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Old 01-02-2014, 11:48 PM
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Default Scanning mod for CB radio. A work in progress.

I know I can't be the only one who wishes my DX-959 had a scan feature. Maybe you wish you could scan the band on your Cobra 148? What about that Uniden grant?

Well I am working on just such a mod. I am working on interfacing the rotary encoder switch with a micro-controller to scan through the channels and stop when the squelch is opened. Its a work in progress, but I have pretty well all of the pieces either on paper, or in hardware, working on piecing it together.

I have been taking video of my progress as I have been working on it, and have collaborated some of the clips into a video showing the progress of the mod and explanations on how it will work when complete.

If anyone is interested, the video is here.
Scanning Mod for DX959 / 949 / Cobra / Uniden CB radio. Work in progress. - YouTube

As I make more progress I will produce another video with the updated progress.
Stay tuned and enjoy.

Cheers!

73's
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Old 01-03-2014, 1:02 AM
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Have you received permission from Uniden to modify a radio that they hold a patient on and that the FCC has already approved as is. all you are doing is opening your self up to hear from Uniden's lawyers the FCC and so on. plus the biggest mistake you made was you went and put it on video and posted it on the internet, ( you tube) which even if you take if off Uniden can have it recalled from their hard drive for legal purposes Goo Luck you just gave them everything they need to take you to court for big bucks.
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Old 01-03-2014, 1:18 AM
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If all that were true every hot rod outfit or 4WD shop in the country would be out of business. It's his radio and he can do as he wishes. If he repackages it and resells it under their product name then that's different.

I think it's neat as hell to see people doing this stuff. That's how you learn. Once upon a time people took it upon themselves to learn in a hands on method and this is a fine example of it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lindsay34654 View Post
Have you received permission from Uniden to modify a radio that they hold a patient on and that the FCC has already approved as is. all you are doing is opening your self up to hear from Uniden's lawyers the FCC and so on. plus the biggest mistake you made was you went and put it on video and posted it on the internet, ( you tube) which even if you take if off Uniden can have it recalled from their hard drive for legal purposes Goo Luck you just gave them everything they need to take you to court for big bucks.

Last edited by mancow; 01-03-2014 at 1:21 AM..
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Old 01-03-2014, 1:21 AM
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I am just going to point out, that FCC stamp of approval means nothing in Canada. We have our own set of guidelines set by the CRTC. While they mirror that of the FCC in many ways, there are differences, and an FCC approval is not require for a product to be sold in Canada.
Also, unless I am claiming this as a whole is my design (radio included) there is no patent infringement happening. I am in no way making any money of this. Its called a hobby for a reason, to enjoy and make it yours. This is purely for my enjoyment and I figured a few others may find it entertaining.
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Old 01-03-2014, 1:26 AM
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RC, what a GREat idea !!! I just watched your youtube video link, very cool ideas you have.
You have seriously put some major planning and time into your newest CB scanning mod !!!
I lQQk forward to somewhere down the road seeing you post another finished product video
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Old 01-03-2014, 1:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael-SATX View Post
RC, what a GREat idea !!! I just watched your youtube video link, very cool ideas you have.
You have seriously put some major planning and time into your newest CB scanning mod !!!
I lQQk forward to somewhere down the road seeing you post another finished product video
Thank you for your interest. The next video probably wont be the final working product. It will more than likely be comprised of interfacing the seven segment channel display, testing the individual components of the circuit (such as channel display, PLL output, squelch feedback etc.) to make sure each individual section functions on its own before compiling it all as a working system. Believe me, nothing is more frustrating than writing code for an entire system, and then trying to find the one bad piece in the one module that is causing the malfunction.

Its been a while since I have actually put some effort into documenting a project, so I figured I would go all out on this one.

Cheers!
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Old 01-03-2014, 1:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RC286 View Post
I know I can't be the only one who wishes my DX-959 had a scan feature. Maybe you wish you could scan the band on your Cobra 148? What about that Uniden grant?

Well I am working on just such a mod. I am working on interfacing the rotary encoder switch with a micro-controller to scan through the channels and stop when the squelch is opened. Its a work in progress, but I have pretty well all of the pieces either on paper, or in hardware, working on piecing it together.

I have been taking video of my progress as I have been working on it, and have collaborated some of the clips into a video showing the progress of the mod and explanations on how it will work when complete.

If anyone is interested, the video is here.
Scanning Mod for DX959 / 949 / Cobra / Uniden CB radio. Work in progress. - YouTube

As I make more progress I will produce another video with the updated progress.
Stay tuned and enjoy.

Cheers!

73's
Excellent work!
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Old 01-03-2014, 1:52 AM
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+1 for excellent work !!! btw~ What do you do for a day job ? Hmm, I wonder if this reels in some offers ?
Curious what your background is so far in electronics, communications, programming and computers ?

ps~ You keep enjoying your hobby From your shack pictures I don't think you have any issues there
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Last edited by Michael-SATX; 01-03-2014 at 1:56 AM..
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Old 01-03-2014, 5:35 AM
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I've had CB radios that scanned out of the box.. Never liked the scan feature..

But I wish you well, and say GO MAN GO!
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Old 01-03-2014, 6:53 AM
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Lindsay needs a very serious reading of FCC communications law. I'm sure the DOC/CRTC pretty much have the same rules and regs regarding type acceptance. You can do anything you want with a radio design except tamper with the transmit design which is certified to be compliant with current state of the art and regulatory requirements. Adding scanning and memories or anything else does in no way violate the type acceptance and if you were to be a dealer/distributor and added these features to a new radio, the only recourse a company has is to not honor it's warranty during the warranty period. OTOH, if you were to copy the radio or send it offshore to have a knockoff made with these features, then the company has a potential problem with you. As it stands now, most companies radios are knockoffs of knockoffs just so they don't have to be compliant with newer rules and regs that applied to the older, original design. EG, synthesizer/transmitter section knockoffs of the original Cobra 148 type circuits and other legacy designs that have open architecture to the PLL. Many of those radios are now being sold with fancy microprocessor front panel interfaces but the synthesizer and transmitter are still the same old same old. Radio Shack and Motorola's 5100/5400 come to mind as well as many of the dual scan channel 9 priority arrangements. Get real and read the rules. Just take a look at the land mobile aftermarket and you'll see all kinds of aftermarket modifications from proprietary trunking and signalling and those are very tightly regulated radios. You're not stealing any of their process patents either unless you have the Chinese clone it for you and then they probably would do nothing. Unless you were the size of Motorola or Harris with your own legal department, any lawyer would sit down with your CFO and start talking numbers regarding venue and civil litigation. Moto would take you to court in a heartbeat for copying or even remotely copying the appearance of one of their radios. Modify it for extra features? Zip. Unless you decompile their source code and start tampering with the OS or using/modifying their RSS software without a license or authorization, they are powerless if you develop an external board or interface with a computer to add some other feature that violates type acceptance and then that's an issue between the regulating authority and you...not them. Get real. If anything, their engineers would be willing to copy your undocumented and unsecured ideas in the next revision or model and sell it as theirs if they have no proprietary agreement with you that you attempted to sell your idea to them during a meeting and didn't sign a non-disclosure agreement.
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Old 01-03-2014, 1:09 PM
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"Have you received permission from Uniden to modify a radio that they hold a patient on and that the FCC has already approved as is. all you are doing is opening your self up to hear from Uniden's lawyers the FCC and so on. plus the biggest mistake you made was you went and put it on video and posted it on the internet, ( you tube) which even if you take if off Uniden can have it recalled from their hard drive for legal purposes Goo Luck you just gave them everything they need to take you to court for big bucks." (Spelling/punctuation errors left untouched, for perspective)

Total BS. His money, his hardware, his choice. If what I think you were trying to say were really the case, the MW/FM radio modding service of Dr. Elving's "FM Atlas" wouldn't have existed nearly as long as it had.

@Michael-SATX, what does "LQQK" stand for?

Last edited by Darth_vader; 01-03-2014 at 1:16 PM..
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Old 01-03-2014, 3:51 PM
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_vader View Post
" @Michael-SATX, what does "LQQK" stand for?
Hmm, if you look ( or lQQk ) very very closely, you can make out the 2 Q's representing 2 eyes in the middle of the word

Go figure my sense of humor Darth ~ I don't want anyone lQQking at us as hijacking this mans excellent CB mod thread !
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Last edited by Michael-SATX; 01-03-2014 at 4:00 PM..
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Old 01-03-2014, 7:58 PM
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The old school designs (no micro controller control) don't have scan features. This is an interesting Idea. Idea seems simple enough using what I'm guessing is some way to scan channels and some digital logic on the squelch to stop the scanner. At least that's how I'm thinking of it.

You can do anything you want for receiving. You can be told what you can't receive, but in the US (I'm betting Canada too) you can receive what you can receive however you want. Their is nothing stopping me from using a scanner as a receiver for a commercial 900 MHz repeater. The transmitter (or transmitting radio) has to at least be type accepted.
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Old 01-04-2014, 7:52 AM
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First let me say that, it doesn't bother me if you want to modify your CB radio. I don't operate on 11 Meters so it doesn't affect me, but I do repair CB radios for friends. I have a old 23 channel SBE Formula D that I just finished with. It came with a modulation mod and an extra channel mod. The extra channel mod allows it to receive 11 extra legal channels, plus 11 more that are above the Citizen Band. But because this is a mod to the PLL, it is also able to transmit on all of those extra channels. It will be going back to the owner with the mods still in tact.

I also have a Cobra 29 with a dead receiver on the bench, but this one has no modifications. The transmit section is fine. As soon as I figure out the receive issue it will also be going back to the owner.

However, you may be splitting hairs on this issue by saying that the modification doesn't affect the "transmitter". Well, the last time I looked the PLL is used in transmit as well as receive. In order to make the scan function useful you would have to include the ability to stop on a scanned channel. Then be able to transmit on that channel, without having to switch off the scan function and manually change the channel. All of that suggests modifications to the transmitter as well as the receiver.
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Old 01-05-2014, 2:28 AM
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Yes, in theory it could.
Except that I am making absolutely sure that the only combinations the micro-controller will be sending to the PLL will be those designated for the citizens band. I am not in any way modifying the PLL. All I am doing is adding an automatic "channel changing feature" AKA scanning to it. It will quite literally function exactly as if someone attached a motor to the channel dial. In this case just much cleaner and more professional,
What anyone else decides to do is not my issue. Its ones own discretion. Anyone can choose to make the right or wrong choice.
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Old 01-05-2014, 6:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RC286 View Post
Yes, in theory it could.
Except that I am making absolutely sure that the only combinations the micro-controller will be sending to the PLL will be those designated for the citizens band. I am not in any way modifying the PLL. All I am doing is adding an automatic "channel changing feature" AKA scanning to it. It will quite literally function exactly as if someone attached a motor to the channel dial. In this case just much cleaner and more professional,
What anyone else decides to do is not my issue. Its ones own discretion. Anyone can choose to make the right or wrong choice.
Yes, I fully agree that it's your radio and you can do what ever you want to it. And I am not trying to discuss the legality of it all. I'm not a lawyer, and probably no one else in this group is, so it would be pointless.

I fully understand what you are trying to do. I have been a Design Engineer for over 40 year now and worked heavily with computers (programming, design, and interfacing). What your doing is easy to understand, but I was wondering about the overall utility. Is this project only for receiving purposes, in that you need to disable it and manually change channels should you want to transmit? Or is there functionality in the project that will pause the scan so that you can talk (transmit) for a while? I thought you talked about that in your video.
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Old 01-05-2014, 7:38 AM
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Default Scanning mod for CB radio. A work in progress.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K7MEM View Post
Yes, I fully agree that it's your radio and you can do what ever you want to it. And I am not trying to discuss the legality of it all. I'm not a lawyer, and probably no one else in this group is, so it would be pointless.
Well said! The legal advice in this group and a couple of quarters will get you a cup of coffee and not much else.
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Old 01-05-2014, 8:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindsay34654 View Post
Have you received permission from Uniden to modify a radio that they hold a patient on and that the FCC has already approved as is. all you are doing is opening your self up to hear from Uniden's lawyers the FCC and so on. plus the biggest mistake you made was you went and put it on video and posted it on the internet, ( you tube) which even if you take if off Uniden can have it recalled from their hard drive for legal purposes Goo Luck you just gave them everything they need to take you to court for big bucks.
Says the guys who's potentially been breaking the law for years...

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Originally Posted by lindsay34654 View Post
I have been using my uniden 396 on air craft for yrs and never been bothered all you have to do is not wave it around that is how people get caught, hey look what I got.
Did you receive permission from the pilot to use your scanner?
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Old 01-05-2014, 7:57 PM
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Cool not so sure

I'm not so sure of the practicality of a scanning CB radio. I have couple that do scan, but am unsure of any practical use of the function, for am anyway. Might be a little useful for SSB. Maybe for all those extra channels. If I could bank channels, maybe by mode, I could come up with over a hundred worth scanning.
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Old 01-05-2014, 9:48 PM
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Even if the mod has no effect on the CBs transmitter it could affect the radios Part 15 certification. Anything made with a microprocessor operating above a certain speed has to undergo and pass Part 15 before being offered for sale in the US. Tapping into internal wires or the circuit board could affect the radiation of undesired signals from the radio and exceed Part 15 limits.

This would only be a problem if modified radios were sold in the US and if the mod was offered as a kit the seller is usually not responsible for illegal operation.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K7MEM View Post
First let me say that, it doesn't bother me if you want to modify your CB radio. I don't operate on 11 Meters so it doesn't affect me, but I do repair CB radios for friends. I have a old 23 channel SBE Formula D that I just finished with. It came with a modulation mod and an extra channel mod. The extra channel mod allows it to receive 11 extra legal channels, plus 11 more that are above the Citizen Band. But because this is a mod to the PLL, it is also able to transmit on all of those extra channels. It will be going back to the owner with the mods still in tact.

I also have a Cobra 29 with a dead receiver on the bench, but this one has no modifications. The transmit section is fine. As soon as I figure out the receive issue it will also be going back to the owner.

However, you may be splitting hairs on this issue by saying that the modification doesn't affect the "transmitter". Well, the last time I looked the PLL is used in transmit as well as receive. In order to make the scan function useful you would have to include the ability to stop on a scanned channel. Then be able to transmit on that channel, without having to switch off the scan function and manually change the channel. All of that suggests modifications to the transmitter as well as the receiver.
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