Absolutely correct, Sparks! Listening to the Partisan Radio podcast, JJS said how one of the regional big wigs from ARES wouldn’t go because they weren’t invited/requested.
So yesterday I went ahead and made an adapter for the EF Johnson 5100 series (aka the PRC-127A EFJ) to be able to use 5/6 pin .mil connectors, such as my Liberator 2’s, H-250’s, and an old school single ear headset I can’t find any info on, but it’s all over ebay. Davies Selex summin such or other, so on and so forth. Best I’ve found is this:
It works, the U-94 PTT switch that came with it doesn’t like this thing, but it sorta works for the Lib2 headset. However, this thing works with the PTT that came with the Lib2. And a bigger bonus, It fits under my 3/4 motorcycle helmet with face shield! Now I just have to test it at highway speed to see how it does. Surprisingly, it’s pretty comfortable.
Now, as I was testing, things weren’t always reliable. I figured it was due to the length of wire (near full length of speaker mic’s wire + connector wire + full length head/handsets). That explains why the H-250 wouldn’t reliably key up(now it does). So, without further ado, here is the writeup!
I started with the speaker mic(I had 2, now just 1), and took the back off. It used a T-10 torx for the 4 corner screws, and a T-6 torx for the 2 inner screws holding down the circuit board.
Now, the circuit board isn’t too hard to read. But, I’ve done most of the hard part already. I traced it out, checked the continuity to what I needed, and wrote what color goes to what. Seems to work good.
Now, this cable goes to a PLGR/DAGR to fill comsec. What is nice about it is that it has the end we need on it to go to the various handsets/headsets I want to use. What’s even nicer is that even though I couldn’t check pinout with the plug on(kinda like a serial plug), after taking a risk and snipping the end, it had all the wires I needed, and then some. Plus some insane braided shielding. I would assume to help prevent leakage of comsec being transferred. Yes, you can pick up data running through lines. Voltage detection without having contact with wires. I would guess that is why data can jump from different Cat5 lines to other ones(from what I’ve been told).
Here is the jig I made to test various connections in my attempts to get it working right. Just some nails in a 2×4 and pieces of individual wires from Cat5 I had laying around to connect them. Alligator clips would work better.
Forgot to snap some pictures, but the gist is there. And yeah, my soldering skills are horrible. But some twist and solder action and some heat shrink over each set, and then bigger heat shrink and there we go.
So finding the pinout for the U-238 connector(.mil 5 pin) or 6 pin connector is pretty simple. A couple good sites out there. Both Cryptomuseum and prc68 have good pages:
NOTE: I am not affiliated to either. Just putting up what I used for reference.
Here is the pinout, in case there is any issues with the pictures I wrote it out below. The way I numbered them is probably different than how EFJ or anyone else does. Top down, odds on right, evens on left:
1 – Black – Ground
2 – Yellow/Red – Speaker
3 – White – Mic
5 – Brown – PTT
6 – Yellow/Red – Speaker
8 – Black – Ground
The pinout for the crypto cable is pretty simple:
A – Black – Ground
B – Dark Beige – Speaker
C – Red – PTT
D – Light Beige – Mic
E – Yellow – NOT USED
F – ??? – NOT USED
For some reason, the F pin isn’t connected to the last remaining wire…which I find odd. However, I don’t need it, so it’s a moot point. The connections go as follows:
Crypto Cable —-> Side Port Cable
Dark Beige Yellow (I had better luck with yellow than red)
Light Beige White
And there you have it. Not sure what else this would work with, though I’ve read something about this particular variant of EFJ being compatible with a multitude of Motorola stuff, Jedi series from what it said. I dunno, don’t have a Motorola. Though I do have the wideband VHF antenna (136-174Mhz) on this thing, and it works nice.
I will try to edit a video I took during initial wire testing and upload it somewhere (probably the youtubes) so you can see it actually works before you hack up a speaker mic or other accessory.
Now, you may ask why I would want to do this. Or probably not. Either way, I like modularity and the ability to use the same things on multiple systems. As well as battlefield acquisitions. And standardization of stuff(like ammo). So, why not be able to use my Lib2’s? I like em, they work well, and they enhance normal sounds to make hearing things easier. It’s a win/win for me. My original plan when I got them a few years ago was to make a new PTT for my Yaesu, so I could just plug it in and go. Then I thought recently(probably after seeing someone’s youtube video about rewiring a H-250 for their Yaesu) why not just wire in the 5/6 pin plug on the radio to use any type of headset/handset? And there we have it.
I hope that this writeup helps you guys/gals out. I know this isn’t a really common radio to have around, but with my limited google-fu, I haven’t been able to find much other than aftermarket and OEM stuff to go with it, at a stupid high price. Don’t know about you guys, but I ain’t got that kind of money. Maybe next time I’ll have the adapter done for the 857D.
So I got the 5BTV working. Not in the most optimal place, mainly due to lack of length on feed line, as well as where I can put it. It sits a little too close to the power line coming into the house, but I have it guyed pretty well so I shouldn’t have to worry about it.
So here’s how it all went down. Pulled out the antenna and the original mounting poles(galvanized pipe). In order to break it down, we(the guy I got it from and myself) had to cut through the coupler. That left 3 more manageable poles(the reducer came out easy). So I had to take the dremel and cut the coupler off.
2 cuts, ~180 degrees from each other and a little hammering made this come off. Did it twice to get each side of this former coupler.
So I managed to get that done, but the new coupler didn’t quite fit…
So I cut a slit in both pipes at ~90 degrees each(4 per pipe) and cranked it down. It works.
So, after that mess is done, I take a 2×4 block ad hammer the smaller pipe with the reducer into the ground using my 2.5lb cross peen. Sometimes I do it without the block, but then I notice deformation of the reducer. Not good. After that’s in I attach the pipe to the reducer and go back in. Help HH6 to bed and go to bed myself. At this point it’s like midnight local time.
The next day I put the antenna together, tighten everything down, and lean the thing against the roof. I used some 550 cord I had on some old 5 ft PVC sections to use as a small mast for guy lines(they were too short, but I made it work). I climb on the roof, pull it up, and put it in it’s spot.
But now, it doesn’t seat….So I stop, I bake in the sun, and then it hit me. I forgot to take the screw out of the bottom. So I pull it out, then pull the screw. Putting it back into the mount the second time was a little harder than the first. A slightly higher wind was hampering my efforts to not drop the thing and take out my house power. But I got it, and since I didn’t have the right size bolts to bolt the antenna to the mount, I just took and cut 3 strands of tie wire(about 2ft each), folded it in quarters, then used some vise grips and channel locks to twist them. So I used those instead of bolts. Just ran it through and twisted them. So far so good. Nice and solid.
Then got the feed line connected.
So the feed line….you take your coax, cut one end off, and crimp some connectors to them so you can use screws to attach to the antenna. Luckily I had one that had this done already. So I used that. Connect one end to the bottom of the antenna, and the other to the mount, and there you have it. Now, the manual says that you need some ground radials. I don’t have the room, especially for a pair of 32 ft radials that it said it needed for the 40m band.
However, SWR is about 1.2-2ish on each band it covers, and doesn’t get higher than 3 on the extreme. Totally acceptable performance.
Tomorrow I will try to have a few more pics up. Until then, have fun with this:
So, this is the VDET, the Video Display Electronic Terminal (Formerly known as the VDT – Video Display Terminal, and they both looked the same to me). My guess is that the onboard computer overheated(I’ve never seen that before, because our Strykers in Iraq and Afghanistan got waaaay hotter than these did). So yeah, Strykers run Winblows. My desktop does too, only because the hard drive with linux on it keeps overheating and corrupting the OS partition on it…
So yeah, figured someone would get a kick out of it.
So I’ve been offline for the most part the last bit of time, dealing with other projects, work related stuff(I hate being in a S6 shop), and dealing with a broken heart(my first line talked the SIGO out of sending me down to the line as a rep. Told me this as we were starting PT. Talk about killing motivation).
Also managed to get ahold of some goodies. Such as a little gem of an HT. I will try to do a writeup on it this weekend. Got that BTV put up, sorta. Still working the kinks out(needs some tuning BAD. but trying to take it down to tune is scary. However, it might just be a craptacular connection and I may have to find a work around. Would suck if I broke it.
Found some more goodies so instead of wiring the H250 to the radio, I’ll just make a plugin for the radio so I can use my Liberator 2’s with it as well(good for nanpack setup, or TOC setup if I really need to hear it over background noise.
Just got done typing a response to someone’s question about Thermals vs. NODs on Dan Morgan’s blog. Waiting on him to see it and tell me I’m stupid(doubt it, but if he does I completely understand and will take my beating like a man). So now I’m trying to figure out how to set the interwebs ablaze with a Thermal vs. NOD debate(like the AR vs AK debate, or 9mm/40/45 debate), and if it’s even worth it to try(Really, I think it’s pointless. So probably not). However, maybe I’ll some day write an article on my experiences with them. Who knows.
So I guess it’s time to appease HH6, she thinks I have to work tomorrow and it’s after midnight local. Little does she know I not only don’t have to be up in 4 hours, I have a 3 day this weekend. “Training Holiday”. It’s kinda like snow days at school. Sorta. Ok, not really.
Please excuse my ramblings.
Postscript: Oh snap, I still owe yall a writeup on the soundcard cable. I’ll try to get that done and out soon(tm) too.