Added this beautiful Jil SX 200 radio scanner to my collection about 5 years ago for 15 GBP after an hour of haggling with the seller who I believe was more interested in getting me to go away than being happy at the price I was offering (hey whatever works).
Enough haggling and I ended up with a bargain as it was in very good condition for its advanced age. The original telescopic built in antenna was long gone and someone has kindly replaced it with a handy BNC connector which I didn’t have a problem with as it meant easier connection to my stack of modern antennas.
- Frequency Range 26-88 108-180 380-514 Mhz
- 16 Memory Channels
- Scan Rate 8 Channels per second
- Made in 1981
- Frequency steps 12.5/5khz steps
- Power source 12V DC
High Price Tag
Priced at 240 GBP when it was first put on sale 32 years ago which was a huge amount of money when you consider what type of scanner that would buy you today!
Functionality and Perfomance
This scanner is a bit limited in the memory department as you only get 16 to play with which can be a problem as most modern day radios usually offer at least a few hundred but with a little bit of planning on what gets put into memory and what you are happy to punch in via the keyboard you soon get used to it.
The controls are not very intuitive and can cause a great deal of confusion at first (I had to download the user manual) but once you understand how the functions on the keyboard work its easy enough.
The old school L.E.D display is the first hint at the units age with its single bright color and the ability to still see each segment even when the radio is switched off.
Memory backup is provided by batteries inserted in the back panel of the scanner and hidden by a metal cover, modern memory systems require less power and are usually served by a button cell battery that is fitted directly to the internal circuit board.
Testing the radio as soon as I got it home the response and selectivity made me think that it had suffered from a modification too far so decided to run some proper tests on it. After lifting the lid to have a good poke around inside I was happy to see that the only work done had been a few minor repairs mainly to the wiring on the front control panel.
Satisfied that this radio hadn’t been ruined by some crazy mods and having tested it to the limit the only conclusion for the poor performance is that it was built this way. Bearing in mind that the technology is over 30 years old and things have moved on a lot since this scanner was made its hard to judge this against modern day sets with much more advanced signal processing.
With all that in mind it is still a nice piece of kit and the addition of airband receive made it a very popular model at the time it was released.
This set is still a part of my shack setup and is used when I want to monitor a single frequency, it will happily sit there all day only letting the strongest signals through its amazing brick wall squelch setting.
A lovely piece of radio scanner history that can still be used as part of any radio setup. If you are lucky enough to pick up one of these that hasn’t been modified beyond useability then its worth having as part of your collection.
Fitting A BNC To The JIL SX 200
If your happy to do away with the telescopic (or don’t have one) you can fit a BNC that lets you quickly plug in more modern antennas. Please take ESD (electro static discharge) precautions while working on your radio to prevent any problems when making modifications.
Start by taking out the ten screws holding the top lid in place and gently lift it off. The only wires going to the top panel are the ones for the speaker and these are long enough to stand the lid on its side away from the scanner.
The existing antenna hole needs to be made bigger to fit the BNC. Luckily the scanner case is pretty thin and this can be done with a punch, drill or by filing. I would suggest unsoldering the speaker wires and taking the lid far away from the scanner to prevent any metal getting inside the radio while your making the hole bigger.
All the earthing for the screen is done through the case so make sure there’s a good connection between BNC and the underside of the lid.
Once the BNC is fitted to the lid its time to wire it up.
Take a foot of small diameter coax (something like RG-316 or RG-174 is ideal) and strip about an inch off the outer coating from each end. Cut back the screen as much as possible and wrap some insulation tape around it, making sure its well covered so its not going to touch anything inside the scanner.
Strip a few mm off the core at both ends, give the wires a twist and tin with some solder to keep them together.
First solder one end of the coax to the center BNC pin then look for where the original antenna screws into the circuit board (See picture below). There is plenty of space around the fitting to solder on the core of the coax.
Once done make sure none of the screen is exposed (add more tape if need be) and that the core isn’t touching any other soldered sections apart from the pad connected to the telescopic fitting on the circuit board.