396T USB port Discriminator + Bluetooth Mod!

Status
Not open for further replies.

rfmonger

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2007
Messages
31
Check it out:






Finally added a Discriminator tap to my 396 for data decoding.
Squeezed a PCB mount Mini-USB jack right next to the Data port, when not in use it is covered by the rubber cover for the data port.
Uniden should have did this from the start!

After mounting it I made a mini-USB to 1/8" audio jack cable to plug into soundcard & was in business.

Check out the pictures, it works great.

http://s281.photobucket.com/albums/kk237/rfmonger/?albumview=grid

I also added a Bluetooth xmitter to my unit, mounted right on the battery cover.
This is a unit intended for adding BT to non BT cell phones, I modified the audio jack to fit a 1/8" size right angle style.
It looks pretty clean & fits perfect on the rear of the 396 without adding much bulk.
Now I can clip the 396 to my belt or toss it in my bag & monitor via a BlueTooth earpiece/headset.
Works very well.

 
D

DaveNF2G

Guest
Where did you get the BT xmitter? What brand, etc.? I've been wanting to do that myself.
 
D

DaveNF2G

Guest
Still want to know the brand and model of the Bluetooth adapter in this project.

Please?
 

rfmonger

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2007
Messages
31
The BT Adapter is a "JABRA a210" .
You will have to modify the plug or use an adapter to fit the 396's 1/8" jack.

There is also the a210s which is already fitted with a 1/8" plug but its also boxier & thicker so it's not as slimline as the a210.
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
23,833
Location
Bowie, Md.
This is the sort of unique mod that belongs in the wiki so it doesn't get lost in the sea of messages. Very cool! 73 Mike
 

rfmonger

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2007
Messages
31
Theres a bunch of the Jabra a210 adapters on eBay for pretty cheap last time I checked.
BestBuy should have them too.
It should work with just about any BT earpiece/headset.
You can velcro or glue it on to the battery cover of the 396 & doesn't add much bulk, especially if you have the belt clip on, then you won't even notice its there.

FYI - the "a210s" is cheaper than the "a210", but as I mentioned physically it's not as slim & unobtrusive.
Also, the a210 has inferior sound quality compared to the "a210s", which is designed for MP3players/Stereos so it's designed to support full stereo Bluetooth 'A2DP' audio profiles.
The a210 is for cellphones so the audio quality is limited to that range (Bluetooth HSP audio), though I tried both & the a210 quality is more than suitable for scanner/radio audio.

The potentially neat thing I am experimenting with is that the BT adapter has the plug wired so you can control your phones EndCall/Volume with it.
There is an extra wire in there which I am at some point going to attempt to wire to the 396's encoder/data knob + Gnd.
If this works I may be able to increment/decrement the data knob remotely via Bluetooth.
Not sure yet but its worth a shot when I get some more time.

I also think it would be possible to internally mount a BT adapter/xmitter (sans casing) inside the 396T's battery compartment. This would allow for a completely normal looking 396T without the external attachment.

The catch is I have to either come up with a new battery solution, or have a new battery cover molded/made to give some extra room.
For battery power, I was thinking using a replacement iPod type battery, they are super small & would easily fit, but it's only 3.7Volts.
I haven't tested yet but I am assuming the 396 is going to want the 4.5v normally given by the 1.5v AA's.
I am looking at other cell phone/mp3 player rechargeable batteries that may fit & also provide sufficient Vdc.

Oh yeah on the USB port I added, I could have added a 2nd jack in the cable for audio out, in addition to the discriminator output, there is an extra pin left I may connect later on & try this out.
This would let you get a 2nd unswitched audio output without a headphone plugged in to the scanner.
Allowing you to record audio & still hear it on the speaker or headphone.
 

xanlexian

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2006
Messages
22
Location
Buford, GA
rfmonger:

I just performed the USB --> Discriminator you outlined here. There were questions I was asking in this thread: http://www.radioreference.com/forums/showthread.php?p=882943&posted=1#post882943 if you want any background (it is an old thread I brought up from the dead).
The mod works PERFECTLY! There is absolutely no obstruction with the rubber flap opening and closing -- this means the scanner goes back into the permanent home of its nylon case with nothing hanging out or pressing and stressing against the side.
Fantastic idea, fantastic mod, and this SHOULD be included in the Wiki as "ka3jjz" mentioned.

I salvaged the jack out of an old Truly MP313x MP3 player, used the wires from a CD-ROM audio cable, a ferrite-cored mono cable, and the end of a regular USB cable.

Once again, thank you for this idea! Also, it is always good to do a mod completely with parts just laying around!

I did not perform the bluetooth mod. As cool and functional as it appears (and I am sure it is) -- it just wouldn't benefit me. Fantastic idea and wonderful mod, though!
 

RiceCake

Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2008
Messages
62
Just don't plug it into a regular USB port.

Uniden's magic smoke will surely escape.
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
23,833
Location
Bowie, Md.
rfmonger, I can build a wiki article around this - however we need details. Step by step instructions are going to be absolutely critical, particularly working around in such small and tight spaces. It's too unique not to have complete and accurate documentation

I should have no trouble linking to those pictures so long as they're going to stay put on photobucket. I can also capture the data on the Bluetooth unit you used.

If you would either publish them here, or if it's too long, attach a Word or Text document - or even send them to me at ka3jjz@netscape.com I'll convert them to wiki language standards.

73 and thanx...Mike
 

xanlexian

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2006
Messages
22
Location
Buford, GA
rfmonger, I can build a wiki article around this - however we need details. Step by step instructions are going to be absolutely critical, particularly working around in such small and tight spaces. It's too unique not to have complete and accurate documentation

I should have no trouble linking to those pictures so long as they're going to stay put on photobucket. I can also capture the data on the Bluetooth unit you used.

If you would either publish them here, or if it's too long, attach a Word or Text document - or even send them to me at ka3jjz@netscape.com I'll convert them to wiki language standards.

73 and thanx...Mike
Give me a day or so and I will totally re-do the mod from scratch (just the USB --> Discriminator part, not the bluetooth bits) and will take photos of everything.

I've got a solid photobucket account I can host the images on. I'd love to help with this!

**EDIT** -- and document it all, of course!
 
Last edited:

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
23,833
Location
Bowie, Md.
You don't need to redo the photos, Xan. I can link to them directly, so long as your account stays put on Photobucket. Otherwise we're going to need to upload the images to the wiki - not a real big deal, frankly, but there's no sense in having the photos in more than one place; and it makes maintenance harder, since if you decide to change a photo, you need to do it in 2 places.

The description of the steps you took - the more detail the better - is vital. The devil is in the details, as they say.

73 Mike
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top