Doug's DX-200 Radio Page

I receive enough questions about the DX-200 to make me think I should establish a web page for it!

Short Wave Listening with the DX-200.

 I've got several receivers but right now I'm mainly using the cheapest one! It's a Realistic DX-200, catalog number 20-205. And actually I find it to be pretty decent.. I found out that you can still order a service manual for it from Radio Shack. Note that there are NO operator instructions in THIS manual! Simply stop in at your local Radio Shack store and ask them to order Stock Number 1128-8313. It only costs $6.65 plus $2.00 for shipping, and then add your local sales tax. It has lots of parts information and alignment procedures, too. This is NOT listed on the Radio Shack web site! If it's still available it's only thru the store special order system.


I have now (November, 2002) scanned my DX200 service manual and posted most of it, in DjVu format. The six pages of pictures of the printed circuit boards require continuous-tone gray-scale files, which take up too much space to post on my web server. The other 20 pages are included. The schematic diagram takes up two of those pages. The file is DX200_SvcMan.djvu. The manual has 21 pages. The file size is 185 KB.

NOTE: It's posted as a DjVu file, which requires a free browser plug-in available from in order to view it.

I have also heard from another DX200 owner who does have an owner's manual. He has scanned it into DejaVu format and emailed it to me. The file is DX-200 Manual.djvu. The manual has 20 pages and file size is 420 KB.

NOTE: It's posted as a DjVu file, which requires a free browser plug-in available from in order to view it.

Important! You MUST have the DjVu plug-in for your browser in order to see or print the files!

The plugin might not be available for the Macintosh - I really don't know.


If you're using an antenna tuned to the frequency you're listening to, like a ham radio antenna for 40 Meters and you're listening to 7 mHz, then you connect that antenna to the LO Z terminal. An antenna of random length, not tuned to any particular frequency, you connect to the Hi Z terminal. Or just connect your antenna to one of the terminals and check the signal strength on the S Meter. Then connect it to the other terminal, and use whichever is better.

Either one will probably work better if you also connect a wire from the ground terminal to an earth ground, but it's not absolutely necessary. I might help make the signal stronger or reduce the noise somewhat.

An important thing to remember, for those operators unfamiliar with using a radio with two tuning dials, is to set the BANDSPREAD Dial to near its upper end, at 94 on its logging scale, where the SET mark is. The SET mark is a triangle on the 41 M band scale, where 4.20 mHz would be. That makes the Main Tuning Dial calibration correct. If the Bandspread Dial is not set to "SET" then the Main Tuning dial will read higher than the true frequency that the radio is actually tuned to.

To use the bandspread dial, you adjust the main tuning dial to one of the colored dots with a band marking above it, like 31M at just above 10 mHz. Then the bandspread is calibrated for just that one particular scale on the bandspread dial.

Antennas and Lead-in Wires

I wanted an outside, random-wire antenna to compare with the loops so I threw some 14-gage insulated wire over some tree branches and brought the end in through a window. But then I couldn't close the window. I also drove a ground rod right outside the window and used the same type of plastic-insulated wire to connect it. Now that it's getting cold out, I wanted to be able to close and latch the window. Luckily I had picked up some scrap copper foil or sheet that looks like a ribbon about one inch wide and three feet long. There were two pieces in the dumpster at the electrical contractor's building where I work. I didn't have a plan for it at the time, but it looked useful. Anyway, I cut two pieces of it about four inches long and soldered a short piece of wire to each end. Then I laid the two strips across half of a piece of clear poly package sealing tape two inches wide and maybe a foot long. Folding the tape over in half on top of itself and the copper strips hold the strips together, parallel and about an inch apart. It's a little like railroad track and ties, but only one wide plastic track and two copper ties. I can put this thin sandwich in the window and close it completely. I suppose now I'll have to find out what the copper came from so that I can tell other people what to look for or ask for. At this point, I have no idea. But I do expect that it was part of packaging some large electrical device and might be commonly found in nearly any electrical contractor's scrap pile. I've also used my shielded loop antenna with the DX200 and it worked really well.

Antenna Installation

Two recent magazine articles inspired me to improve my random long wire antenna that hangs in the trees outside the house. One is a "What's New" item in the May, 2000 issue of CQ. It's about the "EZ Hang" which is basically a Wrist Rocket slingshot with a fishing reel mounted on it. You shoot a weight with fishline tied onto it over the tree branch where you want your antenna to go and then use the fishline to pull up the antenna support rope. The other article is called "Launch your Field Day Antenna with a Flingshot." In the June, 2000 issue of QST. In this one the author mounted a fishing reel on a home-made wooden slingshot.

I combined the two and put a cheap Zebco reel from a garage sale onto my old Wrist Rocket slingshot and doubled the height of the wire thru the trees. Next I'm going to add another wire oriented 90 degrees from the original one, and much longer. It worked out really well! I do need a bit more practice though. And if you try it, there is a problem with trees that have loose, scaly bark which the thin, nylon monofilament can get caught under.

About a year ago, August 23, 1999 I found about 10 pages of hints, tips and tricks about the slingshot method of raising antennas at but I haven't checked back to see if that URL is still good. The information was worthwhile, though!

In November, 2000 I put up a 350-foot long piece of wire that runs straight west out of my basement radio room, about 5 feet high thru bushes and trees out into the woods next to the house. There's a description of the installation on my new Wire Antennas page.

Crystal Calibrator

Usage of the crystal calibrator: [See page 11 in the owner's manual for full details.]

Turn on the switch, and you should hear it at every exact 500 kHz, It's for checking the dial accuracy. That's all. It's very unimportant for listening to the radio.

Every 500 kHz means each and every multiple, from 500 on up to sixty times that, 30 mHz. You can adjust the tuning dial you're not using, or mentally adjust the dial reading by the amount of the error. It's for use on every band, although the strength of the signal can vary. It's like a little transmitter right inside the receiver. Mostly it just seems to be so you can know how far off the dial is. But at least one of the dials has a little slider tab that moves the hairline index mark on the clear plastic cover to re-calibrate the dial.


Wondering how much your DX200 is worth? I can't tell you, but you can easily check ebay! First search for "DX-200." Then look in the 'Display' menu at the lower left of the screen. Click on 'Completed Items' and you'll see what the last several sold for, and how much people tried to get for the ones that didn't sell. I've also seen instruction manuals for the DX200 on ebay.

---home ----- Click to --e-mail me. ------ created on December 16, 2000, updated November 19, 2003