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Archive for August 17th, 2012

Kenwood / Wouxun Headset Jack Spacing

Wouxun plug mounting plate - overview

Wouxun plug mounting plate – overview

Try as I might, I cannot uncover a definitive answer to this simple question: What’s the center-to-center spacing of the mic and earphone jacks on the side of Kenwood and Wouxun HTs?

The usual searches produce answers like 11 and 12 mm, both of which are obviously wrong, as can be determined eyeballometrically just by holding a scale against the plugs.

Based on measurements I made on a Wouxun headset, the yellow plug mounting plate put the plugs on 11.2 mm centers and they fit into the KG-UV3D radio; it’s been working fine ever since.

However, having just measured a speaker/mic and a headset, both from Kenwood, I come up with 11.5 mm. Frankly, I trust the Kenwood hardware a bit more: the plugs seem more rugged and the overall production values are higher.

The calculation is simple: measure the pin diameters, then subtract half their sum from the outside distance across the pins. Cross-check by adding half the sum to the inside distance between the pins, which should give the same answer. It helps if the pins are actually round.

The jacks in the Kenwood and Wouxun radios have enough compliance to accept either a Wouxun or a Kenwood headset plug without complaint. Maybe it doesn’t matter?

Despite that, I made another gluing fixture with 11.5 mm spacing:

Plug alignment plate - 11.5 mm spacing

Plug alignment plate – 11.5 mm spacing

Those are 0.1 inch grids; it’s a little bitty block of smoke-gray polycarbonate from the scrap heap. The plugs are nominally 3.5 mm (which is not 1/8 inch in this universe) and 2.5 mm, with clearance drills #28 and #39.

Then I tried poking those 11.2 mm spaced plugs, now firmly epoxied in place in the yellow plate, and guess what: they don’t fit, no how no way. That’s not surprising, because there’s no compliance on either side of the joint and the plugs aren’t on the right centers for the fixture. Makes for a good No-Go gauge, I suppose.

However, I think I’ll tweak the solid model spacing to 11.5 mm and run off another plug mounting plate for the next radio.

FWIW, our ICOM IC-Z1A HTs use a sensible 10.0 mm spacing and that old fixture worked fine.

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