|Building your own Hotspot Cable|
It's easy to build your own cable, but I'll be honest -- I've purchased two cables that were professionally manufactured -- one because I was in a hurry, and the other because I demonstrated my hotspot at a hamfest and I wanted a perfect cable. I've also made up cables on my own.
GMSK Node Adapter end of the
Many boards use a 9-pin DSub connector, including those from Fred PA4YBR and the Matrix Circuits Star*Board(tm), so I'll describe that.
The easiest way is to buy cables with the correct plugs, so you don't have to solder up wires to the pins.
Go to any electronics/PC store and buy a cheap 9-pin DSub cable, typically female to male.
Use the following pin numbers, looking at the 9-pin DSub female plug facing you, wires coming out the back:
|1 - Radio MIC
2 - Radio COS (squelch)
3 - Radio SPK (audio output)
4 - Radio PTT
5 - GND
|Documentation shamelessly stolen from DUTCH*Star|
Radio end of cable for Radios
with 6-pin Mini DIN connectors
Most radios with a 9600 baud Data jack, or similar access to discriminator and modulator audio, use a 6-pin Mini DIN connector. The pin-outs have been standardized, making it easier for us.
Get a 6-pin mini DIN extension cable, typically sold as a PC keyboard or mouse extension cable with "PS/2" connectors.
Cut it in two. Take the half with a male plug and strip the insulation from each of the wires.
Using a Volt-Ohm-Meter (VOM) to check continuity, for both cables, and document which color wire is connected to which pin. (Simple trick: open up a paper clip and insert that into a connection spot, then check with VOM between the clip and the wire.)
Use the following pin numbers, looking at the 6-pin mini DIN plug with the pins facing you, wires coming out the back:
1 - TX audio into radio
2 - Ground
3 - PTT
4 - RX 9600 audio out of radio
6 - COS/Squelch
Splice/solder wires as follows:
Many people use shrinkwrap on each spliced wire, plus larger shrinkwrap on the entire cable to make for a secure and good-looking splice. The important thing is to be sure each wire is insulated from the others, so of course electrical tape will also do the job.
If the above is confusing, please check out pages 13-14 of Mark's V2 documentation. Section 3.1 of Fred's Construction and Reference Manual also documents the DSub plug's pins.
Radio end of cable for
Many Hotspots are using Motorola MaxTrac radios that have come out of commerical service. It's highly recommended you get the version with a 16-pin accessory socket (not the 5-pin socket). The info below should be sufficient to make up a cable, but for more detail, check out
Get a 16-pin Motorola accessory plug (on eBay, search for "Cable 73 Motorola 16-pin Maxtrac")
Use the following pin numbers, looking at the 16-pin plug facing you, wires coming out the back:
|3 - PTT
5 = TX Audio
7 = Ground
8 = COS/SQL
11 = RX Audio - flat
Splice/solder wires as follows:
On UHF, you need TX Invert but not RX Invert. Refer to http://www.repeater-builder.com/motorola/maxtrac/maxtrac-intro-stuff.html for how to set radio's jumpers. The default jumper positions normally work, but if your MaxTrac and GMSK node adapter can't receive a D-Star radio, reverse the position of the JU-551 jumper.
D-Star® is a registered trademark used for communication equipment (repeaters and transceivers) for amateur radio communications, and owned by Icom Incorporated.
Copyright © 2009-2012 James M. Moen. All rights reserved.