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A very worn but working Radio Shack Optimus 12-174A. The same radio sold by Radio Shack.

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The Sangean DT200V is a hand held radio that covers the AM,FM & TV (Ch 2-13) bands. The DT200V measures 4 3/8 " (H) x 2 1/2" (W) and 3/4" (D). It weighs 5.5 ounces (with batteries installed). It runs on 2 AA batteries (no external power jack).

The DT-200V has 19 pre-sets which can be mixed between the 3 bands. There are a minimum # of controls on the radio. A power button, volume control and a headphone jack are on the top of the radio. There is a lock switch on the right side of the unit. There is a switch on the left side of the radio that enables the user to switch between the small speaker and headphone use.

The front of the radio features a small display area. The display shows the band, frequency/channel and memory position selected. Next to the display are the up/down frequency buttons. On AM, the up/down changes the frequency by 10 kHz. On FM, it moves by .1 MHz. There are 4 buttons underneath the up/down buttons. Memory is for setting of presets, Band is to change between AM/FM/TV, Mono enables you to switch from FM Stereo reception to Mono to better receive weak signals, Select lets you move through the 19 pre-sets. The battery hatch is easy to open and is located on the back of the DT-200V. A removable belt clip fastens to the radio just above the battery hatch.

FM and TV reception is achieved via the headphone cord which functions as an antenna. A plug in antenna for the headphone jack is provided for those who intend to regularly use the speaker. The radio automatically shuts itself off after 60 minutes.

What's To Like?

The DT-200V provides excellent reception of FM stations and is surprisingly effective on AM. It is obvious that Sangean did not consider AM reception to be a mere afterthought as it seems to be on most small radios. Nulling of AM stations is extremely easy and the small size of the radio allows you to manipulate it for maximum reception or maximum null, depending on what you are trying to accomplish. The size and placement of the controls makes this an extremely easy radio to operate in the dark. I have found the DT-200V to be pretty hardy. It can take a lickin' and keep on .... well, you know. Battery life is good. I am pretty bad about turning on a radio, wandering off and then finding it still on hours later. For this reason, I really like the 60-minute auto shut off. This is a good radio to fall asleep to and the auto-shut off is important for that.

What's Not To Like?

Not Much. The only thing I find myself often wishing for is a momentary backlight for the display so I could see what frequency I am on in the dark.


I use the DT-200V a lot. It's a great little radio. It's a radio you can use and abuse (within reason, of course). It was once offered as through Radio Shack (Optimus) as model 12-174. Unfortunately, they discontinued it a few years back as they have done with many good products. The DT-200V is available from C Crane, Universal Radio, etc. You will also find any number of companies selling this radio on the Internet. Prices vary from about $45-$65.

Best DX
Russ K3PI

The DT-200V is one of my favorite all around portable walking radios. I picked this radio up on Russ' recommendation and I am glad I did. It's sensitivity on AM (MW) is unbeatable for any radio in it's class size. It's my general carry around every day radio (see the photo above of the Radio Shack Opitmus edition and you will see what I mean). I take it to every Navy home football game to listen to the game while watching it. I have even have dropped it accidently a few times on concrete a few times. But it still holds up like a champ! I carry the DT-200V around in a leather Palm Pilot case (see photo below) that fits the radio nicely and protects it from any more drops on concrete at the stadium. I keep it stashed in my brief case at work and has been quite handy for listening to news at the top of the hour. It was my life line for news during 9-11 while at work. When using an ear piece, the radio great in bed (no pun intended) with it's auto sixty minute shutoff and more than enough 19 memories to scroll through.

Ulis K3LU


An excellent carrying case for the DT-200V is a Palm Pilot case.

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