Mark Phillips (N8uvq)
|Posted on Saturday, December 06, 2008 - 05:48 pm: |
"Not Just Another Toy"
By Mark Phillips - N8UVQ
Radio Shack HTX-10: 10-Meter Transceiver
As a child might anxiously await the arrival of a department store's Christmas catalog, I waited for the arrival of the 2000 Radio Shack Catalog. Finally, my wait ended with the catalog's release.
After a brief scan of the index, I located the Amateur Radio section. This year's section only contained three pages. Disappointed, I turned to page 75 to see what they had. Some training tapes, manuals and several handie talkies adorned the page.
Page 76 looked promising. Then their new 10 meter mobile rig caught my eye. Let's see, 25-watt output on USB, LSB & FM plus 7 watts on AM. Outstanding and the asking price was only $149.99. Holders of a Novice or Technician Plus Amateur Radio license may operate this rig between 28.30 MHz and 28.50 MHz. However, use of the remaining frequencies and FM operation requires, at least, a General Class Amateur Radio license.
When I asked to see one, the manager advised me that the HTX-10 was too new for him to have in the store. As a consolation, he said I could order one and return it if dissatisfied. A store in California had one. All that remained was the wait for its arrival.
In less than five days, I had the HTX-10. A mobile antenna (RS# 21-972) completed my Radio Shack purchases. This model antenna has a 1.2 MHz bandwidth and can handle up to 25 watts
Dimensions for the HTX-10 are: 154 mm wide, 52 mm high and 225 mm deep. That's approximately 6 inches by 2 inches by 9.5 inches. Weight of the HTX-10 is 1.18 kilograms or 2 pounds and 10 ounces. Power requirements are 12.0 to 16.0 volts DC with a minimum of 7 amps. Frequency range is 28.000 MHz to 29.699 MHz.
Operational features include 1 kHz frequency resolution, mic, RF Gain control, and an automatic gain control and a voice clarifier for single sideband operation. Additional features include a switchable noise blanker, built in automatic modulation control and the ability to scan its frequency range. Also, the HTX-10 permits one to set a transmit frequency and offset the receive frequency in either direction within the range of 0.0 Hz to 990 kHz.
One minor drawback is that the HTX-10 has only 5 programmable memories. The lack of 10-meter repeaters, in this area, almost negates the lack of memory. Another drawback is that Radio Shack put a limited 90-day warranty on this product. Fortunately, an extended warranty and a service manual (RS# 19-1110) are available.
The majority of my 10-meter contacts with the HTX-10 have been local. However, one in particular, stands out. As I was driving to my mother's house for Thanksgiving dinner, I made a mobile contact with a station in Texas. Since I was driving, I did not log the contact. Maybe, that Texas station will QSL.