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Introductory Information on Radio Shack, Archer, and Realistic Equipment
of interest to the repeater community
Compiled by Mike Morris WA6ILQ from
contributions from about 20 individuals
|If anyone has scans or PDFs of other manuals that should be here please drop an email to article-ideas at repeater-builder dot com|
Here is a link to the product support section at the Radio Shack web site. I had it bookmarked back in December of 2004, the public side was redone sometime in 2005, and if there is still a link on the new public side I couldn't find it.
(January 2009 update - the site has been redone again, and the link is back (but well hidden): start at www.radioshack.com then click on the "Help" menu item along the top. Let the new screen appear, and look in the third column for "Legacy Support Information" (right above "MSDS"). Click on the blue text that says "Looking for owners manuals, parts lists of software updates for products purchased prior to 2006? This is the place").Some equipment in the old product support info pages has extensive info, some has manuals in spanish and not english, some products have next to no info. There's no rhyme nor reason for what is or isn't there. And some good useful stuff (like the HTX-202 and HTX-404 schematics, or the HTX-204 owners manual) that were there then are not there now. And since it's information on "legacy equipment" the info on any old model could go away at any time - and without any warning. A lot of the info on amateur radio equipment that was there when they were current products is already gone.
It's painfully apparent that RS has totally abandoned the amateur radio market and the ham radios that they sold, and they offer zero support. Maybe the hams that spent their money on RS products (and now find themselves totally on their own) will be able to find some helpful documentation here. We're offering this space to host any mods that have proven useful and any manuals on RS equipment of interest to hams that you may have stashed on your local hard drives. No infringement of RS's copyrights is intended. The only reason we are doing this is that Radio Shack has totally abandoned their amateur radio customers... if they had these files on their public web site (i.e. showing some real evidence that they really cared about their customers) we wouldn't need to.
Usually any available service manuals can be ordered by contacting either your local Radio Shack store or by calling RadioShack.com at 800-241-8742. Some manuals are no longer available. Some stores have intelligent folks that can look up manual numbers by radio name (i.e. HTX-10 = 19-1110), others have vertical ambulatory hominid life forms of zombie intelligence that are only capable of selling cellphones or responding to any questions with stupid looks ("You've got questions, we've got ignorant looks and lots of cellphones™").
Do you think I'm joking about zombie intelligence? I walked into a local store one day (one I'd not been in before, so I didn't know the floor layout) and asked where the transistors and DB9 connectors were. The salesdroid responded with "Do they work with Sprint or Verizon?". You'd think that any company that depended on a new employee being the point of first contact with a new customer would give that new employee a handout that provided a brief overview on the products that they stocked. Especially if that store was the closest one to the California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech)... the electronics engineering students are always looking for random parts to finish a project...
If you can use the RS web site support section (or this page) to get the manual part number before you walk into the store it will be to your advantage as the salesdrone only has to special order that item number. And make sure the drone fills out the field on the order form titled "Shipping address" so that it will come straight to your house and not get lost in the store... I'm still waiting (it's been several years now) for my HTX-202 and HTX-404 Schematics and Service Manuals that I special ordered, paid for in advance, were sent to the local store by mistake, and lost.
If you are trying to find info on older equipment (a lot of it didn't have a model number sticker on it) then this very well done web site (not affiliated with RS) that has scans of catalogs from 1939 to 2005 may be of interest... http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com
We are looking for...
...any modification articles, manuals and schematics on RS equipment of interest to hams. Here are four suggestions:
1) An article on how to remove the slide-on battery pack from an HTX202 or 404 after the little release clip comes loose and jams the slide lock. I've seen a jammed pack on a radio, and a week later the radio was back in use by the owner, and when asked the owner replied "a friend fixed it". So how is it done?
2) An article on how to tighten up the battery-to-radio connector on the HTX202 or 404. I've used a 202 that had a loose battery connection - the physical slide-on battery was tight, but the battery connection was intermittent. Sending the radio back to the RS service center (at that time the particular radio was still in warranty) resulted in it being fixed. So how was it fixed?
The RS amateur radio product line included these units:
Catalog #19-1122 HTA-20 VHF Amplifier with Receiver Pre-Amplifier
Catalog #19-1110 HTX-10 Ten Meter Mobile
Catalog #19-1101 HTX-100 Ten Meter Mobile
Catalog #19-1102 HTX-200 2M Mobile Radio
Catalog #19-1124 HTX-204 dual band 2M/440 handheld
Catalog #19-1125 HTX-212 Two-Meter Mobile
Catalog #19-1106 HTX-242 25-Watt 2M FM Mobile
Catalog #19-1106 HTX-245 dual band 2M/440 mobile
Catalog #19-1127 HTX-252 25-Watt 2M FM Mobile
Catalog #19-1104 HTX-400 Mini 440 MHz UHF Handheld
Catalog #19-1108 HTX-420 dual band 2M/440 handheld with weather receiver
Catalog #19-0345 Simplex Repeater Controller
Catalog #20-043 Outdoor Scanner/Ham Discone Antenna
Did I miss anything?
Decoding the Radio Shack product date codes... (from an email sent to repeater-builder from a ham that worked at RS for a year or so)
Many RS products have a little sticker on the back, or maybe inside the battery compartment. The date code consists of a number (from 1 to 12), followed by the letter "A", followed by another number (from 0-9).
The first number represents the month of manufacture, while the last number represents the year. (The "A" itself means nothing and just acts as a separator between the month and the year.) For example, the date code 12A5 would decode to Decamber 1975, December 1985, December 1995, or December 2005.
The date code sitcker was introduced for warranty purposes and since no warranty is longer than a few years the decade does not matter. If you want to figure out what year something was made, look at the catalog archives. Having the A represent 1970-1979, a B for 1980-1989, a C for 1990-1999, etc would have been intelligent and made the number more useful at zero cost increase, but functional intelligence at management level is against corporate policy (his words, not mine).
The author can be contacted at: his-callsign // at // repeater-builder // dot // com.
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This page initially created 14-Oct-2004.
This web page, this web site, the information presented in and on its pages and in these modifications and conversions is © Copyrighted 1995 and (date of last update) by Kevin Custer W3KKC and multiple originating authors. All Rights Reserved, including that of paper and web publication elsewhere.