Homemade OPC581 remote cable

Discussion in 'Homebrew and Kit Projects' started by W1RDS, Mar 9, 2015.

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  1. W1RDS

    W1RDS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have an Icom IC-703A that I plan on using for hiking and portable use. I have purchased a military surplus aluminum ALICE pack frame and will mount the body of the 703 onto it along with a battery and the antenna. The face of the radio will be velcro mounted on a strap that will go across the front so I will be able to see and have access to it. I don't need a 11 foot long OPC-581 cable to connect the two. Can I make one and if so, how?

    Thank you for your replies
    Bob W1RDS
  2. W1RDS

    W1RDS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Doesn't anyone know how to do this or have done it before?
  3. KK4ZZP

    KK4ZZP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm curious about this myself. I just purchased a 706mkIIg, and would like a remote cable for it, but I don't want to spend $65 for a simple cable. Best I can tell, it's just 8 wires with pogo pin connectors, but I don't know if there are any proprietary "gotchas" involved.
  4. WA4SIX

    WA4SIX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Molding a plug in a fixture with the wires & pins is an expensive proposition to implement. I'm surprised the Chinese haven't copied it yet. I will look at mine & see what's involved.

  5. KK4ZZP

    KK4ZZP Ham Member QRZ Page

    A friend of mine offered to open up my case and solder an rj-45 connector to it. I understand that part of the fun of amateur radio is to tinker, but I'm just a little hesitant to go soldering things onto a rig like this. If it were my Baofeng HT, i'd do it in a heartbeat. I did notice that the pogo pin connector on the radio has a screw holding it on, and I wondered if it could be removed and attached directly to the matching connector on the control head, and there might be something easier to work with on the back side of it (so as to avoid molding a plug to fit it).
  6. K7MH

    K7MH XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I would look in the Yahoo usergroup for the IC-706 series radios and see if anyone has made their own.
  7. KI4SIL

    KI4SIL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have had a quick look at two IC-706 groups on Yahoo and haven't found any posts about home made cables.

    Ed, I think you're right about the expense. I am surprised too that there are no copies.

    You would think that this would be an ideal problem to be solved with a 3D printer. The pogo pins can be found somewhere. I am not sure how to do the contacts on the other end of the cable (the 'female' side of the pogo connection arrangement). I have not looked at descriptions of the pogo connectors online, perhaps the non-moving contacts are just as easy to find. I guess these parts will not be individually listed in the service manuals.

    Someone who knows 3D printing could presumably make their own 'Chinese' copy and design their own method of fixing the pogo connectors without having to crack open a working cable to see how it is done.

    Any takers? Any progress Ed on seeing what is involved?
  8. US7IGN

    US7IGN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think the best way is to solder an rj-45 connector to it. It is old radio enough to do it without any regrets.
  9. WA7DU

    WA7DU Ham Member QRZ Page

    If I were confronted with the need for a short separation cable, i'd cost-out the parts and materials needed (wire, sleeving, connectors [the pogo connectors are available on the WWW]), then compare that to the cost of the ICOM cable. If the cost of the DIY cable even approached that of the ICOM cable, I would not build a cable from scratch.

    Instead, I'd buy the ICOM cable, cut it to length needed, and add the appropriate connector to the shortened ICOM cable; OR, cut the middle section out of the ICOM cable, leaving two shortened ends such that when those two ends are added together, I get the length I want. Use any old miniature connectors you want ((RJ-45 if it has enough conductors) to join the two ends.
  10. K3DAK

    K3DAK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a 3d printer, I've also successfully printed a lot of radio and car parts with it. Interestingly enough, I'm also in the market for an OPC581/587.

    Does anyone have a 706 cable who can give me measurements?
    PD1TB likes this.

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