GPS cable mod for Uniden scanners

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Jasonyohon

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Just wanted to share my completed GPS cable mod. I think the stock Uniden GPS setup is clunky with the DB9 connectors and a bit pricy. I built this set for about $30 and it looks much better than the stock set.

I bought a GlobalSat BR-355 GPS puck for $25 on eBay.



After much searching I figured out a Rosewill RCW-109 cable has the funny 4 pin serial end (often called 4 pin USB).

Got that cable from Newegg for $3.50 shipped. I poured over the related literature in this forum and finally got the wiring diagram sorted out. Pin 2 on the Uniden side is not used or at least not necessary. The green wire on the Rosewill cable is not used either. I connected a standard male USB cable for the +5V on the GPS puck. Wired it all up with a variety of shrink tubing sizes to get a clean finish. Just tested it out, It Works!




 

mke65

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I will second that. Great work. That right there will probably be the impetus for me to break down and get the Home Patrol 2 I have been on the fence and this for 30 bucks just got me off the fence. Thanks for sharing.
 

Jasonyohon

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I think my pin table could be confusing for some people, can't edit the post (too late I guess?) so here is the updated table. Just reiterating Pin 2 on the Uniden port and the green wire on the cable aren't used. The first table makes it look like you have to connect them, you don't. I should also note that the wire colors on the cable are only for the cable I bought (Rosewill RCW-109) and not necessarily for any 4pin USB cable that fits in the Uniden GPS port. There doesn't seem to be any wire color standard for this weird connector. Just match the pins on the cable end using the table and everything should work. Make absolutely sure you don't put +5V into your scanner as I imagine that could do some very bad things.

 
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mikewazowski

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Hmmm. Might be the perfect solution for the 536HP in a vehicle for people who aren't using their Wi-Fi dongle. One cable that splits right at the scanner would make a nice neat setup.
 

Voyager

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Yep. Works fine with a standard 1A USB Charger Output.
Minimum USB spec is 500 mAH, not 1A. While there are chargers that will put out 1A of current, they are not 'standard'.

So, you're saying this might not work with the USB port on the back of the scanner or a standard USB port?

I've been wanting to try adding 5V to the DB-9 connector on the back of the Uniden scanner so a standard GPS will plug right into the scanner with the stock cable (no dedicated power wires at all), but I never got around to trying that.
 
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Jasonyohon

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Yes a standard computer USB output is 500mAH. I meant a 1A USB charging port via either 12V cigarette lighter plug or 110V outlet. I tested it with a 1A USB wall charger. But I just checked the GlobalSat BR 355 Manual and the GPS puck only needs 42ma (4.5V ~ 6.5V DC). So I think the USB port on the back of your scanner will work fine. I would make sure the remaining 2 data wires on the USB plug aren't connected to anything.
 

wx5uif

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Minimum USB spec is 500 mAH, not 1A. While there are chargers that will put out 1A of current, they are not 'standard'.

So, you're saying this might not work with the USB port on the back of the scanner or a standard USB port?

I've been wanting to try adding 5V to the DB-9 connector on the back of the Uniden scanner so a standard GPS will plug right into the scanner with the stock cable (no dedicated power wires at all), but I never got around to trying that.
That's actually what I did. I think I used pin 7 and put a 5v regulator bolted to the side of the scanner chassis inside.

I pulled the power from the switch so that when the switch is off the GPS is off. There was no measured voltage drop due to loading the on/off circuit.
 

Jasonyohon

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Improvement for BCD436HP

I just realized there is a slightly better way to do this if you have a BCD436HP (maybe some others?). Using the spare green wire on the serial cable to carry +5V towards the scanner you can create one cable that connects the GPS and powers/charges the scanner via a pigtail Mini-USB cable end.

Wire up the same as before except:
- at the main junction: connect the green wire from the serial serial cable to the +5V
- 6 inches or so from the end of the scanner end of serial cable: add a mini USB end (green=5V+, red= ground) for power/charge (to make this look good it might require cutting and splicing every wire at this junction)
-make sure you don't send power on the green wire past the second junction to the serial end. Not sure what pin 2 does, might not matter but better safe than sorry.

Hope that makes sense, hard to explain without photos and I'm probably not doing it again.

The GPS only uses 42ma so a 500ma source should easily be able to power both the BCD436HP and the GPS. I'm calculating the power consumption for the BCD436HP right around 300ma.

Wish I had figured out the GPS only uses 42ma before I did this.....
 

Voyager

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So the green RCW wire goes to Uniden Pin 2? (which is then attached to the red-red connection for +5V)
(or is the mini USB wiring different than the Uniden plug?)

Don't ya wish you would have just folded the unused wires back rather than cutting them, now? :D

I will add that if you want to operate and charge the scanner, you will need at least a 1.5A supply.

I will also add that you should never charge the cells in the scanner, but operation alone is fine.
 

Jasonyohon

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So the green RCW wire goes to Uniden Pin 2? (which is then attached to the red-red connection for +5V)(or is the mini USB wiring different than the Uniden plug?)
Mini USB plug is standard USB wiring Red=+5V, Black=Ground. Rosewill serial cable is Red=Ground, Black=GPS RX (at least for Uniden connection).
Green wire would go to Uniden pin 2, but pin 2 is unused by the scanner. I am suggesting using the green wire to run power down the same cable but terminating it before the end and adding the pigtail for mini USB.

Again, the serial cable colors might be different with different brands. I think it used for some old cameras?
 

USASA

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Will this mod work on my BCD396XT

HI

Will this mod work on my BCD396XT, or is it just for the newer scanners? I have the parts to make it I just need to know if it would work for me.

Thanks
AL
 

USASA

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Thank you

HI!

Thanks for the info. Now all I have to do is figure out how to set it up on the scanner. I put the cables together and used a USB connector for the GPS to plug into. That is the connector that is on my GPS. It is the same brand and model as was used in the original. The GPS powers up. If you have a step by step setup for the scanner to share it would make it easer for me. Some times I can be a bit dense!


Thanks
Al
 

USASA

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Still does not work

Hi All!

Well I found out the wire color to pin out is different on my plug for the scanner. I rewired it, hooked it up and it still says "No GPS Signal" and it shows GPS as off. other than trying this mod what am I doing wrong?

Al
 

tumegpc

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I have USB puck and could not get the HP-1 to recognize it. i will restrip the wires and try to a differnt configuation.
 

Voyager

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You need a puck that supports NMEA output. AFAIK none of the USB pucks do.

There may be a converter you can buy.
 
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