.

  1. Turn off the HTX-404.
  2. Press and hold down F + CLR.
  3. Then turn on the HTX-404.
 
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BUSINESS RADIOS

General Questions

Product: Business Band Radios
Question: Can the UHF/VHF Business Band Radios be expanded to receive MARS & CAPS frequencies?
Answer: The New Mini VHF and UHF are expandable; however, there seems to be some confusion about the MARS/CAPS frequencies.

1. MARS operates primarily in the HF portion of the spectrum, rather than VHF or UHF. While there is some MARS activity in the VHF portion, we do not offer a frequency modification.

2. CAP operates on the VHF band, on adjacent frequencies of the Amateur 2 Meter Band.

3. CAP does not operate on any UHF frequencies that are adjacent to the 440 MHz Amateur Band frequencies

This is why our 440 radios do not have frequency modification features, like some of our 2 meter radios do.

  • MARS: Military Affiliate Radio System - HF Operations
  • CAP: Civil Air Patrol - Air Search and Rescue.......a U.S. Air Force Auxiliary
 
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Product: Business Band Radios
Question: What frequency is the MURS (Multi-Use Radio Service) on?
Answer: The FCC recently created the up to 2 watt MURS (Multi-Use Radio Service) from the following five frequencies: 154.570 (Blue Dot), 154.600 (Green Dot), and also 151.820, 151.880, and 151.940 MHz. Handheld radio model numbers are 190-1206 and 190-1217, and our mobile VHF radio is the 190-1210. Because the 190-1210 is rated up to 5 watts, you might wonder if it is legal. Since the radio automatically cuts power back when tuned to those 5 frequencies, it is.
 
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BUSINESS BAND RADIOS

Product-specific Questions

Product: GRS-1000 GMRS Hand-Held Handy Transceiver Cat. No.: 190-0900
Question: What battery does this require?
Answer: This requires the battery pack part number RSU 10585941. Because this item is only available by special order, you will need to contact either your local RadioShack store or RadioShack.com at 800-241-8742 to place an order.
 
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Product: 2-Channel VHF Business-Band Transceiver Cat. No.: 190-1202
Question: The radio is set for green dot; how do I change the frequency to blue dot (or other)?
Answer: Blue dot is 154.5700 MHz. The transceiver comes with a pair of crystals installed in Channel A for operation on 154.600. You can order crystals from your local RadioShack store for Channel B or as replacements for Channel A. Be sure to specify the transceiver's catalog number - 190-1202. You must request a frequency assignment from NABER (National Association of Business and Educational Radio) before ordering crystals. Call NABER at 800-759-0300 (in VA, call 703-739-0300). They will advise you of the information they require, as well as the current fees. You will then send your FCC Form 574 to NABER. They will assign a frequency and forward the application to the FCC.
 
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Product: Business Band Radios Cat. No.: 190-1206, 190-1210, 190-1217
Question: What are the new MURS (Multi-Use Radio Service) channels for our Business Band Radios?
Answer: The new MURS channels are:
  • 151.820 MHz
  • 151.880 MHz
  • 151.940 MHz
  • 154.570 MHz
  • 154.600 MHz

Our 190-1206 and 190-1210 (mobile version) radios can easily be programmed for four of those frequencies.

  1. Turn VOLUME fully counterclockwise (transceiver OFF).
  2. Remove the battery door, but do not remove the battery (battery must have some charge).
  3. Choose a preset frequency from the chart below and set the encoder DIP switches to match the desired frequency.
  4. Turn the radio on and the new frequency is set.
  5. To set the second frequency in the 190-1210, flip the frequency switch and repeat steps 1-4 above.

DIP Switches

Dot Color Frequency (MHz) 1 2 3 4 5 6 Note
Red 151.6250 D D D D D D  
Purple 151.9550 D D D D D U  
Blue 154.5700 D D D D U D MURS channel
Green 154.6000 D D D D U U MURS channel
n/a 151.7000 D D D U D D  
n/a 151.7600 D D D U D U  
n/a 151.8200 D D D U U D MURS channel
n/a 151.8800 D D D U U U MURS channel
n/a 151.9400 D D U D D D MURS channel

D = down or OFF; U = up or ON

For the 190-1217:

Selecting A Business Band Frequency:

  1. While holding PUSH TO TALK, turn on the transceiver. You hear "frequency" and the current frequency setting ("frequency nine," for example).
  2. Choose a business band frequency from the following table:
    Frequency You Hear:
    151.625 MHz One
    151.955 MHz Two
    154.570 MHz Three [MURS channel (blue dot)]
    154.600 MHz Four [MURS channel (green dot)]
    151.700 MHz Five
    151.760 MHz Six
    151.820 MHz Seven [MURS channel (no dot)]
    151.880 MHz Eight [MURS channel (no dot)]
    151.940 MHz Nine [MURS channel (no dot)]
  3. Repeatedly press PUSH TO TALK to scroll through the transceiver's business band frequencies. When you hear the business band frequency you have a license to use, release PUSH TO TALK.
  4. Press MONITOR twice to store the frequency.
 
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Product: BTX-125 VHF Business-Band Transceiver Cat. No.: 190-1215 & 190-1216
Question: What is the purpose of the 8 switches?
Answer: The 8 switches shown in the manual are for setting the CTCSS tone on the optional CTCSS board which is available as catalog number 940-0880 (RSU # 11437399). Adding this board to the BTX-125 virtually eliminates interference since the radio will only hear signals from other radios set to exactly the same tone (38 possible tones).

The 4 switches in the radio are to set 1 of the 8 possible transmit frequencies. There is no information in the manual because this is not a user-selectable function. Our stores can set the frequency; you will need to bring in your FCC information regarding frequency allocation.

 
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Product: BTX-126 UHF Business-Band Transceiver Cat. No.: 190-1216
Question: What is the battery life?
Answer: Battery life is 8 hours.
 
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TWO-WAY RADIO ACCESSORIES

Product-specific Questions

Product: 2-Meter 5/8-wave Magnetic-Mount Antenna Cat. No.: 190-0210
Question: What is the gain of this antenna in dB and what is the length in inches?
Answer: This is a 5/8 wave antenna and provides 3 dB gain over a 1/4 wave dipole. The length is approximately 4 feet - 1-1/2 inches or (49.5 inches).
 
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Product: Speaker/Microphone Cat. No.: 190-0310
Question: Is this compatible with the 190-1102?
Answer: No; the 190-0310 has a common ground.
 
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Product: VOX Microphone / Headset Cat. No.: 190-0312
Question: Is this compatible with the HTX-202 and HTX-404 radios?
Answer: This headset should work with both of these radios.
 
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Product: VOX Microphone / Headset Cat. No.: 190-0312
Question: Can you use this for FRS?
Answer: Yes.
 
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Product: VOX Microphone / Headset Cat. No.: 190-0312
Question: What type of plug does this have?
Answer: The headset's has a 1/8-inch speaker plug and a 3/32-inch microphone.
 
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Product: Simplex Repeater Controller Cat. No.: 190-0345
Question: Can you use this with the 190-1126?
Answer: No; the controller requires a transceiver that has microphone and speaker jacks.
 
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