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For the last few years Amateur Radio enthusiasts have connected cellular Bluetooth headsets to transceivers using the Jabra A210 or a device called TalkSafe. However, at the inception of this article in the fall of 2011, this hardware has been discontinued and is hard to find. While some may question the utility of such a device, the idea is intriguing and useful on three levels. First, there have been many occasions during contests where I am operating two or more radios and hand turning antennas. The capability to monitor the band or conduct QSOs while away from the radio would come in handy. Second, the ability to have a hands-free QSO while operating a vehicle. And third, the prospect of adding another RF transmission link (complete with a transmit/receive antenna) into the normal radio communications process should appeal to most hams. The Radio Adapter resides at the transceiver with its audio input connected to the transceiver audio output, and its audio output connected to the transceiver microphone connector. Pushbuttons control volume and Bluetooth connections.

I have just discovered that some of the components are now only available in large quantities. Therefore, I have revised the parts list (Parts List Rev. 1) that shows replacements for the affected components. Please note that the pictures on this page reflect the prototype unit. Several PCB and component changes have been made to correct erroneous vendor info and add features.

If you have a newer BT module with PowerSw firmware, you will need to either make revisions to the pc board (PCB Mods), or load new firmware . The firmware versions are available on the KcWirefree downloads page. Follow the USB procedure in the Firmware Upgrade Guide and download the kcAudioGateway v6.5 build 1 (PowerBtn), KC-6012. The new firmware circuit changes are reflected in ExpressPCB Files R1.