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Author Topic: Baofeng UV3R for hidden transmitter  (Read 102082 times)
K9RFZ
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Posts: 50




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« on: January 13, 2012, 06:48:14 AM »

Now that the Baofeng UV3R is FCC type accepted, has anyone figured out how to make or sell
an interface cable for these cheap radios so it can be paired with the Byonics
controller and used as a fox?
Joseph, K9RFZ
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KB9TMP
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Posts: 58


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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2012, 12:00:26 PM »

All those China made handhelds seem to have either a Kenwood type speakermike wiring or the Yaesu type wiring. So if it's two pin think Kenwood and single pin think Yaesu.
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WS4E
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Posts: 220




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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2012, 07:48:55 AM »

I read they have some sort of squelch issue that makes them impossible to connect to TNC's.  They are actually single-chip software defined radios in design and something about the design apparently will make it not possible to use them for packet.  You might run into the same trouble interfacing them as well.
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K9RFZ
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« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2012, 09:25:53 AM »

A little experimentation with the spkr/earphone supplied with the radio shows that the single 4 conductor 1/8" pin looks like the Yaesu, but doesn't have the same pinout. I believe numbering from the tip

1 = RX
2 = TX
3 = TX tied to conductor 2
4 = GND

I've emailed Byonics (mfg for the PIC CON controller) and asked if they are willing to make an interface cable.
This package could make a very versatile hidden transmitter.

Joseph, K9RFZ
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N6BG
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2012, 11:31:00 AM »

I don't have the cable for sale yet, but I made one for my Baofeng.  I wired it like this:

tip - DB-9 pin 5 - ear audio
ring 1 - DB-9 pin 1 - mic audio
ring 2 - DB-9 pin 3 - ptt out
shield - DB-9 pin 6 - ground

I recommend using a shield cable, preferably the ear mic cable that came with it.
Note the HT PTT jumper J2 is NOT needed, since the cable has a separate PTT wire.

I hope to get these cables made to sell in the future.

Byon, N6BG
(Note, I don't frequent this forum, so if you want to contact me, please use the Byonics site.)
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K9RFZ
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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2012, 08:36:47 AM »

Byon,

Thanks for your post and the instructions for making a cable that works with the PIC CON. The low cost Baofeng radio with your PIC CON will make a very affordable and versatile fox.
73,
Joseph, K9RFZ
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K9RFZ
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« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2012, 10:48:59 AM »

Follow-up Post

I am not connected with Byonics in any manner, but I checked their website today and the interface cable to use the Baofeng UV-3R as a fox transmitter with the Byonics PIC Con is now available. This would be a very affordable and flexible hidden transmitter option.

Joseph, K9RFZ
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N0ZYC
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Posts: 20




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« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2013, 08:43:02 PM »

I intended on getting foxhunts going last year but didn't materialize for lack of fox boxes, a problem I intend to correct this year. Wink

I have obtained a Baofeng UV-3R and a Yaesu VX-2 (very similar looking) and would like to get a few other small test transmitters as well.  I was at byonic's web site and see they have the microfox 15, but wow... it costs more than either of these HTs cost me, and it doesn't appear to be remotely controllable.  That's a shame that a simple QRP beacon has to cost so much!  Any inexpensive alternatives for test beacons for testing RDF gear and training the new players?  I'd like to have several little test beacons.

Next question...  the schematic on baofeng's web site indicates these two HTs have the same mic wiring... that's handy...  they are interchangeable then?  Both of these HTs have NON threaded jacks btw.

Thirdly, I looked at the HT4P diagram (the suggested cable to interface my baofeng to the PicCon) and it doesn't show the PTT from the radio connecting, it terminates, and nothing goes to pin 3 on the DB9.  Is that a typeo, or is a different cable required for tying these HTs to a PicCon controller?  The HTBC was listed as the correct cable for my yaesu (why would they sell a different cable, with same wiring?)  but it doesn't show the wiring diagram so I can't confirm.

I've subscribed to this topic, it's too bad N6BG didn't.  I'll cc this to him over on his web site.
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N0ZYC
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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2013, 01:43:26 PM »

Just a followup on my prep for the season, I have most of my questions answered.

The UV-3R and VX-2 use the same battery and can both be controlled nicely with the piccon.  They do require different cables and the jumper on the piccon needs to be set opposite.  UV-3R's monster volume works fine at only one unit, but I keep the VX-2 at 50%.  The radios have very similar performance including power draw.  1500mAh batteries are available on ebay.  My UV-3R came with a 1500 (tho it says it comes with a 1200), the VX-2 only come with a 1000.  I got three 1500's and have replaced the one in the VX-2 for more uptime.  I need to find a source for that DC power connector, and see what voltage input it will tolerate.  Until then, I think I can run them on their internal battery.  Runtime will be very dependent on hi/lo power setting and duty cycle.  65mA rx, 290mA tx/lo, 1300mA tx/hi.  Although I intend to finish my own arduino fox controller and use it, the piccon is very handy, has good features, and is reasonably priced, I recommend it.  Volume must be turned up for the DTMF detect to work, you have to watch for that when setting up foxes with volume on the knob, to make sure it's set at the proper level when deploying.

I was unable to locate any cheaper source of easy test beacons.  Although the MicroFox-15 is expensive for what you get, it's handy enough to justify one or two per event.  It must be programmed with windows software, but the dev was kind enough to supply info on programming and I should have a mac/win/linux app written when I can find time. (RB cross compiles)  But this isn't something you need to reconfigure often so it's not a big deal to be windows only for now.  Having a test beacon for hunters to tweak and test their gear before the first hunt starts I think will be a VERY good idea.  I've set it on the same frequency as the first fox, which won't turn on until I have shut off the test beacon and signaled it to start.

Byonic's cables work well for these radios, although the baofeng cable has a small tolerance issue with wanting to back out a hair when plugged in, I think it's a problem with the cheapness of the radio though.  They're relatively expensive for what they are, but again you get back to the convenience factor and they're about a wash, fabbing your own would be cheaper but probably isn't worth your time.  Just buy their cables.  I removed the powerpole ends (back to the parts box with you!) and put on a 9v connector for now.  Once I get more dc jacks for the radios I may go with a larger capacity rechargeable ext battery instead.  It currently worries me that on long days with many foxes, the last fox may start running low on runtime if it has to sit waiting for the GO signal for several hours.  I didn't get any enclosures for them yet, I may change my mind on that later.

I will be at the DMRAA hamfest this Satiurday, looking for spare HTX-202's to build into DF gear as well as more cheap little baofeng/etc radios for foxes.  This Sunday will be test day for the gear and any players that want to do some test runs before the games start next weekend.
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K2QPN
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Posts: 70




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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2013, 07:20:51 AM »

I am using a UV-3R for a Fox hunt transmitter. I coupled it to an Arduino controller. I key the PTT through an optical isolator. The arduino generates a 600Hz tone for MCW. Seems to work really well.i

73, Bob K2QPN
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N0ZYC
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Posts: 20




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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2013, 07:27:06 AM »

I am using a UV-3R for a Fox hunt transmitter. I coupled it to an Arduino controller. I key the PTT through an optical isolator. The arduino generates a 600Hz tone for MCW. Seems to work really well.i

73, Bob K2QPN

I'm going to be giving out the sketch for my "ardfox" when I get it tested and the DTMF verified working.  Care to share your sketch?
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WB6BYU
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Posts: 13149




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« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2013, 08:22:27 AM »

I've been using the "Montreal Controller" boards for my transmitters, as I needed at
least 6 of them and the cost of any of the other options seemed excessive.  (I can
build them for under $10 each.)  This works well since many of my hunts do use
the standard ARDF sequence with the transmitters alternating at 1 minute intervals.

Old IC-2AT HTs and gel cells provide cheap transmitters that can run for hours at
low power, even longer in intermittent modes.

The controllers are programmable using DIP switches.  One combination that I want
to try is to set out 4 transmitters for a hunt:  easy, intermediate, and two more
difficult.  I can set them to operate in the sequence 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 4... so the harder
ones are only on once every 6 minutes, while the easier ones are on every 3 minutes.
I've found that having an assortment of transmitters to hunt gives the more experienced
hunters a good challenge while still allowing beginners to find something.


A simple alternative circuit when timing isn't as critical is a voice recorder chip and a
couple 555 timers:  divide the voice recorder memory into two parts:  one for "noise"
that repeats most of the time, and the other half for "ID" that plays once at the end
of each cycle.  Both can be recorded on the spot with a microphone.  The timers
can then be adjusted for the desired ON/OFF times.  I don't have a circuit, though one
of the local kids built one up some years back.
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N0ZYC
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Posts: 20




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« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2013, 09:32:00 PM »

after a quick look at the "Montreal Controller", it appears to be a pic-controlled system.  I didn't see any remote controllability.  That's been a high priority for me.  I just finished assembling two additional UV-3R/piccon foxes for tomorrow.

I had some difficulty coming up with the power connectors and 4 contact mic plugs, then it occurred to me that they already come with the HTs, so I just clipped them off and used them. (off the charger and the earphone accessories)   The wire in the earphone is about 10 strands of #30'ish enameled wire, easiest to just cook it on the iron a few sec to burn off the enamel before soldering down.  Still pretty frail, but doable.

The radios were $35 ea on ebay, the piccon was that much again.  Toss in a toggle switch, 8 AA rechargeables, a buck-regulator from ebay ($2.50) a battery snap and holder, a DB-9 male, some wire, tab of tape, and a couple wire ties, and you've got a very decent complete fox for about $100. (without enclosure, but creating THAT is more of an "art")   I set the reg to produce 4.4v, the UV-3R claims to see 4.1.  Using 8 AA gets 10v with rechargeables, and should easily run all day, and without changing characteristics.

Radio Shack does carry the 2.35mm power barrel connector, surprisingly.  It's not where you'd expect.  It's one of the heads for their multi-use power supply, it's head type "A". (they get over six bucks for it though)  So getting the power barrel or the mic plug the usual way seems expensive.  I just harvested from the included accessories on these latter two foxes.

You can wire up your piccon to the UV-3R without buying an expensive cable.  Din-5 goes to tip, din-1 to ring 1, din-3 to ring 2, din 6 and ground go to ground ring, din 7 goes to V+.  The UV-3R won't work properly with more than 4.7v power in the adapter plug, and the piccon needs a bit more, so you can either run a regulator like I did (cheaply from ebay, I got a 10pk, was surprised to not have any noise) or use a 9v battery for the piccon and a 4.5v battery holder of AA, C, etc, for the UV-3R.  (or just use the internal battery, but it's only 1000-1500mAh)  I prefer to use AAs, something that's high capacity, easy to change out, and can sub in alkaline in a pinch.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2013, 09:38:49 PM by N0ZYC » Logged
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