UHF/VHF Transceiver
(190-1124)                 Preparation                Faxback Doc. # 38809

Introduction to Amateur Radio

We designed your HTX-204 handheld transceiver to have the perfect 
combination of features for using the popular 2-meter and 70-centimeter
amateur bands.  You will find that your HTX-204 opens a door to the world
of amateur radio!  All you need is an Amateur Radio Operator's License,
Technician Class or higher, issued by the Federal Communications Commission
(FCC).  If you do not have a license, it is easy to get one and there is
much help available.  Here are a few tips to help you get started.

First, go ahead and turn on your HTX-204 and tune around on the band to
hear what is going on.  However, do not even think of transmitting until
you get your license.  Transmitting without a license is a violation of
federal law that can lead to severe penalties.  Also, ham operators take
the FCC rules very seriously and want nothing to do with "bootleggers" -
their term for people who operate without a license.

Second, find out if there is a ham radio club in your area.  Most clubs
welcome newcomers and are glad to help you get your license.  There are
thousands of clubs across the country, so there is probably at least one
in or near your community.  (The staff at RadioShack store where you bought
your HTX-204 might be able to help you.)

If you do not hear anyone talking about a local club in your area as you
tune around the band with your HTX-204, write to the American Radio Relay
League (ARRL) for information on how to contact their local affiliate.
The ARRL is the national organization that represents amateur radio in the
United States.  The league has more than 150,000 members; most of whom are
ham operators, but many are ham-operators to be.  Here is the address of
ARRL headquarters:

The American Radio Relay League
225 Main Street
Newington, CT 06111

Next, start studying for the exams to get your license.  (Do not let the
word "study" scare you, because most people can go from knowing absolutely
nothing about amateur radio to passing the Novice and Technician written
exams in less than a month.)

The exams test your knowledge of basic radio regulations and elementary
radio theory.  Many clubs teach license classes (a fun and easy way to 
learn about amateur radio), and there are good books, cassette tapes,
computer programs, and many other study aids available.  RadioShack stores
sell FCC License Preparation study guides for amateur radio operator
licenses.  While Morse code is no longer required for a Technician Class
license, we encourage you to learn Morse code now, so you can advance to
additional operating privileges.

The examiners for a Novice license test can be any two ham operators with
general or higher class licenses who are at least 18 years old and are not
related to you.  And, the Novice exam is free.  There is a small fee
required for taking the Technician exam, and the test must be administered 
by a three-member Volunteer Examiner Team.  You can get a schedule of exam
opportunities in your area from the ARRL.

The Technician Class license lets you use the HTX-204 to communicate
directly with other operators, communicate through repeaters, or connect to
a terminal-node controller and use packet to directly send and receive
information with a computer.

The ARRL staff helped us prepare this section of this guide.  Amateur radio
is a great hobby that has enriched the lives of millions of people all
over the world, and the ARRL would be glad to hear from you if you need
more information or would like to join.

Manual Conventions

Each of your HTX-204's buttons has several different functions, depending
on which mode the HTX-204 is in or on what other buttons you are pressing.
To make this manual easier to read and use, we refer to each button by the
name appropriate to the function you are performing.  For example, the
button marked C V/M ENT is referred to as:

C when you are transmitting DTMF tone C

V/M when you are switching between the VFO and memory modes

ENT when you are completing an entry

Many functions are accessed by holding down FUNC, on the left side of the
HTX-204 above the PTT button, then pressing another key at the same time.
This is indicated in this manual as FUNC +(key).  For example, to turn on
mono-band operation, you press FUNC + MONO.

"Operation I," Faxback Doc. # 38408 provides a quick rundown of your 
HTX-204's major functions, as well as a reference to its controls and 
display.  Other sections have been organized to place complementary 
features together in "Operation II," Faxback Doc. # 38810 and "Operation 
III," Faxback Doc. # 38826.

Information on using the HTX-204's menu can be found in "Operation I,"
Faxback Doc. # 38408.  Refer to this information as you read item
descriptions throughout this guide.

Perform all the procedures in this section before you use your HTX-204 the
first time.


Loop the supplied hand strap through the belt clip's strap tab.


You can operate your HTX-204 from any of these power sources:

   Rechargeable battery pack (supplied, with an AC battery charger)

   Vehicle battery power (using a DC power cord)

   AC power (using a DC power cord and power supply)

Using the Rechargeable Battery Pack

You can use the supplied rechargeable battery pack to power your HTX-204.
This battery pack provides 7.2 volts, 700 mAH, and can operate you HTX-204
at 1.8 watts (typical maximum power).  As supplied, the battery pack is
discharged.  You need to fully charge the pack using the supplied charger
before you use it to operate the HTX-204.

To connect the battery pack to your HTX-204, slide it onto the battery 
rails, contacts first, from left to right until it clicks into place.

To remove the battery pack, push up the latch and slide off the pack.

Note:  You can remove the battery pack from the HTX-204 to charge it, and
       operate the HTX-204 from one of the other power sources, or charge
       it while it is connected to the HTX-204.

Follow these steps to charge the battery pack:

1.  Flip up the battery charger jack's rubber cover at the battery pack's
    lower right corner.  Then insert the charger's barrel plug into the
    battery charger jack.

2.  Plug the AC charger into a standard AC outlet.  It takes about 10 hours
    to charge the battery pack.

3.  After you charge the battery pack, unplug the charger from the outlet,
    unplug the barrel plug from the HTX-204, then close the rubber cover.

When the battery symbol appears when you press PTT or right after you turn
on the HTX-204, the battery pack needs to be recharged.

If you continue to operate from battery power, the battery symbol begins to
flash.  When the battery is too low, the HTX-204 flashes BATTERY LOW, then
turns off.


   You can buy extra battery packs through your local RadioShack store.

   To ensure a full charge, about once a month let the battery pack 
   completely discharge.  To do this, use the HTX-204 until the battery
   symbol appears when you press PTT.  Then fully charge the battery pack.
   To ensure a full charge, charge the battery pack at room temperature
   (below 90 F).


   To prevent permanent power loss, never charge the battery pack where the
   temperature is below about 40 F.

   Never charge the battery pack with a charger other than the one supplied.
   Even chargers with the same voltage and current ratings could 
   permanently damage the HTX-204 or battery pack.  You can order a 
   replacement charger at your local RadioShack store.

Important:  At the end of the battery pack's useful life, it must be
            recycled or disposed of safely.  Contact your local, county,
            or state hazardous waste management authorities for information
            on recycling or disposal programs in your area.  Some options
            that might be available are:  municipal curbside collection,
            drop-off boxes at retailers such as your local RadioShack 
            store, recycling collection centers, and mail-back programs.

Using Vehicle Battery Power

You can operate the HTX-204 from vehicle battery power using a DC power 
cord (Cat. No. 270-031).  This cord supplies vehicle power (13.8 volts
typical) to your HTX-204 and can operate your HTX-204 at 5 watts (typical
maximum power).

Caution:  Use a power cord that has a barrel plug with an inner diameter
          of 1.3 mm and an outer diameter of 3.4 mm, and that has a center
          positive connection.  The recommended power cord meets these
          specifications.  Using a cord that does not meet these
          specifications could damage your vehicle's electrical system or
          the HTX-204.

Follow these steps to operate the HTX-204 from vehicle battery power using
the recommended power cord.

1.  Flip up the DC IN jack's rubber cover, then plug the power cord's
    barrel plug into the HTX-204's DC IN jack.

    Caution:  Never plug the power cord into the rechargeable battery 
              pack's charger jack.  Doing so can damage the battery pack
              and the HTX-204.

2.  Plug the power cord's accessory plug into your vehicle's accessory
    power socket.

If the HTX-204 does not operate, remove the power cord's plug from the
accessory socket and check the socket for debris.  Clean the socket, if
necessary, and try again.

Using AC Power

You can operate the HTX-204 from AC power using a DC power cord and a power
supply that can supply 12 volts and at least 1.6 amps and that has an
accessory power socket.  If your power supply does not have an accessory
power socket, you can wire a power cord directly to your power supply or
add an accessory power socket (such as Cat. No. 270-1544) to your power

Follow the instructions provided with the power supply to use it, and see
"Using Vehicle Battery Power" to power the HTX-204.


Connect an antenna to your HTX-204 before transmitting.  Your HTX-204 comes
with a dual-band "rubber-ducky" antenna.  But, the HTX-204's antenna
connector makes it easy to connect other types of antennas.  RadioShack
stores have a variety of dual-band antennas to choose from.

To use the supplied antenna, slip the antenna's connector over the BNC jack
and twist the antenna to lock it in place.

To use an external antenna, attach the appropriate connector adapter to the
end of the antenna cable, if necessary.  Then slip the connector over the 
BNC jack and twist the connector to lock it in place.

Warning:  If you install an outdoor antenna, follow all cautions and 
          warnings that come with the antenna.


You can use an external microphone (available at your local RadioShack 
store) with your HTX-204.

Flip up the microphone jack's rubber cover and plug the microphone cable's
3/32-inch (2.5 mm) submini plug into the HTX-204's MIC jack.  If your
microphone includes an earphone, plug the cable's mini and submini plugs
into the HTX-204's MIC and SPK jacks, as shown.


In a noisy area, an external speaker, positioned in the right place, might
provide more comfortable listening.  (RadioShack stores sell extension
speakers.)  Flip up the speaker jack's rubber cover and plug the speaker
cable's 1/8-inch (3.5 mm) mini plug into the HTX-204's SPK jack.  This
disconnects the internal speaker.

For the most efficient operation when you carry the HTX-204 on your belt,
connect a combination speaker/microphone to your HTX-204 and hang it on 
your collar.

If your vehicle has a cassette player, you can easily connect your HTX-204
to your vehicle's audio system using a CD-to-cassette adapter (Cat. No.
12-1951) and a mono-to-stereo audio plug (Cat. No. 274-368).  Simply insert
the adapter in your vehicle's cassette player, connect the adapter's plug
to the mono-to-stereo audio plug, insert the plug in the HTX-204's SPK
jack, and turn on your cassette player.

See "Operation II," Faxback Doc. # 38810 and "Operation III," Faxback Doc. 
# 38826 for more details on setting the internal/external speaker.


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