Carrier-On-Indicator Light For Uniden Scanners

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N1SQB

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Hello Everyone!
There has been some talk about COI lights for Radio Shack scanners in other forums on here. There is plenty of information available. I have been itching to get one to work on Uniden scanners. So far, I have not seen any information on this. Well, I have discovered and have successfully added a COI light to my Uniden BCT-15 scanner. I will be posting how-to details and hopefully photos really soon. I am very busy preparing my camera equipment for the Blue Angels performance this weekend in Rhode Island. However, I did manage to take a small video clip with my phone and post it on YouTube. Here it is: YouTube - ‪COI Light- UNIDEN BCT15‬‏ This is a big find as far as I am concerned. Stay tuned. Please excuse the camera shake. I was so excited to post this that I rushed a bit while filming it.

Manny
 
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gewecke

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Hello Everyone!
There has been some talk about COI lights for Radio Shack scanners in other forums on here. There is plenty of information available. I have been itching to get one to work on Uniden scanners. So far, I have not seen any information on this. Well, I have discovered and have successfully added a COI light to my Uniden BCT-15 scanner. I will be posting how-to details and hopefully photos really soon. I am very busy preparing my camera equipment for the Blue Angels performance this weekend in Rhode Island. However, I did manage to take a small video clip with my phone and post it on YouTube. Here it is: YouTube - ‪COI Light- UNIDEN BCT15‬‏ This is a big find as far as I am concerned. Stay tuned. Please excuse the camera shake. I was so excited to post this that I rushed a bit while filming it.

Manny

Manny, Just buy a pro-197 ! :D


73,
n9zas
 

hydrolocked

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interesting - I see you've done this mod to other scanners.....

Out of curiosity, what's the "Carrier / Center" box on top of th e2006 you modified?
 

N1SQB

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interesting - I see you've done this mod to other scanners.....

Out of curiosity, what's the "Carrier / Center" box on top of th e2006 you modified?
I have done it to quite a few of my scanners yes! There was a mod on the Bill Cheek (RIP) modification books to build either internally or externally, a circuit to add a signal strength meter for scanners who did not have them. Similarly, there was another mod that went along with that one to add a +/- 5 KHZ center tune circuit that also allowed you to use a meter to tell you if you were off center by +/- 5 KHZ. Keep in mind that they were not meant to be be quartz acurate mods, just relative. This was good obviously when there were no such meters built into most scanners. Even the ones that do have meters today are not acurate or exact, but meant to give the user an idea of the strength of the incoming signal. This box was one of my first. The trim pots allow for adjustments or calibration.

Great idea/implimentation. Post the details / how to soon.
Working on it Kris! I just finished spending the weekend watching the "Angels" at the Quonset Air National Guard base air show in North Kingston R. I. After more than 1,300 pictures, I am BEAT! I will post it either later today or tomorow!

Nice work... handy to see which radio is active when you have a room full of them.
Thanks, yes, that is the main reason why I do it. If you have 1 or 2 scanners, it's easy to tell who is saying what. When you add 3 or 4 scanners to the mix, things get a little harder to figure out. The lights just make things easier, thats all. I will get on this before I start going through my photography stuff.

Manny
 
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N9JIG

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Manny; I am looking forward to seeing this mod as well. I have 10 BCT15/BCT15X's in my shack, many are used for FireTone out, and this would be perfect for me!
 

N1SQB

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COI Light For Uniden Scanners-The low Down!

Ok, here we go!

First of all, I have to give credit where credit is due. Bob Parnass MUST take the credit for posting the original mod for a carrier-on-indicator light. Second, I have to credit RR member R1VINCE for his individual work and posts on this subject.

After reading Bob's original mod and Vince's posts and pictures, I decided to do a little experimenting of my own, keeping in mind the principles upon which the original mod was based on. Until now, all the mods discuss a COI light for Radio Shack scanners made by GRE. Well, I have discovered a way to modify Uniden made scanners either directly labeled or under the Radio Shack label made by Uniden.The idea is simple, find a chip that has a pin with 0 voltage when there is no signal present and some voltage where there IS signal present. That is the best way I can simplify it. I was experimenting with my basic no frills Pro-2018 scanner which is made by UNIDEN under the RS label. The IC- chip, which is common in some Uniden made scanners (NOT all), is the TDA-1905 16 pin chip. Pin # 4 has 0 voltage with no signal, and +/- 3 volts with signal present. I found this to be true in the Pro-2018, the BCT15, and 996 Digital scanner. I suspect that any Uniden made scanner with this same chip will allow you to do this mod.

The next issue to be tackled is where to find a 12V power source for the mod. That is something that will take some searching. I used my trusted Fluke meter to do my mod. For the BCT15 / 996, the source is the far left pin of IC-22. For other scanners, llike I said before, you will need to do some searching on your own. I have attached a Word document (see attachment below) to give everyone a basic reference on just how it all goes together. Here are some pictures taken from my 996 to give you visual reference:

Overall View
Overall View pictures from project spotlight photos on webshots
IC-17 Close View
IC-17 Close View pictures from project spotlight photos on webshots
IC-22 Close View
IC-22 Close View pictures from project spotlight photos on webshots

The above pictures are of the BEFORE not the finished product. I wanted to show an uninterupted look without all the wires and such. There really is not much to show. The whole thing was built on a tiny piece of perf board which I glued to the chassis. One connection to the Uniden IC (17), one to the power IC (22) and the LED connections, that is all. LED choice is up to you. I used a green 5mm LED:5mm Green LED - RadioShack.com with this holder for a better more stable fit: LED Holder - RadioShack.com

Now, as far as LED mounting, that I will leave up to the individual doing the mod. The BCT15/996 have VERY little real estate to work with. I was only able to find a decent opening on the right side near the head phone jack area. here is what it looks like from the rear:

Face Plate View pictures from project spotlight photos on webshots


VERY small opening to run wires through. It is a pain the the rump to take off the faceplate of the BCT15/996. besides the six screws (I think) you have to take off the rings that hold the volume/squelch and VFO knob in place. NOT a fun task trust me, but it's do-able!
I do not have access to a BCT15X/or a 996X so I can not tell you for sure if it has the same IC inside. But that is all in a nut shell. If anyone has any questions please feel free to ask.

Finally:
I will say this as sincere as I can, If you are NOT experienced with a soldering iron or tremble when using a drill, please, do yourself a favor, DO NOT attempt to do this mod.

Manny
 

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N9JIG

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I do not have access to a BCT15X/or a 996X so I can not tell you for sure if it has the same IC inside. But that is all in a nut shell. If anyone has any questions please feel free to ask.

Manny
Yes, the 996XT and BCT15X have the same chip in the same location etc., so it appears that this mod will work fine for each of the radios.

Is there much difference between LED's (voltages, etc.) or did you experiment with different types at all?
 

N1SQB

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Yes, the 996XT and BCT15X have the same chip in the same location etc., so it appears that this mod will work fine for each of the radios.

Is there much difference between LED's (voltages, etc.) or did you experiment with different types at all?
Excellent news on the XT scanners. To be quite honest, I stayed with what I knew worked. I don't know what if any effect others will have. I had a variety pack from Radio Shack. I went through a few the first time I began doing this. When I went back to RS, I just picked a few single ones at random. It was mostly appearance that made me chose this one. Thanks for the info on the XT scanners. I appreciate it.

Manny
 
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N9JIG

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Sounds great! I will stop at the Shack (probably a couple, as they are poorly stocked with components for the most part...) on the way home from work tomorrow!
 

N1SQB

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Sounds great! I will stop at the Shack (probably a couple, as they are poorly stocked with components for the most part...) on the way home from work tomorrow!
It really is a simple mod. If you have any more questions, I will be glad to help out if I can. I made the diagram as simple as I could so even a caveman can do it! :D

Manny
 

mancow

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Has anyone thought about isolating and using the useless alert LED already installed? It might not be as bright but would allow you to avoid drilling.
 

N1SQB

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Has anyone thought about isolating and using the useless alert LED already installed? It might not be as bright but would allow you to avoid drilling.
Not an option! The BCT15/996 have the light pretty much wired right to the PCB itself on the faceplate with NO room to do anything like you're suggesting. Trust me, the thought crossed my mind too. By PROPERLY removing the faceplate, it can be done. It just takes a steady hand. You HAVE to remove the faceplate, there is no other safe way to do it.

Manny
 

N1SQB

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And the hits just keep on coming!

I was bored, so I grabbed my no frills basic 25-512 Mhz. Pro-2018 and gave it new life. I replaced the barely lit yellow boring backlight with a nice neon bright green one. I added an on/off switch so the light won't be on all the time. There wasn't one from the factory. Finally, I added a blinking yellow carrier on indicator light to make things more interesting. Now, what was once a boring scanner, is now a scanner with some new life breathed into it! Here is a short video clip:
YouTube - ‪N1SQB's Channel‬‏

Manny
 
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