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Cable for reactive tuning R20?

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floyd2006

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Mar 2, 2007
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I'm considering purchasing an Icom IC-R20 and an Optoelectronics Digital Scout for reactive tuning. Optoelectronics does not carry the necessary cable for the two units to interact and I've heard that one must construct one. Since I'm all thumbs, would anyone know of someone that makes such a cable? Would there be any problem in receiving audio or using the R20's digital recorder with such a cable? Thanks to anyone who can help.
 

Bill_White

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Anybody entering or new to the scanning hobby should at the very least be able to make audio patch cables. As you have already found, you can’t always buy the one you need. They are not too difficult to make, only require a soldering iron and some basic hand tools which you may already have. A Digital Volt Meter or DVM with a continuity tester is nice for checking / troubleshooting your work. It dose not have to be a $200 lab instrument, a $20 RS special will work just fine.

Start by getting familiar with the Tip/ring/sleeve terminology:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRS_connector

I don’t have an R20, but do have several other Icoms, or Scout but, looking at the R20 manual on page 69 and pictures at the Optoelectronics site.. Looks like you will need a stereo jack with the data going to the ring for the R20 and the CIV/scout needs to be a mono jack with data going to the tip.

A few options are:
Buy a stereo patch cable and a mono jack, cut one stereo jack off the cable, use your DVM’s continuity tester to determine which wire goes to the ring and solder it to the tip of the mono jack. Again with the DVM, test which wire goes to the sleeve of the stereo jack and solder it to the sleeve of the mono jack. Test your work with the DVM. There should be no continuity between the tip and sleeve.

Don’t have or want to buy a DVM..
Buy one stereo jack, one mono jack and, cable. Solder one wire to the ring of the stereo jack and the other end of that wire to the tip of the mono jack. The other will connect the sleeve of both jacks.

I see no problem using the digital recorder when you want to use the scout for reacting tuning with the proper cable.
If you want to listen in real time..
Buy a set of in-ear buds and a mono jack. Cut the right bud off. You might be able to tell by looking at the wires which is ground or use that handy DVM to determine which wire goes to the sleeve and solder it to the sleeve of the mono jack. Solder the other wire, from the ring, to the tip of the mono jack. This will give you both audio to the left bud and data from the scout.

Can’t / don’t want to try..
Send me the parts, postage and, tell me what you want. I’d be happy to do it for you. PM me for details.
 

floyd2006

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Mar 2, 2007
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Thank you.

I apologize for the long delay in thanking you for your time and thought. Many years ago as a teenager, doing something as simple as this would be a breeze, but post-heart problems, the bricks and hand coordination aren't all there and it has been a long time since I worked with any electronics. I'll do it myself anyway and if I have any problems, I'd sure like to consult you. Once again, thanks very much, especially for the encouragement. That's what I really needed.
 

floyd2006

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Mar 2, 2007
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Reactive tuning cable--To Bill White

Bill, could we reconnect? We've built the cable and all connections look good, but I'm still not having luck. Must be doing something stupid. Could you advise? Thanks.
 

boaznruth09

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Apr 19, 2011
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Digital Scout/R20 works great!

I'm considering purchasing an Icom IC-R20 and an Optoelectronics Digital Scout for reactive tuning. Optoelectronics does not carry the necessary cable for the two units to interact and I've heard that one must construct one. Since I'm all thumbs, would anyone know of someone that makes such a cable? Would there be any problem in receiving audio or using the R20's digital recorder with such a cable? Thanks to anyone who can help.
Until Recently, I had my R20 hooked up to the Optoelectronics Digital Scout. It worked FLAWLESSLY!
I made my own cable, which was quite simple. I even added an earpiece into it so i could listen in on the reaction tuned radio. it was perfect!....I loved it! I tested it on some gmrs radios...and soon as I keyed up, the scout tuned my radio to the exact frequency and it worked like a charm! Went by kentucky fried chicken, and bamm!....the customers order is in my headphones...not that I am akin to listening to fast food orders...but the reaction tune is the best! Since the local police here have a "secret" frequency they use when responding to sensitive operations...I figured the scout would be able to tune in to the action....
but that did not happen...as recently...my Scout started to smoke...and it burned up a chip inside...I don't even know what chip is burnt...but my guess would be the voltage regulator chip. it is so burnt, i cannot even read it....
soo..does anyone have the schematics for the digital scout available? I certainly dont have a spare 500 bucks to buy another one...
perhaps its time to sell off my DJX2000 that I paid $700 for....Maybe even trade the DJX-2000 for the digital scout...

I dont know..have not figured out what Im gonna do yet....

take care now.
 
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