Headset Adapter and Footswitch

a push-button and mic/headphone jacks for your radio

© 2003-2011 by Harold Melton, KV5R. All Rights Reserved. Rev.06/11/05

Shop for radio headsets here.

Everybody got one because they were free. The CueCat barcode scanner was fun for a few minutes, but then what? I kept mine, knowing that, somehow, someday, it just might be useful.

This project fills the need for a 706 mic/headphone/PTT adapter. The guts of the Cat are discarded. A large, sturdy, momentary pushbutton and two 1/8th″ jacks are installed in his hindquarters. The keyboard plug is chopped and replaced with an eight-pin modular plug. The adapter will then provide the ability to use any common electret headset with the 706. The PTT button may be used in the hand, on the desk, or on the floor as a footswitch. Also, it makes it easy to connect a tape recorder or other audio equipment to the 706.

Operation: You’ll need to enable compression and increase the mic gain to accomodate most headset electret mics. Inexpensive computer headsets will work but the audio quality will be substantially inferior to the stock mic.

Note: You do not really need a fancy (expensive) crimping tool to install the modular plug. Simply clamp the plug in a hobby vise with the catch down, and drive each pin with a medium-sized jeweler’s screwdriver. Make sure they are all fully seated (use your 3.5 x magnifier). The cable crimp may be pressed down and locked with a large screwdriver. If you don’t want to tackle this, just get a computer network patch cable and chop it in half. I decided to use the CueCat’s cord because it’s small and soft, and it has one shielded lead.

Refer to your Icom manual for mic plug wiring. Make sure to use the cord’s shield wire as the mic ground, to prevent RF pickup.

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It’s a snug fit — melt or carve away unnecessary plastic in the base plate until it fits. Double the cord around, put a cable tie on it, and run it out the tail hole.

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Finally! A useful CueCat! Mark the bottom as to which jack is which.

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