Adding A Microphone Jack To A HAM Radio Handset

[dajjhman] wrote in to show us how he added a microphone jack to the handset of his Yaesu radio while retaining the DTMF functions. He states that there were some adapters available on the market, but they are non standard and didn’t really fit his needs. The modification itself is pretty simple, especially with his great documentation and clear pictures. For anyone else who might need this setup, this should be a great resource.

18 thoughts on “Adding A Microphone Jack To A HAM Radio Handset

    1. Each FCC regulated service has its own rules. In some services (e.g. the Family Radio Service, or FRS) any modifications at all are prohibited. In others you may change anything that doesn’t affect the RF performance. Hams, however, are permitted to change absolutely anything they want and may even build radios entirely from scratch. All we have to do is ensure that our emissions are consistent with the rules for our service.

  1. Ham Radio Operators are licensed to build and modify their own equipment, even at the entry level license allotted to 7 year olds (yes, they can pass the exam!). Also, this is a modification of the external Microphone, not the transmitter so it should be allowed as long as the PTT button and such are not modified, but that’s a different story and still a gray area
    and all of those rules apply to Transmitters, you can modify a receiver as long as you are not listening in on certain bands.

  2. @xeracy

    Incorrect. One of the main points of ham radio licensing is to encourage experimentation.

    If the author is a licensed amateur, he can do what he wants with his transceiver and operate it in the ham bands, so long as the radio’s emissions are compliant with the terms of his particular level of licensing.

    It is not at all uncommon for hams to acquire commercial radio equipment and modify it for use in the ham bands. If the FCC “sayeth” what you claim, this would be impossible.

  3. You can modify radios, you just can’t modify them outside of your privilege class. In this case, he’s just modifying the handset which isn’t modifying the radio itself at all.

    Please, please, please stop capitalizing it. It’s ham, all lower case. Not HAM or H.A.M. – it doesn’t stand for anything, it’s a pseudonym for “amateur” radio. k? thx.

  4. folks around these parts(geographically speaking) get a little touchy when it comes to the FCC and radios. a few seem to have forgotten the idea that being ham radio, or equipment doesn’t have to pass FCC type acceptance, and by nature, it can’t.

    hams=hackers. usually.

  5. Great mod, I will have to do this as well with my FT-1900 with my Bose aviation headset. You may need to change the mic gain under the settings menu depending on what mic you use. N1IR

  6. Nice!
    Bummer about the switch.
    I think anyone who has done enough of this stuff has bunged something ELSE up in the cause of making something better.

    As a switch-around, you could also do something similar to this to add a DTMF encoder (or old Radio Shmack tone dialer) to a non-DTMF enabled system.

    Great stuff!

  7. @Jerome

    Other countries have more restrictive regulations. Some countries restrict what types of transmitters lower level licensees can use. Typically if they have such restrictions, they require rockbound (crystal controlled) transmitters

  8. hams still have to follow rules, they just don’t have to prove it by getting their hacks certified. If hams didn’t have to follow rules I’d be building myself a nice spark-gap radio :)

  9. @Kyle

    You can build a spark gap transmitter legally if you can make it efficient enough to cut down on spurrious emissions!! – I thought about trying, but it would take a lot of experimentation in a Faraday Cage
    Maybe that’ll be my next thing sent to Hackaday – but this microphone is enough until school starts for me!

    -73!, ke5tuz, Jimmy

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