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KJ6AKQ
10-11-2010, 08:31 PM
A friend recently gave me a Kenwood MC-50 mic, but he has lost the coiled cable that goes from the mic base to the rig. I'm planning to use the mic with my Elecraft K2, which has an 8 pin mic connector. The K2 can use the MC-50 with proper configuration of its mic connector jumper block. So the question is, how can I build a cable to connect the mic to the rig?

The main issue seems to be that the MC-50's base uses a non-standard circular 5 pin connector. The pins are arranged in an X shape, not in circle. So far I have been unable to find a connector that would fit with this plug. I also can't seem to find a replacement cable that I could modify with an 8 pin plug on one end.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Places I could find the right connector or cable? Or can I replace the connector on the mic base itself with something else?

Thanks in advance!

WB2WIK
10-11-2010, 08:40 PM
Ken usually has this stuff: http://www.kenselectronics.com/lists/micplug.htm

Give him the model number of the microphone, he probably has that unusual 5-pin connector Kenwood used.

As you probably know, it's the same connector on the mike itself, so if you want you can plug the mike cable directly into the microphone instead of the base stand (wiring's the same, too). That works well if you're going to use the mike on a boom instead of the stand.

K1DNR
10-11-2010, 08:44 PM
Check this out: http://www.k4eaa.com/MC-50.pdf

I have this mic (and a TS 530s) and made a cable for my Yaesu FT-857D.

I love this mic.

Keep in mind the orientation of the cable switches from low to high impedance. Make sure you match your radio. There are only three pins you need to worry about from the mic, mic, gnd and ptt.

K1DNR
10-11-2010, 08:54 PM
to answer your question more directly, yes you could replace the connector, or drill a hole and "hard wire" a cable. But such a shame to deface this way :eek:

See if you can get a cable from Steve's link - if not, try k4eaa.com - he has all kinds of Kenwood gear.

W9GB
10-11-2010, 09:13 PM
A friend recently gave me a Kenwood MC-50 mic, but he has lost the coiled cable that goes from the mic base to the rig. I'm planning to use the mic with my Elecraft K2, which has an 8 pin mic connector.
The K2 can use the MC-50 with proper configuration of its mic connector jumper block. So the question is, how can I build a cable to connect the mic to the rig?
OK, so your friend gave you a parts / as-is Kenwood microphone.
For the knowledgeable DIY radio amateur (bench skill/soldering, electronics literacy/schematic reading) this "no problem" -- for the appliance/plug-n-play operator -- this is more junk or a problem with no solution.

The DIY Can Do radio amateur starts by assessing what is missing.
* You have Completed that task.

Next, you collect the parts to build the solution. In your case that will be:
1. Suitable microphone cable (shielded single conductor for Mic audio; 1-pair for PTT switching).
2. A 8-pin Foster (circular) male connector
3. A 5-pin Foster (circular X-config) connector [connection to Kenwood MC-50 microphone].

You will need a set of basic electronics tools (your standard kit) for building this microphone cable.
Such as: Soldering iron; Solder; Vise or third hand to hold connector while soldering; wire cutters, razor blade or wire stripper, screwdriver for cable clamps)

So far I have been unable to find a connector that would fit with this plug. Does anyone have any suggestions? Places I could find the right connector or cable?
Steve, WB2WIK has provided you one source for the circular 5 pin connector on the MC-50 (arranged in an X shape).
I would also suggest that you check with Tower Electronics and
http://www.pl-259.com/
K1CRA for additional DIY cable building parts.
http://www.k1cra.com/catalog/category.aspx?categoryID=77

The wire is easy.
Workman make a 6-conductor coiled cord (see K1CRA web site).
Heil Sound make Heilwire which is made for this exact usage (e.g. HRO, AES, amateur radio dealers).
Yes, it is more expensive than other alternatives -- BUT it has these advantages:

1. Nice smooth black color outer jacket (not ugly Belden gray/chrome)
2. The PTT lines (red and black) are outside the microphone audio shield.
3. Final product looks professional -- which many radio amateurs desire at their operating position (in front of radios).


Can I replace the connector on the MC-50 microphone base itself with something else?
Why hack / chop up a perfectly good (cosmetically) microphone -- IF the part is available?
You likely could, BUT I would advise against it (last alternative).

IS this connector on the MC-50 base unit -- that goes to the radio --
a 5-pin MALE or FEMALE circular connector?

IF that connector is MALE, then:
You MAY be able to insert/use a standard 6-pin or 8-pin Foster (circular) connector into that 5-pin plug --
since both of these connectors has the center pin (X-configuration) -- and the standard "bump" key to prevent improper insertion.
IF the connector is FEMALE, You woudl have to modify the 6-pin male connector.
[i]Pull out extra pin -- IF possible.

http://www.skycraftsurplus.com/productimages/sk3331.jpg

Earlier QRZ post -- related question on MC-50
http://forums.qrz.com/showthread.php?p=2053349

w9gb

KJ6AKQ
10-11-2010, 09:33 PM
Ken usually has this stuff: http://www.kenselectronics.com/lists/micplug.htm

Give him the model number of the microphone, he probably has that unusual 5-pin connector Kenwood used.

As you probably know, it's the same connector on the mike itself, so if you want you can plug the mike cable directly into the microphone instead of the base stand (wiring's the same, too). That works well if you're going to use the mike on a boom instead of the stand.

I looked at Ken's site, but it seems like the only way to contact him is via the order form, which requires a credit card number.

KJ6AKQ
10-11-2010, 09:46 PM
OK, so your friend gave you a parts / as-is Kenwood microphone.
For the knowledgeable DIY radio amateur (bench skill/soldering, electronics literacy/schematic reading) this "no problem" -- for the appliance/plug-n-play operator -- this is more junk or a problem with no solution.

I understand - having just successfully built a K2, I think I'm up to the task of making this mic work!


Steve, WB2WIK has provided you one source for the circular 5 pin connector on the MC-50 (arranged in an X shape).
I would also suggest that you check with Tower Electronics and
http://www.pl-259.com/
K1CRA for additional DIY cable building parts.
http://www.k1cra.com/catalog/category.aspx?categoryID=77

Thanks for these other suggestions, I will get in touch with them.


Why hack / chop up a perfectly good (cosmetically) microphone -- IF the part is available?
You likely could, BUT I would advise against it (last alternative).

Agreed - I definitely don't want to do this unless I absolutely have to. I've just been stymied in my search for the right connector, so far.


IS this connector on the MC-50 base unit -- that goes to the radio --
a 5-pin MALE or FEMALE circular connector?

IF that connector is MALE, then:
You MAY be able to insert/use a standard 6-pin or 8-pin Foster (circular) connector into that 5-pin plug --
since both of these connectors has the center pin (X-configuration) -- and the standard "bump" key to prevent improper insertion.
IF the connector is FEMALE, You woudl have to modify the 6-pin male connector.
Pull out extra pin -- IF possible.

http://www.skycraftsurplus.com/productimages/sk3331.jpg

I'm pretty certain that the connector on the mic base is male. I will have to check tonight. The image you attached would be EXACTLY right, minus the top pin, and turned 90 degrees on its side. But I don't remember if the key would be in the right place in that case. Again, I'll have to look.

Thank you again for the suggestions. I still have hope!

W9GB
10-11-2010, 10:00 PM
I'm pretty certain that the connector on the mic base is male. I will have to check tonight.
THAT would be GOOD NEWS.

IF the keyway "bump" aligns AND the pin spacing is correct -- a 6-pin FEMALE should fit into that connector !
IF that works, then mark top of connector with red or white line.

You can CALL Pacific Parts (you are in California) ..
they show these MC-50 part numbers as AVAILABLE. The one that I have in BOLD -- MAY be the 5-pin plug.
http://www.pacparts.com/model.cfm?CFID=3458991&CFTOKEN=19548056&mfg=KENWOOD&model_id=MC50&row_start=1&src_model_id=MC-50&action=list_part

KENWOOD E07-0504-00 MIC JACK MC-50 2 TO 3 DAYS* $11.34
KENWOOD E07-0505-00 JACK, BASE IN STOCK $9.00

*Lead time is the estimated ship date and is based on when you submit your order and whether the factory has stock.
They MAY be out of stock for this discontinued part -- BUT you can call !
http://www.pacparts.com/cservice.cfm?CFID=3458991&CFTOKEN=19548056

Pac Parts Sales Associates are available to help you from 7:00am to 4:30pm Pacific Time , Monday thru Friday, except holidays. Our Will-Call office opens at 8:00am to 4:00pm, Monday thru Friday to accommodate our customers in the Los Angeles vicinity.

For your convenience, we accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.
We accept orders via phone (800-421-5080), via email: orders@pacparts.com,
FAX or on-line. Orders placed with a credit card will be charged at time of shipping. Credit card orders are shipped complete, unless otherwise stated and shipping and handling fees apply to each back-ordered shipment. A credit card number must be given with each new order.

K1DNR
10-12-2010, 02:04 AM
Somebody needs to start drinking decaf :eek:

K1DNR
10-12-2010, 02:06 AM
to answer your question more directly, yes you could replace the connector, or drill a hole and "hard wire" a cable. But such a shame to deface this way :eek:

See if you can get a cable from Steve's link - if not, try k4eaa.com - he has all kinds of Kenwood gear.

ALL this guy does in Kenwood.

Try him

Hope the schematic helped.

He also helped me get my Kenwood TS-530s (EBay purchase) in shape and sold me the parts I needed, in the quantity I needed, at a fair price. The advice was free.

K1DNR
10-12-2010, 02:11 AM
The plug can be inserted BOTH ways. That's how you switch the impedance.

It has to agree with the orientation of the other one that is on the mic.

VE7DQ
10-12-2010, 05:44 AM
I suspect the plug you are after is....

KENWOODhttp://www.pacparts.com/images/pixel.gif E06-0505-00 PLUG, FEMALE DISCONTINUED

Yes, I know is says female, but it is called a plug, rather than a jack, and that's what's required here. Unfortunately, this particular plug is quite different from the regular run-of-the-mill 4, 5, 6 and 8-pin plugs used universally throughout Japandom. It's smaller in diameter than the 'standard' plug and, as noted, has no indexing slot. The pins (in the jack) are also very small diameter.

The cable to the radio can be inserted two ways, but on both the jack on the base and the plug on the cable there is a red dot that must be aligned for proper operation.

I'm looking at an MC-50 as I type this.

A suggestion would be to detach the wiring from the jack, unscrew the jack from the base and use an appropriate grommet or strain relief in the hole... or hound your buddy until he finds the cable! :D

Unless you find the correct connector or cable, this may be your only option. The microphone has little value without the proper cable, so have at it.

Good luck and 73
Tom

K1DNR
10-12-2010, 05:55 AM
Its a great mic and worth it. Not junk.

Or just use it without the base. The mic has a switch on it which works for PTT. Or more like "slide to talk"

VE7DQ
10-12-2010, 07:57 AM
Charley, he can't use it at all. He doesn't have the curly cable that plugs into either the base or the microphone and connects to the radio! That's the problem.

KJ6AKQ
10-12-2010, 03:20 PM
Well so far I haven't gotten any replies from any of the places I've emailed. Last night I discovered that, as a couple of people have mentioned, this connector is NOT keyed. Here's a picture of it.

http://www.nerdnetworks.org/images/P1030009.JPG

And as someone pointed out, this is the same connector that is used on the mic itself, so I can't just hook up the mic directly to the rig. There is a short cable from the base to the mic, which is hard-wired on the base end. I'm definitely not going to chop that up.

W9GB: That connector you posted a picture of seems like the most promising candidate so far, but the site that has it only seems to have the male jack, not the female in-line connector.

It's looking like I may need to replace the jack on the mic base itself.

K1DNR
10-12-2010, 04:30 PM
Well so far I haven't gotten any replies from any of the places I've emailed. Last night I discovered that, as a couple of people have mentioned, this connector is NOT keyed. Here's a picture of it.



Have you tried the link I sent you? All he does is repair older Kenwood hybrids, makes a living rebuilding them.

I'll bet he can get you the cable you need as this was THE mic for those hybrid radios. http://www.k4eaa.com His email address is at the bottom of the page.

W9GB
10-12-2010, 04:54 PM
W9GB: That connector you posted a picture of seems like the most promising candidate so far,
but the site that has it only seems to have the male jack, not the female in-line connector.
The 6-pin in-line female does exist.

It's looking like I may need to replace the jack on the mic base itself.
I would probaably lean toward using a standard 6-in circular (8pin is another alternative) and then keeping the pin assignments as close to the older 5-pin as possible.
A note or sticker inside the microphone (or on bottom of base) with the pin assignments for that connector wodl be helpful for a future owner.

Have you tried the link I sent you? All he does is repair older Kenwood hybrids, makes a living rebuilding them.
Charley,

I know Ken Kemski, K4EAA and he MAY have some parts for the MC-50 .. but that is a Kenwood accessory.
He has had his hands full with the trasnceivers themselves -- and finding parts sources -- or in the case of the HV capacitors --
custom ordering for the required size (height/diameter), value and voltage from one of the last mfg. of 500 VDC electrolytics.

The reproduction KB-1 knob work took him almost 9 months of work to reach the point
where you as a radio amateur can buy that reproduction part.

w9gb

KJ6AKQ
10-12-2010, 05:11 PM
The 6-pin in-line female does exist.

I would probaably lean toward using a standard 6-in circular (8pin is another alternative) and then keeping the pin assignments as close to the older 5-pin as possible.
A note or sticker inside the microphone (or on bottom of base) with the pin assignments for that connector wodl be helpful for a future owner.

I've looked at the 6 pin and 8 pin connectors available here:

http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/parts/micconn.html

I'm pretty sure the placement of the pins at the perimeter of those is not going to work for me. On the MC-50 connector, the perimeter pins are at right angles to each other. In those examples, it looks like they would be offset from each other. Where else can I look for these?


Charley,

I know Ken Kemski, K4EAA and he MAY have some parts for the MC-50 .. but that is a Kenwood accessory.
He has had his hands full with the trasnceivers themselves -- and finding parts sources -- or in the case of the HV capacitors --
custom ordering for the required size (height/diameter), value and voltage from one of the last mfg. of 500 VDC electrolytics.

The reproduction KB-1 knob work took him almost 9 months of work to reach the point
where you as a radio amateur can buy that reproduction part.

w9gb

Yeah, I thought Ken would be my best hope. I haven't heard back from him yet. I did hear back from PacParts this morning. They simply wrote, "According to Kenwood, there are no replacements available." Drat!

WB2WIK
10-12-2010, 06:01 PM
I looked at Ken's site, but it seems like the only way to contact him is via the order form, which requires a credit card number.

That's not true. I just call him:

(269) 345-4609

Give him the microphone model number and see if he has the mating plug. It's a simple yes or no answer. He used to have them, but I don't know if he still does. It's been a long time since I ditched all my desk mikes, including the MC-50.

K1DNR
10-12-2010, 09:48 PM
If you decide it isn't worth it, I may want to take the mic off your hands.

KJ6AKQ
10-13-2010, 02:23 AM
Just got an email back from Ken, K4EAA. He doesn't have the connector I need, he says I am the first person to ever ask! Hope is fading...

K1DNR
10-13-2010, 04:28 AM
I would just replace the connector with something standard, or hard wire a mic cable with the proper strain relief, etc.

You should be able to do a neat job. Its a nice mic. Probably worth the hour it would take.

WB2WIK
10-13-2010, 04:27 PM
I wish I would have known the MC-50 had a following!:)

I decided about ten years ago to get rid of every desk mike I had (in favor of overhead boom mounted mikes) and sold my MC-50 at the TRW Swap Meet for $30. Maybe I should have held on to it.

I didn't think it was that great.:p I sold the Yaesu MD-1s or whatever (very similar to MC-50, just says Yaesu on it) for about the same price. I didn't think they were that great, either.

K1DNR
10-15-2010, 08:46 PM
I wish I would have known the MC-50 had a following!:)

I decided about ten years ago to get rid of every desk mike I had (in favor of overhead boom mounted mikes) and sold my MC-50 at the TRW Swap Meet for $30. Maybe I should have held on to it.

I didn't think it was that great.:p I sold the Yaesu MD-1s or whatever (very similar to MC-50, just says Yaesu on it) for about the same price. I didn't think they were that great, either.

Every audio report I get is "don't change a thing"

Maybe its my sparkling voice.

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