Carrier-On-Indicator Light For Uniden Scanners

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N9JIG

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I did one of Manny's COI Light mods on a BCT15 of mine, not fun!

I did find a way to make it a little easier by tracing the connection points to the other side of the board. This way you can tack-solder the connections instead of trying to solder onto component leads.

See this picture for the connection points:


You can download a larger (2 MB) version of the same image at http://www.carmachicago.com/images/BCT15.jpg

All that said, Manny was right, it is a bear to remove the face plate, not only do you need to pull out the ribbon connector, but there are also several wire harnesses, 5 screws and the 3 knobs with the retaining nuts. There is barely room for the LED but once it is in it works great!
 

N1SQB

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Nice find Rich! Much easier to access from the bottom I see. The electrical part was / is a breeze for me. The nasty part was the disassembly and hole drilling. Once was enough for me. I left my 996T alone. As you can see, I have been busy with other scanners as well. LOL...

Manny
 
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CoolCat

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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.
Is the alert LED on the 996 a surface mount LED or a traditional "through hole" LED?

You didn't happen to snap a picture of that alert LED when you had the scanner apart did you?
 

N1SQB

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Is the alert LED on the 996 a surface mount LED or a traditional "through hole" LED?

You didn't happen to snap a picture of that alert LED when you had the scanner apart did you?
To be honest, I took a quick glance at it and that was it. I believe it is surface mounted but I am not 100% sure. Either way, the faceplate disassembly is in fact THE worse part of this mod on the BCT15/996 scanners. I won't do it again!

Manny
 

exkalibur

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Absolutely fantastic "hack", great work! You could also use the line going to the LED to provide you with a COR pin, should you wish to use the scanner in that sort of capacity as well.

I wonder how easy it would be to mod this so that it would turn the display LEDs on when a particular scanner is receiving? This would be good in say a news room, where the displays are all off until one of them barks up - makes it really easy to see that way as well.
 

N1SQB

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Hmmm!

Absolutely fantastic "hack", great work! You could also use the line going to the LED to provide you with a COR pin, should you wish to use the scanner in that sort of capacity as well.

I wonder how easy it would be to mod this so that it would turn the display LEDs on when a particular scanner is receiving? This would be good in say a news room, where the displays are all off until one of them barks up - makes it really easy to see that way as well.
Thanks! Took a lot of patience to do it! The screen lighting up is a neat idea. I never even thought about that! I was so busy being careful not to wreck anything that I didn't spend too much time looking around! Great idea if it can be done!

Manny
 
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ffexpCP

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Maybe it was brought up, but I didn't see it...

How does it behave with trunking? Does it only activate when it stops on a talkgroup, or does it light as long as it receives the control channel signal? I'm thinking of adding this to my 996.
 

gewecke

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I have managed to add a COI LED to 2 more Uniden made scanners!

Pro-136:
YouTube - ‪N1SQB's Channel‬‏

BC898T:
YouTube - ‪N1SQB's Channel‬‏

The 898 was interesting because while it did have the TDA -905 chip, the mod only worked using a different chip on the board.

I just can't stop! LOL.....

Manny
Manny, do you have any plans to try this mod on any uniden 7xx series scanners? I might try something like this with my 780 if it's feasible.
Again,great articles too keep it up! ;)


73,
n9zas
 

N9JIG

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Maybe it was brought up, but I didn't see it...

How does it behave with trunking? Does it only activate when it stops on a talkgroup, or does it light as long as it receives the control channel signal? I'm thinking of adding this to my 996.
Great question!

It works fine in trunking mode, the light only comes on when there is audio, not when it is receiving a control channel.

It lights up during beeps as well, so appears to be totally dependent on audio.
 
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ResQguy

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I wonder how easy it would be to mod this so that it would turn the display LEDs on when a particular scanner is receiving? This would be good in say a news room, where the displays are all off until one of them barks up - makes it really easy to see that way as well.
The XT models can already do that.

But I agree, this mod is very handy!
 

N1SQB

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The light is set to go on whenever the squelch breaks, period. No matter what causes it to break. I have not tried it on trunking. I don't have any analog trunking in our area. The 996, which does cover the CSP, is not modified with a COI light. The BCT15 was so difficult to disassemble that I did not want to take a chance. N9ZAS-I will be trying it on a 796 if I can convince a friend of mine to let me do it to his. I will post a video of that one as well.

Manny
 
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scanbc780

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I have not opened up my 996 or 996XT yet to see, but what would stop one from using some small acrylic rod as a "light pipe" to light up the Alert indicator or maybe a small piece of fiber optic? Hmmm, now I am curious.....
 

N1SQB

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I have not opened up my 996 or 996XT yet to see, but what would stop one from using some small acrylic rod as a "light pipe" to light up the Alert indicator or maybe a small piece of fiber optic? Hmmm, now I am curious.....
Without getting into ridiculously long details, it will not work. Behind the front panel is a PC board which has the LED directly attatched to it.

Manny
 

N9JIG

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I hate quoting my own message but this was appropriate...

I found a better place to tap the 12VDC from. See the solder pad next to the "V" in "V Jack" in the picture below? It is a lot easier to solder to that than the smaller pad near the volume control.

In addition, I decided to save the trouble of disassembling the front panel by drilling a 3/8 inch hole on the faceplate equidistant from the DIN slot and the curved frame of the scan/hold buttons. I soldered wires to the LED, and used individual pieces of heat shrink on them. I then pulled them thru the hole and carefully routed them into the framework of the radio so that they clear the interior case halves. I wrapped the wires around the interior wire bundle, this keeps the LED tight.

While this works well, the LED does stick out quite a bit, and is not as professional looking as Manny's, but it is a lot quicker and less invasive to the scanner. You must be careful not to pinch the LED wires in the case half by keeping them in the plastic framework. I suppose a spot of model glue would help keep the LED in place if needed.

I have now completed the mods on 8 of my BCT15's. I bought the 15 pack of NPN transistors and just grabbed any one of the three versions included. Each worked just fine.

For the ground I used the ground post at the rear of the display daughter board.

Many thanks to Manny for the ground work on this project!


I did one of Manny's COI Light mods on a BCT15 of mine, not fun!

I did find a way to make it a little easier by tracing the connection points to the other side of the board. This way you can tack-solder the connections instead of trying to solder onto component leads.

See this picture for the connection points:


You can download a larger (2 MB) version of the same image at http://www.carmachicago.com/images/BCT15.jpg

All that said, Manny was right, it is a bear to remove the face plate, not only do you need to pull out the ribbon connector, but there are also several wire harnesses, 5 screws and the 3 knobs with the retaining nuts. There is barely room for the LED but once it is in it works great!
 

KE4RWS

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Wish-List Feature

Like many, I also own both a PSR-600/Pro-197 and a 996xt (or BC15 for some). There are things I really love about my PSR-600, one of them being the factory carrier LED. Being able to customize the color of the LED on a per-service basis is that much better.

It's hard to imagine that Uniden, with all the unbelievably great features they have, didn't incorporate a carrier light. I thought surely when I heard the 996xt was coming out they would hopefully include this most basic feature. But they didn't :confused:

I'm glad we are now addressing this issue because I too have numerous scanners and it is extremely helpful to have these carrier lights in place and working. This really isn't just a cool-factor thing but rather a necessary feature for many who need it.

I just wish Uniden would have done this because it would have been amazingly simple for them. After all, WE are doing it :D
 

ka3jjz

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This is a unique enough mod that it deserves to be put into the wiki. Nice job gents...best regards..Mike
 

KE4RWS

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Pro-136 Modification

I'd like to have the info on how to install a carrier light on my Pro-136. I've already installed them in my other scanners and I see N1SQB installed one in his 136 so he apparently has the info.

Can you tell me or provide a link to where I can find this?

I only bought a Pro-136 because they were on close-out for a mere $14.97 so I figured I couldn't go wrong. I discovered this thing is actually pretty damn nice:eek:
I listen a lot to civilian aircraft and man I have to tell you this little thing is really one super receiver in that band. In fact, it does a jam-up job pretty much *everywhere* it receives. This is also a great weather-alert radio too.

Now I just need the carrier-on light modification info :cool:
 

KE4RWS

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No info on installing a carrier light on the Pro-136?

No idea why this is so tight-lipped because we know there's at least ONE person in this forum who's done it.

Actually I *know* the procedure. I just need to know which IC and pin to tap. I've already built the small circuit and mounted the LED.

:confused::confused::confused::confused:
 

N1SQB

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No info on installing a carrier light on the Pro-136?

No idea why this is so tight-lipped because we know there's at least ONE person in this forum who's done it.

Actually I *know* the procedure. I just need to know which IC and pin to tap. I've already built the small circuit and mounted the LED.

:confused::confused::confused::confused:
Nobody is being tight lipped about anything. I did the mod on my 136. I made the mistake of not writing down which IC chip I tapped into. The scanner is no longer in my possesion. I regret not taking the notes. I honestly thought at the time that nobody would care to do it on THAT particular scanner. Sorry but that is the ugly truth.

Manny
 
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