[App_rpt-users] App_rpt-users Digest, Vol 85, Issue 26

Jim Aspinwall no1pc at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 16 01:44:25 EDT 2016


Thanks Kevin, more positive from you!
Others: "billable time" - seriously?  that's a play I work on consumer vendors for spite.  
If you back-bill your hobby and intellectual time on self-assigned-worth values... in THIS context. Thanks for your call, we'll get back to you, never.
We're talking about $3-12 free-market parts and 20 minutes of gawd-awful soldering level of effort here. Sheesh.
I am just curious about and enabling least-common-denominator implementation and idea sharing as supplies morph and shift.  If I wanted $450/hr engineering... well, a lot of folks would starve.  Campbells or Progressive cans?  When I make all this work, the for-self-assigned-value folks self-obligated to a sub-contracted fee of $375 per implementation, non-commercial... I want to be fair and allow you something for your list trolling and link-clicking efforts. 
(I am familiar with intellectual property, fair-use and public domain issues... you admitted to be exempt and obligated otherwise! pffft.)

      From: "app_rpt-users-request at ohnosec.org" <app_rpt-users-request at ohnosec.org>
 To: app_rpt-users at ohnosec.org 
 Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2016 6:51 PM
 Subject: App_rpt-users Digest, Vol 85, Issue 26
   
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Today's Topics:

  1. USB Sound Dongle Challenges (Jim Aspinwall)
  2. New Dongle Potential (Jim Aspinwall)
  3. Re: New Dongle Potential (Kevin Custer)
  4. Re: New Dongle Potential (Bryan D. Boyle)
  5. Re: New Dongle Potential (Steve Zingman)


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message: 1
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2016 22:05:54 +0000 (UTC)
From: Jim Aspinwall <no1pc at yahoo.com>
To: "app_rpt-users at ohnosec.org" <app_rpt-users at ohnosec.org>
Subject: [App_rpt-users] USB Sound Dongle Challenges
Message-ID:
    <504928773.650221.1458079554502.JavaMail.yahoo at mail.yahoo.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"


The original CM-108/-109-based products a few have documented mods for are evaporating from common availability.?
A few of us have ordered or tried to order from "known good links" (circa 2014/2015) off Amazon or eBay only to encounter dead/expired/no-longer-available links or "byte the bullet" and opt for a 108/109-claiming look-alike and come up with yet another version of unusable product.
If we can determine the same/similar/equivalent pinout locations between the 108, 109, 119 or whatever different chips we might be able to revise some of the mod docs for alternatives.
However, the latest small batch I acquired came with not pin-exposed chip-on-board (for which there could be more hope) but connection flooded die-on-board implementations and drastically differently layout, no direct access to pins without risking the chip trying to 'uncap' it.
Two recent acquisitions pictured:
http://www.no1pc.org/radio/NewerChip.jpg?- CM119 chip - one such device has already been proven to work with IRLP and Asterisk via Pi - but I'd like to do the PTT/COS tap-offs.

http://www.no1pc.org/radio/DieOnBoard2.jpg?- not yet sure of the chip, but pinouts are obviously a challenge.

I can try to poke about and see if the exposed-pin CM119 is viable, if someone familiar with the chips or their layout can advice. ?The die-version - good luck?
Ideas? ?Existing updates?
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Message: 2
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2016 23:20:39 +0000 (UTC)
From: Jim Aspinwall <no1pc at yahoo.com>
To: "app_rpt-users at ohnosec.org" <app_rpt-users at ohnosec.org>
Subject: [App_rpt-users] New Dongle Potential
Message-ID:
    <337264884.728852.1458084039564.JavaMail.yahoo at mail.yahoo.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"


Perhaps at least half-answering my previous query...
This is what I recently bought - the die-on-board version:http://www.ebay.com/itm/221670209239?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Anticipating this interface scheme will work:http://www.crompton.com/hamradio/usb_fob_modification/usbfob_interface.pdf

we may be able to extrapolate some updates... I did verify the pinout of the 108 and 119 chips are the same.
Internally:http://www.no1pc.org/radio/TopAccess.jpg

Regardless of direct/specific pin access, if the controls/indicators are assumed the same, access to the associated signals should be available at the respective (VolUp, VolDn) switches and Red LED. ?
The audio jacks are through-hole mount. ?Potentially removable and place DC blocking/coupling caps in the dongle, as well as the PTT output buffer, and perhaps any buffer for the active-low CTCSS and COS inputs.
To make a little more space and not chance an erroneous, unnecessary button press, clip the actuator posts and glue the button tops in place.
Button posts:http://www.no1pc.org/radio/ButtonTop.jpg


It may be a few days before I can get to the necessary 'surgery', create a new node and test, but this looks to have potential.

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Message: 3
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2016 19:43:07 -0400
From: Kevin Custer <kuggie at kuggie.com>
To: "app_rpt-users at ohnosec.org" <app_rpt-users at ohnosec.org>
Subject: Re: [App_rpt-users] New Dongle Potential
Message-ID: <56E89E0B.50208 at kuggie.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"; Format="flowed"


On 3/15/2016 7:20 PM, Jim Aspinwall wrote:
>
> Perhaps at least half-answering my previous query...

At some point it might be difficult at best to come up with a reliable 
source of non-potted USB dongles.  Maybe that time is upon us?  With 
that in mind, I come up with this:
http://www.masterscommunications.com/products/radio-adapter/ra35.html

Now - this device is currently in beta testing and won't be available to 
the public for about a month, maybe less.  I received a shipment of 
genuine C-Media CM119A chips today.  Circuit boards will be produced 
after reviewing all of the feedback from the owners of the 10 units 
currently in the field.

No - it's not a $2.00 FOB, but what's your time and money worth to buy 
products that are potted and unusable?  Maybe the features of such a 
device like the RA-35 makes it worthy of the asking price? I'll let that 
up to you to decide.  I am assembling a list of those interested.  Email 
direct.

Thanks,
Kevin

kevin // at  // masterscommunications  //  dot  //  com



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Message: 4
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2016 21:24:48 -0400
From: "Bryan D. Boyle" <bdboyle at bdboyle.com>
To: app_rpt-users at ohnosec.org
Subject: Re: [App_rpt-users] New Dongle Potential
Message-ID: <56E8B5E0.7050102 at bdboyle.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowed

On 3/15/2016 7:43 PM, Kevin Custer wrote:
>
> On 3/15/2016 7:20 PM, Jim Aspinwall wrote:
>>

***DELETIA***
>
> No - it's not a $2.00 FOB, but what's your time and money worth to buy
> products that are potted and unusable?  Maybe the features of such a
> device like the RA-35 makes it worthy of the asking price? I'll let that
> up to you to decide.  I am assembling a list of those interested.  Email
> direct.

While I hold nothing against anyone who wants to hack at something to 
get it to work...time is money...at least for me it is...so spending 
anything more than an hour at my contract rate, to me, and only me, 
quickly outweighs the $50-100 usd that it might cost to purchase either 
an already-constructed and proven device...or spend hours looking for a 
$3.00 part that I have to spend another 2 hours modifying with no 
guarantee (especially for pacific-rim sourced devices off fleabay) that 
it is actually useable (USB programming cables, anyone?).

Done as an academic exercise...why not?  Putting the bashed-together 
device into a commercial site?  That's why hams get thrown out.  That's 
just me, though.  I'm sure the price of Kevin's device, the upgraded 
dongle from Repeater Builder, or Dave Kramer's URI in terms of being 
tested and proven working, when what your time is worth is considered, 
are actually cheaper.

I helped design and build a broadcast quality 1KW FM transmitter back in 
the day for a station.  Passed all the proof tests.  But, it cost, in 
the end, 2x what it would have cost to just issue a PO to Harris/Gates 
(at the time) for a manufactured rig with a guarantee.

But, again, that's just me and my $.03.
BB




------------------------------

Message: 5
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2016 21:51:17 -0400
From: Steve Zingman <szingman at msgstor.com>
To: "app_rpt-users at ohnosec.org" <app_rpt-users at ohnosec.org>
Subject: Re: [App_rpt-users] New Dongle Potential
Message-ID: <56E8BC15.4010500 at msgstor.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowed

I fully agree with Bryan, my billable time is worth more then the time 
spent modifying a sound FOB.
I have been testing the RA-35 and I love it. I can not find anything it 
can't do. I've tested it with DIAL on both x86 and ARM without a glitch. 
I've tried it with DSD and Mike has tried it with D-Star. I've run out 
of things to test. As they say, It just works!

73, Steve N4IRS

On 03/15/2016 09:24 PM, Bryan D. Boyle wrote:
> On 3/15/2016 7:43 PM, Kevin Custer wrote:
>>
>> On 3/15/2016 7:20 PM, Jim Aspinwall wrote:
>>>
>
> ***DELETIA***
>>
>> No - it's not a $2.00 FOB, but what's your time and money worth to buy
>> products that are potted and unusable?  Maybe the features of such a
>> device like the RA-35 makes it worthy of the asking price? I'll let that
>> up to you to decide.  I am assembling a list of those interested.  Email
>> direct.
>
> While I hold nothing against anyone who wants to hack at something to 
> get it to work...time is money...at least for me it is...so spending 
> anything more than an hour at my contract rate, to me, and only me, 
> quickly outweighs the $50-100 usd that it might cost to purchase 
> either an already-constructed and proven device...or spend hours 
> looking for a $3.00 part that I have to spend another 2 hours 
> modifying with no guarantee (especially for pacific-rim sourced 
> devices off fleabay) that it is actually useable (USB programming 
> cables, anyone?).
>
> Done as an academic exercise...why not?  Putting the bashed-together 
> device into a commercial site?  That's why hams get thrown out.  
> That's just me, though.  I'm sure the price of Kevin's device, the 
> upgraded dongle from Repeater Builder, or Dave Kramer's URI in terms 
> of being tested and proven working, when what your time is worth is 
> considered, are actually cheaper.
>
> I helped design and build a broadcast quality 1KW FM transmitter back 
> in the day for a station.  Passed all the proof tests.  But, it cost, 
> in the end, 2x what it would have cost to just issue a PO to 
> Harris/Gates (at the time) for a manufactured rig with a guarantee.
>
> But, again, that's just me and my $.03.
> BB
>
>
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-- 
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